By Antony Spencer
A new chapter in the history of multi-discipline sports was written with the BVI and the world’s first ever swim/run/swim/run event. This exciting new format tempted past racers out of retirement and new racers to the scene with all the action recorded in epic footage by Biggles Abrehart and his Sopwith drone.
Conditions at Smuggler’s Cove were picture perfect with Virgin sponsored Mark Doig tearing to the front of the swim closely followed by Tash Ruscheinski fresh from a 6 mile Tortola/Jost warm-up swim, Jersey Shore Mickey Ennis and the Chorpedo Antony Spencer.
Behind the lead four the short course athletes lined up for a super sprint battle royal with Sarah Carroll just ahead Michael Fay in “full” Mark Spitz replica attire, Aurelie Legangneux and Amy Quayle closely followed by newcomers Chris Graham, Cat Hunter and Nicole Toppin. On to the run leg and Sarah managed to keep her lead with a good victory over the field with Aurelie and Amy making strong moves up to second and third.
As the long course run leg commenced Tash started in the lead from Jersey Mickey, whilst the Chorpedo slipped to the rear passed by a resurgent Ray Wearmouth, determined Adrian Dale and hard running Gary Salter followed by a revitalized Key Reddy and impressive debutant Rachael Mayo-Smith.
In the long course team event Mark Doig tagged Kim Takeuchi just ahead of the Andy Steele /Derek Rawlings combo and despite a brave run from Derek, Kim proved far too hot setting run records in both two mile legs. Visiting Canadians Shelly and Kendra finished third with Gillian Plaxton and Anna Kinkead rounding off the field with a very fine fourth.
As long course racers jumped back into the water for a second time the full implications of swim/run/swim/run hit home with weary legs sinking like anchors whilst arms flailed away with little effect. As competitors tried to hold consistent form around the course the Chorpedo, back in his element, made his move from last place whilst Tash and Jersey Boy Mickey continued to duke it out at the front.
Into the last 2 mile run and the early pace began to tell, but as limbs flagged, Adrian Dale reduobled his efforts slicing through the field with impressive endurance putting up the men’s fastest run split of the day. At the finish first home was Mickey Shore setting a new course record and finishing within seconds of his prediction. Second home was Tash with strong swimming and running beating all the other boys in the process, next the Chorpedo pushed all the way by Adrian Dale in er……3rd place followed by Ray and Gary. The ladies podium was rounded off with impressive efforts by Kay and Rachael.
Next race…VG, October 16!