their was a big swim across Rutland Water on Sunday.
14 PACTRACers were amoungst the 419 swimmers to finish, over the
varying distances of 1.25, 2.5 and 5-miles.
Jonathan Oakey came 3rd overall in the 2.5 mile swim, whilst Jonathan,
Simon Guerin and Heather Watts all won their respective Age Groups.
1.25 miles from Normanton to Whitwell (159 competitors).
20. James Macwilliam 48:23 AG 2. 24:11 mins per 1000m
70. Nick Park 56:45 AG 10. 28:22 mins per 1000m
73. Kevin Fletcher 56:53 AG 5. 28:26 mins per 1000m
81. Paul Jephcott 57:55 AG 4. 28:57 mins per 1000m
119. Bernadette Oakley 66:59 AG 5. 33:29 mins per 1000m
2.5 miles from Whitwell to Normanton and back again (194 competitors).
3. Jonathan Oakey 58:34 AG 1. 14:38 mins per 1000m
21. Simon Guerin 72:52 AG 1. 18:13 mins per 1000m
47. Robin Brookes 81:04 AG 2. 20:16 mins per 1000m
55. Mark Weathersby 82:33 AG 3. 20:38 mins per 1000m
62. Sarah Mcnair 83:51 AG 5. 20:57 mins per 1000m
95. Roger Canham 92:25 AG 10. 23:06 mins per 1000m
112. Sarah Haslam 96:22 AG 5. 24:05 mins per 1000m
131 Richard Wright 102:36 AG 12. 25:39 mins per 1000m
5 miles Whitwell-Normanton-Whitwell x2 (42 competitors).
14. Heather Watts 2:41:08 AG 1. Female 3. 20:08 mins per 1000m
All started and finished in Whitwell, except that the 1.25 miles
started in Normanton.
PACTRAC's Amy Hayes swam the English Channel in the most difficult of
circumstances. The weather was against her for her original planned
window and she spent 3-weeks not knowing whether she was even going to
get another chance this year, before suddenly, some good weather meant
that the 4-swimmers in a following window all got across and she was
invited with a late call up before the tides changed.
Amy crossed in darkness over the Sunday night / Monday morning in a
time of 14:41 hours, which is a terrific achievement, as once the tide
turns, most swimmers don't make it and have to be pulled out: but Amy
fought against the tide and made it across.
"I made it to France in 14 hours and 41 minutes.
I started last Sunday, August 13th at 3:20pm, and finished Monday
morning at 6:01am.
It was so hard! 30+ jellyfish stings, 8+ hours of swimming in the dark,
and the last 2+ hours of pushing beyond what I thought I was physically
capable of ... with a painful shoulder while exhausted.
I was told that I was going to be pulled from the water after not
making any progress, after over 12 hours in the water. It was a now or
never moment, and somehow I was able to pull through the pain and swim
harder and faster and make landfall at Cap Blanc Nez just as the sun
was coming up.
My crew were perfect, giving me everything I needed from start to
I still can't believe that I did it!
I'm really, really close to meeting my fundraising goal. If you feel
inclined to help me get there, please donate and share!
Thank you for following along on this crazy train!!!
Shaun Woodward who was on the boat as part of Amy's crew gave the
"Yesterday it was an honour and privilege to watch Amy undertake her
amazing solo Channel swim from a few feet away on the Deck of the
After many false starts and disappointments she eventually managed to
get her slot, finally getting underway on Sunday at 3.20pm. Leah and I
joined Philip, as last minute 'support', replacements for her two
sisters, who sadly had to return to the USA when the swim was delayed
repeatedly by poor weather.
With nothing but goggles and swim hat, a swimsuit and earplugs, she
powered onwards at 60/64 stokes per minute in 15-16 degree water for
hour after hour. On through the afternoon sunshine, and a beautiful
evening sunset, swimming on under orange moonlight as night fell.
However as dawn broke she was fighting her way to shore against a
strong spring tide which threatened to end the challenge.
14 hours 41minutes of continuous swimming England to France, achieved
on nothing more than a pre-swim Lasagne, and various combinations of
tiny peanut butter sandwiches, tinned peaches & pears, warm oatmeal and
gels washed down with warm Gatorade at hourly, (then 45/30 minute)
intervals - 30 second rapid feed stops (thrown to her in the water via
a bottle on a cord).
Oh, and I may have forgotten to mention two years training...
She fought through multiple jelly fish stings, being whacked by a shoal
of Garfish (attracted to her head torch), and through a cloud of ink
released by some 'cuttlefishy-squiddy' thing’ which bumped into her at
one point, but the main obstacle was that strong spring tide…
After 11+ hrs of swimming the tide began to run North again after slack
water and was so strong she was not making headway and missed the
‘Cap’. The Pilot and observer were suggesting it was near to being all
over, as her shoulder began to give pain causing her to slow a little.
They said even though she was barely 2.5 miles from the shore, the tide
was just too strong and unless she could increase speed to cross the
tide into calmer waters she would simply be swept away on the flood
tide to find herself back where she was now, but 12 hours later. It
seemed a futile situation, and as the next feed got closer we prepared
ourselves for the worst, as the observer explained the blunt
predicament to her - Speed up a lot to make headway or she wouldn't be
able to make land, and the pilot would have to pull her out. It was a
heartbreaking situation after such a perfect swim, but after brief
negotiation he agreed to another half hour to see if she could speed
up. It was awful news to give after so many hours brilliant swimming
and it was clear for her to succeed, this extra effort would have to be
done with a very painful shoulder.
This is where her swim really started… 'Make or break' time, with
nature stacked hard against her. We willed her on, hoping she could dig
deep and somehow find a way to cross that next half mile of current,
encouraging her as best we could when she set off again. However... Amy
doesn't understand the word 'fail', and with a superhuman effort she
somehow managed to get her stroke rate up, swimming so strongly for the
next hour she looked like she was half sprinting. Slowly we realised
the pilots instruments were showing her beginning to creep forward
across the current… agonisingly, she gradually crept across into
'cleaner' water, and although there were still a few hard hours to swim
we knew she was going to make it. I was near to tears watching this
incredible effort, pure 'mind over matter' swimming. Only she knows
what manner of hell and pain she went through to make that final push.
The rest is a blur: Amy on the shore, arriving back at the boat,
congratulations, camera clicking, towels, tea, and Leah managing so
many congratulations flooding in from FB friends and elsewhere…
especially from all the people who watched her final efforts live on
FB, then a quick sleep & shower, off to the White Horse to sign the
wall, food, and then the drive home.
I will never forget the day our crazy friend Amy Hayes swam the
Channel. We all know Amy shines, but yesterday I saw a woman shine so
brightly it was dazzling!"
PACTRACer Phil Jones said: "I am simply in awe of Channel Swimmers. For
a start no wetsuits, just simple costumes. (and some grease). Not even
a watch. Freezing waters. Jellyfish (for goodness sake!), tides, wind,
waves (Not your simple slightly windy lake swell), oh and add in
tankers and other shipping that are slightly bigger than you....
And then there is the shear distance. It is never 22 miles. Always
more... and given the tides you can be swimming off the coast for ages
not getting anywhere. Time can be anything from 10-15 hours (or even
more). 22 miles, fighting against the waves in the channel.
I cannot imaging doing that. I can't imagine the pain of the jellyfish
stings, let alone swimming through the darn things. I can't imagine the
coldness of the water. I can't imagine the cramp after 4 hours, let
alone 12 hours. I can't imagine swallowing sea water for 12 hours. I
can't imagine not being sea sick in the waves. I can't imagine almost
seeing France occasionally and then fighting against the tide to get
... and we have not even discussed the time and hard work training,
acclimatisation, and simply learning to be a good enough swimmer to do
this at a reasonable speed against such forces, tides and winds.
Anyone who even tries this has my awe and admiration. Let alone anyone
who completes it."
The Monster Half and Standard distance triathlons took place at Ely.
Monster Middle, Ely Swim 1900 metres, Bike 52.5 miles, Run 13.1 miles.
36. Rob Hammond 32:01 2:43:25 1:49:20 = 5:04:45 AG 5.
Monster Standard, Ely Swim 1500 metres, Bike 27.5 miles, Run 7 miles.
36. Mark Bedford 41.44 1:25.30 47.00 = 2.54.14 AG 9.
78. Emily Boyd 29:26 1:39:59 64:30 = 3:13:55 AG 8.
110. Amy Hayes 29.26 2:02:01 58:53 = 3:30:20 AG 8.
Jim Fell and Claire Steels traveled to Penticton in W.Canada for the
World Duathlon Championships. Jim took part in both the Sprint (Friday)
and Standard (Monday) distance races whilst Claire put all of her
energies into the Standard distance and won a SILVER MEDAL.
Jim has previously competed for GB in the World Standard distance
Duathlon Championships in both 2014 and 2015 where he came 19th and
Jim finished the Sprint in 8th place, his best position to date; and
only missed out on 6th place due to having slower transition times.
Run 3 miles, bike 12.5 miles, run 1.5 miles.
James Fell 25:16 48:19 13:35 = 1:27:10 AG 8th (Age 70-74).
other local non-Pactrac.
Eric Winstone 23:09 52:57 11:39 = 1:27:45 AG 15th (Age 65-69).
In the Standard distance Duathlon Jim finished 12th in his Age Group,
improving on his previous positions.
460. James Fell 51:34 1:27:15 30:54 = 2:49:43 AG 12.
143. Claire Steels 40:23 1:08:38 22:04 = 2:11:05 AG 2nd SILVER
MEDAL Age 30-34
Claire just blitzed it with the 2nd fastest bike split that saw two
girls pull away from the rest of the field. Claire then hung on, on the
2nd run, as her advantage was just slowly eaten into; but she held on
for the SILVER MEDAL by 28 and 33 seconds from the two chasers.
Claire said afterwards: "Relief, fatigue and nausea! 2nd Place and a
silver medal! Delighted with 9th over all of the Age Groups too! Race
analysis: average 1st run, bike was harder than expected, very hard 2nd
Olivia Corner raced at Hoddesdon last week and had a good win, being
over 1min 20secs ahead of 2nd place. It was her first time racing in
cleats & it was a challenging course but "she executed her transitions
and the race brilliantly".