Wednesday, 23 December 2015

My 2015 by Helen Minshall

Hi A&T Members


Here is my round up of 2015. It’s been an unusual year. At Easter I left my full time job and started up my own company, which has forced a rethink of my training programme somewhat, but has had a major positive impact on my life. I’ve done more open water swimming, and really enjoyed myself.


Sun 22nd Feb - Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool. 5th year in a row. Got soaked in driving rain and frozen to the bone in a howling gale. It’s always the same every year!


Sun 1st March - Anglesey Half Marathon. What a fantastic event! Stunning course and so well organised by “Always Aim High”. We made a weekend of it. Re-entered for 2016.


Sun 19th April - Ribby Hall Triathlon. The swim and bike were fine but hated the repetitive run course. My heart wasn’t in it with London looming the following week.


Sun 26th April - London Marathon. I’d enjoyed the event in 2013 and had a charity place for 2014 which I had to defer to 2015 due to emergency surgery. This was all a step too far for me. I was way out of my depth but managed somehow to get round with a rubbish time that I’m totally ashamed of but I raised £2.5k for St Ann’s Hospice. I won’t be doing another full marathon. 


Sun 17th May - St Anne’s Triathlon. 5th year in a row at this event and loved it very much!


Sun 31st May - Nantwich Triathlon. Really great event, well organised and loved the outdoor swim despite been told off for tumble turning on auto pilot. Re-entered for 2016.


Frid 12th June. Great North Swim 5k Windermere. Gorgeous sunny day. 3rd year at this event and loved it! Just wished I’d worn my shortie wetsuit as the water was very warm.


Sun 28th June. Chatsworth Triathlon. Great course! Lovely river swim - and no obligation to wear a wetsuit!! Tough bike course - many hills. Free Erdinger alcohol free lager at the finish line.


Sat 4th July. Great Manchester Swim. Hated this event. The water at 19 degrees was totally unstable for wetsuits and I ended up hyperventilating in the heat. Never again!


Sun 5th July. For the 2nd year in a row I took part in this event as a team with my friends Fiona and Jon Saunders. I did the swim which I loved, but felt like I ought to have done the rest!


Sun 12th July. Epic Swim Ullswater 3.8k. Loved every minute of this amazing event which I’ve done for the last 3 years.


Sun 19th July. Capernwray Venus ladies only triathlon. 3rd year at this event. The swim is stunning in crystal clear water with big fish. A great event which I’ll be doing again in 2016.


Sun 26th July. Salford Triathlon. 3rd year at this event and really loved it, especially as I could swim without my wetsuit - that made all the difference to me. 


Sat 1st August. Epic Swim Derwentwater 3.8k. It was a very challenging swim in quite a turbulent current, especially round the back of the island. Can’t say it rates in my top ten favourites.


Frid 7th - Sun 9th Aug. Head To The Hills Great Lakes Swim Challenge West. A fantastic 3 days of open water swimming with a group of swimmers even more crazy than me! We swam a variety of distances in Wast Water (beautiful!!) Ennerdale, Loweswater, Crummock Water, Buttermere, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite. We stayed in Keswick Youth Hostel. I met some great new friends and loved the joy of swimming without the faff of having to wear a wetsuit.


Sun 16th Aug. Epic Swim Coniston - I decided to do the 1 mile swim as I was heading straight off on another 3 day swimming holiday. I enjoyed the shorter distance.


Sun 16th - Tues 18th Aug. Head To The Hills Great Lakes Swim Challenge East. Another amazing 3 days! This time we were based at Ambleside Youth Hostel and swam in Windermere, Coniston, Esthwaite, Elterwater, Rydal Water, Grasmere, Brotherswater and Ullswater. Totally mind blowing!!!!


Sat 29th Aug. Great Scottish Swim, Loch Lomond. Had entered the 2 mile but dropped back to the mile to fit in with family holiday arrangements. It was a fun swim in rough water!


Sun 20th Sept. Fleetwood Triathlon. 5th year at this event. Really enjoyed it.


For 2016 I’ve entered the Anglesey Half Marathon in March and the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May, and the Nantwich Triathlon. I plan to do more open water swimming and have booked the Great North 10k and Great Scottish Swim 5k events and have entered the Coniston end to end swim in September. I may enter some more triathlons and swim events but now I’m working as a freelance musician and often need to travel, sometimes finishing up 3 or 4 hours away from home on Saturday nights, I need to wait and book more last minute for events.


Good luck to all my fellow club members for 2016. 



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