Friday, 15 June 2012
At least the Brits appear to be improving their results. Meritorious Jen smashed the opposition to win the 60 years age group and Dave Milburn also struck gold as he became the first male British Champion (as far as I'm aware)
It is kind of interesting this meet, I haven't fully trawled through the results but there have only been a handful of world records, however apart from the odd phenomenal swimmer (who sadly all seem to be in mu age group) the depth of swimmers has been astounding.
Many of our swimmers who would normally be shoe ins have struggled and British World Champions are very few and far between. With somewhat predictably Jane Asher (the dasher)landing 4 titles to date, and Nic ( we are not worthy) Latty providing a master class in how to beat very tall opponents including Olympic Champions (Claudia Poll). The answer in case you are interested is even pace swimming. Nic went out in a controlled 34 and came back in an even more impressive 34 passing the whole field.
I'm back on the sun lounger at the moment experimenting with blogging on an iPad which explains the poor grammar and spelling and somewhat erratic punctuation.
Thursday, 14 June 2012
Eventually made it down to the pool to collect one half of the Karate Kids and head off for some altitude training in San Marino. It was great to escape what is rapidly becoming an endurance event.
Apart from the huge numbers of entries at this event one of the reasons it has seriously overrun has been the inability of swimmers to estimate their times. I reckon it speaks volumes that the Women's pool has pretty much run to time but as you Binge devotees are aware it's the men's pool that has had all of the problems.
What is it about Men that they have to be overly confident about what they think they can do! I have to say particularly (at risk of being racist and offending our hosts) Italian Men there are huge numbers of them that swim not only slower than their entry times but scads slower than the event entry times, optimistic or what.
Well 200 Breaststroke up tomorrow which is going to be exquisitely painful and a further consignment to bl**dy lane 1. So I'm off to bed.
Flop about 60 - 80 metres
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Being cheered on by a substantial crowd who stayed behind and packed out the bleachers to support the swimmers efforts. Unreal; Of course most of the sprinters were back first thing for the 50m free (a great piece of scheduling that right?).
Big event for Binge today 50 breaststroke, successfully negotiated the start without a DQ, in fact I sort of stood on the blocks invited everyone else to start and finally it registered I needed to chase them so I dived in after them and was rewarded with a putty medal for my efforts (7th)
600 warm up
2 x 50's 12.5 sprint 12.5 easy
50m breaststroke 39.53
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Binge's Adventures Abroad Day 4 (in which Binge learns that too much Prosecco does not lend itself to coherent blogging)
200 freestyle was up today, yet again I ended up in the lane of death, what is it about this meet there are 10 lanes in these bl**dy pools and I've found myself in Lane 1 every time I've swum. Rubbish 200 free although maybe not quite as rubbish as I was anticipating.
Didn't even bother warming up cos the 5 lane 25 m warm up pit was just a tad crowded and I survived for a whole 100 metres post race swim down, then spent the rest of the afternoon chilling on some sunbeds.
50m breaststroke at some time tomorrow night, perhaps the most unpredictable of the events, oh yeah I move from the lane of death to the only marginally better lane 2. Better watch my start!
100 swim down
Monday, 11 June 2012
Binge's Adventures Abroad Day 3 (including an encounter with the World Championship's Temporal Anomaly)
So after dinner in the company of Batman and Robyn who arrived on their supercharged hotel Batbikes, we set off to try and find our way home. Could Binge and The Karate Kids make it to the Villa avoiding the deadly dirt track? Fortunately you don't have to tune in next week at the same bat time on the same bat channel because I can announce that we've finally worked out how to get back to where we're staying avoiding that particular piece of unmetalled road.
The pool was fairly busy but I reckon that by tomorrow the place will be really packed out. It's all about trying to stick to your own race plan, despite the noise and bustle and unpredictable time table.
An early decision to have lunch on arrival at the pool, turned out to be a sensible one as I wolfed down an extremely healthy (!) sausage sandwich, (carefully considered and selected for its nutritious value! Yeah right it just smelt great!)
They adopted a really interesting marshalling system, firstly and thankfully you marshalled outside the pool, away from those horrible cramped and claustrophobic call rooms they used in 2004, you turned up about three heats before you thought you were going to swim and they simply called you out in your competitor numbers until they had a full heat. Very efficient and quite simple but I wondered what happened when they arrived at the penultimate heat and found they only had 11 swimmers would the fastest swimmer (theoretically anyway) have the chance to swim in splendid isolation as Billy no mates?
Fortunately I didn't have to worry about that problem being ranked at 374. Eventually, my number was up and I was called out to find that I was assigned the lane of death again. Lane 1. Aargh what a horrible swim, I'd felt pretty good in the warm up but I hit the water and it was like swimming through treacle. I have to confess by about 150 I was seriously considering stoping and by 400 I figured I should just treat this as a warm up. I was spectacularly last in my heat and so far behind the rest that the scoreboard had been switched off by the time I finished.
600 metres steady
2 x 50's 25 hard 25 easy
800 race....bleargh 12:12.21
300 swim down
Sunday, 10 June 2012
So after an absolutely manic 10 days with no time to blog, things started to fall into place; Swimming Times articles submitted just about on deadline, drinks reception arranged, new passport arrives (with 48 hours to spare) and after a 17 hour day in the office, at 12.10am on Saturday morning finally escape from work, I reckoned I'd covered enough of the contingencies that were likely to arise in the next 10 days to enable my liberation;
I arrive home, pack, 4 hours sleep, (well almost) make it to the airport to catch up with the Karate Kids, Sumo and Judo, and leave a very wet and rainy Newcastle for the (initially) wet and rainy Adriatic coast of Italy. Chilled drive down to Riccione from Venice and en route we are struck by the realisation that none of us has had the presence of mind to bring the details of where we are staying!
2.30pm hit Riccione; navigation entirely on instinct and the combined intellect of Sumo and Binge (which might just scrape into double figures) surprisingly delivers us to the pool without any difficulty. Of course yet again none of us have brought a copy of our registration or any of the other bits of paper we might require, but no worries flash the new passport recieve accreditation and we're in, a very painless process.
Next stop the British Drinks Reception a hastily organised but very successful couple of hours at La Spaggio del Cuore, catching up with the other Brits out here. Then back to the pool for a swim, mental note to self, it's never great swimming after a couple of glasses of Prosecco and a beer or few, but successfully road tested both pools (mainly the outdoor. An inspired choice of time to swim as the pool was pretty quiet and the sun was setting; it made for an atmospheric early evening dip.
After a spot of dinner, the challenge of finding our accommodation. Smartphones to the rescue and having located the address off Facebook, tried to input the address in TomTom on my ipad (I'm giving away my gadget geekiness here) without success. No option but to navigate from a two inch iphone screen of google maps in the dark.
Sadly my eyesight is not what it was and Farneto and Farreto look very similar under these conditions, but are crucially quite different! The Karate Kids were extremely tolerant and patient but even they were exhibiting signs of anxiety as I took them off the road and up a dirt track which climbed a very steep hill.
Praying this wasn't a dead end as there was no way that we could turn the car around on the dirt track without ending in a ditch; and reversing down the hill in the pitch black would be an entertaining experience, and probably wasn't a realistic option. At the top of the hill we found a metalled road but realised we were hopelessly lost.
Expecting locals to speak English in rural Italy was probably always a bit of a stretch although we managed to understand "I haven't got my glasses" as we tried to show a native dog walker the address on the iphone. Anyway to cut a long and increasingly boring story short we stopped, turned round to retrace our steps and saw a sign for the Villa, (right at the top of the dirt track. So check in, bed and a straight 10 hours sleep bliss... just that 800 free tomorrow to worry about.
800 meters mixed outdoors
4 x 25's dive in outdoor pool
1 x 50m in the indoor pool
2 x 25's for dive indoor pool