Guildford Aquathlon (7th Aug)

We hear from John Bateson, who’s been aquathloning (is that a word?) with some success…

Only the second outing for my Vegan Runners vest, and this wasn’t even a proper running event – hopefully, I’ll eventually gather some momentum…


On Friday 7 August, I took my first steps into the world of triathlon-like activities with the Guildford Aquathlon – 500m swim, 5km run. By triathlon-like I mean the clock started at the beginning of the swim and finished as you crossed the line after the run, with all the time needed for messing about with shoes and stuff included in the finish time.  

This was a very friendly event, nicely run by Pheonix Tri, the Guildford club. And it was very local for me – I was able to freewheel my bicycle all the way from my home to the lido where the event was being held.  

We set off at thirty second intervals based on our estimated swim times, which put me towards the back of the field.  

I used to be an okay swimmer, but this section was a bit disappointing – no strength in my arms. Well, I only ever run or cycle, so I guess that’s what you get.  

The transition was a bit of a blur, shoes on (no socks- splendid new lock-laces), vest over head, where it stuck (wet body – an extra large vest would have helped). Luckily I got the vest issue sorted out in time to get a split noted for the 5k and for the occasional crowd member to shout ‘go vegan runner’ in a slightly quizzical way. 

I overtook a few folk in the run, but I suffered a bit with my breathing, something I ought to look into. 

So the bottom line – 4th place overall. Can’t help but be pleased with that. 7m58s in the swim (not great, but including the transition) and 18.10 in the 5k (a pb, given I’ve never run the distance before). 

(Most of us would be overjoyed to get that time for a 5k without the .5 km swim first….! Very impressive…- Ed)

Actions?  I’d like to do some more triathlon-like events, ideally over longer distances. I’d love to find the time to swim more, and maybe I’ll finally make it to one of the first-Saturday-in-the-month timed 5ks at the local park and find out what kind of time I could do (thanks to Sid DeLara for the tip).