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Like a Fish to Water

This is true inspiration to all. Anybody can learn to swim as an adult, as Nick Shasha is proving and in the process becoming a very proficient triathlete. We know he can run (4min 35sec 1 mile pb), he can certainly ride a bike, but now he appears to be rather handy in the water. Look out everyone…

Lots of work and help from Huub = quality swimming

Lee Valley Aquathon: Half way through my first triathlon season and I made my way to the 2012 Olympic venue of the Lee Valley White Water centre for a newly created Aquathlon series. I went for the slightly longer 500 metre / 5.5k run option.

This was my first race in my new Huub wetsuit, so it was a good opportunity to put some new kit into play. Out onto the swim and two laps of a 250 metre training lake course kicked off the event.  I pushed my tempo up a little more than usual and came out of the water in 6th place.

I made the transition from swim to run very quickly (the new suit is a doddle to take off) and started out on a beautiful 2 lap multi-terrain course along the tow paths of the River Lee. I quickly moved through the field and captured first place about half way through the first run lap. This put me in a very strong position, but I kept on running consistently to finish and win the race, setting a new course record in the process.

This was a significant victory for me as it was the first time I’ve won a multi-sport event involving swimming and proof that my hard work since the end of last year (I wasn’t able to swim more than 4 lengths of a swimming pool this time last year!) is paying off.

Ocean Lakes Triathlon: Two weeks later and I found myself in Kent racing another fairly new event, the Ocean Lakes Triathlon. This is a conventional sprint distance open water triathlon with a triangular 750 metre swim, an undulating 20km bike leg and 2 laps of the lake for the final 5k run.

I was straight out into the swim and by the time I got to the first buoy at around 250 metres I could already sense that the field had fragmented significantly. I had no idea of my position in the water, but kept on swimming at a consistent pace.  As it turned out I came out 6th which was fantastically good for me and put me in a really strong position for the bike.

I rode consistently over the 20k and took back another 3 places. I had another swift transition and immediately took 2nd place bfore even starting the run. Just before the end of the first lap of the run, I went past one more competitor. Unfortunately there was some confusion on my part as to what position I was in! I knew I had made the podium, but was convinced I was only in 2nd place, so I spent the next lap running flat out in attempt to catch a phantom 1st place – the first place I was already in!

So by the time victory in my first triathlon came, I was too exhausted to quite appreciate it and also unaware of it until a minute later! On the plus side it meant I had a huge winning margin of almost 2 and a half minutes – I just wished I had taken it a bit easier!

All pro snaps courtesy of Jolekha Shasha

As ever, thanks to the help of all our fantastic sponsors:

www.wilier.it - Triathlon Frames
www.huubdesign.com - Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com - Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk - Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com - Cables & Housing
www.shimano.com - Groupsets
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk - Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com - Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com - Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
www.juicelubes.co.uk - Lubrication
www.chapeaucycling.co.uk - Chamois cream, clothing