Adam does Bamburgh Half Ironman Triathlon


I asked Adam to let us have a report on his latest competition as I thought it would make interesting reading - and it does!! Phew!! A brilliant effort, Adam, and I am sure Mick will be very pleased to read your comments about the swimming element of the event. Makes all those sessions in the pool worthwhile! But 4,000 metres instead of an expected 1900 metres - a miscalculation of epic proportions !!


Keep those reports coming please, all of you……. I am sure I speak for us all when I say we really are interested in what everyone is doing competition-wise.


Please read below for Adam’s race report.


The Bamburgh Half Ironman Triathlon is based in at the foot of Bamburgh castle with the event centre and transition all taking place on the village cricket pitch.


The race started with what should have been a 1900m sea swim in the crystal clear though slightly chilly North Sea. At the race briefing we had been told the swim would consist of 3 laps around the buoys weighed down in the sea. At the end of each lap you would have to run up the beach, round a flag and then re-enter the water.


Sounds simple and I expected to take between 35 and 40 minutes.


So when the first lap took me 26 mins I was slightly disappointed / concerned, the next two laps took slightly longer as the current got stronger and the tide came in, so less running up the beach and more swimming, bugger!!


I eventually completed the swim in 1 hr 22 mins. It later turned out the organisers had got the length of the swim course wrong, we ended up swimming approx 4000m, never mind it was the same for everyone! And Micks training had paid off as I was just in the top half of the field after the swim.


It was then a run up the beach and sand dunes to the cricket pitch, where wetsuits were peeled off and I headed out on the bike. The bike course consisted of two laps of a 28 mile loop. The bike course was fairly flat if your used to riding round Derbyshire though I heard others complaining it was hilly. I completed the 56 miles in 2 hrs 52 mins and moved a few places up the field.


On returning to the transition area it was trainers on and out on the run, my favourite / strongest of the 3 disciplines. The run consisted of 3 laps of a 4 mile loop along coastal footpaths and through the grounds of Bamburgh castle. The run went really well for me and I managed to finish in 35th place overall out of 140 finishers, in a time of 5 hrs 52 mins.


Looking back it was a really enjoyable race and although the swim was a lot further than expected, it has given me the confidence to know I can swim that distance in open water. So next year it's a full ironman, fingers crossed!!





We are taking a 2 week summer break - Our last swim is Thursday 14th August and our return date is Monday 1st September 2014.




Mick, Jen and Jean travelled to Swansea’s magnificent 50m pool for the 3-day Masters British Championships on 13-15 June 2014. Mick and Jen were there all 3 days, with Jen winning gold in the 100 metre breaststroke and silvers in both the 50m and 200m events. Jean came in 5th in the 1500m freestyle.




One of our newer members, Steve Fell, completed his first open water competition (after only one open water training session) and did the 2 miles in a very creditable 1 hour 8 minutes. The water temperature was a “tropical” (Steve’s description!) 17 degrees! Steve did the swim in aid of McMillan Cancer Support. . . If you would like to make a donation to his Just Giving page it is Steve’s blog on there gives the reason for him doing the sponsored swim in aid of McMillan.


If any of you have news of your own events, please let us know for inclusion in future newsletters. I think it safe to say that we are all interested to know what motivates each of us to swim train, so please share your news with us.




To those of you who have been with us for a long time, please forgive me repeating myself, but we do have a lot of newer members now, who may not know what goes on behind the scenes….. Jen does regular table top sales which raise a considerable amount of money for the club - over £700 last year. This helps keep our monthly swim fees to a reasonable level by way of subsidising the cost of the pool hire.


Jen is always in need of “stock” to sell - good quality items please - such as books, CD’s, DVD’s, toys, jigsaw puzzles, games, household items, unwanted gifts - in fact anything in good condition which you think Jen could sell.


Jen also collects aluminium foil and cans which go to a local scrap dealer in exchange for cash….. please collect this - squash down your foil and cans and let Jen have them.


If anyone would still like to purchase a red Spondon Swim Club hoodie at a very reasonable £20 please speak to Brian, Jen or me - I think we have just a few left now.


Long Course Irish Masters Championship at Limerick University pool

Jen and Audrey have just returned from a very enjoyable weekend of competition in Limerick. Jen won first place in all of her events - 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke. Audrey won first place in the 200 free, third in 50 back and 50 fly and 4th in 50 and 100 free.

Blackpool Long Distance meet

2 weekends ago Jen and Jean competed at Blackpool (not in the sea!) - Jen winning first place in the 400 metres event and taking the North West ASA age group record for this event with a time of 6.03 !... Jean won second place in both her 1500 and 400 events.

Membership Secretary

A public thanks must go to Berry who has now completed her final annual membership return for us to the ASA. Berry has very efficiently submitted our annual membership return to the ASA for many years, but has now handed the task over to Camilla. We sincerely thank Berry for doing a great job for us, and we hope to see you at swimming, Berry, when time allows. Welcome to Camilla as Membership Secretary. Please remember to let Camilla know of any changes such as your home address, phone number or email address.





Saturday February 5th saw Jenny, Audrey and Jean competing at Wolverhampton in the Staffordshire Masters sprint meet, the first meet of the 2014 season.

Jenny won gold in her 50 & 100 breastroke events as well as gold in the 100 Individual Medley.


Audrey won silvers in the 25 and 50 freestyle. Bronze in 100 free, 100 IM, 25 fly and 50 fly.


Jean won gold in all of her freestyle events – 25, 50, 100 and 200.


It was good for us to meet up with Karen, who most of you will know, and who now swims and competes for the Fire Service. Needless to say, Karen won gold in all of her events – 50, 100 and 200 freestyle.


Our next competition sees Jean and Jen at Blackpool next Sunday 23rd at the North West long distance meet. Results in March newsletter.




Jim has started the intensive preparation and training required to attempt a channel swim in 2016.


We asked Jim for more details and quote his email as follows:


“My plans for the next couple of years are:

In March I will be doing a 6 hour qualifying swim for the English Channel which needs to be in waters of 16c or less, it also has to be observed and certified.

Once I’ve completed that I will be booking the channel and am currently looking into which federation and pilot to go with, time of year etc.

As for this season, I’ll be joining the BLDSA (British Long Distance Swimming Association) and doing a few swims with them in preparation i.e. 5ks, Bala, Coniston, Windermere (these are one or two ways)

After joining Spondon I've benefited greatly from the 90 min sessions and Mick’s brutal sets!


Lol- happy swimming! “


So good luck with that, Jim, remember to keep us posted with your events and results.




Jen has done 3 table top sales already in 2014 raising a grand total of £210!! This helps to keep our fees down and is vital to keeping our finances in good shape. Do you have any unwanted items which Jen could sell?….. Books, DVD’s, CD’s, unwanted presents, toiletries, ornaments, pots, pans, etc etc – even clothes and shoes (providing they are in “as new” condition). Any items can be brought to Jen on club nights.


Did you know Jen also collects aluminium cans and tin foil which she sells to a scrap man? So, please collect your drinks cans (squashed down please) and foil - proceeds from which go to club funds.




New hoodies and swim hats are being generously sponsored by Magenta Electronics Ltd. The artwork has been agreed and we are about to order hoodies and swim hats in the club colour of tomato red. Heather (open-water) is finalising order numbers for the hoodies, so if you haven’t already ordered your hoodie can you contact Heather as soon as possible.



Busy September for our Master Swimmers

1st September

Jenny in the European Championships Eindhoven Holland, where she competed in the Breast stroke events getting Silver in the 100m and 200m with a Bronze in the 50m event.

14th September

Three swimmers travelled to Scotland to swim in the Inverclyde Open meet. Here the trio of Karen Audrey and Jenny won 6 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze. Karen swimming the 800m distance event in a new competition record with gold in her other 2 events. Audrey got Silver in the 50m fly and 200m Freestyle with Bronze in the 50m and 100m freestyle. Jenny swam her Breast stroke events and also got 3 Gold.

21st September

Karen came back from the Fire service Championships with a fist full of Gold medals, 50m swims on all four strokes the 100m ind medley and the 400m freestyle a busy day.

27th September

Four swimmers went over for the weekend to swim the Jersey Open Meet

Karen doing another punishing meet with the 1500m, 800m, 400m,200m and 100m freestyle won 4 Gold and 1 Silver.

Jean also swims distance freestyle with the 800m and 400m but this time also did the 200m, 100m ,50m and the 25m getting 6 gold medals in her age group.

Audrey also made a clean sweep of all her events with gold in the 25m, 50m, 100m freestyle, 25m 50m, fly and the 100m I.Medley

Jenny doing the breast stroke events of 25m 50m 100m and 200m and the 50m fly and 25m free also gold.

All in all a good weekend for our swimmers Well done the end of a busy Month.

5th October

Audrey competed in the Arfon Open Meet in Llandudno where she swam the 50m Freestyle and 50m Fly getting 2 Gold medals. With a Silver medal in the 100m I.M.and a bronze in the 100m Freestyle, another good result for her.



Sabrina's Muddy Weekend


Sabrina put her fitness, and maybe a little of her swimming ability to good use at the weekend taking part in The JCB Mud Run. Competing as part of a team of 4 she took on the 5.5 mile course through the staffordshire countryside, and specially made mud runs. Finishing in a time of 1hr 15 mins.



Great Britain Masters - Plymouth 14th-16th June


The Great Britain Masters long course Championships held in Plymouth 14-16 th June

Karen Jenny and Jean won a total of 5 medals between them

Jenny winning the 3 breaststroke events, Karen and Jean in the 1500m freestyle event won a Gold for Karen and a Bronze for Jean who also came a good 4th place in the 400m and a 5th place in the 800m freestyle events, a successful weekend for the trio.


Spondon Masters on BBC Breakfast T.V. 25th January

Several members of Spondon Masters got up early on a Friday Morning to be interviewed, live by Jenny Hill of BBC Breakfast, whilst others were in the background training at the Lonsdale Pool, Mickleover.

This was part of a programme about promoting sport and fitness for the older athlete, where a 70 year + pole vaulter and an 80 year old + cyclist were also featured.

It was worth getting up to promote Masters swimming, and the other sports too.


Most of us now pay by standing order - so thank you for your response to our last request....

Still one or two of you left to convert to paying by standing order ... PLEASE !!!


Pleased to see a few new faces at our AGM. Lee - our Chairman of many many years has asked to stand down and we elected a new chairman in Brian Brooks. A new Welfare Officer in Nigel Martin - all other members remaining the same as last year.


I have been asked by Max, our esteemed treasurer, to respectfully remind everyone who does not already pay their monthly subs by banker’s order straight to our account, that it is our preferred method of payment, for several reasons:

It helps considerably with our budgeting. As you probably know, our finances are always very tight. If we know for certain that £X amount is coming in every month, regardless of whether you make all the sessions you book for, then we know we have the money to pay the pool hire.

It eliminates the need for you to remember to bring your subs with you every time you swim.

It’s much easier for everyone if there is no cash to handle when we all just want to get in and swim.

We hope you appreciate our reasoning for this request. Max can e-mail you a standing order form for you to complete and send to your bank - or can give you a printed copy if you prefer. Many thanks for your co-operation and help in this.


And if you already pay by standing order - which most of us already do - then thank you - it is much appreciated.


For those who don’t already know – Jen now holds all the short course British Records for the 50m, 100m and 200m breast stroke events in her age group. At the National Championships in Sheffield in October she broke her own existing records. Congratulations to Jen – and to Mick for his brilliant coaching. All this from our little club and our little pool in Mickleover! Brilliant!

Well, that's all folks - I did warn you it was a long newsletter - lots to say!! Looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make it to the AGM on Tuesday 4th December at the British Legion. Thanks for your responses to help with AGM attendance numbers, much appreciated.





Not content with coming back from the world championships with four medals, Jen was straight back to doing a Sunday Table Top sale, making another £65 for club funds.

Many thanks to Jen - without whose single-handed fundraising we would really be struggling to pay the pool hire costs - we really are that tight for cash!!

SO - if anyone has any stock that Jen can sell, please please bring it to club asap. Things ranging from unwanted books/CDs/DVDs/jewellery/ornaments/china/good quality clothes/nearly-new shoes/children's games/toys/jigsaws/pictures/ornaments/ Unwanted presents/home-made jams and pickles - the list is endless.

All Jen asks is that your items are in good condition to sell.

And don't forget to keep collecting your aluminium cans and tin foil and bring it to club.... it really does mount up and Jen sells this to a local scrap dealer, again adding to our funds.




Last swim for our "girls" today and it was Jen's turn in her favourite event - the 200m breastroke - Jen only won ! and is coming home with a

Gold medal for a time of 3.19 - 14 seconds ahead of one of her old rivals, Sabine from Germany.

So the tally is:


1st place - 200 breast - 3.19

2nd 100 breast - 1.31

3rd 50 breast - 42.86

4th 50 Fly - 38.94


5th place - 800 free - 11.21

5th - 200 free - 2.38




some of you will not know Audrey -

she swam with us before moving to Wales, but is still a member of Spondon Masters. Audrey trains near her home with schedules

sent to her by Mick and qualified to go to Riccione.

However, Audrey got a bug on the first day in Italy which made her really poorly and a visit to the championships' doctor resulted in her being put on a course of anti-biotics.

Audrey swam in the 50 free, but was disappointed with her time, felt rotten and so sadly had to withdraw from her other events, which was a real shame after all that training.

Bad luck, Audrey - hope you are feeling better now.


The first 6 places receive a world medal, so its medals all the way for Jen and Karen. Mick still has the skill to produce world class swimmers and I am sure you will all wish to congratulate the "girls" and Mick on their outstanding achievement at this year's World Masters Championships.

To the rest of us - keep at it everyone - we may not be World class, but we can still "give it some wellie" at Lonsdale pool every week!!

We want to hear news of your competion results - be it marathons, open water events, tri events, water polo, etc etc....... so please let Sabbie have details so she can put them onto Spondon Masters website and email to me so that I can email out to everyone.





Great Britain long course Championships, held in Sheffield 4th - 6th May 2012


4 Club members competed in the Great Britain long course Championships, held in Sheffield 4th - 6th May 2012

Jenny Merritt broke her own British 200m breaststoke record in the 60-64yrs age group and also won the 100m and 50m breast.

While Karen Jennings and Jean Hiatt got two silver medals each, both of them in new age groups this year.

Karen in the 800m and 400m freestyle in her age group of 55-59yrs and Jean in the 1500m and 400m freestyle 65-69yrs.

Audrey Watson swimming at the top of her age group, produced her best results at the GB champs ever doing 3 personal best times and a 5th place in the 50m butterfly.

A great all round result for all, just the boost for Jenny, Karen and Audrey who are competing in Italy in June at the World Masters Swimming Championships.




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