Holy Island 2019: Porthdafarch Swim Run. Frog Woman is born!

Swimrun is… a hilarious event in which you do two activities and feel ill equipped in both of them and spend the entire time looking absolutely ridiculous with various bits of plastic and silicone hanging about your person, wishing you had a custom-designed pair of utility pants to stash all of the items in.  
Bethan aka Frog Woman and her accomplice Tini – Germany’s sole representation in the event – had been perusing the internet for an event they could take part in for some time and finally the obvious answer had emerged.  Bethan can run right, and Tini can swim, so, let’s do an event where you can tie yourselves together and tow each other along, giving the other person the perfect training drag to hone their skills further! Of course they lived in different countries so the first time they got to practice the old being tied together thing was the day before the event, for 10 minutes in the sea.  It seemed to go alright so they went for it.  What with that, and time spent fashioning a pull buoy leg attachment out of a butchered buff using a corkscrew, the preparation was complete.
Luckily, on the morning of the event, the sea appeared placid and calm compared the swirling nightmare of crashing waves the day before.  The event organiser had still opted to abort one of the swims in case we all crashed into the headland as the swell was 6-7 foot but all in all, it wasn’t so bad.  What was bad was running for 5km in a wetsuit with bits of float stuck to you in the emerging sunshine, holding goggles and swimhat while you really need a wee.  The team almost made a last minute team name change to ‘the two tomatoes’ to reflect their ever reddening faces until finally the first sea section revealed itself and they were able to launch themselves in, have the obligatory pee in a wetsuit and set off into the nice cool sea.  As strava later revealed, they spent almost as much time going backwards as forwards as the sea bobbed them all about, but finally the beach came into view over the waves and the 700m + 500m of going backwards swim 1 was nearly over.  
And so it continued, as the name might suggest, swim, run, swim, run, etc.  What I have failed to mention so far is the extensive support crew who worked just as hard all morning to pop up multiple times along the route – they were on beaches, rocky outcrops, the promenade, shouting out encouraging cheers to the Welsh German Alliance.  ‘Run Hard, Drink Hard!’ could be heard all over Anglesey.  STD (or ‘Sarah the Destroyer’ to her enemies) was clearly there, in fine voice, no. 1 whippet support crew Beanie and Spider also showed up for some extra water safety support and Frog Woman’s parents even made it to witness the first sporting event they had ever seen their daughter take part in.  It was mentioned that the Herefordshire Xcounty would have involved less driving, but apparently they wanted the holiday.  
Anyway, the towing, you’ll be pleased to know, worked a treat.  Frog Woman even managed to adjust her goggles whilst fully upright in the water and was still getting dragged along by the German powerhouse.  On the last run section she of course returned the favour and dragged Tini up all of the hills, to the amusement of all of the passing dogwalkers and holiday makers.  They crossed the finish line hand in hand and because it was a swimrun and there aren’t really any rules they didn’t get disqualified.  In fact they won their place on the podium as the 1st female team by a narrow margin of 30 minutes.  Luckily the other 5 female teams must have all stopped for a picnic on the beach but still, they took their photo opportunity, camping cups which say ‘winner’ so it must be true, bottle of prosecco and £30 voucher and hammed it up to the max.  
So, if you ever want to feel like you aren’t getting anywhere in the water OR up the hills because you are completely ill equipped and knackered for both, then the swimrun is for you!  However, everybody has a right old good time, is very friendly and you might even win a prize! 
Frog Woman signing out.

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