CREDITON and District Swimming Club member Darren Beer’s amazing trip to the European Masters in London last year sowed the seeds for his entry to the World Masters Swimming Championships in Budapest.
Once he found out he was able to make the entry times he submitted his application along with all the paperwork and accreditation – a week later he was in.
Next up, was to start entering masters swimming competitions around the country to gauge his progress in preparation for the four events entered at the Championships – 100m breaststroke, 400m individual medley, 50m butterfly and the 200m individual medley.
Four meets in and it was time to take stock of where he is with his training…and he feels that plenty of training is still required.
The first event of the year was a lone trip way up in Shrewsbury at the beginning of January for one of Darren’s favourite meets where all four strokes and the individual medley were swum.
He met and swam with more than 160 friends and fellow swimmers including a swimmer from Exmouth.
Darren decided to swim all the 100m races, which may have been a mistake, and a bit of a wake-up call.
Next up was the Caradon Open, along with fellow club member, Matt Hockin. Darren used this mainly to swim the 400m freestyle to gain points towards the Masters Decathlon points competition which 2,600 men entered last year.
As can be guessed it is to swim 10 different swims throughout the year and using the FINA points scoring table and a mathematical formula, the time is age adjusted and points awarded. Darren and Matt did win a few medals.
Next up was the Swim Wales Long Course Masters in Swansea at the beginning of March.
As the pool is 50m, it matched most closely the swims being swum in Budapest including the 200m/400m individual medleys and the 50m butterfly, where Darren swam a long course personal best (30.29 seconds), but he has lots of work to do in the other events. He came away with two golds and three silvers.
The last of the four meets was held at Milfield hosted by the Royal Navy, and is another one of Darren’s favourites.
At last, some improved times in the sprint events and achieving some of his aims by swimming a sub 28 second 50m freestyle and a low 35 second 50m breaststroke.
It is now time to take stock with Martin Williams and Jane Brimacombe (Club Coaches) and start upping the training, developing stroke technique and speed, while developing strength in the gym.