Hanks swaps pool for Poole
After a winter of competing at freezing temperatures in outdoor lidos Helen Hanks returned to open water swimming in May and notched up excellent placings in each of her three competitions. Hanks’ achievements were even more impressive as the events included a first 10,000m event and a first swim in the sea.
First up was the sea swim which took place near Poole during the early May Bank Holiday weekend. Hanks entered the 1,500m event and despite having to come to terms with the mass start as the swimmers raced to the water finished 16th overall in a field of 135. Hanks also won her age group and was the third fastest female entrant. A few of weeks later it was off to the slightly more serene environment of Eton Dorney for a 3,000m lake swim. This time Hanks finished 22nd overall in a field of over 300 and ninth in the female competition in a time of 46m 38s.
A mass start in Poole
Finally Hanks headed off to the Jubilee River for her first competitive 10,000m race from Maidenhead to Eton, roughly the equivalent of junction 8 to junction 6 on the M4, much of the route running along the motorway. Hanks achieved her best result of the three swims finishing sixth out of 139 and second fastest female swimmer. Just as encouraging for Hanks will be her split times which saw the Dolphin Masters swimmer record the fourth fastest time in the last quarter of the race, a good indicator of strength and fitness.
This has been a good month for Hanks who will now be looking to take this recent form into the Wiltshire Open Water championships in the familiar surrounds of Lake 32 at South Cerney later this month.