With 2011 almost upon us, we'll all no doubt be thinking of our goals for next year, so why not make that a few meets and see if all that training has paid off? Although a fair number of us went to Sheffield for the Nationals and to Aldershot for the Intercounties in 2010, other meets proved not so popular with only around 5 swimmers travelling to Bracknell, Gloucester and Leamington and fewer to Guildford (South East Champs) and Maidenhead.
If you've never swam at a Masters meet before, do enter, then come along and try one. They are without exception friendly events with swimmers of all shapes, sizes and ranges of ability. They are all seeded based on time, not age, so the likelihood is that you will be swimming against others of your speed. You may also get the chance of a few relays!
Here is a rundown of local(ish) meets coming up in the first half of 2011, though a more comprehensive list can be found here:
South East Region Long Course Championships, Crawley, Sussex - 29-30 January (entries due 31 December 2010)
A rare opportunity to test yourself in a 50m pool. 50, 100, 200m of all strokes, 200 IM, 400 free and IM and an 800 free await if turns just aren’t your thing.
Haslemere Masters Medley and Sprint Meet, Haslemere, Surrey - 12 February (entries due by 14 January 2011)
50s in every stroke and 100 IM. This is the second year this meet has been held and it won't take up your whole weekend, starting at 7pm Saturday night and finishing by 9pm. A good chance to swim every stroke and see where your 'baseline' is for 2011.
Bracknell Masters Meet, Bracknell, Berkshire – 5 March (entries due by 5 February 2011)
If you want to swim in a local meet, this is the one for you and one we as a club target each year. Well-organised and with a separate 25m pool for constant warm-up and warm-down, this meet offers 50, 100 and 200m of all strokes, 100 and 200 IM and plenty of relays.
Royal Navy Masters Meet, Millfield, Somerset – 27 March (entries due by 11 March 2011)
It may be a bit of a trek down to Street in Somerset, but this is a good standard meet at a good facility.
Gloucester Masters Meet, Gloucester – 3 April (entries due by 3 March 2011)
A one-day meet (Sunday) which has proved very popular with Masters swimmers from the South, West, Wales and Midlands and is only an hour’s drive. Gloucester is a modern, 8 lane pool, with a reputation for being ‘fast’. All events available up to 400m free.
Guernsey Masters Meet, Guernsey – 8-10 April (entries due by 5 March 2011)
Why not combine a few swims with a weekend away in April?
Midland Masters Championships, Leamington – 6-8 May (entries due by 4 April 2011)
The second ‘targeted’ meet of the year for us and very popular with swimmers from the Midlands and South of England. 400 free is on Friday night with the other events (50s, 100s, 200s of all 4 strokes, 100, 200 and 400 IM plus relays) spread out over the Saturday and Sunday. Just an hour up the M40 and a very cheap swimshop to boot!
Jersey Masters Meet, Jersey – 10-12 June (entries due by 10 May 2011)
Thanks to Tom Perchard for pointing me in the direction of this one. A perfect opportunity for combining a few pool swims with an early-season open water outing. Tom might even give you a couple of pointers on post-swim ‘entertainment’…
GB Masters Championships (Long Course), Leeds – 17-19 June (no entry form available currently)
The equivalent of the Sheffield meet, but in a 50m pool.
Please check out the 'Entry Forms' for PDF forms or links to web forms for these events. I will post the results (and reports) from these meets in the ‘Meet Info’ section.
If you come across any meets, be they in the pool, lake, river or sea and would like some company doing them, just email me through the details and I'll make sure they are added to the site.
All the best,
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