"Non-race" report - The Ros Young 55 yard races. First round of the club championship series.

A dip in the Serpentine is unavailable, so here is another reminder of what we are missing on a Saturday morning

Ros Young, our ever-present organiser of wardens and some-time herder of cats

Ros Young, our ever-present organiser of wardens and some-time herder of cats

Ros on duty with mug and brolly

How do we decide the club champion?

Saturday 13 February would have seen the first of the scratch races for the Club Championship, with prizes presented by Ros Young.  The club championship is swum over a series of five scratch races during winter, spring and summer over varying distances as the water (hopefully) warms up.  February 55 yards (50m); early March 110 yards (100m); late March 220 yards (200m); April 440 yards; culminating in the 880 yards (800m) race in July for the honour of winning the Arthur Goffrey cup.

This process identifies not just the fastest of the Serpentine swimmers but also a champion who will compete in all weathers and temperatures.

Ros joined us as a club member in 2013

Ros was a regular competitor running around the lake, but a late convert to racing in the lake.

Ros joined the Serpentine Running Club in the early 1980s and went on to take part in all that club’s activities from cross country and track and field to running numerous marathons and ultramarathons.  Indeed, aged 49 she ran a marathon in what would have been a British record had she been 50. Sadly she was injured when she was 50 but went on to run the prestigious Comrades Marathon (54 miles, uphill route- Durban to Pietermaritzburg) aged 52.  She was also a keystone of that club, holding the position of Secretary and then of Chair. the latter when the Club was rewriting its constitution.  She also added age grading and computerisation to the monthly handicap system still in use today on the other side of the pond.

In addition she did a little cycling on the side. One of her more notable rides was to accompany by bike World Ultrarunning Champion Hilary Walker when she set the record for running from Lhasa to Kathmandu. Getting into triathlon in her 60s she started cycle time trialling and last year, some 11 years older, set personal bests on 10 and 25 miles, beating times she did as a “youngster”.

Ros's race sponsorship commenced in February 2020

Ros's race sponsorship commenced in February 2020

Mary Olivari receives a prize. The races were one of only a few events from the 2020 fixture list that survived the lockdown.

Ros won the Bridge to Bridge in 2014

Ros won the Bridge to Bridge in 2014

Ros receiving what was her first piece of club silverware from President Norman Jones

Veteran's champion, 2018

Veteran's champion, 2018

On Coniston Water

On Coniston Water

In 2017 Ros gave moral support to Jan Farmer and Kirsty Neilson in their 5.25 mile Chillswim event

For many years the first races of the Championship series have been sponsored by club legend Peter Larrad. Peter handed over to Ros for the 2020 season.

For many years the first races of the Championship series have been sponsored by club legend Peter Larrad.  Peter handed over to Ros for the 2020 season.

In 2011 Peter was presented with an award for his 50th swim of Lake Windermere.

1972, Peter in the press

1972, Peter in the press

A young Peter and his long locks lasted the length of Loch Lomond

February 2012 mass start

February 2012 mass start

2019 race start

2019 race start

2nd of three races

2019, more swimmers at the ready

2019, more swimmers at the ready

The speedy boys and girls in the final race of the morning