Blithfield Interclub Aquathon – through Jonny Fitton’s eyes!!

Blithfield Aquathlon:  Young and wet and faster than us.

“We have an algae problem,” shouted the race organiser, “but don’t worry it is not blue green algae.” Looking down at the edge of the reservoir I noted considerable quantities of blue-green, vaguely luminous algae washed up on the shore.  It looked as though an entire coachload of radioactive snotty school children had voided the contents of their nostrils in the shallows of the reservoir instead of eating it as is traditional in primary school. Nobody else seemed bothered by the reservoir gobs and it would have appeared wimpish to refuse to swim, so I thought I’d risk dying a horrible death by poisoning and go along with it.  I consoled myself with the thought I wouldn’t be the only one dying, could be two hundred or so, and Colin would probably throw up on his new wetsuit.

As I was setting up my transition, I noticed something rather odd about the Newcastle team.  As the MVH man-on-the-spot roving journalist I knew it was my duty to investigate.  I sidled up to the Newcastle team leader.

“Your team,” I said all innocent-like, “they’re very young aren’t they?”  Indeed I had noted the extreme youthful athletic nature of the Newcastle team in sharp contrast to our own, more “experienced” athlete.

“Yes,” she said, “Policemen”

“All of them?” I was flummoxed.

She looked at me pityingly and then explained in a rather patronising tone. “It’s your age.”

I then understood.  I had heard of this strange effect whereby as you get older, policemen  appear to get younger, but the Newcastle team had taken this effect to its logical conclusion and used the phenomenon to produce a team that were actually younger. Damned cunning!

My blood ran colder when I glanced over to the Derby team who were having a pep talk.  They too appeared remarkably fresh-faced.  As you all know, MVH as a club is famous for the quality of our hairstyles, but some of the “Bouffs” being sported by these youngsters looked dangerously modern. Also some of them seemed vaguely familiar.  Again my investigative instincts took over and I wandered over to a Derby supporter.  “Policemen?” I enquired nonchalantly.

“Nah,” he said, “Boy bands. “  Looking round I realised why they seemed familiar.  There was “One Direction” checking their goggles, and Justin Beiber was squeezing a blackhead on his nose.  “Oh yeah,”  he said “we’ve got a girl band as well. Girls Aloud over there.”   Sure enough there were four young women being helped into their suits by Crocko, Warren and some squirts of baby oil. It was highly likely that we were going to have to defib.  the pair of them before the race, rather than after as had been our custom this season.   Suddenly the MVH tactic of recruiting athletes from a stolen Saga holiday mailing list didn’t seem so smart.

As you can imagine with the mixture of youth and experience I have described, the start was chaotic.  The boy bands insisted on going to the front and wanted to face the rest of the swimmers and be applauded.  In order to be fashionably cool they all had their suits pulled down with the crotch by their knees and had gone to great lengths to get a bit of underpant elastic poking out at the neck.  Girls Aloud were swimming breaststroke to keep their hair dry and to stop their mascara from running.  The young policemen wanted to be at the front as well and their tactic of shouting “NE-NAR! NE-NAR!” as they swam through the group was remarkably effective at clearing the way.  An ill-timed joke from a Derby boy band swimmer, (something about polishing your helmet), as the race started resulted in a few fists flying and then the scrapping continued throughout the swim.

I arrived at the turnaround point and breathed in some of the thick gloopy blue-green water.  As I choked and waited for the toxic shock to hit I was consoled by the thought that somewhere upfront, Justin Beiber was most likely being punched in the face by some psyched-up policeman.  I was quite prepared to die just then, but my journalistic duty called.  If I didn’t survive who would know the truth as to what had unfolded on this historic evening?  I struggled to the exit ramp to see all the youngsters sprinting off.

What can I tell you about the run other than that being an out and back job it was dispiriting seeing the young whippets sprinting back the other way before I’d even had time to clear my ears of toxic weed.  Lee and David worked hard to clock up good positions, in fact all us MVHers dug in and worked to our best, but as a team we struggled to compete against the youngsters who had yet to be handicapped by years of beer and pies.   My wife Louise said that it was quite inspiring seeing us all speeding our way to the finishing line in the September evening light.  “A beautiful sight!” were her words.  I trust she was referring to her husband and the other gallant MVHers, and not the “Young Men”

The results Newcastle 1st, Derby 2nd, Stafford 3rd, MVH 4th,

Do we care?  Of course we do! So what do we do?  Attempt rejuvenation on John Shelton Smith by getting him a job as a rozzer?  Do we all wear our trousers at half-mast and make stupid hand gestures whilst clutching at our crotches? Thinking about it most of us do that in transition anyway.   No, next year we’re all off to a Swiss clinic to have monkey hormone injections.  Then we’ll show them.

PS.  Apologies to the nice people of Lichfield.  I think I may have had a little wee in your water supply.  Please boil your drinking water for the next couple of weeks.

See the images of this event