STORIES FROM THE

BONDI SPLASH N' DASH

Renee Polomski

I want to swim at Bondi Beach

I loved the event, it was my first event. It was a huge goal of mine to swim across Bondi Beach. I saw this event and though OH YEAH! Trouble was, I didn’t run and I have never (I mean never) swum in the ocean before. Time to take action, I started running, more of a wheeze really. And thought I had better try the ocean too, good plan. Out I went with Bondi Fit (safety in numbers). So much fun, I only started swimming, well lane swimming, about one year prior, I couldn’t swim 25 meters before that. Cut to the event, I was NERVOUS, conditions weren’t great for a first timer, quite frankly a bit scary looking. I decided I would just run my own race, let everybody else go and just do my own thing. SO MUCH FUN! I ran the whole way, got into the wild ocean and loved it. At one point I was in this total zen moment, an almost active meditation I like to call it. Swim, swim, relaxing. I loved getting in those big waves. I just go with them. FUN! Then I land on the beach, get upright and I’m off again for another run! I MADE IT, AND I LOVED IT! Felt great the whole time. Next year I am going to push myself a bit more and get stuck in, HARDCORE! It was a great experience and has given me the push to give more things a go. Thanks again.

Olivia Burton

Diving in the deep end

Hi team at Splash n’ dash,
Just wanted to say thanks - I loved your event last year. I’ve done many sporting events in the past year and this was my favourite. I did the 1km run-1km swim-1km run.
I’d never done an open water swim event before. It was a week where there was a lot of talk about sharks, I hadn’t trained much.
The morning of the race I was hoping to get down to the beach and find it like a pond. It wasn’t. My nerves kicked into high gear and I was trembling.  People talk about the flight or fight impulse, I did momentarily consider leaving. In the end it is just about taking the first step. Once at the starting area with the other competitors I started to feel calmer and then we were off!
Running on the sand the beach air was really dry and hard on the lungs but I was more concerned about the swim. I’d been told that many people experience some unease (panic) when they hit the water so I planned to take the transition slowly. I still did experience those feelings, but knowing it was common really helped. I made it to the end of the swim, after a few interesting conversations in my head, and started shakily up the beach for the second run leg. Thanks to having done more running than swimming before the event, my legs were like “we got this”.
Before I knew it I was crossing the finish line feeling relieved and hard core.
My times weren’t great (I think I was close to last in my category), but I did it.
Since then I’ve done two other ocean swims but Splash n’ dash is the one I’m most proud of.  
I can’t recommend this event highly enough to anyone who’ll listen. In fact I’ve taken my splash n’ dash towel to the other swims I’ve done as a reminder of how awesome I felt that day.
Bring on Splash n’ Dash 2015.

Karl beeton

First timer / Non swimmer

Lucky Last

When asked to write this piece I had no idea where to start so decided to start at the beginning.

Novemeber 2013 I was drinking and eating my way around Australia watching a poor England cricket team shame themselves in an Ashes series. I had been inspired to take up triathlon by the Brownlee brother’s performance at the London 2012 Olympics. However like a lot of things you would like to get around to doing I hadn’t quite got around to triathlon by November 2013.

At the turn of 2014 with the ashes long lost some friends and I signed up for a triathlon. I faced a small challenge before training even began.

Let’s just say I am “not a natural in the water”. However under the tutelage of Spot Anderson, with the Bondi Fit Crew behind me I started to train.

To put my swimming ability into perspective when asked to swim 8x50 in my first pool session I had to stop after the first 100m through exhaustion – it was the furthest I had ever swam.

I persisted with training, swimming improved from where I had started. I completed my first triathlon and went from there. As we headed towards spring summer 2014 thoughts/conversations started on and around races coming up, including the Splash & Dash.

It had always been a dream of mine to swim North to South across the bay however restricted by inability plus personal safety concerns I had never looked close. However with Splash & Dash there was an opportunity.

Thankfully I can cycle and run so the run aspect of Splash & Dash had never been in doubt. It was just the swim I was concerned about.

Race Day

As the gun went for the run I shot up the beach then entered the water via the North Bondi expressway. As I was overtaken in the water I was not concerned by being overtaken. Firstly it was a great day, the sun was out, I had to remind myself I was in a race not out for a leisurely snorkel. I knew I had to race my own race, plus I felt confident in the water, as I had been training in the pool plus the open water with the Bondi Fit crew.

I was able to enjoy the swim. As I came into the south end I realized if I did not beat the other competitor out of the water I could see I would be coming in last.

I could not catch a wave in; I could see a fellow Bondi Fitter watching, willing me to catch a wave, any wave however I had no joy.

As I eventually made my way in a little dejected the water safety confirmed I was last in. I ran up the beach disappointed.

I was unaware it had been announced on loudspeaker that I was finally out of the water; which was followed by a loud cheer.

As I came running up the beach towards the shute I was greeted by a finishers tunnel from the Bondi Fit crew along with people I did not know. This changed the whole complexion of the race for me.

I realized it was not about where I finished, I had raced my own race finishing strongly, being cheered over the line by friends I knew, as well as friends I didn’t know.

I will be racing Splash & Dash this year. The race is part of my plans for the season that includes qualifying races for the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Mexico as well as Cairns Ironman.

Dean " Deano" Gladstone

Bondi Lifeguard

What I loved about the Splash n Dash this year was that I had a goal to train for which gave me the motivation I need. Extra motivation came in the form of racing my good mate Harries. Harries is clearly a better runner then me and I think a better endurance athlete. But I had my tatics for the race which was to take the first run easy so I have more energy for the swim.
I think there was less then 10 seconds between us at the end and also we were battling it out for the age group title. 
It was really pleasing to get results from goal focused training and as a Lifeguard it carries over you never It could be the difference in saving a life one day.

Maddi Blomberg

Regular ocean swimmer

I took part in the inaugural Splash n’ Dash last year! Running and swimming is so popular in the eastern suburbs and this is a special event where you can do both at Bondi Beach. 
It was a really challenging, fun and competitive race especially in my wave the 20-29 year old females. Not only was it a great fitness test but that last 1km soft sand lap was mentally tough! Being a naturally strong swimmer I found the running the most challenging part. I placed 2nd overall in the females and have been working on my soft sand for this year. 
I can’t wait to take part this year - both the individual event and partnering up with my training partner Dearne Cooper for the teams too. Hoping for a sunny day and flat conditions at Bondi. I’d encourage everyone to get involved - it’s a great race leading into Summer that’ll challenge you physically and mentally, but also so much fun racing with your friends! And then well earned drinks at the Rats!

Maddy & Martin palfry

Dad and Daughter

Meet Maddy Palfrey and Martin Palfrey. They are the father and daughter team from Bronte who have been doing ocean swims together for over ten years. Martin has participated in every ocean swim around Australia and says he is excited to compete in the Bondi Splash n’ Dash this year because it offers something new, with the run swim run layout. Maddy Palfrey takes after her father and has been always been a competitive swimmer and like her Dad, is excited to take on her first splash n’ dash this weekend. Saying that it will be challenging as mixing running and swimming is tough but it’s a good test of your fitness and it’s also lots of fun to race with your mates (and your old man!!)