Swimmers’ stories

If you have a story you would like to share with us we would like to hear from you (see John)

Sarah’s Ironman Story

On a rather wet and dreary Sunday in August, Sarah took to the water in the first discipline of her latest Ironman
challenge. Having missed out on a sub 12 hour event 2 years ago due to stomach issues on the run, she was determined
to better that performance (potentially one last time).
Unfortunately, Sarah caught Covid 5 weeks prior to the event and was still suffering from post viral pneumonia when
she hit the start line, so the strong swim she was hoping for was not to be. However, she still completed the 3.8km in
the lagoon in a rather rapid time of 1:08:18. Following this she took to the bike course, now able to breath and cough
the bike was a lot easier, normally Sarah’s worst discipline (she hates the bike), she completed the rolling 112 miles in just over 6 hours. The Danish countryside was absolutely beautiful, the sun was now out in all its glory and the support in the villages was amazing.
However, this support was nothing compared to what waited for Sarah when she cycled into the capital to start the
marathon; “the noise on entering the streets of the capital was deafening, having thousands of people cheering your
name as you ran past was so uplifting”. It must have been as it propelled Sarah to a 4:02:30 marathon, only slowed
down by having to queue to use the loo! Sarah finished the event in 11:24:01, shaving 38 mins off her previous time and learning from her mistakes with fuelling last time. This gave her a qualifying place for the World Championships in Hawaii in October. However, due to a pre-planned holiday and this being her last one (we shall see) she declined the place. Well done to our Chair!

September 2023

Lily Herring – My Story

As part of the Swim England talent programme for my 400m freestyle – when the para world series was going to be in Sheffield – swim England invited their national swimmers to compete in the same heats but with a separate British final to the international swimmers and Team GB.

My first event of the week was the 100m freestyle. I finished in a personal best time of 1:18.05 a one second improvement.Doing this event relieved a lot of my pre competition apprehensions and I was looking forward to more races The next day I swam the 100m backstroke with another personal best in 1:33.71 improving this time by three seconds. I also competed in 100m breaststroke but was just out side a personal best when I touched in 1.58.44

On the final day it was my main event, the 400m freestyle.I won my heat and improved by thirteen seconds finishing in 5:19.04 I have to admit, I was quite surprised but never the less very please.On the final day it was freestyle again with a 50m sprint event and recorded a personal best of 37.07.by a split second

It was a great experience to compete with international swimmers and I was proud to represent the North Norfolk Vikings

Lily Herring March 2023

Mollie White: My Swim Story

Hi everyone and welcome to my swimming story. I am Mollie White and am 15 years old. I have been a member of the North Norfolk Vikings Swimming Club for 5 years. I joined the club back in 2014 when I was 10 after completing majority of stages in the Victory swimming lessons that I had done since a very young age. I joined the club after being at a primary school gala and the head coach at the time approached me and asked if I wanted to go for a try out. I was very nervous about the try out but went along soon after. At the try out I got told I would be put straight into Development 3. I was very hesitant to get in the pool refusing point blank nearly every time. Until the coach said one thing to me and from that day on I have been swimming with the Vikings based at the Victory in North Walsham.  I haven’t had my time plain sailing, I have had three injuries but have worked through them and recovered.

After being at the club for a while I started to do Galas. The first one being in Sudbury as a little 11 year old not really knowing what she was doing, not to mention the fact I was extremely ill but didn’t want to let my coach down so I went and got in the pool to compete. Many galas later I managed to qualify for the Norfolk County finals. I continued to compete at county standard for a while. I achieved becoming County Champion in the 50m&100m Breaststroke. The feeling I got after that day made me realise that I had a real passion for the sport! I continued training at the club and in 2015 I reached East Region Championships. Qualifying in 50m Breaststroke. Since then I have qualified for every County Championships competing in multiple strokes and distances. Also qualifying for every  Summer and Winter Regional Championships in 50m,100m&200m Breaststroke. Summers being age categorised and Winters being open age. I also got selected to swim for Norfolk in the Breaststroke. In the future I hope to get to Nationals as last year I was only 1 second off the consideration time. I like competing because it puts all your hard work in training into perspective and what it can really achieve.

I am now currently in Squad one and train 5 times a week, 11 and a quarter hours per week!  I enjoy swimming at the club because even though it isn’t as big as other clubs everyone gets along very well and there is a fantastic sense of community amongst the swimmers and coaches.  The older swimmers always look out for the younger swimmers and each other. We also push each other in training and train off of each other in the harder sets racing people a similar speed to us.

My best stroke is by far Breaststroke and I have achieved the most within that particular stroke e.g. becoming county champion and qualifying for Summer and Winter Regionals in all three distances (50m,100m&200m). When we train my favourite types of sets are the swim sets with land training incorporated and the set, sets we do too see how much we have improved over a set period of time.

Outside of swimming I am part of the schools Netball and Rounders team. We won best state school in Netball back in 2017. I also take on many responsibilities around the school helping where ever I can.

I hope to see the club growing in size and achieving great things.

Mollie White

Harry’s  story

Harry Barwick now 13 years old,  started having swimming lessons with the Vikings Learn 2 Swim lessons when he was 6 years old , starting late to learn to swim as he suffers with severe eczema he was  not going to be deterred. He moved onto the main club within a year and has never looked back. Harry regularly takes part in competitions and team galas and last year was awarded Boys Junior Captain. He will confess that he is a bit of a joker but takes his training seriously . He trains four or five times a week and he says,  ” I really enjoy training and my favourite strokes are backstroke and front crawl but would like to be better at fly . I’ve made some great friends and love to cheer my team mates on at galas. The coaching is really good though sometimes hard ( especially kick sets ) !! , but I enjoy it and really like land training as I’m very sporty and competitive. I enjoy our social events especially tubing at the local ski club and enjoyed the week at Kingswood Activity Centre.”

Harry’s goal is to get to regionals one day!





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