Better late than never!

I meant to write something for the Gazette ages ago, but writing most definitely is not a favourite activity for me. So just a little update for Anerley members.

With retirement looming after almost 50 years in the NHS. I gave myself the challenge of entering the 200 individual medley at the European Championships in Rome.

That is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, front crawl in a long course pool. 50 metres of butterfly was a bit daunting for me. Setting about training for this was the first challenge to find 50 metre open air pools. They’re definitely not anywhere near Croydon!

During the week prior to my departure the elite swimmers were competing in the same venue and it’s televised so it was very motivating.
I booked a 10 day trip so I also had the chance to be a tourist in Rome as well. I entered the maximum 3 events allowed. There were two pools, the fabulous Stadio Olimpico del Nuoto

And another venue at Pietralata. I had an opportunity to swim in both.
I honestly felt like I was at the Olympics going through five call rooms until you are led out to the poolside for your event. It was all live streamed your name is on the huge score board and the country flags are visible in your lane. I finished 6th overall in my age group 65 – 69 years.

It’s uplifting to compete with all nationalities. This year I’m off to do a similar event in Finland.

I then had an opportunity to join Fran and 10 guys on a cycling trip to Morzine and thought hey, why not I’m retired, so no agenda!  It was an amazing action packed weekend climbing the high mountains with great company.

As some of you know I spend a lot of time in France and I am off on a cycling holiday to Riccione with my French club soon. It’s a cycling specific hotel and they provide 3 guides daily for all the different riding levels. Full board, and all your kit gets washed daily, what’s not to like?

Look forward to seeing you all on the road at some point, happy riding!

Claire Browse


Subsequent to writing the article above, I have had my first bike accident after 50 years of riding when I required hospital care.
I was on a club ride when my front wheel touched a cats eye. I went down really quickly with all my weight landing on my right elbow.
Adrenaline kicks in and I got straight up but I knew something wasn’t right.
I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. I have fractured my elbow and lots of soft tissue damage. I was put into plaster and scheduled for surgery.
Needless to say not now going cycling in Italy!!
Feeling extremely fragile, trying to stay calm and optimistic.
See you on the road …….but maybe not so soon!


We are all sorry to read your update and see the painful evidence! So Claire, we hope you can hear the roar of the Anerley crowd as we cheer you on to a quick recovery. And as you wrote ” ​See you on the road” …….and hopefully very soon!