The Sloane Ranger

By David

Six months ago a new recruit joined the Aqua Crest master’s program. At the time I had no idea of her unique qualities. She seemed normal enough; about 5 foot 8inches tall, short spiky black hair, certainly good looking, probably in her mid 30s and a swimmer easily capable of swimming a 5000 meter set. Her good quality English accent was unusual as was the tell-tale use of words like “lavatory”, “loo” and “napkin” compared to the American “bathroom” and “serviette.” Such slang is class characteristic and of great interest to “another bloody colonial” as she often referred to her antipodean coach.

I determined to find out more about this unusual recruit and here is what I know now. Her name is Dara. She is both English and American. For her first sixteen or so years, her address was Montpellier Square, Knightsbridge, London. For those of you unfamiliar with Montpellier Square I can do no better than quote one reliable London guide, Montpellier “is a cosmopolitan byword for wealth, taste and discernment. Centrally located in the City of Westminster, the home of London’s elite, providing an oasis of haute couture calm within Britain’s capital city, effortlessly attracting the rich and the celebrated from all over the globe.”

She spent ten years being educated in Queen’s Gate School; an exclusive Knightsbridge grooming ground for London’s young ladies. She admitted being expelled in her senior year for encouraging an insurgency among the students; an appropriate response to what Dara considered a staff discipline injustice. She celebrated the victory of her “invitation to leave” with her school mates over a pint at the Hereford Arms in Chelsea; another fine British place of learning.

A picture of Dara was beginning to emerge. Dara was a “Sloane Ranger”, as genuine as the Sloane Ranger archetype, Diana, the Princess of Wales. More brains and more personality, but a true blue Sloane Ranger nevertheless. Wikipedia describes this species as “young, upper class and upper-middle class women living in South-West London. The term combines “Sloane Square” the fashionable and wealthy London area and the television character the “Lone Ranger”.

I should have picked her background earlier. Her taste in transport is a dead give-away; a convertible Mini Cooper–dark blue of course–and a fine version of all that’s best in the Harley Davidson brand of motor-cycle. I think it’s fair to say that two types of women ride motor-cycles well, the classy and the classless. This is the classy version.

You may be asking what any of this has to do with sport. Sloane Rangers are not commonly known for their athletic feats; except those that take place in London pubs. However it is not that sport to which I refer, although Dara too may be well versed in the games played in British bars. This is different.

Dara is one of Florida’s relatively few certified professional triathlon coaches. She has the Triathlon Level Two certification. I suspect she’s very good at what she does. True to her background there is no nonsense speak. She cuts through the maize of double talk and marketing blather that surrounds just about all sport’s coaching. Like all good coaches she offers clarity in a world often characterised by confusion. I’m pretty certain anyone being coached by her will get the sort of intelligent, honest program that offers hard work and results in success. What’s more, you will have a heap of fun in the process. Whatever your level, if you’re interested in finding someone who knows a lot about preparing for a triathlon, have a look at Dara’s triathlon training website. It’s a sure bet Florida’s coaching Sloane Ranger has a few training tips that will improve your next triathlon.