Sunday, June 10, 2012

Great North Swim

I have to apologize here, my naivety as a blogger is to blame here.
I got a comment from a reader (yes I have those now!! Thank you guys!!) about not knowing what the swim was so I thought I'd dedicate a post to the swim.

Firstly as the title of the post indicates - its called The Great North Swim
The official website of the event can be found here
Its an amazing event with hundreds of people getting into Lake Windermere in the Lake District which is a beautiful setting for a sporting event.

The main part of the Great North Swim is a series of 1 mile swims that anyone is welcome to take part in. I swam this race in 2009 (I'll post then and now pictures of that as part of my race report when I haven't drowned have completed this years) with some work colleagues, we drove down and stayed for the weekend there in a cottage and we had amazing weather and the atmosphere was brilliant, some of our other colleagues even came down just to support us!!

The main reason I signed up for this was because I've always loved swimming and to some extent it's always been something I've been able to do even at my heaviest - being in the water seemed to take away some of my weight and with it being a non impact sport, it meant I didn't get the aches and pains that I did every time I tried to run!

Anyway back to the swim
As part of the weekend elite swimmers come and take part in their own races. In 2009 a couple of GB's Olympic swimmers started our race which I thought was great.

The one mile races are all separated by half an hour and are called 'waves' which includes up to 300 people so its pretty crazy standing on the shore with 300 other people all in wetsuits!!
In my race in 2009 the start of the race was the scariest for me, I got elbowed in the temple and someone actually swam over me!! It was an experience that's for sure!

There was one guy at the 2009 event that swam every single wave! He could swim a mile in under half an hour and then ran back round to the starting line to be there before the next wave started!! He was amazing! Especially considering he did that for 15 waves on the Saturday and I think 12 waves on the Sunday! That's 15miles in 7.5hours and 12 in 6 hours!! He swam that fast for that long! I'm impressed!

The weekend was such good fun that we all decided to sign up for the next years race however it got cancelled due to large amounts of algae in the water which can be harmful to people! Gutted.

This year is the first year that they have introduced a 2 mile event and me being a glutton for punishment, decided I would give that a try! I'm now thinking I should have maybe tried to beat my original time (42 mins) of the mile event but that's just pre event jitters!

So... That's a bit of an intro to my race, I hope you found it informative.

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