Thursday, 31 May 2012

Great London Swim

Hi reader! I'm bringing this blog back from the dead for at least a short while as I'm going to be trying to take part in Juneathon 2012 (see the badge over there?). But I've got quite a lot of other active news to share as well so I'll be posting about a few things I *have* done to get back into the rhythm of things.

First up is the Great London Swim. I am not a swimmer. I like swimming. I just don't do it very much. I'm pretty hopeless at front crawl, I've never done open water swimming (I don't count bobbing about in the sea when bodyboarding) and I hate the post-swim pfaffing. I'm not *entirely* sure why I entered this event but I really really enjoyed it. The event is a one mile swim in the Thames in Royal Victoria Docks. I don't think I've ever swum a mile before but I felt confident when I worked out that it was about 64 lengths of my local pool. So I printed out a training plan, followed three sessions, swam a mile in the pool, and sort of stopped training.

Turns out that was enough. I don't advocate the method but I didn't drown and I on the day I swam faster than I had in the pool so WIN!
Looking sexy... no?
I though the event itself was exceptionally well organised. I was in the third wave at 10am. There were waves of about 250 people every half hour from 9am to 3:30pm. Each wave had a different colour cap and an allocated time to check in and go through acclimatisation and warm up. I'm used to things being a little laid back at running races so I almost missed check in. That said all other aspects were very relaxed. There were people with goals and people who were happy to get round with a friend whilst having a bit of a natter en route. It didn't feel crowded, I didn't get kicked in the face or swum over at the start as I could hang back a little and there were loads of kayakers acting as marshalls all the way round who were very friendly and up for a chat.

I finished in 51:36, which I was VERY happy with. My mum and dad came to support me so I got some cool photos. It took me a while to get my land legs back!
The goody bag was pretty good too and the chappy in charge of giving them out was doing a great job of "selling" them. A t-shirt, flip-flops *and* a medal as well as snacks and drinks. My favourite item were the pistachios...

I really couldn't get over how friendly and lovely everyone was. I had a fantastic morning and I reckon I'll be doing it again next year, if not another open water event.