Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Coniston Water 2.4 mile/3.8km swim

Getting up at 5am to drive hundreds of miles for four hours to swim 2.4 miles in Coniston Water must be some people's idea of madness, but I had a great day!
I've never swum so far in the pool or open water, so it was a real taste of what an Ironman distance swim would be like. I plan to do Ironman in two or three years time, with an attempt at Kona if possible.
The organisers, Epic Events, were brilliant at making me feel included and doing all they could to help. Unfortunately, they did not have any water handlers, so it was a bum shuffle out over a stony shoreline until the water was deep enough to swim in. It was a deep water start of 108, the largest field I have ever swum in, with only 35 women competing overall. I swam the first mile at a conservative pace, not knowing if I could last the distance. Pyschologically speaking, once I was half way, I knew I could do it. It was a clear rectangular course and I had managed to draft a quick breaststroker, so I upped my pace and left him behind. It was considerably more choppy on the inward side and the wake from the steamer was disconcerting, but I managed bilateral breathing on the shore side.
My time was 1:25:10, which included another bum shuffle back up the shore onto the timing mat. I came 29th and ninth out of twelve in my age category. On the four hour journey home, I had plenty of time to contemplate what the rest of an Ironman would feel like...

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