Thames Swim... Roll up, roll up!

3.65km 'downhill' in the Thames

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Iron M.andel    pirate
14/07/2011 at 13:31
I'm wave 10.  No idea how the waves are determined but think it is fastest at the back for the Public waves as I think I put down 1hr 15.
15/07/2011 at 12:08
Train times and how to get to the station sorted.  Have you seen the pictures Human Race posted on Facebook?  Looks like a really nice swim......apart from the heavy rain forecast
15/07/2011 at 21:38
ITB, it's a swim!! You're going to get wet! Most of the rain is due tomorrow I think and then only slightly later on on Sunday. So best get a shifty on in the swim! Not that you're any slouch mind! I suspect you'll be passing me at the mile mark and I might be able to 'draft' then!!
16/07/2011 at 10:02
Thanks siggy, I know I'm getting wet anyway it's the bit afterwards when I'm not meant to be that and seeing where we're going!
16/07/2011 at 11:05

Good luck to everyone doing this tomorrow.  I hope the rain keeps off for the start/end bits. 

17/07/2011 at 12:07
Just a little shower after the end of the swim for me. Quite pleased with my 1 hr 15/20 mins. Although I must find a cure for the cramp I always seem to get in my calves. It won't do my cycling any good afterwards!
Trogs    pirate
17/07/2011 at 15:08

Well swum Siggy but 'a little shower'?  It was a bliddy downpour!!  Fortunately I hadn't started walking back to the car in Bushey Park and was able to take shelter in the refreshment stand till it stopped.

My garmin said 1:16ish as I stood in the queue on the exit ramp - also measured it at 2.4miles as opposed to the official 2.25.  Whichever it was, I'm happy with the time though swim itself felt a little 'bitty' so possible I could've done better.

Very pleased the rain held off till aftere the start cos we'd have all got wetter queueing for registration and chip collection than we did in the river.  They need to review their registration/chip collection system, I think several people missed their wave starts because of the time it took and had to start in the last wave.  Despite all that standing around and displaying a pirate top, the only person I saw either before or after the swim was Gladys.

Hope everyone else had a good day

17/07/2011 at 15:17

I saw you in the registration queue Trogs but a couple of friends turned up just as I spotted you and by the time i handed my valuables to them I couldn't see you any more.  I was amazed at the queue, I was lucky and got there just after 8 so walked straight in to the tent but by the time I had done that and got my chip there was a massive queue.

I have no idea what my time was but must have been about 1:15 judging by how long I was in the queue for bag and when my friends found me again.  I got changed and then got almost as wet as I had when I was in the river with that massive downpour that there was.

 Some very competitive people around, the guy with a red hat who booted me out of the way to get to the timing mat nearly ended up back in the river 


Still I enjoyed it though, not swum that far in quite some time

17/07/2011 at 19:07
Evening all! Really enjoyed today, even though I still have a slight "eau de Thames" taste in my mouth!

I finished in 1hr 19 and 20 secs apparently according to the little timing man by the finish, so pretty happy with that. Didn't feel too tired on the swim either. I managed to find some feet to tag onto for about a third of the distance overall, which was fun.

Just found results here...
http://www.racetimingsystems.com/public/results.aspx?raceid=1740

How can you do that distance in 44 minutes?! FFS!

Can anyone tell me what the numbers on the bank were all about? I was breathing to the left and sighting off the bank so never really looked at the big buoys on the right. Or even straight ahead for that matter. Eventually I thought I had better look at one as I had lost any perception of time, and it said "2400". My first reaction was "Fantastic, that has felt really easy so far". After another 50 metres though I suddenly had the thought of "What if that is metres to go not metres swum?!" There followed an anxious period up to the next buoy which fortunately said 3200 so all was well in the world! There was a bit of a squeeze round the final buoy and then it was all over. Great kit bag retrieval at the end, thanks peeps, as I was freezing!

At one point the wave behind me caught up and I thought I'd jump on the feet of a quicker swimmer. I tucked in, only to get run over by the person who was already on their feet! Lesson learned, I scuttled off to the side where I belonged!

So, on the plus side, I'm very confident with the distance, I think I swam a little faster than I expected, I didn't get any cramp, had plenty of leg energy left to jump on a bike if necessary, the goggles worked well, though as Trogs saw my Panda eyes after, maybe I can loosen them a little!

On the downside, I didn't sight ahead much and I think better navigational skills will be required at Regensburg.

But all in all, another tick in the box!
17/07/2011 at 19:32
Trogs i think I was a little ahead of you in the 9.45 wave. Thanks for the link Gladys Pleased with 1hr 16.17s
I've no idea what the markers on the bank were about. Kilometres I thought at first, but when they got up to 8 I had my doubts!
I started off towards the middle thinking the current would be stronger there, but started drifting off right to the edge of the buoys. Constantly having to alter my angle upset my breathing so I decided to head towards the bank. At least here I could sight off the bank and keep the distance to a minimum, even if I didn't get the advantage of the current. I must have been at the half way point before I slipped into any kind of rhythm and then I started to catch up some of the red caps from the previous wave. Then passing Ravens Ait I got cramp in both calves so had to pull to the bank proper to stretch them out. After a few minutes stretching I pushed off again and soon saw the yellow buoy. That spurred me on considerably. The sight of a few green swim caps from the later wave spurred me on even more. Climbing up the blue finishing mat brought the cramps back and I was stumbling up to be told, 'Well done, you've finished!' But I hadn't as the timing mat was still 10 yards away!!
Efficient timing chip removal and bag handling. But can someone tell me what the bar 'mat' towel's about? Not only can't I wrap it around me, it's not even what I would consider to be a 'belt' on those tarts you see queing up outside the night clubs in Newcastle on weekends! For the uninitiated, think face towel and double the length!!
Trogs    pirate
17/07/2011 at 23:59

Overgrown bar mat was my first reaction to the towel too.  Not much use for anything other than perhaps drying your feet in T1.

Iron M.andel    pirate
19/07/2011 at 10:51

Just got a chance to get on the website this morning as was off on company golf day yesterday.

Did 1:11 and some change so was pretty chuffed with that given had estimated 1:15.  Decided to use the swim as a worst-case scenario beasting and avoided drafting anyone so even happier with the time.

Unfortunately only person I saw was Trogs (due to her pirates T-shirt) but we were in opposite queues and by the time I got out, I couldn't see her (assume you were in your wettie by that point Trogs!)  Agree towel was a bit rubbish but preferred it to another t-shirt - at least there's a bit more imagination. 

Organisation at the beginning was pretty shoddy although was wondering if that was due to the weather and having to all be under the marquee (and hence only two very very long lines)?  Just didn't really see why timing chips couldn't have been pre-programmed and put in envelopes with everythign else.  Still the organisation at the finish and on the river were top-notch. 

Quick one my my own interest for those of us not taking on our first IM this year.  How did your times compare to your IM swims?  Just wondering whether we got a big help from any current or whether the time could be taken as decent indicator for IM swim.

Trogs    pirate
19/07/2011 at 22:00

Lots of comments on the Human Race facebook page about queues at the start.  They've pretty much responded individually to each one apologising and promising to get it sorted for next year - and to do better at their remaining events this year.

I reckon you can take this as fairly representative of an IM swim. My IM swim times are 1:30 (lake), 1:23 (canal) and 1:20 (rowing lake)  so this was a bit quicker but, officially, slightly shorter.  Don't think there was much current; was talking to another friend who reckoned he wasn't moving at all while waiting for the start.


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