I found my rhythm quite quickly but my hands kept hitting solid objects, twigs I thought at first and then decided not but I decided I didn't want to know!
I think I caught up with Soupy about 45 minutes in but not sure I was her and then all of a sudden I was at the first feedstation where I fully appreciated how much the tide had helps, I stopped to try to find a space on the pontoon only to carry on moving Had a few jelly babies, a quick chat with some complete strangers (there was a lot of chatting going on around me too) and I set off again.
I wasn't expecting the choppiness either although I;ve done enough sea swims to not be all that bothered by it. I did stop as it is so wide and the waves were high enough for me not to know where I was going, all I could see was a load of other coloured hats doing the same thing like a load of seals working out what to do next.
This is when the wetsuit chafe kicked in. I haven't had that for years but I decided to ignore it and worry later. I finaly made the second feedstation, another quick jelly baby (just the one they were being rationed I think) and rinse out the salt from my mouth and off again.
That last 2k went on forever, even when I suddenl'y realised people in front of me were standing. I was a bit further over and having short arms I wasn't hitting the bottom. Finally the last headland and I could just about see a load of people standing on the side - I'd nearly made it. My shoulders were beginning to ache but as usually happens with me as soon as I can see the end my stroke suddenly improves. It wasn't too far for me to walk to the end when it was too shallow to swim and I'd done it Just under 3 hours.
After the timing mat I heard someone calling my name and there was Schmunks, lovely to see a friendly face.
I toddled off to get my lovely "medal" it's now on my key ring and mug which is so much better than a T shirt. It was a fantastic day and I'm so pleased I've done it.
really well run event for anyone who is thinking about it, organised by swimmers for swimmers so they know what's needed.
I drove down to Steamer Quay and the first person I encountered was Madge on parking duty Off I went to get the obligatory pre swim bacon and egg butty as I had plenty of time before the off. On my way back I collected my stuff from the car and went to see if I could find Soupy and Siggy only for them to be more or less the first people I saw in the field. Still plenty of time so having discovered that an outlaw transition bag with a wetsuit in makes a very comfortable seat spent some time talking to Soupy, Schmunks and Barlos which I have to say was great as the butterflies I had had the day before didn't get time to surface.
The yellow hat brigade went off to their safety briefing so I made my way to the red hat area. It felt a bit like sheep trials as no sooner had the yellows gone off down the slipway we were being hearded in. My first surprise of the day, thanks to the yellow wave was discovering they didn't get you in and then set you off it was almost a standing start.
It was soon my turn and getting in it felt colder than the temperature they claimed it was but I soon forgot about that. It was so much calmer than doing the triathlon swim starts, not sure why but I wish they were all like that as there was no bashing, being swum over or any of the other usual hazards.
I always like to have a challenge in the year, mainly to keep up that reason to train and this event had appealed to me for a while, it's more or less my home country and having seen that Siggy had a fab time with it last year that sealed it apart from a bit of wibbling which my boss and another triathlete colleague soon sorted out for me!
Despite all of the swimming I have done I have never done 10k in one hit before, in one day yes but that had breaks in it while someone else swam.
On the 14th March I was poised at my laptop by 730 to get that entry - I did it and was so pleased I hadn't waited as it sold out in a couple of hours.
I've said earlier on this thread that I have loved training for this one as I've had plenty of company at the lakes from pirates and work colleagues alike. even in the pool when other people in the lane realised that I was doing a lot of lengths without stopping stopped to ask why when I did stop for a drink and quick rest so it's been really quite sociable.
I'd heeded the warning to register the day before if possible and although Soupy says it's uninviting and brown she should have seen it 5pm on Saturday when you couldn't really call it a river but a gully with a lot of mud and not very much water in the bottom! There were people everywhere and lots of chatter but I left with my red hat and all that was needed was some sleep.