I don’t know how interested in my life you guys are, but as I mentioned it on Sunday I thought I would follow up with the results from my Great North Swim (which is unusual for me!).
I was pretty nervous before the swim because I don’t really compete in anything, and especially not if it’s a sport. Over the course of the weekend one man died and another remains in a serious condition in hospital after attempting the swim so it is clearly a serious undertaking (there was a lot of safety precautions taken, kayaks everywhere, helicopters, but sometimes bad things happen) but I knew I was well prepared as I had been in the lake since early April doing well over a mile, but all those times I was either on my own (with a supervisor on shore) or with my girlfriend, so it was never competitive. When I entered the water with the 200 other people in my race I honestly thought I’d be sick, adrenaline does strange things to a person! I think I went off too quickly and my arms felt a bit tired by the quarter mile mark which meant I was having to focus on them and manage them from a lot earlier than I had hoped. Despite that I did seem to still be overtaking and passing quite a lot of people and was able to get some space and swim my own race rather than be stuck in the scrum of people kicking each other (that said, I did elbow a woman in the face near the end, sorry pink goggled lady!).
I managed to have a bit of energy left in the tank for the last couple of hundred metres when I was in front of the crowds, though I did lose a bit of time when I reached the exit ramp which was made of plastic that didn’t like my swimming socks, I had to haul myself out on my (now bruised knees). Finishing time was 40:53, slightly outside of my target of 40 minutes but still a good attempt for a first timer, which placed me 3168th our of 12579 swimmers. I had excellent support from family & friends, and I was one of two people with a banner (the announcer even gave HYA a shout out, “what’s Hide Your Arms?”), and also one of two people I saw that was crazy enough to wear a short sleeved wetsuit.
I’ll be back next year for sure, I know I can do better and I look forward to trying. Any HYA readers like getting out in the open water for a swim?