Sunday 27 May 2007

4KM Race in a fresh water lake at Colwick Park, Nottingham

Above: Hoffy (4th from right) enters the Colwick Park Lake as one of 28 swimmers in the 4Km Senior Mens Freestyle event.

On a beautiful sunny Sunday on May 20th, 2007, Beccy and I rose at the crack of dawn, to drive to Colwick Park, Nottingham to enter the British Long Distance Swimming Association Open Water Championship on the West Lake. In all my years of swimming, I was about to do two new things that I had not done before. These were firstly, to enter a swimming competition which was not in a swimming pool, and secondly, to swim in a race of 4,000 metres (my previous longest was 1,500 meters in a swimming pool).

We were all given numbers which were written onto both arms in marker pen. I was no. 106. We all entered the water, but it was not just one event, it was the mens 4Km (yellow swim caps), ladies 4Km (yellow caps), 2Km senior men and the 2Km senior ladies relay swims (red hats) all swimming together! This was over 50 swimmers all starting together on the gun. At the start it was really survival of the fittest with everyone banging into each other, kicks to the arms, legs etc. I had never experienced anything like it, but it was great fun.

After about 2Km, a lady with No. 82 on her arm pulled in between me and another guy I was swimming side by side with. I checked the programme afterwards and I think she was Steph Hunter from St. Albans (Steph, if you read this - it was a good race, well done). We swum side by side for the best part of 1.5 Km, one moment Steph taking the lead, then me pulling through and overtaking her. As we breathed, her to the left and me to the right, we stared at each other eyeball to eyeball as if to say to each other "You're not going to beat me!".

Above: Hoffy, No. 106 (left), No. 82 - Steph Hunter from St. Albans (leading), and two other swimmers jostle for position.

Eventually, with about 750 Metres to go, I stepped up a gear, and sprinted the whole remainder of the distance, leaving my little group behind (sorry Steph) and finishing in 6th place, out of 26, in a time of 1 Hour, 1 Minute and 46 seconds.

Above: Getting out of the lake after the sprint of my life, barely able to stand up.

On the final 300 Metres, I overtook two other swimmers, and when I tried to get out of the water, I was barely able to get out. I have never sprinted such a prolonged sprint (apart from in Dover Harbour the previous weekend) and I was totally dizzy, with legs of jelly.

Above: Recovering after the sprint of my life. 4KM in 1 Hr. 01 Minute, 43 Seconds.

After about 10 minutes out of the water, I was fine and am now looking forward to the next B.L.D.S.A. event - The Champion of Champions in Dover Harbour on June 16, 2007. This was another excellent training session for my channel swim attempt in July 2007.

Click here to see certificate and plan of lake: Certificate


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

heyy!!! that is awesome! good sprint! are you going to be in the European Open Water Swimming Championships in dubrovnik? ill be there, hope to see you there!

Welldone again!