Extreme thanks to all of you who made it along to Claremont Jetty yesterday to support and witness us ALL qualifying for the English Channel Swim by swimming for 6 straight hours in water of 15 degrees celcius. We had a great day and everyone looked fine after the swim...no-one at all suffering with the effects of the cold. It just goes to show what a bit of preparation can do for you, combined with good consistency in training and also the awesome camaraderie and friendship bond that we have developed along the way!
Shown left to right is Andrew, Geoff, Paul D, Ceinwen, Paul N and Wayne (Carrol and Lisa D were both swimming in the ocean rather than the river so sadly weren't there for the photo opportunity).
A massive thanks also to Shelley and Leith for their help with the feeding and motivation on the day. Shelley had asked that we write out some messages that she could read to us when we were swimming - I was a little disappointed though that she didn't break into a full Eminem-style rap chorus when she read out several lines of Eminem's "Lose Yourself!" for me - LOL!
If you like the stats, here's where we swam:
I swam with my trusty Garmin GPS monitor which showed that in 5h59'09" that I had swum a total distance of 24.52km at an average pace of 14'38"/km (including drink stops). My actual swim speed was just under 13'40"/km, or the equivalent of doing 245 x 100m intervals, hitting 1'22" for every 100m, leaving every 1'27" - now that's some Fresh & Fruity Friday Morning session that'll I'll have to remember for you guys next week!!!
The conditions (whilst cold) were perfectly flat and with no obvious current (given that we were doing laps though, this would have cancelled any discrepancy out). It's hard to draw comparisons accurately against my previous Rottnest Channel Swims, but I went through 19.7km (the distance from Cottesloe to Rottnest) in exactly 4h45'00" or 37 minutes faster than I have ever swum that distance before. This is a massive confidence boost and a good sign that all the hard work has been paying off. I certainly felt good and held an average stroke rate of 80 spm +/- 2 spm.
I'm not even going to hypothesise what I could do across to France if I held this pace, as apparently this has been the pitfall of many a previous swimmer, ignoring just how much the elements can play either for or against you. I am, however, confident that I have found my rhythm and that I have been doing everything I possibly could to get myself in the best possible shape for this challenge - and yes, that includes the 12kg I've put on to keep myself warm - I'm now a hefty 78kg!! I used to race triathlon at 62.5kg if you can imagine that! LOL! Now I'm just looking forward to another good block of training and getting on with the task at hand.
Unfortunately none of the other swimmers were using Garmin GPS devices, so we cannot report similar statistics, however, Adam and Michelle and little Jackson were on hand to get some video footage of their strokes and having seen this I can safely say that Ceinwen, Paul D, Geoff, Andrew and Wayne all did incredibly well yesterday and it's been great to see the fruit of all our combined hard work!
When are we all swimming?
Subject to conditions being favourable, this is when we're all due to swim:
...so just under 4 weeks now until Lisa and Geoff make their bid! Good luck guys!!
Channel Relay Event:
So now that you can see what we've been up to at crazy-o-clock on a Sunday morning, we'd love it if a few more of you could pull together a team of between 2 and 8 people and come and race against us as a relay over 10km at the Claremont Pool on Davies Road on Sunday 10th July between 7.30am and 10.30am. It's $195 per team and given the total support and donation of the Town of Claremont, 100% of those proceeds will go towards us raising money for Breast Cancer Care WA. So, go on, drop me an email with your team's details and we'll get you in there!
If you cannot make the Relay in July but would like to offer your support with a donation (bearing in mind that these are tax deductible), please visit our page at:
There was an amazingly generous donation last week from a single anonymous person for $5,000 - thanks if you're reading this! That's amazing!
Finally, I have tickets available for $20 each to participate in an awesome evening of fun at the Claremont Footy Club on Friday 8th July, called the "Running of the Mice!". Full details can be found at: http://www.swimsmooth.com/pauls_images/MICE.pdf but essentially it's an evening of fun and frivolity watching trained mice race against each other over a set course. We have been informed that the mice have given their willing consent and that the whole affair is in good taste and does not stress the mice out in anyway.
We'll also have loads of prizes and some cheap pizza and drinks available all night. If you have anything you'd like to donate as a prize, please email Ceinwen at firstname.lastname@example.org
We're looking to get 300+ people along, so by all means please tell as many people as you can!!
Hope to see some of you there!