Mencap mile – where it all began

This is the tale of the first open water race Manda and I swam in together.

We first met at a Monday night training session at Market Sports with the wonderful Keeley of Swim for Tri. We were both recently returned to swimming after long absences. I hadn’t swim properly for 7 years and Manda hadn’t for nearly 12 years.

We started training together a bit on the weekends and then Manda asked me if I wanted to swim in a race with her – the Mencap Mile to be precise. I agreed although it didn’t even have my own wetsuit at the time. I borrowed one from my friend Fiona who had hired it for London Tri and never bother to return it. Fiona is a lot smaller than me and her wetsuit was a size S. Now at 5ft 8 and 65kg I think it is fair to say that small is not my size. Somehow I managed to squeeze in to it even though it stopped just below my knees. Ironically it is probably the comfiest wetsuit I have ever swum in although it took about 10 minutes to put on.

The race was at Dorney Lake which is a great location for newbie as you can follow the rowing guide ropes and you don’t need to sight that much. I thoroughly enjoyed the race and somehow I managed to come out in first place in a time of 24 minutes. From then on we were both bitten by the bug (literally probably in open water) and the rest is history!


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