Winter Pool Challenge – the final results

Over the past six months Team Mermaids and friends have been taking part in the Winter Pool Challenge. The challenge was to swim in as many pools as possible before 30 April 2015.

The rules were:

1) The pool must be public so everyone can swim there
2) The pool must be heated – it is the winter pool challenge after all
3) The pool must be within the M25 to give everyone a reasonable chance of getting there
4) You have to swim at least 1k for the swim to count

The challenge has now finished and the final results are in! The table below shows the pools everyone has swum in and the totals. For details of all the pools and a map of their locations see our previous post.

In summary between us we have made 246 visits to a total of 65 pools spending c.£1,200 in pool entry fees! Manda is the victor having swum in a massive 54 pools. Katie came in second with 50 pools with Pivo third with 46 pools.

Overall the Winter Pool Challenge has been lots of fun – although I have to admit that driving 45 minutes to swim in pools when we have some lovely pools on our door step seemed slightly counter-intuitive.

I hadn’t realised how many pools there are in London – we have nearly 80 on the list and I’m sure there are many more. Generally I was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of pools. There has been loads of investment over the last few years and it real shows.

We have asked all of the participants of the Winter Pool Challenge to tell us their favourite and worst pools and will be giving details in a blog post shortly.

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London Pools

Here is the map and list from the winter pool challenge. We found this a great resource so hopefully you will do.  Let us know of any extra ones.

Outdoor:

Indoor:

EAST:

WEST:

SOUTH WEST:

SOUTH EAST:

NORTH:

NORTH WEST:

Other:

Winter Pool Challenge celebration and getting back to swimming outdoors

Chilly lido
Chilly lido

To celebrated nearly being at the end of the Winter Pool Challenge and the start of the open water swimming season, on Saturday Team Mermaids and friends went for a swim at Brockwell Lido with lunch and cake afterwards. Well I say all of us – Pivo ditched us in favour of trying to notch up more pools before the challenge deadline of the 30th April!

Lisa, Kate and Brian have recently come back from the SwimTrek long distance training camp in Mallorca so are used to this cold water malarkey. For Manda and I though this was our first dip in the cold water this year. While the lido was a tropical (for this time of year) 15.1 degrees it still felt pretty chilly! We are now looking forward (although with some trepidations) to lots of trips to Brockwell Lido Tooting Bec Lido and Shepperton.

Check out the blog next week for the results of the winter pool challenge.

Kate and Brian
Kate and Brian
Pivo and Max selfie
Pivo and Max selfie
Manda and her mermaid t- shirt
Manda and her mermaid t- shirt

Swimathon 2015 – I never thought that swimming 5k could be so hard!

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Back in January I (Katie) blogged about my experiences of swimming the Swimathon over the past 25 years from my first swim aged 10 to taking part last year as part of my hen weekend. I also mentioned that I was expecting a baby at the end of January and Swimathon 2015 was going to be my first serious swim since having the baby.

This was my first baby and I was very unprepared for how tough it was going to be getting back in the water and how slooooow I was going to be compared to ‘normal’. After the obligatory six weeks I was ready to start training. I started slowly just doing 1km at a time but by the time the Swimathon came round the longest swim I had done was 3.5k a long way short of the 5k Swimathon. I owe tones of thanks to my husband Dennis and my Mum Liz for parenting /babysitting for me while I swam.

Team mermaids with the mini merman
Team mermaids with the mini merman
Max wishing mummy good luck
Max wishing mummy good luck

It was therefore with quite a bit of trepidation that I turned up with Manda to Chelsea Manor Swimming Pool on the evening of Friday 17th of April. Chelsea was the perfect place swim for us. The pool is lovely with lots of historical features including a mural of 1920s Chelseaites. The session was pretty quite and Manda and I had a lane to ourselves which was amazing. The staff were lovely and friendly especially Kirsty who was organising the event. Neither of us had ever swim there so it was also another swim for the Winter Pool Challenge!!

This was definitely one of the toughest swims I have done but I made it through – even doing a bonus 100m through my awful counting. Manda finished in a fantastic time of 1.16.30 – well done Manda! I finished in a respectable 1.26.11 which given how tough I have been finding swimming I was pleased with.

Katie finishing the swimathon
Katie finishing the swimathon
The medal!
The medal!

Roll on 2016!!!