Saturday 22nd September, Katie and I (Manda) met up at Green Park for the short walk over to Hyde Park for Swim Serpentine. We had signed up for the 1 mile swim (the 2 mile was sold out – phew ;)) as a nice end of season swim. It is held in London in the serpentine (clue is the name right?), so for us, as SW London residents, it meant a lack of travel and relatively late start. With the shorter swim distance and lack of travel we were very relaxed in the build up, so relaxed Katie got confused about which weekend it was on and nearly forgot her race pack.
After arriving, we got changed into our sleeveless wetsuits and dropped our bags off at the bag drop. We went to the start pen where after a briefing from Colin Hill we were led off to the start. The start would be a simple walk into the water. We had positioned ourselves near the front in the 2nd row and Katie was commenting how serious some of the people around us looked!
We were off! After about 20 metres I looked up and we had clear water in front….. er we were leading! Swimming side by side we went around the buoys at the top end of the course, which was a simple circular course. Then we had the absolute pleasure of swimming past the Mastaba, a sculpture in the middle of the lake by Christo. To see it from the water made you appreciate how absolutely massive and spectacular it was.
We rounded the buoys at the bottom of the lake and made a final push to the finish and exited as winners of our wave (you have to take the victories where you can).
I then doubled over for a split second as trying to stay with Katie over shorter distances is always a challenge!!
A couple of photos and a cup of tea later we were on the tube home.
After the loss of Great London swim, it is great to have another mass participation open water swim in London that encourages lots of people, who would otherwise not have the chance, to give open water swimming a go!