SLSC 110 Lengths Challenge 2017

The 110 lengths challenge held this year on 30 September 2017 is the closing party for the summer swimming season, celebrating a great summer at the lido and another year in the lido’s history.   Tooting Bec lido opened in 1906 and in previous years the challenge has been to swim one length for every year the lido has been open.  This year, however, the organisers very sensibly decided to cap the swim at 110 lengths which is the equivalent of 10k.

We have previously swum the challenge as relay in 2014 (read our account here) and as solos in 2015 (read our account here).  Last year I (Katie) was away for the event so dragged a reluctant Brain to do the swim with me one morning.  This year, after some mixed training over the last month or so and with another baby on board, we decided to swim as a relay again.

Just before 1pm we rocked up to join 20 solo swimmers and 9 other relay teams attempting the challenge.  After a briefing the solo swimmers were off, including Emma Watson, who arrived just in time with a just out of the oven fruit cake in tow.

In 2014 when we had last swum as a relay team the format was very relaxed, we got in when we wanted, swum together and counted our own lengths.  We were unprepared therefore for a formal mass relay start and Manda didn’t even have her hat and goggles on.  This ended up with her starting two lengths behind me.  We had decided to swim at the same time rather than in a standard relay format, which would mean no delay in cake consumption.

I was unsure how I would feel on the day as I am still suffering quite badly with sickness and have not been doing much training so we had just agreed that I would swim as many lengths as I felt able to and Manda would swim the balance (I think she was scared that I would only manage 10).  On the day the water was a lovely 16 degrees and I just took it steady and plodded through the lengths.


Trying to keep track of how many lengths each other had swum so we finished after the requisite 110 lengths was challenging our mental arithmetic somewhat but we managed it with Manda stopping at the end of her 56 lengths when I was just starting my 54th.  Overall between us we completed the relay in 2 hours and 48 minutes.  This is slower than when we did the event as soloists even taking into account the additional length but I think that is mine and bump’s fault!


Once we were out it was time for some still warm cake – delicious – and to watch the soloists and other relays finish.  The team organised by Bronnie Gray including last minute addition Fiona Wiggins, who was sporting her Team Mermaids hat, did an amazing job with 10 people each swimming 11 lengths.


Well done to everyone who swam on the day.  Next year we are going to give the solo a crack again!


SLSC Mile race 2017

The Mermaid cup, the SLSC’s women’s open mile cup, has been something of note in the Mermaid camp for a while, but alas we have never been able to win it because of Nancy Shaw.   Nancy is this formidable SLSC swimmer, who reigned victorious over most of the women’s open cups for several years, including the Mermaid cup and once whooped our butts during the mile swim, whilst she was heavily pregnant.  Nancy and family have now moved abroad, so despite our sadness that we were losing this great swimmer, we were finally optimistic about our chances of some cups in 2017.

Nancy Shaw – SLSC’s best Mermaid for several years


On the day of the event, we did our usual Friday morning 6:30am training and then spent a day at work.  Perfect preparation!

Upon arriving at the lido, there was some disappointment, as Emma Watson (SLSC star baker EVERY week) was optimistic she would win the cup until I (Manda) had turned up and declared I was hoping to swim in 26 minutes.  She then offered me cake for a year if I let her win.  There was a fundamental flaw in her plan as Katie was still due to arrive!  We declined the cake offer, which shows how much this cup meant to the team.


The evening started with the under 10s race, which was a hot contested battle by the next generation of Team Mermaids and then the half mile race.

We then got in and found the newly repainted black market that signifies the start point as the mile is 17.6 laps of the lido due to its 100 yard length.


We were off.  Katie and I had been split up with Katie as number 4 and me as number 6 but as soon as the opportunity presented itself, Katie appeared next to me.  We then stuck side by side for the most of the swim, only separating a few times when Katie missed the wall on her tumble (Katie insists those walls are really hard to see)!

On the final length still side by side, I tried to keep our strokes in synch so we would touch together and then boom.  Everyone was pointing at me as the winner.  This was NOT the plan.  Katie had also been trying to keep us in sync so we would touch together but had held back slightly but I had snuck in and touched first.   We were both credited with the same time of 24 minutes and 47 secs.  Katie had been saying that if she didn’t swim under 26 minutes she was going to retire so I’m glad we beat that threshold!


Hopefully we will get a chance to put Katie’s name on the cup next year.

As usual thanks SLSC and all the volunteers who ensure these events can run.


UK Cold Water Swimming Championships

After having my baby in June I (Manda) had a somewhat compressed season, where I trained solely in Tooting Bec lido. As the water temperature dropped at the lido I was still going down once or twice a week and before I knew it, it was 10 degrees and I was truly hooked on the challenge of cold water swimming.

So when the entries for the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships (UKCWSC) came up and it was still a positively tropical 7/8 degrees at the lido, we enthusiastically signed up for a 4×1 width relay. As Brian commented ‘how cold could 33 yards be?’


The UKCWSC take place at Tooting Bec Lido every 2 years. It is a championships but it feels more like a festival of cold water and all the people that dare to swim in it. Everyone and anyone is encouraged to have a go at events ranging from Crisis’ Big splash to the head up breaststroke with added hat competition to 99 yards freestyle.

After signing up, autumn became winter and … well… it got cold…. MIGHTY cold. I was collecting used milk cartons at home for the igloo (see photo below) that Barbara from SLSC was building for the champs and as the cartons piled up, it was a daily reminder that I hadn’t swum at the lido for a while. Brian and David (the 4th member of Team Mermaids for the UKCWSC), taking the challenge seriously, carried on swimming at Tooting Bec and Parliament Hill respectively. Although I am pretty sure David took his time in the sauna more seriously than the swimming. Katie, like me, had been nowhere near the lido since it hit 7 degrees.

The water was hovering around 4 degrees and then no sooner had the Christmas baubles been packed away the weather in London became baltic, but the UKCWSC wasn’t until 28/1 so there was plenty of time for the weather to get better and for the water to warm up. Right??

Finally the day arrived and the water was 1.5 degrees (Lynne Cox would be proud). As we registered we tried to distract ourselves from our pending doom by having a look around all the fabulous stalls. It was like the Team Mermaids’ Christmas wish list in real life!!

After our briefing from Giles, current president of SLSC, we headed to our respective sides of the lido. I said good bye to Katie, whilst giving her the look of “we can still not do this” but off she marched and I knew my fate was sealed.

Brian was leading us off, then Katie, then me and then David would bring us home. David chose to swim last as there was a lower probability of him having to swim as I was 3rd. Now there is an urban myth about me and cold water swimming that goes something like this:

Once upon a time Manda decided to do the OSS December dip with the other Mermaids. The water was a balmy 5 degrees. The mermaids got in and swam. Manda got in, walked for 5 metres, then turned around and got out. Dom was disgusted. They all lived happily ever after.

So in short I was a massive flight risk. I didn’t know whether once in the water I would just get out. As much as I had psyched myself up for actually swimming the width, I knew that I wouldn’t be in control of myself, so I had to just hope that I actually started swimming and made it to the other side.

With shouts of “get your shoulders under the water” Brian was off… I was sheepishly standing on poolside waiting to remove my final layers of clothes… then Katie got in and took over. Now standing poolside in just my costume… She was getting closer… too close… so I got in and then…


The next thing I remember is my feet hurting and then hurling myself on poolside in probably the most unlady like fashion ever.


Victorious that I had actually made it to the other side, I returned to my family. Whilst asking me how it was, I proclaimed in my post swim euphoria “I don’t even remember Katie touching the wall”. Dom replied “that’s because you were already swimming when she touched. Your take off was dodgy to say the least”. Whaaaaaaaaaaat? I couldn’t remember her touching the wall but surely I waited?! I decided to tell the team what Dom had said so that if we did suffer any penalties then at least it would be clear whose fault it was. Then Lisa, who had come to spectate, sent through some photos of our race and there it was in all its photographic glory. Katie gliding into the wall and me already a couple of metres away!


In the end we came 7th in our category and had PENALTY next to us, but then again so did most teams. Next time we are going for the win (if they let me in the team again!)

Big thanks to SLSC as the event organisation and execution was supreme and well done to everyone who was involved in the event.

Floating igloo on the lido

SLSC club races 2016

Since becoming SLSC members many years ago we have categorically failed to be real team members! We have rocked up to the occasional mile race and twice swum the anniversary challenge swim but turning up regularly for the Sunday morning swims has never happened.

This year I (Manda) declared, whilst recovering from the birth of my son, that I was going to try do more of the Sunday races this year.  In reality I have said this ever year but this year I meant it.  As well as me and Katie, Brian and Kate are also members so would try and come to some races.

In the summer the races start at 9am so the idea would be to do a training session and then time the session to finish when the race was starting.  The majority of the races are handicapped.  We have no idea how this is calculated and we think 99.9999999% SLSC members also have no clue how this dark art works. Despite this and with a hope that I would be improving as the season went on, I was optimistic that Team Mermaids would be able to secure one trophy!

With some help from Brian here is our account of the SLSC summer races:


1 mile (Brian)

The SLSC 1 mile race is the longest of the summer handicaps. 1 mile works out at 17 and a bit lengths of the lido, so the start line is part way down the pool (facing the deep end), and 17 full lengths after that. Manda, Katie and I (Brian) were all in attendance this year. Katie and I had been there since 7:30 and had done 44 lengths before the race, as we were in full preparation mode for the Henley Bridge to Bridge swim. The start was a bit unusual as we had to jump in at the deep end, and swim up to the start line, before turning around to start the swim proper. Katie and I swam together to finish in 27:15, and Manda finished in a very respectable 30:10 in her first race back since having a baby.

Manda has written about this in more detail here.

1000 yards (Manda)

With the others at the Thames Marathon I (Manda) headed down solo for a training session and then registered myself.  Like the new girl at school, I had no friends with me, so casually put myself in the middle of the pack and then chatted to anyone who would speak to me.  The race itself was a good bench mark to see if/how I was improving since giving birth to Miles. 17:05 signified a 1 minute improvement since my return to swimming – hoorah!

800 yards (Manda)

Katie and me headed down to the lido to do my longest swim post child arrival and then lined up ready for the swim. I was swimming in a line with 3 other members and had prior to the race decided to go ‘slow’ to give myself the best possible handicap so that next week I could reign victorious in the 200 yards! My competitive streak came out though and next thing I know I’m sprinting the last 2 lengths. I touched at the same time as the man (sorry I’m rubbish at remembering names!) I was ‘racing’, at which point Katie, who at finished in 11:30, got told she was banned for being too fast by him. 😜

200 yards (Katie)

In previous years we had only ever swum the 1 mile event at the SLSC races so we were excited to do more of a sprint. On signing up we were told that none of the fast people were here today so we could swim at the fast persons’ end of the pool.  Not sure whether to be offended or flattered we headed over to the start.

I (Katie) put my head down and swam. On the Thursday before we had been doing 200 yard reps in the SLSC training session so I felt I had some recent experience in terms of pacing.  I was aiming for hard on the way up before turning it up a bit on the way back.  This over excited tactic inevitably led to some dying on the way back but I managed to touch the wall first.  I guess all the really fast people were elsewhere!  The race was handicapped, however, so I didn’t pick up the overall trophy.

300 yards breaststroke (Brian)

This race was a “special edition” as it was on a Monday rather than a Sunday (the late august bank holiday). I had been in Ireland for the weekend, so was keen to cram as much swimming as possible into Monday. Accordingly, I met Katie at 7:30, and we did 41 lengths before the race (finishing at the far end, as that was the end the race started from). We were somewhat surprised to find that the race was three lengths of breaststroke (all the previous races I had been in were freestyle). We started off a bit tentatively, but I found myself beside some very fast people, so naturally started to race them! Katie finished second female, and I finished second male. My placing was uncontroversial (despite my best efforts I was at least 5m behind the winner), but Katie’s was a lot, lot closer. We then finished off with a swift 24 lengths back in our wetsuits (naturally!).

99 yards medley (Katie)

The 99 yards medley race is one of the few SLSC events of the year which is not handicapped. Manda and I (Katie) were therefore secretly hopeful that Team Mermaids might pick up their first SLSC trophy.  The race was a width of back, breast and then free.  I started cautiously on the backstroke – too many childhood incidents making me scared of hitting my head.  By the end of the breaststroke width Alina, who had touched me out on the 300 yards breaststroke race, was just ahead.  I sprinted the final free width.  It was all a bit chaotic at the end and not clear who had won.  When someone came looking for me in the changing room I hoped it was me and it was.  Now Team Mermaids have their own trophy – well to keep for a year at least!


We have voiced our intention to try continue to race on Sunday mornings but as the water temperature plummets I’m not sure how we are going to fare. Watch this space.

SLSC 110 length anniversary challenge

Each year SLSC hold the anniversary challenge to celebrate the lido’s history. Participants swim one length for every year the lido has been open.  The lido opened in 1906 so those who are good at maths will work out that this year this was 110 lengths. At 100 yards a length this is just over 10km of swimming.

In 2014 Manda and I participated in the 108 length challenge as a relay and last year we stepped up to compete in the 109 length challenge solo.

I really enjoyed the event last year so with Manda building up her distances following Miles’ arrival I persuaded Brian to (a) become a member of the lido and (b) enter the swim with me.

We were busy training away when I discovered a small diary ‘incident’ and realised that the weekend of the swim was the weekend that I was away in Berlin as Dennis was running the marathon. After a morning of tears at the thought I was missing the challenge I managed to persuade Brian to come and swim the distance a week early with me.  Poor Brian – the things we make him do!

We agreed to meet at the lido at 7.30am on Saturday morning (17 September) only to find out that there was actually an aquathlon on and the pool wasn’t open until 8.30am. Oh dear!  This kind of c&ap would never happen if Manda was in charge.

We went back to my place and then came back for 8.30am. We decided to split the swim up into 3 blocks: 40 lengths, 40 lengths and then 30 lengths.  We finished the first 40 lengths in just over 56 minutes and then had a toilet and gel break.  We then started again for another 40 lengths before stopping for another gel break.  We then set out for the final 30 lengths with me telling Brian it was just like a normal training session. He gave me one of those “I’m too tried to respond but I am unimpressed” looks.

We finished in around 2 hours 44 minutes of swimming time and about 2 hours 51 of total time. This was slower than last year (even taking into account the extra length) but I think the competition environment helped a lot last year.  I really enjoyed the swim.  We had the perfect weather in that it was overcast so the lido wasn’t too busy but the water was still lovely and warm.


Once wasn’t enough for Brian though and he was still planning on swimming in the official event the weekend after. Unfortunately though he forgot his wetsuit and managed 72 lengths’ skins before having to admit defeat from the cold.  Next year B!


SLSC 1 mile race – July 2016

So something like this wouldn’t normally warrant a blog but sometimes the smallest achievements are worth the biggest noise. The SLSC 1 mile Sunday morning race! Every Sunday (even in winter), SLSC hold a Sunday morning race over a range of distances from 1 width to the longest race 1 mile. Team Mermaids try and attend the 1 mile race each year so not even having recently had a baby was going to put me off.

When I (Manda) plus my gang (husband and baby) arrived at the lido, Brian and Katie had already been there for an hour and half doing some last minute ‘cramming’ for this year’s Thames marathon next weekend. As I told them both this would never have happened on coach Manda’s watch!

After clearing the lido we all marched to the deep end of the lido and lined up in speed order for the 1 mile swim. I suggested that I would swim around 32 minutes on the basis of how I had been swimming the last couple of weeks since being signed off to swim, so ended up in the middle of the SLSC line up. There were notable absences due to Ride 100 and summer holidays but it was still a large crowd.

After swimming to the black marker on pool side for where the mile officially starts we were soon set off. Unfortunately for the man standing next to me waiting for the start, the black marker wasn’t sufficiently in the shallow end for me to stand flat footed, so I was on tip toes just to keep breathing.  Once we were set off there was nothing for me to push off to get going … Apart from the man’s belly. So after ‘go’ I spent the first 10 seconds apologising. Sorry Katie and Brian but team mermaids may never be welcome at a club race again!

After 17 and a bit lengths of, I can only assume, perfect pacing if not perfect speed I arrived home in a respectable 30:10. If only I hadn’t have kicked the man in the belly it could have been sub 30! I was really pleased considering I have only been back swimming for 2 weeks and have also had a throat infection to deal with in that time.


Katie and Brian naturally stormed home together in a time of 26:30. Katie was slightly (read very) mortified that she was beaten by an eleven year old!

Hopefully I will get a chance to race in the 1000yds race next Sunday whilst the rest of the team and friends tackle 15,310 yards at Thames Marathon. Good luck!

Where to find the Mermaids this summer


Jubilee 10k

5th June

Manda has very kindly given me (Katie) her the free entry to the Jubilee River swim as it is scheduled just a few days after her baby is due to arrive.  This was my first swim ‘back’ last summer so I am hoping to improve on my time this year.  Last year the weather was lovely and sunny and I have my fingers crossed for the same this year as it make the 10k go in a flash just floating down looking at the scenery.

Henley Classic: Alumni match

26th June
The Oxford vs Cambridge Alumni match will be returning at the Henley Classic in June this year.  Last year the Cambridge Alumnae ladies were the only team that were victorious over Oxford. Fingers crossed we can triumph again this year.


1 mile handicap (SLSC club event)

1st July
Katie will representing the Team Mermaids solo at this event and this will be a reoccurring theme of the summer season. (Un)fortunately for her I (Manda) live right by the lido, so I will be sure to be down there encouraging her… I am thinking a fishing line with a piece of cake at the end. Otherwise how else will she beat the SLSC’s amazing Nancy. Note: the female winner of this event gets the “Mermaid Cup” – we have to win it one year Nancy – please!

The Boulter’s to Bray swim

2nd July

According to the website the Boulter’s to Bray Swim is one of the oldest open water swimming events, with a history dating back to the 19th century.  I can’t believe Team Mermaids have not swum this already and this is something we should quickly rectify!


The Great London Swim

16th July

If I (Katie) can find a babysitter (any offers?!) I will be down at the London Victoria Docks competing in the Great London Swim.  I am keen for the 2 mile event this year having always done the 1 mile event in previous years.


Thames Marathon (aka Bridge to Bridge)

7th August

Bridge to Bridge has been re-named the Thames Marathon for 2016 (we are not entirely sure why!).  Whatever it is called it was our favourite swim of 2015 and there I (Katie) am planning to be swimming the 14km down the Thames from Henley to Marlow Bridge again


Coniston (ChillSwim)

3rd September
The weekend this event is taking place there are several other big ticket swims taking place in other parts of the country. Dart 10k, Brownsea Island and the new Swim the docks 10k. It wasn’t a hard decision to do Coniston again for me (Manda) and Katie hasn’t done it before so would be a chance for her to get it ticked off. To date it has been one of my favourite events. When you are travelling to a race it becomes more about the whole weekend experience and Coniston and the lakes mean that it really can be turned into a holiday. It will also hopefully mark my return to the water post baby arrival, if I don’t end up swimming I know I will have a great time supporting my friends, celebrating their success and sampling some of Coniston Brewery’s finest.

Oxford 10k 

11th September
This is a new event swimming from Bablock Hythe to Kings Lock.  We are quite tempted to book this in but in reality we don’t know how realistic it is 1 week after Coniston so it might be a case of seeing how we feel that weekend.


Serpentine Swim

24th/25th September

Currently umming and ahhing about this event as we want to do the 110 length challenge so we are probably going to enter the ballot and see what happens.

110 length challenge (SLSC club event)

24th September
It’s an even year (110 length)… PHEW!!! Therefore, no defending our joint title instead the 10k will be divided by 2. I (Manda) was thinking I could maybe make Katie do more but seeing as she did 50% of it in 2014 when she was 5 months pregnant, I should probably just suck it up!


109 lengths at Tooting Bec Lido with SLSC 2015

Every year since the 100 year anniversary of Tooting Bec Lido, SLSC have held a club challenge to swim the age of the lido in lengths.  Now if the lido was 25m then this would be a fun swim, however, (un)fortunately for us the lido is 100yds (91m).

2015 is the 109th anniversary of the lido so that would be a whopping 10,900 yards (9,966m) of swimming.  Last year we did the 10,800 yards distance as a 2 person relay in 17 degrees, but this year we decided early on in the year that we would tackle the distance solo as a bit of end of season fun.

So September came around and with it came the british winter a few months early.  This meant that the temperature at the lido was slowly dropping through the teens 17…16…15…14.  Please no lower!!!  The weekend before the swim we managed a 2 hour swim in the lido at 14 degrees in the glorious sunshine, however, the Thursday before the swim, we did 45 minutes swim at 7am and come 10am a colleague asked me if I was ok as my lips were blue.  Panic set in!


The morning of the swim we were greeted with sunshine but 13 degree water. It was the best weather, if not water temperature, we could have asked for.  After arriving at the lido just after lunch, the SLSC captains set about getting us all ready.  There would be 9 of us doing the solo, of which 4 of us would be wearing wetsuits, therefore, 5 were doing it SKINS.  SKINS, my skin is tingling just typing this.

To start we walked to the deep end and entered the water there.  This threw me and Katie off as we are used to walking from the shallow end to acclimatize but couldn’t really raise an objection whilst covered in our luxury neoprene.

And we were off.  We had decided to have our first stop after 45 minutes, so after 33 lengths we stopped and I had a sip of luke warm tea and then the chat started:

Katie: How many have we done?

Me: 33 lengths

Katie screams loudly: IS THAT IT?

Now at this point Katie was about to offer to take the lead, however, she didn’t have a chance to offer as I rapidly set off again in fear of being shouted at for taking too long at feeds.

This meant there was no conversation about when to next feed.  I thought it would be good to do 42 lengths this time.  You would break the back of it by taking you to 75 and therefore, would leave only 34 to finish.  However, Katie was thinking I was going to do around 30 lengths so started worrying once we got higher than that, that I wasn’t going to let her stop again until the finish.

I did stop, which allowed for more, now cold, tea and allowed Katie to take the lead for the final 34.  By this point I couldn’t feel my feet properly, which makes for a bizarre sensation when pushing off the wall at a turn and I also realised that I had been so preoccupied about the cold in the build up I had forgotten about the distance actually being a challenge in itself and my arms started aching.


109 lengths later we were finished. 2 hours 39 minutes in the lido. It was a challenge for so many reasons but mainly, the cold and distance.  Others commented on the tedious nature of the lap swimming for that long, however, by swimming as a team it was like you always had company and I was never bored.  This was the first race since Max’s arrival that Katie and I swam together (it would have been bridge to bridge if it wasn’t for her seeing my warning signs!) so for me it was a definite season highlight.


Next year it is 110 lengths, so as an even number of lengths it might be back to a team mermaids relay instead.


Thanks to SLSC for a great event and special thanks to Nicola and Mandy for their organisation and support.

SLSC Tooting Bec Lido 1 mile race

In 2011 Katie and I participated in the SLSC 1 mile race where we got beaten badly. Our egos were so badly bruised we haven’t made it back to an SLSC race since, despite me claiming that I will do the weekly Sunday races every year but never have. This year the 1 mile race was being held on a Friday and both Katie and I were available and headed on down.

They held a kids’ race and then a half mile race prior to the 1 mile. One of the kids was a child after our own hearts as she did our favourite stroke, the not yet officially recognised, “kick-on-the-back”. Note: WHEN this becomes an Olympic sport me and Katie have got the 1, 2 locked down.

The mile race starts half way down the pool and then once you get to the other end it is 17 lengths from there as the lido is 100 yards long. Katie got in and immediately declared “ooh this is cold without my wetsuit”. Now if there was a top 10 of things you shouldn’t say around people who swim in skins all year round in a non-heated lido, then that must be in the top 3. The only thing she might have said that would have been worse is “just going to have a little wee to warm this water up for you all”.


Off we swam. Despite the back and forth nature, no collisions were experienced and everyone looked out for each other. I managed a respectful 24:50, which is actually a 40 second improvement since 2011 and Katie came in shortly after me. The ladies winner was the lady who beat us last time, whilst then heavily pregnant! Well done Nancy.

I had a celebratory cupcake (thanks Katie) and headed to bed for an early night as we were back at the lido for 6am the next morning for a 7000 yd swim.

108 length challenge and the last race of the 2014 season

This weekend marked the last weekend of Tooting Bec Lido opening to the public and the last race for us of the season.

Saturday we went down to TBL to take part in the 108 length challenge.  Every year SLSC put on a challenge of swimming the number of lengths equal to the Lido’s age.  This year 108, which is approx. 9.8km

You can take part individually or as a team so we decided to take on the challenge as a 2 person … well 2 and a bump…relay.  We were planning on splitting the 108 by Katie and bump doing 54 lengths then I (Manda) would get in and finish off with me doing my 54, however, we were told we could do it at the same time. So mid Feast ice cream (Apparently an ice cream is a bold choice before jumping into the lido – but in my defense the air and water temperature were unseasonably high).. I had to prepare to swim a lot sooner than I expected.

It was a very relaxed swim and it was nice to take advantage of the lido being shut to the public.  We completed the swim 2:47

So next year 109 lengths… maybe we can get baby Kenny to do the extra 1!


Sunday morning we headed down to Ham Lake with Brian to do the final RG Active race of the year and the final race of the season for us.  We arrived to an unusual scene of campers covering the whole site who were there for some dragon racing.  There was me thinking what kind of people camp over night to do dragon racing, but realizing I had got up at 6:30 to go swim 3km in a lock off the thames..I wasn’t really in a position to comment!!!


Anyone who hasn’t been to the RG Active races, they are very friendly and calm affairs, probably comparable to a parkrun.  We jumped or waded into the lock just before 8am and then set off.  Katie was doing the 1.3km and myself and Brian the 3.2km.


After Phil P, one of the RG Active coaches, kicked me a couple of times (unintentionally!!) I got into my rhythm but there was no one to draft off.  After the 1st lap there was someone in front of me who I was making up distance on, I thought this was Phil, thinking he had gone off too hard.  So I caught up with him and then decided to have a bit of fun by sprinting past him whilst trying to make it look effortless.. Turns out it wasn’t Phil but Brian.. But Brian had taken note!


The rest of the laps were relatively uneventful with “Phil”/Brian, behind me and then exited the water and realized it was Brian.

We then ate some amazing cake (the most important part) – thanks Vicki! and headed to the Breakfast Club for some food.

image image

Thanks to RG Active for a great morning.  See you next year.