Monday, 10 July 2017

Swimmy June 2
The Great North Swim 09 – 11 June, 2017

The Great North Swim is a fantastic open water swim in my opinion. It is held in Windermere, a fabulously scenic body of water in the Lake District. The event is now usually held early in June over three days. It used to be held in September but after a cancellation a few years ago due to blue -green algae the date was changed. Blue-green algae like warmer water which is more likely in September than in June.  

Windermere, Lake District
This will be my 5th year taking part in the swim. I usually like to pack more than one event into the weekend and this year was the same. I entered the 5km on the Friday the 1 mile on the Sunday.
The swims take place round a one-mile course in Windermere. It is an iconic fun swim. With over 10,000 swimmers taking part over the weekend. For many this is their first experience of open water swimming and many participate to raise money for charity.  
The first swim for me was the 5km. This involved three circuits of the  one-mile course. The water was warm  enough to wear my thermal wetsuit at around 17 degrees but there was a  bit of chop. This meant times were slower. My wave was at 12:00pm just after the first race which was the 10 km. The swim was lovely although a bit rough and choppy  at times. I finished in a slower time than last year but still managed to nab first place in my age/gender category at 1:46.
5km about to start

5km at the finish

As time passed the weather got windier so the organisers decide to cancel the Sundays events for safety reasons. Those who were scheduled to swim were offered slots on the Saturday instead. This was bad news for those registered for the 10 km and 5 km swims as they were only offered  1 mile spots. Mine was set for 3:30 on the Saturday. It was wet in true Lake District fashion, it rained pretty solidly all day. The reason the Lake District is so green and pretty is because it gets a LOT of rain. The 1 mile was fun, it’s the signature event at the Great North Swim and so popular that over 3000 swimmers took part in this distance. It was choppier than the Friday, the rain was not such a problem for the swimmers as the spectators and the poor dogs!. Again, I managed a category first at 32:57
Wet dogs

We stayed at a fantastic campsite at Low Wray. It’s a National Trust site. It had a free offer for swimmers of a coffee and pastry. Both the coffee and the croissant were delicious. The site also has a wood-fired pizza oven. We had pizzas both nights we were there and they were great.

Feeling great after the one mile

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