Next Stop Guildford

This weekend I will be spending a bit of time swimming – in fact almost 24 hours!

The time has finally come round for the 2swim4life event down in Guildford. Starting at 9:30am on Saturday morning I will be swimming one mile every hour for 24 miles / hours, so all being well I will set off at 8:30am on Sunday morning for my final hour. It’s fair to say that the current mood is a mixture of excitement and nerves.

I spent yesterday afternoon packing kit and trying to organise myself physically. I’ve packed about 8 towels and 6 sweatshirts, trousers, shorts (ever the optimist), shoes, gloves, hats, hoodies, my Dryrobe (which will be a vital bit of kit) and that doesn’t even include the actual swimming kit or the food!

I think packing the kit and knowing that that job is done has calmed the nerves a little bit.


Surprisingly, given the fact that I need to swim 24 miles, it’s not the swimming that is making me nervous. As always I’ve done as much training as I can – very possibly not quite as much as I should have done, but given all the other things going on in life as much as I can. In fact I had my last big training session on Friday last week and I did:

– 7am-9am – 5kms
– 10am-11am – 2.5kms
– 12noon-1:15pm – 3kms
– 5:20pm-6pm – 1.75kms
– Total – 12.25kms

In these sessions I was swimming 1km every 22 minutes. In this way I was able to give myself a few minutes rest before setting off for my next swim. What I wanted to do was practice the starting again as much as the actual swimming.

This week I have taken the taper to an extreme and haven’t had a swim all week (again partly life issues), but I went for a gentle dip this morning and just did 1km.


Another thing that I’ve been doing this week though is organising my swim hats.

Testing out one of my 2swim4life swim hats.

Testing out one of my 2swim4life swim hats.

I was inspired by my friend Emma’s long swims last year, where during here Channel swim and round Jersey swim she released biodegradable ribbons into the water that people could sponsor. So I’ve taken a ‘lite’ version of that and have asked people to send me any swim hats that they have – couple with a mile that they want to ‘sponsor’. I’m hoping that this will provide me with a constant stream of support and strength, knowing that I’m swimming each mile with the support of someone; plus add a bit of fun to the event for me and others, especially as some of the hats are … erm … noticeable.


I’ve talked in the past that I don’t necessarily do these challenges for charity. I’m motivated by my own desire to complete the challenge, not by the money I can raise. That’s my personal stance on it.

However, the 2swim4life team set up and run the event on a voluntary basis as a way of supporting their own local charity.

This year it is Place2Be – a charity that “provides emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools [working with] 94,000 children, helping them to cope with wide-ranging and often complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.”

I don’t know it personally, but the work they do sounds great. So if you do want to support this challenge of mine with a charity donation, please donate here.



Filed under Charity, Motivation, Swimming

11 responses to “Next Stop Guildford

  1. Paul Parrish

    The very best of luck, Patrick. It’s horrible being nervous, but if you weren’t you would never have that huge sense of satisfaction when you finish. It’s a challenge, a big challenge and your nerves will be in direct proportion to the scale of your task. Once you start they will go and you can focus on getting a good job done for a great cause. And email that link round to everyone.
    Best of luck. Oh, and enjoy it.


  2. Danny

    Patrick, I’ll be going in lane 3 the same time as you. Like you I am getting nervous. Stomach aches, muscles ache etc. I think for me it’s all in the head and hopefully once we start swimming everything will all settle down.

    Best of luck

    • Hi Danny, ah, you’re in one of the fast lanes!
      I know what you mean, suddenly all the niggles are feeling like broken bones! I’ll see you there and if we don’t get time to speak – the best of luck!

  3. mick hinde

    I’ll be there in lane 9 on the hour as part of a team so look forward to seeing
    that hat on at least one mile of your journey.

  4. Just love the hat you’re wearing 🙂
    Best of luck and enjoy the swim.

  5. Andrew Roddis

    Hey dude.

    Thought I would look you up and here you are. God bless uncle Google. Just wanted to say it was an honour to swim with you today and have much respect and awe for what you achieved. Big up. Hopefully our paths will cross again on a patch of water somewhere and if ever in London and fancy being bought a pint…
    Andrew/ my mates call me Bo

    • Andrew, I can’t believe you found me! Thanks so much for pulling me through some of those last few miles – it was a HUGE help. I am sometimes in London, so when my arms have recovered enough to lift a pint glass…

  6. Pingback: Next stop France…? | 1000kmstowindermere

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