I’m working as normal today (Thursday), then I’m taking the day off on Friday to travel up to the Lake District. It obviously doesn’t take all day to get there, but I want to get there in good time and to be as relaxed as possible. What I don’t want to do is to be hunched over a computer all day, then face Friday evening traffic in the car all evening, then have to get up early on Saturday to swim. So we’re driving up on Friday.
On Saturday it’s an early start. Not only will I be a bit nervous, but we have to meet up at the start to register by about 8am. For those of you that know Winderemere the start is at the southern end of the lake, near Newby Bridge.
Once everyone is registered the briefing meetings will take place. A longer one for the boat crews and a slightly shorter one for the swimmers. Obviously on a big lake, with lots of other traffic on it, the safety briefing is really important – especially for the boat crews. All I’ll do is follow my rowing boat, they’ve got the difficult job of navigating the lake.
Then at 9am, in theory, we’ll set off. And it’s just the small matter of 10 1/2 miles to swim.
The finish of the swim is at Waterhead, Ambleside at the northern end of the lake. The first few people will probably be arriving there from about 1pm. It’ll be more like 4pm when I get there.
I’m looking forward to it (although I’m obviously a bit nervous). I’m confident that I’ve done all I could in terms of training and preparation. Other people may have been able to do more – but given all the work and family commitments I’ve done all I could. But I have done ALL I could. I’m also confident that I’ll try as hard as I can and won’t give up. That’s not to say that I’ll definitely complete the swim, but I know that I’ll do all I can to make sure I do.
Although I’ve hinted at the time I expect to finish the swim, I’m really not aiming for a specific time. My goal is to “complete” and not to “compete”. I’m obviously not expecting to win, but to be honest I don’t really care what my time is as long as I finish. [For this year at least] The challenge is the swim itself, not the time.
So the final countdown has started, wish me luck…