On Saturday we swam the five and a quarter mile length of Coniston, me and about 700 others. The drizzle was brightened by a procession of pink and orange tow-floats.
My second time at this fantastic event, but my first without a wetsuit, and despite the rain I had a fair view, randomly choosing to swim the majority of it breaststroke having trained front crawl all summer.
It kept me warm. A girl can change her mind.
So for the record: 3 hours 14 minutes, 20 minutes slower than last year, but most of that is the lack of a wetsuit. Wetsuits go faster, but they’re not as much fun, not when one has a cossie with ‘some like it cold’ printed on the bum.
This is near the start, on the way towards Peel Island, or Wildcat Island for fans of Swallows and Amazons.
This weekend was the wonderful, fantastic event The Big Chill Swim, a winter swimming gala in Windermere, Cumbria, run by Colin Hill and the Chillswim team, to whom massive thanks for doing such a superb job!
Fellow winter swimmers will no doubt recognize the sight of heavy fleece-lined waterproofs, woolly hats and extremely scanty clothing (often on the same person), as perfectly normal. ‘Not too cold actually, well above 6 degrees’ when assessing the water temperature, would likewise be an attitude only unsurprising amongst winter swimmers.
There were so many images I could have drawn but these two chaps, deep in conversation in their anoraks and budgie-smugglers, were too good to resist! I don’t know who they are, but they know I photographed them so if anyone recognizes them please let me know, I did say I might draw them.
And for the record, I won two gold medals! First in category (female age 45 – 50) in the 450m freestyle and 30m head-up breaststroke, and in the latter I was 2nd female over all. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it 😉
Coniston-end-to-end, 2015. We are at one end, ready to swim to the other end, five and a quarter miles away. Sadly, no, that is not me without the wetsuit, I dithered over the issue, but the water I’ve been swimming in has been warmer than Coniston, and the wetsuit is very new and not very cheap, and so it would have been rude not to wear it. There were a few ‘skins’ swimmers, who I was a little jealous of, but it was a lovely swim, and a fantastic day for it.
Thanks to Colin Hill and the Chillswim people for running another fantastic event!
(and for those of you unfamiliar with Chillswim – the orange things are the floats they make, good for visibility and excellent for putting your stuff in – if you have a drybag version – while you swim. And to the uninitiated, they are TOW floats, not TOE floats… this last point has caused some confusion amongst non-swimming friends….)
Oh, and for the record: 2hours, 53 minutes, 58 seconds…. 🙂