Last year when my friend and fellow Triathletes Angie and I started our 1-1 swim lessons to improve my swim technique she told me she was setting me a `Challenge`. In July we would swim the` Bournemouth pier to pier 1.4 mile swim`. I thought she was joking! Angie said we had 6 months to train for it and to bare in mind that it was a `current assisted` swim. I would be fine…UGH!
Well before I knew it the big day had arrived. As Bob, Angie, Terry and I stood there looking down at the beautiful sandy beach those two piers looked a heck of a long way apart. I felt sick. I thought what am I doing?? I seemed to be the only one who felt nervous.
We were all in the 10am start. (There is also a 12-noon swim). As we all stood there on the sand looking like a seal colony on a David Attenborough nature programme I looked around me. There were some in full wetsuits like mine, some in shorties and some just in cosies. All ages, all shapes and sizes and I guessed all abilities. Angie had promised to stay with me for the whole swim. Bob and Terry were fine on their own and took off as soon as the hooter went. Angie and I let the mass go ahead of us before getting in and swimming out deep to the line of kayaks which were marshalling the event. This proved to be a good move as we had a lot of space to ourselves. Well, suffice to say we all loved it! So much so that we booked up for this year and set it up as an event for the Tri Club.
And so it was that about 20 of us set of for Bournemouth last Sunday to take on the Challenge. In our possee we had a fair mix of swimmers from Bekki, Trish, Heather, Charlie and Chris (They’d just done the double channel swim. There and back relay). Elliot, Kevin Shaun, Bob, Donne`, Vinnie and Nick all confident good swimmers and the rest of us. Carol, Annie, Darin, Axie, Mandy and Tracey all doing it for their first time and for some it would be the furthest they had ever swum. We all assembled on the beach for a group hug before the start when there was a shout from a man with a camera who turned out to be the photographer for the Bournemouth daily Echo. (These Pompey Triathletes get in everywhere).
We wished each other luck and we were off. We had arranged to meet at the finish by the baggage drop.
During the swim there is no pressure what so ever on you. If you want to go deep or stay shallow, stop, look around, catch your breath, have a chat. You swim at your own pace doing whatever stroke you feel comfortable with the emphasis being to just enjoy it.
It didn’t seem long before we were exiting the water with huge smiles on our faces, arms in the air to the roar of the spectators. We were very fortunate to have Michelle as our very own photographer for the day and John, Anna and Brian as support crew waiting for us all at the finish line.
After having the chip removed from our ankles we were presented with a nice medal and a lovely bright red techy t shirt with the words ` Swim like a champion` on the front and ` Bournemouth pier to pier swim July 15th 2018` on the back. There is a free tea or coffee for all and hot or cold showers on the prom.
Once we were all in it was time for a triumphant `We’ve done it` photo and we walked 150m along the prom to the giant 10ft flip-flop, which by the way is also a cold shower for a final photo.
After we had all showered and put on some fresh togs it was time for our picnic and most importantly our well-earned CAKE. Thank you Sarah Jane.
A super Tribe Day out.
Some of us have already signed up for 2019. Who wants to join us next year?
Don’t be afraid it will be FUN…£25 Early Bird. Let’s get a bigger posse together for a Tribe Outing.
NB. When entering go for the 10am wave. (It sells out fast so be quick).
Team name: Portsmouth Triathletes