Sunday 19 June 2011

Road Trip Day 3.... A day in the Lakes

The Grim North Swim?
So it's a Sunday lunchtime in the middle of June, and in a perfect world, where should you be, about to go out for a relaxing meal? chilling in the garden? nowadays in our leisure rich lifestyles there are all sorts of sophisticated activities available to us to wend away our time over weekends.

Taking this into consideration, where do I find myself? yes you've guessed it standing in that bloody rubber suit again, on the edge of a lake about to plunge into cold water on a very grey day. What's happened to the summer?

An infeasibly early start saw the Fairy Snow Baby and myself heading north for a quick dip in Windermere, (you'd think we should have had enough of swimming this weekend wouldn't you). Now the dip was very quick in the FSB's case as he managed to come 14th over all, not bad for a 43 year old.

In one of those spooky sort of happenstance situations I bumped into Julie Hoyle, (formerly Pinkney, formerly Bennett,) (she likes the taste of wedding cake) on the ferry from Bowness, (we swam against each other as kids). What's strange about it is that the last time we met was on the ferry at the last GNS. She and her husband Stuart also swam blinders to place respectively 1st and 2nd in their own age groups, Julie did a great job of sandbagging me at the start with her lack of training, bad back yada yada, you get the picture... but brilliant swim Jools.

We were standing together on the starting line (pushy or what) when this very tall stick insect just pushed herself in front of us, (apart from being rude, she was sickening as she was one of the handful of people who look good in a wetsuit,) however much to my satisfaction she came out of the water at least 3 minutes behind me!

The event was terrifically well run, I suppose it has to be because 10,000 swimmers and probably twice as many supporters passing through that site takes some organising. There was a slick conveyor belt operation moving visitors from Bowness to Ambleside via a short stop at Low Wood for that swim.

"de rigeur flip flops"
complete with  Windermere mud 
The loos (porta potty's) were as you might well imagine, the changing area was a just bit cramped (the black hole of Calcutta sprang to mind)  and the showers weren't really worth bothering about but apart from that, the swim waves were well thought out, the course was well laid out, easily navigable and the swim was great fun. The collection of Goody bags, T shirts, Powerade, Water, Medals and this year's "de rigeur" footwear the British Gas flip flop was a breeze (with the latter proving to be soul savers in navigating your way back to the changing marquee.)

Slightly tired I headed back down the M6 to Manchester with uncombed hair and that delightful aroma of open water emanating from me. Not sure what the receptionist made of it as I presented my scruffy and lightly humming body at check in. I'm back in Manchester for my final three days of mediating this week so if I recover from this weekend there'll be more adventures from the aquatic centre.
Toosmartwatch print out from GNS


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