Its a new year but the same old madness grips club members as Malcolm takes up the story of a trip to Parliament Hill Lido to take part in the Phish swim.!
Saturday 20th January on a pretty miserable rainy day, Tim Shattock, Gareth Hooper, Mike Roberts and I with Coach Grave Danger Granger set out on a TTC road trip to the famous Parliament Hill Lido to take part in the annual ice swim races. After an early start and a quick stop for the breakfast of champions; sausage baps at Greggs at the Reading Services, it was on to London.
The Lido is a 61 meter unheated pool. The aim of the day was to get through it without coming down with full blown hypothermia! We knew it was a mad house when we saw the Parliament Hill TI Chi club in full waterproofs in the rain!
The water temperature was 4 degrees and the rules strict - only one hat, goggles and Speedo's could be worn. Dave Granger gave sage advice, "you ain't gonna die, it's just two lengths at a time!" A new mantra I may well live my life by in the future.
The first race heats was a two length race that Tim, Mike and Gareth completed no problem.
It was cold! Then came the four length race: which was probably colder!
Then the relay, a mere length each. I didn't want to do that, I was saving myself for the endurance race but Tim insisted!
The endurance race was ten lengths plus an extra one length for every degree above freezing! So on Saturday it was 854m. By 13:30 Tim started the endurance race. He smashed it and got out after about 16 minutes straight back into the Sauna.
At 14:00 it was my turn and I got out just after 18 minutes. I don't remember much for a while after that other than hearing distant voices in the sauna saying this ones in a mess get extra towels on him. I wondered who they are talking about, only to realise that it was me! ! I had some very kind random helpers trying to dry me off and put extra towels over me whilst pouring hot Vimto down my neck. Someone was saying 'rub his kidneys' which seemed to work.
It was a fantastic day out, everybody had a great time. I have learnt cold water swimming regularly brings on hysteria. Definitely one to do again!!!
On the running front, Russell had a good one at the Westonirt 10k, coming home in 44:55 He was also well placed in the Seven Sins race finishing in 1:08:22. Unfortunately Owen was not so lucky. Having led almost from the start, a navigation error led him off course and out of the reckoning. He assures me he went back a few days later and ran the correct route for his own satisfaction.
Despite having to give triathlon a miss this year following an unfortunate accident, Phillip Howells managed to keep up his punishing marathon schedule finishing the Gloucester Spring Marathon in 5 hrs 26 minutes. He has probably done another ten since then - that target gets ever closer!
Having lost Aquathon 2 at the last minute due to snow, we were pleased to get Event 3 off without any problems. Although as usual there was a great turnout of members to marshal and otherwise help, we did manage to get a fair selection of TTC members taking part. The times are provisioinal and may be subject to change, but the first TTCer home was Ed Hardy (24:00) followed by an early contender for most improved athlete Tom in (26:36), Claudia (27:09), Scott (27:56), Stuart (30:08) and Ali (36:34). Great performances all around on what was a chilly day!
Meanwhile, don't forget, these reports work best if you let me know what you've been up to. You don't have to write much but photos are always appreciated! Try not to be too modest in 2018. As with last year, I'll report based on the 2017 membership list until the end of January. To star in the future 2018 editions, you need to have at least paid your basic membership by then!!