Well, it happened, I did the Great Manchester Swim in Salford Quays, and wow, what an experience it was.
In typical Manchester weather, and contrary to the heat wave we were promised by the weather men, it couldn’t have rained more if it tried. However that wasn’t too much of an issue as I was in a wet suit, and about to get into the water.
The atmosphere was great, and there was a huge buzz around as the wave before me took off, meaning we could get acclimatised to the water of the quays. As I took my first step in, the 20.5°C (69.9°F) felt rather refreshing for the first few moments, and then a bit cold after.
All chipped and tagged, the countdown began, and the green wave took off for the 1 mile (1.61 km) course that took us on a nice tour.
The water itself was nice and flat, although there were quite a few bits of algae in it that did make swimming a little difficult, however I pushed through.
After the first few hundred meters or so I had fully got used to the water temperature, and was working up a sweat, so much so that every now and again, I had to let some cooler water in.
As you will see from my fitness page, I am used to swimming, and often do go for a swim in the pool, however these distances are often around 100 laps of the pool, which equates to 1km or 0.62 miles.
I have been doing this distance for over a year now, and can manage it in under an hour, or thereabouts with no problems.
Open water swimming is totally different.
You can’t touch the floor for a rest, there isn’t a bottle of water you can drink from half way, and you don’t have a wetsuit that you have to fight against.
With that in mind, I am perfectly happy with my time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 22 seconds, coming 2,044th out of the 3,500 people taking part.
Naturally I wore my Polar watch, so that I could track my heart rate throughout, click here to view it. You can see a rapid incline in the first few minutes as I got used to the water.
All in all, it was a great experience, and I will be certainly signing up to do it again next year, and there is still time to sponsor me for this event. Simply head over to my JustGiving page to donate.
Below are some photos and videos of the event, you will notice that there are currently non of me. This is because the rest of the family are still on Holiday, however there were photographers there, and they will be uploading photos to the Great Swim site over the next few days/weeks or so.
Once they have, and if I appear in any of them, I will be sure to upload them to the post.