02/12/2012 by Carl Reynolds
Nando and I, building on an idea that I’d hatched with Big C a while ago for a longer endurance, created a Polar Bear competition last spring. To get the hat you have to swim a kilometre at 5 degrees or under. Yesterday we had our first qualifiers – Peter the Vicar and Bob Knock. But some of us decided to do it ensemble today. Temperature on the lifeguards thermometer was a tad under 5 degrees, but other readers were saying it was more like 3.5. It was under five. We were ready to go.
Before we got in, I found out that Jackie Cobell had done a km; so she became the first woman. Despite warning a certain gentleman that I thought he wasn’t really up for it, we started with Mrs Ape, Nando, Big Carl, myself and Pip. All completed in a variety of times from my 19 minutes to Mrs Ape’s 30 minutes. One of us was in a mess, but recovered; the rest of us had some afterdrop, but in no time at all were drinking coffee and eating Mrs Ape’s splendid Chocolate and Almond Battenberg cake. Going down well with all those who love marzipan.
Along comes Martin. Once he’d found out we’d done it, there was nothing stopping him. Roll of honour so far then –
Peter the Vic, Bob Knock, Carl Richards, Jackie Cobell, Kate Webb (aka Mrs Ape), Pip Barry, Martin Wollny and Nando Farah.
Any SLSCers reading this take heed – do not try this without building up to it; make sure there is someone there to support you (ie they know when to tell you to get out and understand how the body gets warm again) and tell the lifeguards. If they’ve not seen you swim, then they will probably tell you not to be daft. So don’t be.
My deepest thanks and respect to Kathrine for keeping an eye on everyone, Sarah and Dylan the lifeguards, Longpela, Nicky and Richard C for helping Mrs Ape and others; and all those SLSCers who cheered us on.
Finally – a dip, a few strokes, a width, a few, a length or two or more. All refreshing, lovely and done with the care of those around you. Respect the water and respect yourself.