* Not its real name, but it really should have been
First ocean swim of my season. Warm up by running on the beach as warming up in these arctic waters would be oxymoronic. It's 15.8 degrees in the water and they're allowing wetsuits and discouraging slow swimmers.
Finally get in the water – adjust to the point where I can put my face in the water and then sprint for the sand to try and get warm. The kids go out first in the 800m swim and get swept off course. We are all advised to head left. We are also advised the boats are all equipped with space blankets.
Race briefing. My stomach is somewhere near my tonsils just writing this – pre ocean swim nerves are all consuming. They’ve changed the course at the last minute throwing all our tactics out of whack. Get to the first buoy with some semblance of style and / or grace as opposed to sheer panic. Big improvement from this time last year.
The cold is still a shock to the system and by the last buoy I am really ready to get out. Despite a significant effort to get back into the beach ASAP it still takes forever. I add 5mins to my last 1km time, but have retained all fingers and toes. Win!
With thanks to the following people we are almost halfway: Me, Lydia (Can Too Swim), Bridie, Airlie and Ben, Anne, Sophie, Emma, Dad (Can Too Marathon 2006) and Tamera (my Can Too team Captain)