Sunday, August 3, 2008

You Did What?!

So I've been back in Cork for a while now and I'm back to Sandycove training most days and loving it! And a couple of weeks ago I had my first Lee Swim. For those of you who don't know...the River Lee is the river that Cork is built on. The Lee Swim is a 2,000 metre swim through the city that was first held in 1914. Bad water quality (due to the raw sewage that was being pumped directly into the river!) stopped the swim for a nu
mber of years, but the swim was resurrected in 2005 after a huge cleanup of the river. Most people in the city are not fully convinced that the river really is clean and give you very funny looks when you talk about swimming in it, but the swim is now in its 4th year and noone has grown any extra limbs after swimming in it so far-or lost any for that matter-so it can't be that bad!!

The swim course

This year was the first year since the swim restarted that I've been in Cork for it...so naturally I signed up. The day began with registration where we got our bag of freebies...including a bottle of coke which I figured would kill anything bad that I swallowed on the swim anyway! Then after a safety briefing at the finish, we all walked to the start. On the way we had some interesting entertainment...

There was a big seal in the river (in all my years living in Cork I've never seen a seal in the river-it figures that the one day I do is the day that I'm swimming in there!!). The seal had just caught a salmon that looked like it was a foot and a half or so long. And, as we watched, it tore the salmon to shreds. In minutes. I was just hoping that if he was still hungry he'd go for the fast people in the first group of swimmers and not me back in the sixth group lol!

When we got to the start we got ourselves ready to go and had another short safety briefing and then it was time for the fast people to head off. We were in groups depending on the time we had put in for ourselves-I had no idea how long it would take me...normally 1,600 metres is about 30 minutes for me in a pool so for 2,000 metres in open water I figured 45 minutes would be a comfortable time. So I was in the 6th group of people to start (with 30 people per group).

We watched the fastest people head off down the river with the seal swimming around the front few people! The organisers were great and we weren't waiting long before we were called to get to the start. I expected when we dived in that the water would smell horrible...we've thought of the river as dirty for so long that it's hard to believe that it's not! But it really didn't smell bad at all...it was very murky-you could only see an inch or so in front of your face-but that was probably a good thing, I didn't really want to be able to see to the bottom anyway! It was nice and warm too, about 16degrees C I think, so it didn't feel cold at all :)

I wasted no time getting in to the water...I'm causing the splash that's circled in red!

It was really nice swimming through the city-on every bridge there were lots of people watching. It's great to have lots of support when doing an event like that-although I'm sure that lots of those people were just curious as to what was going on! It was a gorgeous day for it too, as you can see from the pictures...

Enjoying my swim!




It still looks strange
to see so many people
in the river-especially
when I'm one of them!





We had been warned to save some energy for when we had to turn around and swim 300metres upriver at the end. I swam down to the turning point at the Port of Cork comfortably, and expected a bit more of a push when I turned but I must say that I didn't really feel it at all. I guess because the tide was coming in it would have countered some of the flow from the river.

I finished with people from the 4th and 5th groups to start, so I had obviously overestimated how long it would take me-it took just over 34mins, much less than the 45 that I had estimated! I found out later that I came 2nd in my age group-out of only 8 tho!

All done!

It was a really fun day and night after....a big thank-you to all of the organisers who did a really great job! I'm looking forward to next year already :)

1 comment:

Mark said...

well done Lisa, I am heading to Dover on Saturday, are you still crewing for Joni? I will be at Hubert House and will have the mobile, Kell will follow me down once I get the nod, let me know when you are planning to arrive, we can have a swim in the harbour together and maybe a guinness with Enda!
glad to see you online again
best wishes
Mark