Channel Relay Prep

As a Coach it’s important to take myself out of my own comfort zone from time to time.  Having turned down several offers to join English Channel relay teams in the past, this year I decided that if I was offered a place I would said ‘Yes!’

Coaching colleague, Penny Wilkin recently invited me to join the Swim and Tonic relay team with swimmers I had great fun with during the Guildford 24 hour swim.   The lockdown has provided more opportunity for me to swim outside, making 2020 a good year to take part in my first Channel relay.  I said “yes’ straight away.

First job was to complete a ratified 2 hour swim in water under 16 degrees.  A stretch of the River Avon, provided the perfect setting to meet the team and check I was OK with 2 hours in cold water.  The weather was a little overcast and windy but when the sun came out the warmth that washed over your back was wonderful.  A 50 minute swim upstream with a tail wind and 27 minute down stream swim with a headwind meant that as we returned to our starting point we only had 40 minutes remaining.  A short swim down to the weir, was followed by a strong upstream swim that really was a great challenge, at some points I wasn’t even sure if I was moving.

Fortunately we had the added distraction of my dog, Woody loves to swim and this was our first swim of the year.  He walked beside us on the bank and jumped in from time to time and even swam past to give me a kiss! 

The first hurdle completed, Woody and I absolutely loved it   I wonder, if we can bring him on the EC pilot boat?!


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