Swim: Time To Prove It!
Now here’s a phrase you don’t hear spoken in excited “oooh I’m looking forward to this” tones too often:
I’m gonna swim in Hartlepool marina!
On my list of goals for this year is to complete a triathlon involving an open water swim. It doesn’t say how long the swim should be (clever, eh?), just that it has to be open water. And Hartlepool Marina Triathlon on 26th August ticks all the boxes:
- Only 700m swim
- In the marina - good deep water with no mud bank to crawl up to get out
- Not in the open sea, so no / very small waves to contend with
- Field restricted to 160, so it shouldn’t be too much like swimming in a washing machine (yeah, right.)
The trouble is, I’ve never swam 700m front crawl in one go. The furthest I’ve done is only 400m, so before I sent off my entry form, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t throwing £25 at a DNF ticket.
The only way to do this was to prove that I could at least swim the distance now. Provided that I could do this, then I’d have ten weeks to work on doing it in style / at the sort of speed where continental drift might not overtake me. So this morning, I headed off for the pool, and with a little nervousness, slipped into the water, intent on taking things easy.
I didn’t start my stopwatch, and deliberately didn’t look at the clock before I set off - if I’d done that, I’d have ended up racing myself, which was completely contrary to what I was trying to achieve . . . just count those 28 lengths of the pool . . .
. . . which slipped past with surprising ease. All 28 off them. That’s 75% further than I’d ever swam front crawl, and at the end of it I felt fresh as a daisy - not even slightly tired.
So now I’me pleased as punch, I’ve stapled the cheque to the entry form, and sent this off in the post . . . Hartlepool, here I come!
To give you a flavour of the town, here are a few of facts about Hertlepool. One of these might not be true - see if you can guess which one:
From the Hartlepool Community Site:
One of the best known stories in Hartlepool is the Hanging of the Monkey. The root of the story is that a French ship, of the Napoleonic period, foundered off Hartlepool , amongst wreckage washed ashore was a single survivor, the ship’s pet monkey, which had been dressed by the crew in military attire.
Having never met a Frenchman the fishermen questioned and interrogated the monkey and held trial on the beach. They found the monkey to be a French Spy and sentence was death. The unfortunate creature was sentenced to death and was hung from the mast of a boat on the beach.
The local football club, Hartlepool United, has a man in a monkey suit as their mascot. . .
Their last monkey consume-wearing mascot was elected mayor of Hartlepool. During a bitterly contested election, he won on the basis of his manifesto commitment of ‘Free bananas for school children’. He has since failed to deliver on this promise.
Hartlepool has a thriving transvestite community. So guys, if you’re in the town on a Saturday night and think you’ve pulled . . . it might be an idea to perform a couple of basic quality control checks before you go home with anyone.
Coal is ‘mined’ on the beaches near Hartlepool. A sub-sea coal seam is broken up by the tides, and nuggets of black gold are washed up on the beach. People still earn a living from what they collect. They’re also fiercely protective of their stretch of beach (which have often been handed down through the family), so don’t think you can take a sack down to the beach & just fill it up . . . (see what happened to the monkey)
- Type: Swim
- Date: 06/16/2007
- Time: 13:17:16
- Total Time: 00:20:00.00
- Distance: 692.02 m
- Average Pace: 2:52.07/100m