‘Great News’ shrieked Aga running over to Pawel & Mario the week before the Jubilee 10k Swim. ‘They have allowed us to change our entry from 10k solo to team relay. This is going to be so much fun!’
Both Mario and Pawel smiled and cluelessly nodded at Aga.
Little did they know that Aga took their good natured nodding as confirmation that THEY would be the ones taking the extra places as part of the relay team.
As the bus slowly trundled the 10k from the finish line to the start, Pawel asked Aga – ‘are you sure I actually agreed to this? I really don’t remember agreeing!’
That’s the problem when you are around Aga or I. If you so much as hint to participating in, liking or indeed even having watched a sport on TV you’ll get signed up to some event or another.
Due to the nature of the river and the weirs each leg was a different length. The 1st – 1.9k, 2nd – 3.5k, 3rd – 2.8k, 4th – 1.5k
Mario took the first and the most difficult leg. The morning mist hadn’t lifted and so there was a damp chill to the air.
In addition, all participants start at sprint speed leaving you exhausted after the first 200m.
Our timings we’re perfect for as Mario approached the end of his section so did Rob with the families and Costa’s.
Yours truly was next up with a gruelling 3.5k section. I’d necked the pint of iced hazelnut latte then leapt into the water. 5 mins later I couldn’t work out if the sloshing was the water surrounding me or the coffee in my stomach.
A further 5 mins later and I realised it was defo the milky coffee. I felt so sick! Still, everyone was walking alongside, cheering me on so I felt obliged to smile and keep swimming. I prayed I wasn’t going to throw up.
Anyone having swam this section knows the torture of the long straight. The little yellow weir bollards bomb tauntingly at the end of the stretch but they never seem to get any larger, no matter how fast you swim.
I was delighted to get to end where i received my reward of a fluberdy doobery smoked ham and cheese bagel and coffee. My ears were still full of water so I have no idea what type of ham it was. What I did know was that our Exec Chef had made it so it was bound to be amazing.
Next up was the lovely Aga with a 2.8k stretch. She had the long straight to contend with. This is the longest and straightest stretch of the whole jubilee river and just walking it is hard. She lent me her flip flops as I tackled this part on foot! (Support had packed mine in the picnic bag – along with Pawel so it seemed – and returned them to the car.)
I have to say these were the worst flip flops I have ever worn. So much so, that I considered getting back in the water to swim. She told me after that she thought the same and had only brought them as she intended to bin them!
At one point, caught on camera for prosperity, Aga looked up and saw the kayaker right next to her. ‘What are you doing here’ she asked him indignantly.
‘Err – what are you doing here’ he replied pointing to the bank which Aga was about to swim into.
Exhaustion, repetition and monotony sometimes mean you go off course a little. I just hoped someone pulled her out before she got to the weir!
So, now it was Pawel up for the final leg. The sun was shining and the kids were bored and so demanding he swam as fast as possible! No pressure there then!
The applause and kudos at the finish was just to much for me to miss so I decided to jump in and join him. My arms felt like jelly whereas Pawel was strong. Come on – he said – let’s at least take one person!
I barley managed to keep my head above water whereas Pawel was like a fish, gliding with ease past one of the other swimmers.
We finally made it to the finish to the applause of our family, the event marshal and one sole support kayaker. Everyone else had gone.
It turns out that Pawel had lost the ‘timing baton’ although as he points out … he didn’t lose it. He was just swimming. It lost itself!
I was gutted thinking we wouldn’t be able to have our spectacular swim achievement time recorded in the website.
I need not have worried. There was our time … boldly displayed for all to see for now and ever on! 5hrs 15mins 02s.
Team Active Spartans came a glorious last place – but my life we all felt like winners that day!