So… A short Intermission to talk about my latest swimming adventure, namely taking part in 2Swim4Life at Guildford Lido last Saturday and Sunday. 2Swim4Life is a bonkers event, inspired by similar walking and running events in the army, in which you swim a mile every hour for twenty four hours. You can either do it solo, which is madness, or you can do it in a team; unsurprisingly, I chose the latter option, in a team of four with Kathrine, Ian and Helen. The event takes place at Guildford Lido, which is open air; it’s heated to 20°, so cold is really only a problem if you’re swimming a solo, when cold can be a real issue, particularly overnight, when the temperature drops drastically. In the event four years ago the temperature went down to 1° overnight, which meant a lot of very cold soloists.
You can put up tents to use as a base and to get some rest, although naked flames are strictly forbidden, so there’s no real way of keeping warm once the sun goes down other than to bury yourself in a lot of layers! For soloists, the challenge is to keep going, the mental challenge of having to keep getting in and out to swim, and to keep warm. For me, swimming third, I would have to swim at 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 11pm, 3am and 7am. I wasn’t worried about the cold, as I would have plenty of time to warm up even if I got cold, which, doing a mile at 20°, was unlikely. However, I was worried about how the lack of sleep would affect me and how I would fare swimming six miles in twenty four hours, particularly as I hadn’t really trained. I’d been swimming pretty consistently since Christmas, but I hadn’t done any big sessions and I’d generally done two or three sessions a week; it didn’t feel like enough.