Saturday 16 September 2023

One day one photo - 16: Swim Serpentine - it went swimmingly in the end!

All smiles after Swim Serpentine in Hyde Park

I finally got to swim in the Serpentine - and it was lovely.

It had been touch and go as to whether Swim Serpentine would take place. Just three days before the event, we still didn't have a definitive answer, much to the annoyance of those participants travelling to London specially for the event from other parts of the country. Then on Thursday, the organisers announced that tests had shown it was safe to swim in the water and the event would go ahead.

A number of people, myself included, did not feel comfortable about taking part and opted to request a refund.  

But in the end, when Saturday morning came, and I saw a sunny day plus more positive water quality test results I changed my mind. With that, I jumped on my bicycle and zoomed over to Hyde Park. 

Fortunately the organisers were able to give me a new number and I did the one-mile swim in the Serpentine that morning. 

The water was a balmy 21 degrees C and it was nice and clear. I just made sure to not let any of it get in my mouth! (You can never be sure.) In my wave there must have been around 300 people, which made it a slight challenge sighting as I had to swim round other people. turnaround points ay the buoys got a bit crowded as everyone wanted to take the same (shortest) line! I just stayed relaxed and swam round slightly slower to allow for any sudden changes in direction I might have had to make. 

In the end I did 44 minutes. I was happy with that time - it's quicker than I've done in a while, and throughout the swim I felt like I was within myself and wasn't exerting myself. The fact that I used a pull buoy and had my cross on too, will have helped me keep an optimal position and go quicker.

After my swim I couldn't resist putting on my trainers and doing a little run around the lake before cycling home. It had been a fun-packed day out, even if the start had looked decidedly dubious. 

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