16 Km. swim trial: checked…


After Sunday I really didn't rest.

Every time I went to bed I kept dreaming about this trial that didn't go on Sunday because of the cold.

Every day I went to the temperatures website to check on the Lake Ontario waters.

Wednesday I went rushing to Hamilton and swam for 10 minutes to take the temp there:14 C. Then took off to Toronto on my way to work and stopped at he Sunny side park and … just got into the water but didn't want to swim in there as I had to go to work right after. Was awfully full of algae and was quite disgusting to be honest … but much warmer.

Talked to Alan, our swim master for the trial and we agreed to go ahead on Thursday at 7:00 a.m. as many of you know.

I slept for just a few hours, got up, prepared all the food bottles and got everything into the car.

Picked up Santiago, picked up the kayak, picked up Arlene, picked up Shirley… and off we went to Toronto.

We arrived 5 to 7 and Alan and Kendra were already there. We all in good spirits started chatting and getting ready. John Eddols arrived then and we all  listened to Alan who explained the where and how this would work.

 Meanwhile Santiago started to put the "boobs oil" that in reality is 100% lanolin but in pharmacies they market that product for breast feeding women and I can't get Santiago to stop laughing and making fun of that.

Once everyone was ready we set the kayaks in the water and I got in. Where we started was actually warm. later got colder but because the route was four times a 4 km. leg fwd and back twice we got warm and cold water.

The first 4 km,  swam alone and I felt good. Kendra and Santiago were on the kayaks and everything worked out to the plan. The only not so good was all the algae in my face It was stinky and was really bothering me but there was not much for me to do so I sucked up.

Santiago switched with Shirley on the kayak and walked back the 4km. with Alan and John. Arlene dove in and as soon as I saw her face I knew that she was disgusted as I was and I just started laughing.

On the feeding stops I took much longer than planned because quite frankly I really like the chance to talk and exchange some information about what was going on … on what I can call now "the outside world"

While I was swimming I was just paying atention to Arlene on my right side, Kendra on my left side and Shirley that was a bit ahead of os on Arlene's right but really nothing else. It is kind of a sensory privation while swimming and you get a rest on the feeding time so I used to enjoy as much as possible.

Arlene is an incredible fast open water swimmer so she really made me work hard for those 4 km. 

At 8Km John took over Arlene's place and Santiago replaced Shirley on the kayak. Alan walked all the time.

John started fast as well but just for a few minutes; later we found a very comfortable pace. Santiago got behind… probably distracted with the many things to watch while paddling along that course in a city like Toronto. 

At 12 Km. I felt tired but happy knowing that was the last leg. Coming into Ontario Place the stupid Hippo-bus and some other big boats passed by making waves that were uncomfortable … but hey! nothing compared with the real ones that I have dealt with or I will the day of the big swim so again, ignored the fact of the traffic on that channel.

I was making numbers … as slow as I was, would not be more than 75 minutes more so started the last 4 Km. with good spirits. 

John decided to swim back as well so he catched up a few 100's of meters later and we got into a nice rithm. He said that I sped up … I wasn't concious of it. At this point Arlene was on the other kayak (Kendra was always beside me). and about 2km of the finish John started to get behind and I waited a few minutes at a slower pace. On porpouse I made the last feeding time longer and tried him to eat something. We resumed and finally Kendra said just keep going and Arlene stayed with John. 

Made my numbers again … It was possible to break the 5 hours for the16 Km. but it will be tight so I picked up the pace. 

One minute before the 5 hours I asked Kendra "how much longer?" … just between those big trees that you can see there she said… I took a look… under the 5 hours mark was gone then so I just kept swimming the same speed happy to be done in just a few minutes more and that was it. I did the 10 miles swim trial for Solo Swim Ontario in one hour less than the limit time for the trial and I was very happy. Tired but not exhausted and afterwards we kept talking while cleaning my body from the lanolin and getting back to the cars.

The crew went back to Guelph and I got to the showers at the Star, went to eat with Santiago and went back to work. As much as I wanted to have an easy day at work … it was a bit longer day there than my ideal in the conditions but hey, I am lucky to still have a job there so no complains. 

Thank you very much to my wonderful crew! without you guys nothing of what I do could be possible.

Thank you very much Alan for being such a great swim master for us.

Thank you to all the people that has supported this project in one way or another 

Thank you for reading and being interested.

Now just 4 weeks and a half to go. Time for adjustments, time for more tests, time to tight up loose ends and to get as much help as possible as there are still many things missing.          


  1. Georgie
    | Reply

    Keep writing Miguel! I feel like I am almost there with you when I read it!! You arean amazing person, an amazing athelete and an amazing writer!!

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