Monthly Archives: June 2010

Six Hour Marathon Swim in Lake Okanagan

On June 12, 2010 I set out on training swim with friends from both the Okanagan Masters Swim Club and the North Vancouver Masters Swim Club.

I must thank Mike Stamhius (support swimmer for 3 hrs), Claire Booth (support swimmer 1.5 hrs), Brent Hobbs (spiritual advisor and support swimmer for 4.5hrs), Chris Falk (boat support and feeds), Steve Ott who supplied the boat and his time and my fiancé Bonnie who took this opportunity to test her “sea Legs” and practice preparing the carbohydrate energy mix (feeds) for Brent and I. This proved to be a great experience as she will be at the helm as far as feeding during the Channel swim.

The weather was a wonderful, sunny 26’F with a slight breeze from the North. The water temperature was somewhat cold at 60’F (15’C) and lake conditions were reasonably calm. I swam a total of 22-23km in 6 hrs and 10 mins: Overall, I was pleased with my performance.

Every swim I learn something new and gain valuable experience in the open water. Physically, I lasted well in the cold water, but at the four-hour mark my arms turned to concrete. I hope this is a bi-product of cold water and will disappear as the water warms by a couple of degrees. I did not experience the same leg cramps that I had in my previous six-hour swim and I attest this to the amount of electrolyte I am using. Mentally, I was fine, but did notice that I had to dig deep to maintain any sort of pace the last two hours. You have to get comfortable in that cold feeling…kind of like having the air conditioning stuck on high in the middle of winter.

On the last leg of our swim we were joined by “son of spiritual advisor” Conner.  Connor is seven years old and had no problem jumping in the cold lake and giving a hand at driving the boat. I can only imagine what will happen if he catches the same infliction that his father has…

To bring a perfect end to a great weekend Brent’s wife Joanne had us all over to their house for a wonderful dinner, including fresh lake trout as the main dish. I remember laying in bed that night thinking….”it’s so nice to be warm, full of good food and yes… I can sleep in!”.

Open Water Now!

Time is starting to race now. I have approx. 36 days before I have to be ready willing and able to swim the Channel. I have been thinking about this everyday for two years and the days are starting to come sooner than later. I have already started praying to the channel gods for good weather and an opportunity to attempt. This is not negative thinking it’s just that you have to prepare yourself for everything, including the weather not cooperating.

I have been in the ocean as much as I can these past two weeks and temperatures have been averaging about 56’F (13’C). Most of my swims are as long as I can take the cold (60 – 90mins), but I need a little warmer water so I can stay in for 2-3-4 hours at a time.

Cruisers Aquatic Club

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Cruisers Aquatic Club for their recent sponsorship towards my goal of swimming the English Channel. I am honored by their support and will do everything in my power to bring home some good news to share with the kids. Thanks again to Rob Fraser (lane 4), president of the Cruisers and Carole Randle for your support.

I recently attended the Cruisers annual pancake breakfast and had a chance to meet everyone, take a few pictures and introduce myself. I also managed to eat six pancakes.

“Cruisers Aquatics is a summer speed swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming and diving club located on the North Shore. We currently have about 150 boys and girls in our club, with our youngest athletes being 5 years of age. We practice at various North Vancouver recCenter pools, including William Griffin, Ron Andrews, and Harry Jerome. Membership is open to swimmers of all skill levels and abilities.”

This is a great group of kid’s and adults promoting a sport that I love. I am thrilled to have this connection with them and look forward to addressing the club with good news of a successful crossing.