Challenge 1: Bristol: Mission AccomplishedMay 8th, 2011 | By darrenjaundrill | Category: Bristol Channel, General
Over the Early May bank holiday, I finally got the opportunity to do the Bristol Channel leg of the challenge. I’d like to say now that no amount of training or psychological positive states of mind actually prepares you. It was truly overwhelming at first. Set off from Ilfracombe (after only having 12 hours notice of it!) and the shock of the water actually hitting me. It was a mixture of cold, exhilerating and anxious all as one. I have to say once I was in a pattern though, it did feel good. I didn’t opt for any music, just me, Mother Nature and some random thoughts. However once for the first hour was out the way, I was stopped for a feed and thereafter every 50 mins. Now, I can say categorically that psychologically it was a good thing. It helped me to break down the swim into phases as opposed to seeing it as one large slug. On the flip side it did feel as if I was being stopped just as I was getting into “autopilot”.
I managed to stay relatively injury free and the Vaseline goose fat concoction provided for me did the job for most of the swim. I did have a slight twinge in my right shoulder but it seemed to go away of it’s own accord and no ill effects afterwards. I’ll chalk that one up to a body trying to be awkward. The feed was basically what I can only describe as a syrup. A home made highly concentrated fruit jam mixed with water and every 4 hours I got a banana (woo hoo).
We did have to do some slight course changes on the day which meant the distance I swam was just under 32 miles (31.79 to be precise) when I arrived in Swansea. I am rather chuffed to say that I managed that in 21 hours 46 mins and 19 seconds. Not a fantastic time based upon my training times and to be honest I was hoping to have beaten Geth Jones’ time but alas not to be. I’m pretty determined to give it another crack though.
I’m waiting for some of the more decent photos to come through but until then these were some taken on a mobile from in the boat. Not the best though I’m afraid.
So gearing up for the next challenges which will be an English Channel return trip and then an Irish Sea swim. Dates to be confirmed.
The amount raised so far is £911 for H4H of which part or all will be matched by my company for Cancer Research UK.