Susan Douglas has reported in from her Bank Holiday weekend away in Ireland at Omeath which is on the East Coast almost on the border between North & Southern Ireland:-
“I’ve been in Ireland again, this time attending the HITtheWALL swim weekend run by the Infinity Channel Swimming Crew. Swimmers from over 18 countries, some super hardcore, but plenty of normal folks like me who just want to improve.
Our prep for this race, was firewalking and night swimming the evening before and a yoga session first thing in the morning to prepare our minds as well as our bodies!
So the Battle of Carlingford Lough is a nice A to B swim starting at Omeath and following to coast down to Carlingford, about 7.5k, but with a bit of tidal assistance. Looking at last years times, I thought would take me about 2 hours.
Race start 11am- ish (there’s a lot of ish in Ireland) weather pleasant but rather breezy! Notice board: air temp 18C, water temp 13C, cool, but you guys know I’m used to it and I was sporting my best bikini, what could possibly go wrong.
Finally the race started, all fine, although it was soon apparent the strong breeze was going to cancel out any advantages of tide. As is usual at the start there was a bit of bumping and bashing, but with a small-ish field of 133 we soon all spread out. Time to crack on and use some of the visualisation talked about at the yoga session earlier. So I swam and swam, mostly it seemed on my own, with the odd safety boat or kayaker passing by. I spotted the derelict adventure centre which was opposite where we were staying, so I knew I wasn’t even half way and I’d been swimming for ages. Anyway focus and just carry on, annoying thoughts of how I would attract the safety boat kept popping into my head, but I’d counteract them with a quick body check, hands and feet fine, torso warm, just a little (well quite a lot) pain in my groin and behind my left knee, which I always seem to get when I swim too long in the cold. It wasn’t going to stop me, I imagined getting to Carlingford Pier, walking up the slipway and collecting my medal, knowing I’d completed the hardest swim of my life.