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BOW Marathon Swim – Wrap from water level

Half Moon Bay 10 January 2021

By Don Riddington

“10k swim around the sunken Cerberus. What would you rather be doing on a beautiful Sunday morning?” asked Chas

“Err, 5k swim around Cerberus!”

Arise at 5 am to fuel up on half a plate of porridge; arrive at HMB to an already throbbing throng of anxious swimmers, chaffing at the bit to hit the water. Why is it that swimmers are the only folks on the planet who bounce out of bed, full of beans, the instant the alarm goes off?

Registration is all too easy. Next, Peter Hendricks is standing on the wall to the city, looking for all the world like Julius Caesar pontificating to his disciples.

Pull the goggles down, and we’re off!

I am quietly wending my way about halfway along the outbound leg when the guns shoot past me for the first time. Remember the poosh! A tip gleaned from a Scottish coach when I first started swimming seriously 25 years ago – always continue to poosh way past your hip. What do I think about during a long swim? Just concentrate on my stroke; ensure I have a good feel for the water ….. and remember the poosh. That’s it!

I call for a latte from the feed boat. Lady Pip’s most unladylike response of “Shut up and swim”, I take to be beautiful words of encouragement from a siren.

The course is well laid out; flat water makes sighting easy and watercraft safety personnel are everywhere – one even gives me two thumbs up as I glide past and I fleetingly think I must be in the lead!

No sprint finish for me, but I smile when I spot that Caesar has come down off his wall to sea level and in his now signature move, welcomes home every single swimmer – spread over two hours! Sooooo much appreciated by us all, Peter.

On behalf of all swimmers, thanks to Pete, Chas, all safety, clerical, and support personnel, yeh, even the caffeine-free feeders, for a superbly organised and executed event.

Don Riddington (The Don)

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