“Shall we put our wetsuits in the car just in case we fancy a swim when we get there?” This is what I said to my swim-mum friend as we prepared to drive our kids round the M25 for a 5k race. They were entering The Big South East Swim – their first 5k race, and we were all interested to see what the lake was like, it being billed as “the cleanest lake in England.”
It was a beautiful day and, honestly, after an hour and a half in the car, any lake would look like an oasis with the sun shining, but this one really did look inviting…
The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, so we tentatively made enquiries about entering the 1k race:
“we’re very slow, does it matter how long we take?”
“we’ve never done a race before, is that a problem?”
“will we get in people’s way?”
The organisers were very laid back and reassuring. We thought…well the kids will be racing for over an hour, we’ll be out by then won’t we? We paid our money, got our hats and numbers and that was that. Next thing we knew we were in the water and swimming out to the start area wondering what we had done!
It was a great experience for a first attempt. We were slow but managed to follow the course (okay, my daughter reported afterwards that she saw me go the wrong way round a buoy), our sighting was not too bad and we made it round without having to be rescued (yes, the canoe lifeguard did offer for us to rest on his boat at one point but we politely declined). It took 32 minutes, but we did stop to admire the view on a couple of occasions – it was a lovely lake after all. And most of all, we got round before the kids finished their 5k. Thanks to everyone at The Big South East Swim for a great day out.