Lake Bala Swim Report

Perfect for a swim

Perfect for a swim

I enjoyed my swim in Lake Bala yesterday for Diabetes UK Cymru.

When I got up the weather looked perfect, sunny spells and no wind at all, but then I looked at the temperature and saw that it was at 2.6ºC – It’s getting chilly out there at night now. By the time we got to Bala it had warmed up a little though and conditions looked perfect.

The turnout was pretty poor though. The event was capped at 300 but there was nowhere near that, probably only about 30 of us. It was the first year it had been held so maybe it will grow over the years. I was soon into my wetsuit and ready to go. We had a quick briefing which wasn’t actually that good as they didn’t tell us where we were supposed to be going until I asked, and then I was only told ‘out to number 6 and back’ – which didn’t really help most people so we asked for them to elaborate and eventually had a buoy in sight that we were heading to.

Me, Last in again!

Me, Last in again!

I then jumped into the water to acclimatise myself and as I did lost my goggles. I couldn’t find them so quickly got out again and got Anna to run to the car to get my spare pair – luckily I’d packed a spare pair just in case! This little bit of pfaff just before the start meant that I was the last person in the water. They weren’t timing people either which was a shame as I’m sure even the slower swimmers would like to have known what times they were achieving. In fact with so few people doing it a mass start would have been much better. It would have been more fun and would have looked better for the people watching too.

I soon passed most people in the first hundred metres or so and then caught a few others on the way out to the bouy. Within a few minutes I was out on my own with the buoy in my sights. Unfortunately when I got to it I could see that it had a great big number 4 on it – Wasn’t it number 6? I looked around for a bit and saw another buoy a little closer to shore and a little further on and could also just about make out a few swimmers heading to it. Oops, I’d gone to the wrong buoy and had therefore made a bit of a detour. Oh well, off to the right one and it hadn’t been too much of a dog leg.

Emerging from the Lake

Emerging from the Lake

As I approached the correct buoy I saw a few people heading back who had started at the front and were still ahead of me. I was catching them though and with my swim back to the start being a straight line I was quite a bit quicker on the way back. I actually caught and overtook all but one person who emerged a few seconds in front of me. Had I know that I would have gone a little faster in the closing stages just so that I could have been the last person in and the first person out! Still, even with the detour on the first leg I managed to finish in exactly 25 minutes, not bad for a mile (and a slight detour), although the conditions were perfect. In fact, it was easier than swimming in a pool as the water was mirror smooth and there was no one else around me. Perfect.

Hopefully everyone else enjoyed it too and we all managed to raise lots of money for Diabetes UK Cymru.

5 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    Here’s a photo of some of use before we set off – Smiles all round.

    I’m the one on the left hand side of the front row.

    http://yfrog.com/f/jugxwij/

    Al.

  2. Alan says:

    Here’s the Diabetes UK Cymru Flickr Gallery from the Lake Bala Swim on Sunday:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/diabetesukcharity/5028794737/in/set-72157624919050679/

  3. Andy says:

    I’m helping to organise this year’s event. Just found your report from last year. Good to hear your comments. Hopefully we can improve the event.
    I’ve put together a website to promote the event. http://balaswim2011.wordpress.com/

    Also, a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bala-Swim-for-Diabetes-2011/226776794011365

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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