Derwent Epic Swim Review – Sunday 5th June 2016

When I’d first signed up to volunteer to marshal at the Derwent Epic Swim for Epic Events I’d totally gotten my dates mixed up.

I genuinely believed it was the week after Blenheim and not the day after.

So, a little bleary eyed after only getting back home at 10:30pm on the Saturday, I awoke at 5am on the Sunday to head down to Keswick to help set-up.

Other than parkrun I’d not really done much in the way of volunteering before so I wasn’t entirely sure what the day would entail. What I did know, however, was that I was taking part in the first event of the day which was the 500m wave heading off at 9am. There were a few DH Runners that were going to be dotted around and about helping out so it wasn’t as if I was on my own with a bunch of people I didn’t know.

Once we were at Keswick it was lovely to look out over the lake and see the clouds settling on top of the hills. If I’d remembered to have brought my phone I would definitely have taken a picture of the landscape.

After a briefing it was time to get setting up. I was going to be part of the registration team so it was a case of setting up the marquee and getting the boxes together that had all the race numbers, timing chips and any other details in.

Registration started at 7:30am and from that point on there was a steady stream of people coming to the desk to register. I headed off for my swim wave at 8:30am which meant getting in to the wetsuit for the second time that week.

The start area was a bit away so there was a little bit of swimming to do to get there first but once there it was a case of treading water until we got going. A quick rendition of head, shoulders, knees and toes (which is apparently mandatory) and we were off.

The calves were a little tight from the exertions of the day before but once I got going it wasn’t too bad. The route was essentially a square marked out by four buoys and then 100m from the last buoy to the finish line where you then had to climb out and get over the timing mat for the finish.

Overall the pack soon sorted itself out and the speedy ones took off. I found myself in a middle pack which makes a change as I’m usually drifting towards the back. I’d soon completed 400m and was just about to start going for the finish when my cap popped off. Not being one for littering the water I grabbed it and carried on with a dash for the finish.

I was pretty pleased with my finish time of 16:41 in position 69.

Epic Swim
DH Runners (or should that be swimmers?) after the 500m swim.

The rest of the day was spent registering people for the 3.8k swim and the 1 mile swim. It was good to see things from the other side of the desk for a change as there were a lot of people asking questions that they should really know if they’d read the sign-up details. As well as some people trying to make their registration as complicated as possible. I’m a pretty laid back guy who tries to keep things as simple as possible so people who overcomplicate things always grind my gears.

Once everyone was registered I headed off to see the end of the 1 mile swims before closing down the event and tidying up the finish area.

I must say I was very well looked after by the Epic Events team. The event was well organised and they were a lovely bunch, I’d definitely consider heading down to another of their events in the future. If you like a swim or a triathlon then check them out at Epic Events.

Next up for me is the third leg (marathon) in The Lakesman relay team and then all training will be geared towards Chester. Depending on how I come out of The Lakesman will depend on what training plan I follow for Chester. Lately I’ve found the Pfitzinger and Douglas plan to be hellishly time consuming so ideally I’d like to follow a less aggressive and time consuming plan to take me into a PB effort at Chester. But we’ll see, I’m still having some hip mobility issues which is causing me some hamstring and knee problems but the hip strengthening and core work is continuing and everything seems to be improving.

The thing I’m most looking forward to though is the couple of Sundays after The Lakesman as I’ll be taking the boy to a few fun runs. A few months ago he asked me if he could come running with me and I’ve been taking him to a monthly 5k at Watchtree Nature Reserve as well as this Carlisle junior parkrun has just started so there’s a few more options for him running wise. It’s been great to see his enthusiasm for running and nice that we have a shared interest. Although his interest in running might just be down to the fact that he likes shiny things and cake…


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