Cook Strait Swim, New Zealand

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Countdown to Dover

In two weeks I will be leaving for Dover with my crew.  All final preparations are complete.  I'm continuing to train 6 days a week in the Atlantic Ocean. Each day varies in the amount of swimming. I have stopped weight lifting and cross training.    My swim taper will start the day I depart for England.  At the age of 60, I continue to feel strong and energetic.   I will be swimming under the rules of the English Channel Swim Association. They will have an official on board to monitor my swim.  Reg Brickell is my boat pilot. His boat is named the Viking Princess.  My slot is from August 18th to the 28th. When I receive word from Reg about the start time of my swim, I will post it.  One of my crew members will have a phone on board and he will relay updates every few hours.  I'm feeling very positive about my upcoming swim.  I've trained hard and I'm ready.   My brother Robbie's name will be written on my arm as a tribute to him.  His 16 year old son Christopher is part of my crew along with my brother David, sister-in-law Jeannie, and nephew Kyle.  I am honored to have them as my crew.  And many thanks to my husband, children, friends, family and co-workers for being very supportive.  It is greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily News of Open Water Swimming.....Great Review of the Peaks to Portland

Before the Peaks to Portland Swim, Ellen Shockro of California introduced herself to me.  She's an amazing athlete and swim enthusiast.  Today, I received an email from her and she mentioned that she wrote an article about Saturday's 2.4 mile ocean swim for the internationally recognized website "The Daily News of Open Water Swimming" .  It's a fantastic article on the Peaks to Portland Swim.  Please visit their website  http://dailynewsofopenwaterswimming.com/ . I'm hoping that swimmers in the international community will want to plan a vacation in Maine next year and swim the Peaks to Portland.  It's a great swim promoted by the Cumberland County YMCA.  Also, it's a YMCA fundraiser that all proceeds go directly to their swim programs.  Thank you, Ellen, for writing such a great review of the Peaks to Portland 30th Anniversary Swim.  It is very much appreciated.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Peaks to Portland Swim 2011

On Saturday July 16, 2011 the Peaks to Portland Swim (30th Anniversary)had a record breaking number of swimmers. Nearly 300 swimmers participated and 19 swimmers were in the no-wetsuit division. All participants finished the swim. Congratulations to all swimmers.  Again, the Cumerland County Portland YMCA did an exceptional job organizing this event. Almost all swimmers had a kayaker at their side for safety.  Some swimmers decided not to have a kayaker but there were several boats along the course if needed. Safety is priorty with this event. Every swimmer received a beautiful "30th Anniversary" Peaks to Portland medal to wear proudly around their neck as they crossed the finish line.  Also, one of the P2P organizers' Terry Swain was the designated "last" swimmer...she was smiling and looked strong as she crossed the finish line.  Great job, Terry!  The award ceremony recognized the top three swimmers for the non-wetsuit and wetsuit division. (The Y will be posting all swimmers' times soon). However, the remainder of the non-wetsuit competitors were ranked with the wetsuit division...hopefully next year the non-wetsuit swimmers will have their own ranking system.    Also, many swimmers broke the infamous "one hour" time...congratulations to all. And a special recognition of Yoko Aoshima who participated in her very first open water swim competition...three years ago, she did not know how to swim and she took swim lessons at the Y. She had a remarkable swim. Awesome job,Yoko!    It was exciting to see that many more "non-wetsuit" swimmers participated this year...water temp was 60-63 degrees.  The P2P had a record number of out-of-state swimmers who planned this swim around a vacation in the great state of Maine....hope you come back next year. Also, this year East End Beach had a record number of spectators to welcome all swimmers as they reached the finish line...it was a spectacular greeting for all swimmers to experience.  And finally, the P2P is not only a great swim event organized by the Y but it's a fundraiser to help with their swim programs. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Cumberland County YMCA Portland branch.   Thank you

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Final Preparations for the English Channel

Next month, I will be leaving for Dover for a solo attempt of the English Channel.  I completed a 10 hour ocean swim on July 2 as part of the final weeks of training.  Water temp was 59 to 62 degrees and conditions were variable from calm to very choppy.  I continue to train 6 days a week.  I've tested Hammer Nutrition Ultra Endurance (liquid carb and protein) during several training swims. I used the same product during my 2008 crossing....it's a great product.    Crew training is complete.  I will not start my taper until I board the plane to England.  Every swimmer has an "Achilles Heel", mine is motion sickness.  I'm fortunate to live in Maine (USA) where water conditions have been very choppy in the past month....this has helped me to become more acclimated to choppy conditions.   At the age of 60, I'm not any faster but my endurance has certainly improved.  Many thanks to my family and friends who have been very supportive of my endeavor.  And a special "thank you" to my husband Jim who encouraged me several years to reach for this dream.