What a lovely monday evening. As i was driving towards Carrickfergus the sun was hitting Belfast Lough. No clouds in the sky and no wind. Unusual conditions for Ireland.
After finishing my last triathlon in 2008 (the Challenge Roth) i havent touched my swimming googles in a competitive way. This had an end today.
I signed up for one of the longest running open water swim races in Northern Ireland. Since 1968 “The Inshore Swim” is taking place beside the Carrickfergus Sailing Club. A nice and literally cool challenge for a monday evening.
As always around Ireland it is great to attend events like this. Everything is so easy, simple and friendly. No rush at all. The weather was just perfect and the water was reasonable warm (14 C).
I did not know what to expect from the race. 1k is not a distance to be scared but without real training it is long enough. Swiming in the open sea would not be on my weekly agenda so there were quite some points that made me nervous before the race.
The biggest point was that this event was a “non wetsuit” race. As a Ex-Triathlete i am used to “hide” in the water covered in a fancy neopren suit. No neopren-help today. Pure FINA conform open water swimming.
Lucky enough another swimmer had a spare pair of jammers as i only was equipped with classic speedos. To give my body a bit protection against the cold i used the rest of my vaseline tube to cover myself. It eventually did the job.
“On your marks and… GO!” No time to hang around. Straight into the cold sea and around the buyos. The course was four loops and i struggled throughout the race. As i was not warmed up properly it took me a while to get moving properly, Eventually i found the rhythm and from then on it was fun.
The water was wavy and for the next couple of days i dont need salt again. The loops were flying by and i loved the new challenge. I dont know my finishing time but it was good enough for fifth place.