The last week has been taken up with the International Long Distance Training Camp and a few other things... The camp started in Sandycove last Saturday 13th June. There were swimmers from the USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Sweden.
It is mostly two swims each day; a longer swim in the morning and a shorter swim in the evening. I wasn't able to make Monday morning but we did have the evening swim in the Blackwater. Tuesday I had Club Training in the morning and we went to Inishcarra for the evening swim. Inishcara was really nice, I can't believe I had never swam there before! Wednesday was a horrible 5am start in Sandycove. The tide was out and it was cold and stormy so we only did about 40mins. In the evening the river was too high to swim so we all did 2hrs in Knockanannig Resevoir in Fermoy and it was beautful.
I took Thursday and Friday off. Thursday I woke at 3:50am to be on the bus for 4:00am. This was for the Swimming Club trip to Oakwood in Pembrokeshire, Wales. We had a brilliant day. From the ferry in the middle of Saint George's Channel, it was easier to tell people what the English Channel would be like. I think that they were a little surprised at swimming in the open sea... It was very tiring though, two of the alds went back the next day with CBS Mitchelstown! I don't know how they did it. Friday I had a complete rest.
Saturday was very interesting... It was the 9mile Champion of Champions race in Sandycove. It consists of 5miles at 9am, 3miles at 2pm and a sprint mile at 5pm. The first leg from the Speckled Door was hard but I got there eventually. I finished third in both the second and third races. Overall I was 3hrs 48mins or something like that and in fourth place (first from outside the USA)...!The water was cold but I was looking forward to a slightly warmer day Sunday.
Saturday night I stayed at Ned's house, as did the Channel General/Queen Mother, Freda Streeter, who was brilliant to have around for the weekend. The next mornig we headed down to Sandycove for the 7hr swim. The tide was way out so there was no water to swim in, and what little water there was was freezing! But there was no point in complainig so we just had to grin and bare it... Our first feed was after 2hrs and God did I need it. I still hadn't managed to warm up at this point, it was only 11 or 12 Celsius. After that I fed every half our until5hrs 15mins... Then Ned said that we were going to only do 6hrs, that was welcome. So My last swim was a wide inside triangle and into the slipway at 6hrs 26secs. I had Qualified for the Channel! I would like to thank Noel (sorry don't know surname) who stayed with me for the last 90mins, I wouldn't have finished without you...
Also, today I went to Teach na Leanaí, a Montesorri school where I went before starting school. The children raised €200 for my swim through a charity walk we went on back in April sometime. Thanks a million everybody! I have now almost reached my fundraising target... Also, sorry for the lack of pictures, I don't think I want to remember my very cold 6hr. I will updae again next week after the Irish Age Groups Division 2 Gala in UL.