On Tuesday May 28th I will holding a meet and greet social event between 5-8pm at The Factory in Kelowna. The event is open to the general public and the media alike and will be a chance for me to raise some awareness about ice swimming. There will be a video and slideshow presentation and I will talk about the sport in general including some of my own experiences in the icy water. I will also be talking about my qualification for...
...the biggest thrill of all came last weekend. Overnight on Saturday I was sent a pdf of a letter from the International Operational Headquarters of the Swim Across Bering Strait. The letter begins: “We are honoured to invite you to participate in the joint Russian – American project, Chukotka – Alaska 2013, the First International Intercontinental Relay Swim Across The Bering Strait”
For my March 2nd ice swim I used two GPS trackers. A Finis Hydro Tracker attached to my goggle straps, which would record the ‘official’ swim distance and a Garmin Forerunner 910XT, kindly loaned by Dean, which was the backup device should the Hydro Tracker fail in some way. When I reached the shore I turned off the Hydro Tracker myself and Dean removed the Garmin from my wrist and stopped it. Both units were turned off within seconds of each other and it is really interesting to see how both units recorded the swim.
Looking through all of the video clips from the day it had been really interesting. Knowing how I felt at particular times, being able to see how I am progressing, watching my stroke rate drop to around 52 s.p.m while getting colder and more tired by each lap, and hearing the teams comments. In particular towards the end of the swim when Angelique comments that I still look strong and says 'It's an absolutely amazing day for an ice swim"....little did they know.....
At the end of my ice mile last December I know I could have carried on, I felt strong and I felt comfortable in the water. The plan on that day though was to clock up the mile and get it in the record books. Never one to rest on my laurels I almost immediately set myself the target of completing another ice swim this winter and to swim further. 1.5 miles was the target. That would beat Ram Barkai’s 1.43 mile swim set in Switzerland in 2009.
Even though I only asked Ashley the previous evening if she could help she kindly came out to kayak alongside me. It was also nice to see Leora come out to show her support too and I know Ashley appreciated the extra pair of hands loading the kayak onto the car after the swim. Leora’s dog Lola also came along and let everybody know what she thought of the whole thing as she pooped on the beach just as I was walking into the water.
The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!Marvin Phillips
Paul Duffield. Forty something, English guy, wannabe English Channel swimmer. Married to a Canadian girl, Angelique, living in British Columbia.
I only discovered the joy of open water swimming in 2009. It was my first summer living in West Kelowna, British Columbia and I signed up for the annual Across The Lake Swim (ATLS), held in Kelowna. I suddenly realised I had only given myself six weeks to prepare for the 2.1 km swim. Gellatly Bay is only two minutes from my home so began my open water journey there. I fell in love with the sport immediately. The freedom, the nature, the open air and living in the Okanagan I was surrounded by mountains too.
Open water swimming highlights include: ATLS 2009 (read about it here), ATLS 2011 (read about it here), Rattlesnake Island Swim 2011 (2nd placed 40-44 male), English Channel qualification swim 2012 (read about it here). Salish Sea relay swim 2012 (read about it here). One Man, Ten Lakes, One Day swim 2012 (read about it here) . Canada’s first ice swim 2012 (read about it here)Read More