Yes, this day the 14th of August, 2011, Adrian completed his first long distance ocean swim in HK, in a long long time. Close to 2 decades to be exact.
I have always known that he's a good swimmer, therefore encouraged him to go back to long distance swimming because he was a good swimmer when he was a teenager. He swam in a relay team across The Channel twice when he was a teenager. Put it this way, how many people do you know that has swam The Channel? Though he was in a relay team but it is still impressive, and he did it not once, but twice. Now, that, is something that you can brag about when you sit down with your grand kids when you're 60. I always thought that it's a pity he didn't go further in swimming. There wasn't a platform for him to do it, the school wasn't doing enough for their swimmers. He thinks otherwise though, he said, "we wouldn't have been able to meet if I continued swimming and eventually make it to some international races." Well, this I must agree hehehe for I did not know how to swim until I was about 14!
And so, with only a few sessions of swimming in the pool downstairs and some snorkeling in Pulau Tenggol, off he went to take part in The Deep Water Bay Ocean Swim. It is a 1.4km swim, not a lot compared to what he did in The Channel but it was definitely a lot of hard work considering how long it has been. Here's the course map.
Before he decided whether or not to take part, I actually did some research on the past races and found out that the fastest bloke did it in just over 17 minutes. But cheeky me told him 24 instead hehehe. So he jumped into the pool and did some laps. The last practice he had, he swam about 1.8km under 30 minutes. But of course, that was just swimming pool. It a totally different story when you swim in the ocean.
We got up, well Adrian got up at 5am and I got up just about 5:45am. We got to Deep Water Bay at about 7am -- we were the first ones there. Registered and then waited for the other participants to slowly turn up. It rained for a little a bit just to terrorize me, the one who didn't bring any form of rain gear. Of course Adrian wasn't worried because he's going to get wet anyway! But luckily it only lasted for about 10 minutes.
So we arrived, one of the earliest to be there, Adrian got himself registered and numbered and wristband on. Looking good, eh?
The event started at 8:30am this morning. There were 278 participants, aging from 10 to 60+. We were quite intimidated by the amount of super fit people participating. V-shaped bodies, six packs... But I said to Adrian, "that doesn't mean that they are good in the water (of course he knew that), but you are more streamlined to do it!" My theory is, their stiff and squarish bodies get more resistance in the water than him. Have you ever seen a skinny shark/dolphin/whale? In fact, look at the fastest fish, they are not skinny at all! ;-p
Despite the lack of training and the "age" factor, he completed the whole course in just about 26 minutes! 100th in the overall placing and amongst the 39 swimmers in his age group (35-39), he finished 10! Not bad, eh? He is quite impressed by the results as well, although he didn't think he did as well as he did when he first got out of the water.
|catching his breath|
And of course, we are all very proud of him. And, Adrian, has decided to participate all 3 races next year!
Have a look at all the photos here.