On the home stretch!

Artigo em português

Only 36 days to go?! Really?! How?!

All of a sudden, the swallows have disappeared, the summer is a distant memory and I’m in the final phase of my training for Leme to Pontal. My last open water training swim in Ireland was a 2 km dash in and out of the sea in Myrtleville on the October bank holiday and I’m now full-time in the full for the final push.

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Myrtleville on the morning of my last non-wetsuited open water swim in Ireland for the year.

With the goal that I’ve been working (and, at times, struggling) towards in sight, it’s become much easier to train. Getting up early to go for my pre-work pool session no longer requires discipline; it just happens, automatically; panic gets me up and out before I even get to think about taking a lazy morning. There’s nothing like a deadline!

This week and next week, I am doing big-ish metres in the pool, and then I will start tapering down for the big event…

No trecho final do treinamento!

Article in English

Só faltam 36 dias?! É assim mesmo?! Mas como?!

De repente, as aves do verão estão de volta à África, os dias longos e treinos no mar acabaram e estou na fase final do meu treinamento para a travessia do Leme ao Pontal. Já fiz meu último treino no mar (sem neoprene) na Irlanda: foi uma sessão rapidinha de 2 km em Myrtleville na última segunda-feira de outubro (que é feriado aqui). Agora estou dando o esforço final antes da grande travessia.

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A praia de Myrtleville na manhã em que fiz meu último treino no mar na Irlanda de 2017.

Com a meta para qual eu tenho trabalhado (e, às vezes, batalhado) em vista, ficou bem mais fácil treinar. Acordando cedo de manhã para ir à piscina e fazer minha sessão de natação antes de ir ao escritório não precisa mais de discipina; simplesmente acontece, automaticamente; o pânico me levanta e me manda embora antes que eu possa sequer pensar em tirar uma manhã de folga. Não há nada igual a um prazo, né!

Esta semana e a que vem, estou fazendo uma boa quilometragem na piscina. Depois eu vou começar a reduzir aos poucos a intensidade do treinamento, na expectativa de estar pronto para a tentativa no dia 16 de dezembro…

Quick Update!

I haven’t posted in a while but I have a good excuse in that I was actually busy getting some swimming done! With the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim put behind me for another year, I took a day (alright, two days) off swimming and had a rest for myself. I then managed another 40+ km week, including a 5-hour swim in Myrtleville which you can read about in this article on the Myrtleville Swimmers website: Owen O’Keefe’s Swim

Map – FINIS Hydro Tracker GPS

There was some more good news this week in that entries have finally opened for the first ever Munster Open Water Swimming Championships at the National Rowing Centre, Cork on Saturday, 17 August 2013. These promise to be great regional championship events and will also include the Irish Junior 5 km Championships and a relay event. You can find more information on the event website…

Logo – Owen O'Keefe

Chun deireadh ceart do chur lem’ sheachtain snámha, do bhuaileas bóthar siar go Corca Dhuibhne agus an snámh bliantúil de chuid Nuala Moore ó Ché Cuain go Cé Cheann Trá agus thar n-ais arís (más mian). Lá grianmhar tirim a bhí ann ach bhí sé ana-ghaothmhar, do bhí cuilithíní ag teacht ón dtaobh clé an fhaid is a bhíomair ag snámh ó Ché Cuain go Ceann Trá. Do bhíos i n-ann teach ard buí do dhéanamh amach agus mé ag dul sa treo ó thuaidh – ní rabhas ábalta an Cé d’fheiceáil ar aon chor. Do chríochnaíos an chéad slí (b’fhéidir 1,800 m) i n-am píosa beag ní b’fhaide ná 30 neomataí. Nuair a chasas timpeall is do thosnaigh ag dul ins an treo eile, níor thig liom rud ar bith d’fheiscint thar na dtonnta is do chasas ar ais go Cé Cheann Trá airís. Do bhí tae is ceapairí i dTigh Pháidí Uí Shé ar Ard an Bhóthair againn i ndiaigh an tsnámha.

Grianghraf – Owen O'Keefe

Im’ sheasamh ar Ché Cuain ag féachaint trasna go dtí Cé Cheann Trá…

That’s pretty much all I have to say for now. There is the possibility of meeting Diarmuid Dennehy and Carol Cashell for a new swim, Bridgetown Priory to Fermoy, on Saturday but other than that, the next big one is the “Vibes & Scribes” Lee Swim on Saturday, 6 June…

The importance of entering early for events…

It’s now mid-May and less than a fortnight to go before the first of the event of the Munster open water calendar, the Union Hall to Glandore Swim in West Cork. There are six swims on this calendar scheduled to go ahead in the next month alone! It’s a great sign that we have so many events on offer, however, these swims are in great danger of cancellation if they don’t reach a critical number of entries reasonably early…

I understand, of course, that swimmers are minding their pockets and don’t want to waste money entering a swim that they might be able to make (I am one of those swimmers) especially given the cost of some swims! I also understand that, early in the season when the water is cold, you might not be sure if you will even be able for the swim, and that you mightn’t be sure of other commitments in advance of the swim. These are all very understandable reasons for delaying entry, but I’d ask everyone to consider things from the event organiser’s point of view for a second.

Many of our events are organised by just one or two people. They organise events for the benefit of their fellow swimmers and most don’t gain anything by running the event. They all invest a huge amount of time and effort and some invest their own money into the event as well. A lot of effort goes in to organising logistics, safety cover, technical aspects and entertainment for the swim and this all hinges on having some idea of how many swimmers to expect on the day. In recent years, many organisers have been faced with the very difficult decision of cancelling a swim due to lack of entries.

Cancelling a swim means that those swimmers who have entered have, in many cases, lost their entry fees and that all of the organisers time, effort and money has been in vain. It means that bodies such as the Blackwater Sub-Aqua Club Search & Recovery Unit, the Bantry Inshore Search & Rescue Association and the RNLI, just to name a few, will lose out in a lot of cases. It’s a big disappointment to everyone involved.

Please, if you want to be able to continue to swim in great local events, enter as early as you can. This is your contribution to helping the event to be the best it can be! Here is a list of the next five events on the Munster open water calendar:

Union Hall to Glandore: Saturday, 25 May at 5:30 pm; 1.1 km swim across Glandore Harbour to open the season; current Swim Ireland competitive membership required; contact Liz Buckley for more information.

by The Active Network

Gaddin’ About Garnish: Saturday, 8 June at 6:30 pm; 1 km, 3 km and 5 km swims around Garnish Island in Glengarriff; open to all competent swimmers; more information available on the GaddinAbtGarnish website.

by The Active Network

Martin Duggan Memorial: Friday, 14 June at 7:30 pm; 2 km freshwater swim in the River Blackwater in Fermoy; current Swim Ireland competitive membership required; more information available on the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim website.

by The Active Network

Slip to Shore: Saturday, 15 June at 11:00 am; 1.9 km swim from Dromatoor Pier to Ballyheigue Beach in North Kerry; open to all competent swimmers; more information available on the Ballyheigue Slip to Shore Swim website.

RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay: Sunday, 16 June at 10:00 am; 2 km swim from Myrtleville to Church Bay in aid of the RNLI; open to all swimmers who have completed an open water swim of 1.5 km or more in 2013; all information and entry forms available on the Myrtleville Swimmers website.

Entries open for two great swims in June…

Promotion – Owen O'KeefeThis week entries opened for two great swims this June. On the evening of Friday, 14 June, the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim will take place over a 2 km course on the River Blackwater in Fermoy. This swim began as the Blackwater Swim in 1999 and, 10 years later, changed its name in memory of Martin Duggan, a local schoolboy who drowned tragically in the river on 12 July 2012. All information relating to entry criteria, etc., can be found on the event website (linked above). One aim of the swim has been to encourage people of all ages, but especially young people, to take part in open water swimming and learn to enjoy swimming outdoors in a way that is safe. Another aim of the swim is to show the people of Fermoy that our beautiful River Blackwater is not something to be feared and avoided, but rather something to be respected and enjoyed.

Photograph – George O'Keefe

The second wave of 2 km swimmers during the in-water start for the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim in 2010.

Any money left over after the all of the costs of running the event have been covered are donated to the Blackwater Sub-Aqua Club Search & Recovery Unit who are based here in Fermoy and who have provided great support for this swim over the last few years.

Another swim that supports its local water rescue services is the Myrtleville to Church Bay Swim which raises money for Crosshaven RNLI. This swim is also 2 km in length and is organised by the Myrtleville Swimmers. This year’s swim takes place on Sunday, 16 June and entry is through the Myrtleville Swimmers website (linked above).

Photograph – Myrtleville Swimmers

The crowd just before the start of the Church Bay Swim in 2012. I believe that I came third in this race, behind Chris Mintern and Ned Denison.

Despite the protracted winter and ever-elusive spring, their is a great sense of optimism about the 2013 open water season with some new events being created and existing events raising their profiles. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations!