KNYSNA 14KM SWIM – RUSS GAYNOR
14.5km is far to run! To be honest I never really thought about how far it was until I started training for the event! I was stressed out! Three weeks before the race I had no idea how I was going to get it done. Mentally I was freaked out. Physically I was freaked out. So juust a liiitle freaked out!
For those who don't know, This crazy feat of mine took place in the Knysna Lagoon. We swam from a bridge (Red Bridge) about 2.5km above the N2 Bridge down to the Knysna Heads.
After some crazy swim sessions and about two weeks of some MASSIVE mileage, I was feeling a lot more confident in the days leading up to the swim and believe it or not, I was actually starting to sleep at night and think about things other than the swim.
On the day I was nervous again, obviously because 14.5km is lank far! The swim started and I found feet to swim behind to try conserve some energy. This lasted until about 2.5km. I then started swimming by myself. The wind picked up and made the water quite choppy. I started losing my rhythm and getting frustrated with the swim. After some gels and energy juice I was back on track. It wasn't long after the bit of a snack break that I was joined by another swimmer. I used him to help block the chop and took advantage of some of his draft. We managed to swim together the rest of the way to the finish in a time of 2:48.
What I think really helped me was the support and encouragement I was getting from so many people! It makes a massive difference to know you have so many friends who support what you are doing, whether it be a phone call the night before, coming on the boat or making an effort to get to the finish.
I absolutely loved the swim! It was so much better than I was expecting and would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a bit of a challenge.