Same old beautiful morning for a swim… with a twist!

June 25, 2016... 58F that dropped to 54F... while we were swimming!  All 76 of us!

June 25, 2016… 58F that dropped to 54F… while we were swimming! All 76 of us!

I saw this post on the LOST Facebook page that a prospective LOSTie (Renee Devereaux, whom I’ve never met by the way), wrote that pretty much sums it all up:

“I was on the rocks this morning watching the goings-on to see if this would be a fun group to join. Within minutes I was envious of everyone in the water. Hoping to join soon, and wondering if anyone has suggestions for where I might find a second-hand wetsuit in the Oakville area. I’ll check Kijiji but happy to hear any other suggestions. Anyone looking to get rid of a wetsuit for an average-sized 5’9″ woman?”

Kinda cool.  Within minutes she wanted to join… and get a wetsuit!  I always tell people who are on the fence… come out and watch for one morning… you’ll be hooked!  Well said, Renee!  (And feel free to respond to Renee on Facebook if you have an extra wetsuit!)

Some of the girls from "Feet of Fury"!  Tell me that wasn't fun... even if it was cold!

Some of the girls from “Feet of Fury”! Tell me that wasn’t fun… even if it was a little cold!  The friends make it much warmer!

After 11 years of swimming in Lake O every Saturday in the summer, you’d think I’d know the Lake pretty well… but it still surprises me once in a while.

I remember when I learned about it “rolling over”.  In 2006, I didn’t know anyone that swam in the Lake regularly… well, because there was no one.  So I remember going down one evening to check the water temp and it was 72F, perfect for the long swim I had planned for the next morning.  And I arrived the next morning with my daughter, Maisey, who was going to kayak for me.  She checked the water temp while I got ready.  She said it was 55F!?!?  I got kind of angry with her and told her to stop fooling around and go check it again.  She did.  She left it in longer… and it was actually… 52F!  It had literally dropped 20F degrees over night!

It was actually pretty nice... even for Bud, Loren and Lynn... who went out "naked" for 30 - 60 minutes!  Although there was some shivering and parka wearing after!  Helps that it was sunny and warm after though!

It was actually pretty nice… even for Bud, Loren and Lynn… who went out “naked” for 30 – 60 minutes! Although there was some shivering and parka wearing after! Helps that it was sunny and warm after though!

Well, now we know that the Lake rolls over regularly.  And that is in fact how it warms up.  The roll overs are caused by the wind.  You get nice warm stretches of weather like we’ve had these last few days, which warm the top surface water, but that can’t warm the water at the bottom of the Lake.  Then you get a wind from the north and that blows all the nice warm surface water over to Rochester and Buffalo… which pushes the water on their side down to the bottom of the Lake… and that cold water at the bottom of the Lake then comes up on our side!  Conversely a nice south wind brings the warm water our way and makes the other side of the Lake cold.

And another good way to warm up... with a cuppa coffee at Bean There after!

And another good way to warm up… with a cuppa coffee at Bean There after!

... sitting inside or out!  Wherever you can get a seat!

… sitting inside or out! Wherever you can get a seat!

Eventually this happens several times over the summer and the whole Lake, from the surface to the bottom gets warmed all the way through.  And since water holds its temperature longer than air does, that explains why often the Lake is still warm into September and even October, even though the warm weather is gone.

But the strange thing that happened yesterday, and that I’ve never experienced before was that the Lake was rolling over while we were actually swimming!

Inukshuks to watch over us too!

Inukshuks to watch over us too!

I measured the temp while I was setting up at 7:30… and it was 58F/14C… however by the time I actually got in at 8:30 (after playing the Walmart Greeter)… the temp had dropped to 54F/12C!  So it dropped 4F degrees in an hour, while we were swimming!  That’s amazing!

There is no way the water is the same temp now as when we went in... I'm taking the temp again!  I knew it!

There is no way the water is the same temp now as when we went in… I’m taking the temp again! I knew it!

Having said that… all 76 swimmers got in and had a great swim!  And everyone was in for quite a while, 15 – 45 minutes!  I think everyone is getting tougher already!  It really is amazing how seeing everyone else get in and do it helps you believe that you can do it!

You can't tell me that doesn't look inviting!  Great shot, Chris!

You can’t tell me that doesn’t look inviting! Great shot, Chris!

 

See you next weekend!

Cheers,

Rob

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Find your LOST Clothing here!

Sorry, but I can’t help you with you’re “lost clothing” from the party on the weekend (but send me an invite next time!)… but I can help you with some great “LOST Clothing” from the Lake Ontario Swim Team!

LOST t shirts 2So Miguel and I have come up with a few new LOST items of apparel and kept a few of the popular ones from last year too!

In the name of full disclosure… I totally ripped off the idea the for the newest t-shirt… my buddy, Ned Denison, who runs a group like LOST in Ireland (Cork Long Distance Camp).  He sent me a very tongue in cheek photo for Lake Michigan… followed by “so if there is nothing nasty in them big lakes… why bother?!”.  But don’t tell him I ripped off his idea… he’ll want a percentage! haha!

Lake Michigan t shirt

You can order any of this and other great stuff in the LOST Store!  (note: there are now 3 pages of items!)

The new T-shirts should be in by July 1.  You can pick them up at LOST Beach or make other arrangement with Miguel or myself.  We’ll charge you a bit extra, but we’ll ship it internationally too.  We’ll just bring a bunch of them down to LOST Swimming on Saturday, after they come in too!

LOST Jacket LOST Jacket, back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light, LOST Hoodie Light, LOST Hoodie, back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– cool new cotton T-shirt: “No Salt, No Sharks, No Worries” ($20)
– last year’s very popular: “light weight, LOST hoodie” ($30)
– and the warmer “LOST hooded jacket” ($65)

Enjoy!

Cheers,

Rob

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A new milestone for LOST Swimming… 100 swimmers out yesterday!!!

That's what 100 LOST Swimmers look like! (click to enlarge any photos)

That’s what 100 LOST Swimmers look like! (okay, not everyone was in the pic… if you are going to count each head!)
(click to enlarge any photos)

I guess Dylan said it best as he and I laughed at ourselves and the incredible number of swimmers that came out for a great swim this morning:

Dylan: You do realize this is starting to look a little cult-ish!

To which I replied: “I know, how the hell are there this many crazy people that want to come out and swim in 54F/12C water?!”

Dylan: “You realize that your bullsh*t claim of being one of the biggest open water swim teams in the world may actually be true!”

All that is to say, that it certainly didn’t go unnoticed how many of you LOSTies showed up!  Amazing.  Really, really amazing.  And it was great to have you out.P6170005

Honestly, this season was setting up the same as most summers on Lake O have done over the past 11 years… at least temperature-wise.  We start out very cold… but our first swim is disproportionately large, only because anticipation for the first swim had been building for months.  This year we set a new record on the first swim (89), but the water was warm, (64F)… and the second week attendance dipped to “only 73” (that’s still huge!), but the water was very cold at 50F.  So then I assumed that this week would be much smaller, because last week would have scared off a bunch of people until the water warms up a bit… which is what usually happens.

But that’s where this is setting up to be a weird/amazing/record breaking summer… instead of scaring off people with cold water last week… we got bigger.  That never happens.

100 swimmers.  Wow.

100 swimmers… in 54F/12C water.  Incredible.P6170016

I wanted it to be 101 though… because it reminds me of Mount Everest.  Legend has it that when Sir Edmund Hillary first climbed Mt Everest, everyone naturally wanted to know exactly how high it was.  So they measured it very accurately… and it came in at 29,000 feet.  Not 29,001 feet… or 28,999… but 29,000 feet.  But they assumed that no one would believe that it was exactly 29,000 feet and that everyone would think they just rounded it… so they said it was 29,012 feet.  Because it looked more accurate.

We didn’t have 99 swimmers or 101… we had exactly 100.  Cool.P6170014

As I said in my pre-swim ramble… tons of new swimmers this year, but a special “tip of the hat” to Sean McNulty and his new tri team “Feet of Fury”!  They have certainly helped the numbers!  But I have one complaint… you can’t be a true LOSTie until you come for coffee after!  😉  We need you guys to come for a coffee after… and all the other newbies too!  Mind you we did have it at standing room only this morning! haha.

People like the culture of LOST.  Because we are welcoming and inclusive, regardless of your ability.  But that has been cultivated.  On the beach, in the water… and over coffee!  I know everyone has other things to do… but build in time for LOST Coffee at Brett’s coffee shop “Bean There” (NW corner of Lakeshore and Reynolds), at least once in a while.  Its part of the experience, getting to know everyone!  And this isn’t your ordinary crowd… some amazing people, so take advantage of it.P6170015

Speaking of inclusive and welcoming, I often make a point of special guests.  I find it pretty cool to meet the weird and interesting eclectic group of people we have that come out.  From Olympians to manatees.  From world champion open water swimmers (truly!…Greg) to marathon swimmers (the newest being Fanny, Darren, Geoff & John who swam the 20k race around Key West last weekend!).  A ton of triathletes that have done races all over, and there is always a great story with those.  Oh and among my favorite “inclusions” is when we get people from other countries that join us!  I guess at some point I should stop being surprised that people know about our little (can I still use that word?!) swim team in other countries… so much so that they stop in here regularly to swim with us.  New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Italy, Dubai (shout out to Dianne today!)… that I can think of.  No, I’m still surprised.P6170013

But what I was getting at is we still had a new first on the “inclusion” list.  Margaret.  She is our first amputee to come and swim with us.  I’m not sure if it’s politically incorrect to point this out, but Margaret is cool with it… and I think it’s cool.  The rocks suck for the rest of us, getting in and out… but it’s a helluva lot harder with one leg.  But she didn’t mind and there was a ton of LOSTies right there that were glad to give her a hand, literally.  Ya, I like this group.  And our inclusive culture.

Oh, that reminds me… a huge shout out to Don Guloien and Ted Guloien!!!   I won’t give you the long version, (but it is probably my most amazing story ever, you can find that here, part 1, 2, 3, 4 ), but a couple of years ago Ted dropped dead right in front of me during the Hamilton Marathon.  I started CPR on him and several other people and I were able to get a pulse back… after 15 minutes of CPR and 5 shocks using an AED!  (Ted’s fine, btw… a long recovery, but he’s fine!).  I was talking to Don and he just donated a $2,200 AED to LOST Swimming in Ted’s name.  Kind of warms the cockles of my heart… pardon the pun.  Nice guys.P6170017

One last thing, many of you did Dylan’s “video clinic” last summer… and he’s offering it again this summer too.  Essentially you pay $20 and he paddles beside you, filming you on the GoPro, then he takes it home and analyses and edits it and sends you a copy.  It’s pretty cool.  And he knows a fair bit about swimming too… NCAA scholarship at University of Maryland and a member of 3 conference winning teams, as well as 10+ years with the top age group team in Canada (Oakville Aquatic Club), he’s even swum against Michael Phelps!  He got his butt kicked… but still.  And as of last summer, he’s even an Ironman, 11/2800 in the swim at Lake Placid.  So if you are interested, drop him an email to book a time during a LOST Swim.  Dylan@GlobalSwimSeries.com

PS.  Don’t forget about the first two Global Swim Series races of the season next weekend… (Mine over Matter, Caledon Quarry 1)… and start collecting your GSS points to qualify for the GSS – North American Championship!

And that’s all I’ve got.

See you on the Beach!

Cheers

Rob

 

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Told ya… and that’s why you don’t cancel…

June 11, 2016... 73 swimmers, 50F/10C... still a bit nippy this time of year... but trust me, it does warm up!

June 11, 2016… 73 swimmers, 50F/10C… still a bit nippy this time of year… but trust me, it does warm up!

I must have got a dozen people email me asking me if we were going to cancel LOST Swimming on Saturday because there were thunderstorms forecast for the area.  I told them my usual line, we’ll wait and see on the morning of, and if it is unsafe… we’ll cancel… but in 11 years I’ve never cancelled a swim.

It is important to learn how to swim in various conditions though too.  Just because the conditions aren’t ideal, doesn’t mean you can’t go for a swim, you just have to know how to swim in “other” conditions.  Note that I said you have to “know”, not “think you know”, how to swim in tough conditions.  A lot of people “think” they know, but that’s when accidents happen.  You need practice.  Just like hill repeats on the bike or track workouts for a marathon.  It might be hard to see the big picture, but it makes you a better all round swimmer.

phew... it didn't freeze the Olympic rings off! haha

phew… it didn’t freeze the Olympic rings off! haha

Luis, just stick with Bud... he'll show you how its done!

Luis, just stick with Bud… he’ll show you how its done!

They don't have water this cold in Mexico... seriously...

They don’t have water this cold in Mexico… seriously…

And Saturday was a “practice” swim… practicing how to swim in cold water!

... and if you are going to whine about the cold water... there's the door! haha

… and if you are going to whine about the cold water… there’s the door! haha

I also said “it is usually the temperature and water conditions” that determine if we swim… and for how long, not the weather.  It was cold… 50F/10C!  I don’t care who you are or how acclimatized you are… that’s cold.  Just bordering on “stupid cold”.

So how do you swim in water that cold?  Well you set up a buoy about 75 m out (parallel to the shore, not straight out, so you are still close to shore, if you want to make a quick exit!).  If you are familiar with that temp then just go swimming.  But if you aren’t, a good way is to get your hands, feet and face a bit wet… let your body know what’s coming!  Fall in on your back, do a little backstroke, then head up front crawl, then put your face in… then swim!  Naturally your body is not going to be happy with you, but once you get going, slow it down… slow your sprint stroke down.  Slow your breathing down.  Take the panic situation out of your mind and relax.  Easier said than done.  Which is why the “relax” part has to be a conscious thought that you have to remember to do.

Come on Mirko... forget the camera next week and bring your suit! You don't even have to be as tough as Juan, we'll let you use a wetsuit!

Come on Mirko… forget the camera next week and bring your suit! You don’t even have to be as tough as Juan, we’ll let you use a wetsuit!  Look even the Mexican is loving it!  Oh and I believe Juan is from Venezuela too!

The thing about cold water at some point, probably in the low 50’s, is that it changes from “cold” to just plain “painful”… on Saturday it was “painful”.  Cold hands, cold feet, ice-cream headache.  The crappy thing is that you don’t even get sympathy from onlookers because it “looked” like a beautiful sunny day for a nice dip in the Lake!  People understand hot… if we were walking on hot coals people would have been shocked!  You need to throw them in the Lake to have them appreciate how cold it was!

But society and certain laws tend to frown on that.

...some poser in a wetsuit... and 3 tough guys/gals! Patrick and Loren probably swam over 1k... wow.

…some poser in a wetsuit… and 3 tough guys/gal!    Lynn, Patrick and Loren probably swam over 1k… with no wetsuit… wow.

So now that I’ve said everything bad there is to say about swimming in cold water, would it be weird to say we had “fun”?  Because we did!  Laughing and screaming (yes, I’m lookin’ at you, Duane! haha!)… and acting like little kids having a real adventure.  There were 73 LOSTies out swimming in 50F water… and we had fun!

I told people that it was going to be cold.  But that they should try and do 2 loops.  Swim one, come out and get themselves “collected”… and then do another.  It is still just as cold and painful… but oddly somehow easier.  This is the part I was talking about earlier… practice.  And you get better with practice.

Like I say... the water is as crystal clear as the Caribbean... and like my wife, Joanne, says "ya, that's because it's so cold nothing could live in that!" ;-P

Like I say… the water is as crystal clear as the Caribbean… and like my wife, Joanne, says “ya, that’s because it’s so cold nothing could live in that!” ;-P

The thing I didn’t count on was that people did 3, 4, 5… even 6 loops!  Amazing.  That is also how you practice it.  If each loop was 150m, it would not have been safe to have done 600m straight (4x150m), but to break it up and use your head, it is safe.

And guess what?  You do end up as a better swimmer because of it.  Now I realize that this might not have been a big cardio workout that you require for your upcoming triathlon… but it wasn’t meant to be.  You can do that anytime.  If you think there is nothing to be gained from a quick, cold dip in the Lake, then you still don’t get it.  It was the workout that prepared you for cold water… and for practicing for the unexpected.  Because that’s what you get with open water swimming.

... a bit of milling about... but we will cut them some slack on a day like that... and because I was the last one in!

… a bit of milling about… but we will cut them some slack on a day like that… and because I was the last one in!

The example I like to use is when Claudia went to ITU World Champs in Budapest a number of years ago.  She, like everyone when they first start swimming with LOST in the spring, didn’t like, and wasn’t good at, swimming in cold water.  But she became a LOSTie, learned how to do what we just did… and she went to Budapest and guess what?… the water was very cold.  People were freaking out.  Dozens didn’t start.  Lots didn’t finish.  And she was fine.  And she doesn’t like cold water (honestly, nobody does!).  Because she knew how to swim in cold water… she had practiced!  (PS.  she killed the bike and the run too!).  But somehow, swimming with other people having fun, seems to make it much easier… or at least more enjoyable!

14 year old Mia... going "naked"... good training for her Lake O Crossing this summer... and attempt at the youngest person to make it across!

14 year old Mia… going “naked”… good training for her Lake O Crossing this summer… and attempt at the youngest person to make it across!

Besides… you know all those stupid, little, cliche meme’s that you (and I) click “like” on Facebook?… like “Live the adventure, baby!”, but you know that closest most people get to doing it is just that… clicking “like”.  Well, turns out you aren’t a hypocrite afterall… you might not have gotten your 3.8k swim in holding 1:30’s per hundred in… but you just did “Live the adventure, baby!”

That’s all I’ve got… see you on Saturday!

Cheers,

Rob

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… a tough workout… and Ali and Howe!

Embrace swim coach, and my right hand man at LOST, Miguel Vadillo, arranged a “long swim” at the Caledon Quarry on Sunday, (and then paddled around for hours, helping us feed!) for a few of us that are planning some long swims this summer.

despite the sunny sky.. it was cold and windy! A tough swim!

despite the sunny sky.. it was cold and windy! A tough swim!

The big one is Maya, who is attempting to break the record as the youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario!  Currently the youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario is Natalie Lambert, at 14 yrs and 27 days.  Trinity Arsenault, is the youngest to swim the traditional route, 14 yrs and 71 days.  If I am not mistaken, (depending when her birthday falls) Maya does it, she will hold both titles!

Anita Doppenberg is attempting a Lake Erie Crossing, which is very impressive.  Steve Faulkner, who has swum the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (37k), Catalina Channel (34k) and attempted the English Channel 4 times(!), is always game for a long swim… and often has a big one lined up!  And I’m doing the “Swim Across The Sound”.  A 25k race across the Long Island Sound on July 30.

Maya needed to get a 6 hour qualifying swim in for her crossing, as do I.  Unlike the 6 hour Q-swim for the English Channel neither of our swims have a temperature requirement, EC is 60F or colder!  But naturally, the tougher the training the better prepared you’ll be.  So we thought we’d try and get an early one in.

The water started at about 61F/15C and warmed up to 64F/17C.  And frankly, it was tough conditions.  It was sunny… but if you recall, it was windy and quite cool out.  Which in the quarry, builds waves in the back corner.  Tough swim, but good training.

Anita, Steve and I got out around the same time… Maya was still going when I left!  Tough kid!

And you know how people say it is “all mental”, well I don’t really buy that.  To do a tough endurance race of any type, you have to be there physically and done all the training… then its all mental.  But that’s a bit of a leap… you still need to do the training.

Well, yesterday was my first long swim in 4 years.  And my first cold, long swim too.  I’m in good shape, pool-wise, but not open water swimming wise.  And in case you are wondering “how to they do that?” when you see people do an Ironman, or a 100 mile run (Ted & Pascal!) or a marathon swim… you do the training… and you condition your mind as you go along.

Well, I wasn’t there on either account yesterday.  I don’t recall ever beating myself up as much as I did mentally as I did yesterday.  Wow, was I negative, and I’m not usually like that.  But it shows you that I wasn’t ready.  Yesterday was really hard.  Harder than it should have been.  I got out and was reasonably hypothermic and reasonably exhausted… and mentally beat up.  I had swum 10k ,in 3:30, (an hour slower than an easy pool time) in 63F water (not that cold).

Just goes to show you… doesn’t matter how much experience you have, you still need to do the work.

PS.  … and speaking of mentally and physically tough… this seems like a good place to mention Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe.  Two of the greatest… sad to see them go.  I find people use “inspirationsal” too freely these days… but these guys were truly inspirational!  As tough and as talented as they were… everyone has bad days… and everyone has to put in the work!

Me and a couple of big Red Wings fans! Dylan and Gordie Howe!

Me and a couple of big Red Wings fans! Dylan and Gordie Howe!

Ali & me... pretty special moment... an amazing human being!

Ali & me… pretty special moment… an amazing human being!

 

Cheers,

Rob

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LOST Swimming… and the weather…

Louis Pugh, one of the cold water greats,  swimming in Antarctica!

Louis Pugh, one of the cold water greats, swimming in Antarctica!

So several people have asked me about the weather tomorrow as it is supposed to be 30C and possible thunderstorms… are we going to cancel?  When would we cancel a swim?

Of course the number one priority is safety, and we will cancel if it is unsafe.

Having said that, in 11 years of Saturday morning swims we’ve never cancelled a swim.

Ok... I'll cancel it if it gets this cold!

Ok… I’ll cancel it if it gets this cold!

I’ve had a few Saturday mornings when I get of bed and look out the window and say “nobody is going to show up, it’s (raining, windy, cold, foggy, etc)… but I should show up just in case… and it ends up with a ton of people and we get a nice swim in anyway!  We’ve swum in the rain a few times… but fortunately we were wet already anyway!  Swimming in the fog is really cool too… I believe only once, in 11 years, did we cut a swim short because of lightning.  Forecasts are a crap shoot, and all we need is an hour or so, and we almost always get it!

To be honest, it is the water temperature and the waves that are bigger factors in how long we swim.  Again, I don’t think we’ve ever not swum because of water temp… just had shorter swims.  Even when the water is “stupid cold” or there are big waves we usually get a bit of a swim in, we just cut it a bit shorter.  We still err on the side of safety… and we’ll show you how to swim safely in these types of conditions.

So the long and short of it is… “this is open water swimming… and you get what you get!”

I’ll see you on the beach tomorrow at 8:00!

PS. we are always happy to have more spotters out in kayaks and on paddleboards!  So bring your spouse and a kayak or paddleboard if you have either! haha.  (I know Mike and Dylan are away tomorrow, so the more the merrier!)

Cheers,

Rob

How cold could it be?  (Lake Ontario, Kent kids, Feb 2007)

How cold could it be? (Lake Ontario, Kent kids, Feb 2007)

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11th year of LOST Swimming starts with biggest turnout ever!

 

 

June 4, 2016

Well that was really something… 11th year of LOST Swimming and we are still having lots of “firsts”!

First of all, that was the warmest opening day ever… June 4 and 64F/18C!  Wow.  Flat as pool water too.  That’s as nice of conditions as the middle of summer.

Dylan setting up the course.

Dylan setting up the course.

Now that we are done with last summer (2015), I think it is safe to say that last summer was the… how shall I put this… “toughest” summer of swimming in Lake O since we started in 2006!  It was cold.  Due largely to the very cold preceding winter and large amount of ice on the Great Lakes.  And it was rough.  I have no idea why we had so many rough days, but we did.  And the rough water keep the Lake rolling over.  Which kept it cold. Fortunately last year was not the norm.

And of the 89 swimmers there were at least a dozen who went "naked"!

And of the 89 swimmers there were at least a dozen who went “naked”!

So to all those that slugged it out last summer… well you are all tougher and better open water swimmers because of it!  And for those that didn’t swim last summer… well let’s just say you timed it right for this summer!  Having said that, I’ll take weather and water like today!  And I hope that is indicative of the summer to come!

June 4, 2016, a1

Of course, the second big deal was the number of swimmers we had out yesterday… 89!!!  That is a new record, not just for opening day, but ever!  The previous record was 86!

I always say that if you can beat the temperature to swimmers ratio, you are doing very well… meaning that if you have more swimmers than degrees (F degrees), then you are doing well.  So at 64F it would be very impressive to have 64 swimmers… and we blew that away!

perfect morning... flat and warm for this time of year!

perfect morning… flat and warm for this time of year!

We had swimmers from all over.  Mississauga, Burlington and Oakville, of course, but also Toronto, Milton, Richmond Hill, Barrie… and the winner of the biggest road trip for a LOST Swim goes to Patrick… he drove up from Virginia… just to come swimming with us!!!

You might think that is crazy, and I’d have a hard time arguing with you about that, but it does tell you that we do have something pretty special going on here… and it is because of all the amazing swimmers and the enthusiasm they bring to the group.  Patrick is a pretty amazing guy, he’s climbed Everest and dozens of other major peaks, swam at Notre Dame in University and like myself tried, and wasn’t successful, at crossing the English Channel last summer.  So he’s going back this year to finish the job!  He got in a bit longer swim with Hamilton LOSTie, Lorne… who is also doing a marathon swim this summer, across Lake Ontario!!!

Lorne, attempting Lake O this summer... Patrick attempting the English Channel this summer.  Out for their pre-swim, swim!  Out before the big waves got them! haha

Lorne, attempting Lake O this summer… Patrick attempting the English Channel this summer. Out for their pre-swim, swim! Out before the big waves got them! haha

Also I would be remiss if I didn’t wish a hearty congratulations to our 4 LOSTies who completed the 40th annual, 20 km, “Swim Around Key West” at the same time we were swimming in Lake O! Geoff Farrow – 5:45, Fanny Grenier – 6:38, Darren Osborne – 7:09 and I haven’t heard how John Stribany did yet (results aren’t posted, and no pics yet).  I just got an email from Darren listing the times and “we are off to hydrate!”  14 of us LOSTies did this race in 2012… and I recall what the post-race hydration involved…

Congrats to all 4 of them for their first true marathon swim! (10k or longer).

Darren in Lake O... no, they didn't wear wetsuits in Key West!  The water is HOT!

Darren in Lake O… no, they didn’t wear wetsuits (or neoprene caps!) in Key West! The water is HOT!

It was also interesting to see the show of hands at the beginning our swim.  Probably 3/4 are triathletes, shout out to Sean McNulty’s group, the Feet of Fury tri team, who brought about 15 people!  Also it looked like of the 89 people, over half were new, it is amazing to me how it keeps growing!  I guess we must be doing something right.

One last thing.  So as you can see, we are a welcoming group.  And as you can see there are some amazing people to meet… and don’t worry if you are new, lots of people are… but do make a point in joining us for coffee after.  Getting to know everyone is the real bonus.

PS.  Another interesting person will be joining LOST, starting next Saturday… hint: he swam the 10k in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing… so come out for a swim and coffee… and you can meet him, and really embarrass him… ask him for an autograph!

Cheers,

Rob

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LOST Swimming starts this Saturday! And how it all started…

The first LOST Swim of 2015... 60 swimmers, 50F... and the 10th year of LOST Swimming!!!

The first LOST Swim of 2015… 60 swimmers, 50F… and the 10th year of LOST Swimming!!!

For the 11th consecutive year I will be down at the beach by the Navy Street Pier at 8:00 am on the first Saturday in June to go for a swim (and every Saturday after, until September or so).  The big difference now is how many more people will be there with me compared to 11 years ago.

As I’ve been sitting here typing this story, I’ve seen 6 email notifications that people have joined.  Amazing.  So I went in and counted how many have joined so far this year… 71.  I don’t know if you think that is a lot or not very many, but it seems like a lot to me.  I mean it is a lot considering where this started.

This started with me swimming in Lake Ontario, training to swim the English Channel in 2006.  Back then nobody swam in Lake Ontario.  And I do mean NOBODY.  I had never seen anyone swimming in Lake O (and I live by the Lake), I had never met anyone who had swum in the Lake, hell, I had never even heard of anyone who swam in Lake O other than back in the “old days”.

Rob swimming by a freighter in the English Channel

Rob swimming by a freighter in the English Channel

People told me “you can’t swim in Lake Ontario, it’s too polluted”.  Or “you’ll come out come out with 3 eyes or green skin”.  Seriously.  People said that.  I don’t think they actually meant that I would come out with 3 eyes or green skin, but they did think that it was a “gross” place to swim because it was too polluted.

Obviously this wasn’t always true, people used to swim in Lake Ontario all the time.  The first races at the CNE were held in 1925 and continued for decades.  By the time that Marilyn Bell made the first crossing of Lake O in 1954 people had been swimming in organized races in the Lake for more than 30 years.  But it fell out of fashion at some point shortly after that.  And I’m sure that pollution played a role in it too.  The 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s weren’t the best years for environmental control.  But I think things started turning around in the 80’s and were probably fine by the 90’s.  There is still room for improvement today (thanks to organizations like “Lake Ontario Waterkeeper” for helping with that).  Turns out it is one of the best places in the world to swim.  But, like I said, by 2006 the Lake was still empty.

60 of the world's greatest distance and sprint swimmers are seen as they plunge into the 60 degree waters of frigid Lake Ontario, at the start of the 9th annual World's Champion Swim Marathon held at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Canada, Sep 1, 1936. Frank Pritchard, of Buffalo, NY crossed the finish line a new World's Champion, and created a new record for the course of 5 miles when he swam the distance in 2:07:09.

60 of the world’s greatest distance and sprint swimmers are seen as they plunge into the 60 degree waters of frigid Lake Ontario, at the start of the 9th annual World’s Champion Swim Marathon held at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Canada, Sep 1, 1936.
Frank Pritchard, of Buffalo, NY crossed the finish line a new World’s Champion, and created a new record for the course of 5 miles when he swam the distance in 2:07:09.

When LOST started in 2006 there was only 1 open water race in Ontario, and it wasn’t even in Lake Ontario.  And it shut down due to lack of interest 2 years later.  Open water swimming definitely was not on an upswing when LOST started.

But I didn’t know that.  And I really didn’t care.  I hadn’t swum in 17 years when I started swimming again in 2006.  I hadn’t been in a pool since June 5, 1988 at Olympic Trials in Montreal.  And like everyone else at the time, I had never really heard of open water swimming.  I was so sick of swimming at that point that I really did not want to get back in a pool and swim again.  The idea of training or racing, to see how much slower I had gotten, had very little appeal.  Which is why I got into running over those years instead.  And eventually that lead me to another sport that was just starting to become popular… triathlon.  In 2003, Alex, Peter, Deanna and myself did our first triathlon… Ironman Lake Placid.

Alex, Deanna, me and Peter... "How hard could it be?!"

Alex, Deanna, me and Peter… “How hard could it be?!”

That’s when I realized that open water swimming might be fun.  I liked still swimming, just not pool swimming (yes, I swim in a pool now though!).  So naturally I jumped in way over my head and before I even started training again, I chose a goal… I was going to swim the English Channel.

I now had a bunch of fun-loving, beer-drinking, running and triathlon buddies that loved the idea and were there to help me train, even though we had no idea how to train someone for the English Channel.  The internet was still young and we had never met anyone who had swum the English Channel or any other marathon swim for that matter.  That’s where LOST Swimming started.

Richard and Alex... looking bored while I swam along beside on one of the first English Channel training swim in 2006. Yes, bored is a big part of marathon swimming... for everyone!

Richard and Alex… looking bored while I swam along beside on one of the first English Channel training swim in 2006. Yes, bored is a big part of marathon swimming… for everyone!

In the end, I swam for 12 hours and 5 minutes in cold and very rough conditions in the English Channel when my son, Dylan, and buddy, Richard, pulled me out unconscious, hypothermic and with pulmonary edema.  Not a great start to my swimming come-back.  But despite that failure, I had found my love for swimming again.  And so I decided that the next summer I would continue to swim in Lake O.  And all my running and triathlete buddies who had helped me train the previous summer decided to join me.

And here we are.  11 years later.

First LOST Swim of 2010... 62F... 14 swimmers!

First LOST Swim of 2010… 62F… 14 swimmers!

Last year I believe we had something like 150 members of LOST Swimming, with as many as 86 people coming out on a Saturday.  Making us the largest open water swim team in North America and one of the largest in the world.  There will be at least 4 open water swimming races in Lake O this summer, including the Global Swim Series – North American Championship at Woodbine Beach in Toronto.  There will also be at least 15 open water races in Ontario this summer and more across Canada.

The other direct result of the growth of LOST Swimming was the creation of the Global Swim Series, that many of the same people involved in LOST (and the Toronto Island Lake Swim, Ottawa’s Bring On The Bay and the Embrace Open Water SwimFest) helped bring to life 2 summers ago was the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS), before we opened it up to the world and it became the Global Swim Series (GSS) last summer.Global-SS-Banner

As of yesterday, the Global Swim Series had about 33,000 participants, in 67 races, in 18 countries including: Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, St Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Ireland, Spain, Austria, Greece, Morocco, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.  And new for this year the GSS will even have a Global Championship Series:

  • GSS – North American Championship – Toronto, Canada – Sept 4, 2016
  • GSS – European Championship – Mallorca, Spain – Oct, 2016
  • GSS – South American Championship – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Jan, 2017
  • GSS – Pacific Championship – Sydney, Australia – Feb, 2017
  • GSS – Global Championship – Cancun, Mexico – April, 2017GSS Qualifiers banners NORTHAMERICAok2

(so make plans for the LOST Race & the new LOST Mile, the GSS – North American Championship and the GSS – Global Championship this year!)LOST Mile logo

So I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb by saying that you are definitely catching open water swimming on an upswing.  Both locally, nationally and globally.  It is apparently the fastest growing participation sport in the world.

So all this is to say… I hope you join us for a nice dip in Lake O and a coffee afterwards this Saturday… where it all started… LOST Beach!

PS.  yes, the rumors are true… the water is already warm!

Brett... the LOST Coffee Guy... the only coffee shop in the world where they wear wetsuits to work!

LOSTie, Brett, and his coffee shop “Bean There”… the only coffee shop in the world where they wear wetsuits to work!

See you on the Beach,

Rob

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5 useful tidbits about LOST Swimming…

Just some LOST related tidbits I thought you might find useful:AED

  1. A couple of years ago myself and a few others did CPR on a runner that collapsed near the end of the Hamilton Marathon (that’s another story, but a very cool one, scroll down and you can find the long version).  A large part of it was because we were able to start quickly and because we had an AED to shock his heart back to life.  We worked on him for 15 minutes and shocked him 5 times… and he survived.  I spoke with him and his brother (Ted and Don Guloien) a couple of days ago and they are going to donate an AED to LOST Swimming.  How cool is that.custom ear plugs
  2. France told me of a good place to get custom ear plugs.  As you might know I’ve literally broken my eardrums dozens of times and had one eardrum replaced twice.  I always swim with earplugs.  They protect your eardrum from rupturing and believe it or not, they keep your eardrum and head warm.  France got a pair for her daughter at Connect Hearing in Maple Grove Plaza, $63 each.  They aren’t cheap, but they are worth it.IMG_0414
  3. I saw this kayak and paddleboard on sale at Home Depot (of all places).  Cheap and cheerful, $400 for the paddleboard and $300 for the kayak.  Pretty decent prices.  We are always happy to have more kayakers and paddleboarders out for LOST Swims and the LOST Race!
  4. We always get about 65% off on Xterra wetsuits and paddleboards.  So click on the Xterra Wetsuits logo on the right hand side of the page and have a look around.  If you find something you like, drop me an email and I’ll send you the code.  LOSTies have bought over 200 wetsuits through Xterra, they love us!Xterra sale, June 1, 2016
  5. Support a good cause and get a good deal on a paddleboard or kayak! Charterability, an organization that takes handicapped people out on the Lake to see the beauty that we get to see all the time, is having a dinner to raise money for their program.  Charterability always lets us use their pontoon boat for the LOST Race!  They are also having a silent auction with over $10,000 worth of prizes (this is a good one!)… including paddleboard, 2 kayaks, big screen TV, 10 laps in an exotic car at Cayuga Speedway… and a ton of other items!Charterability flyer
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2 things I hope we don’t see in Lake O this summer…

A large Horseshoe Crab washed up during Hurricane Bonnie at Myrtle Beach, SC. Jill named him Thor...

A large Horseshoe Crab washed up during Hurricane Bonnie at Myrtle Beach, SC. Jill named him Thor…

… Hurricanes and freaky, alien-lookin’ Horseshoe Crabs!

So we have 3 kids.

Dylan swam NCAA at University of Maryland and will be around LOST Swimming (and GSS) this summer.  Ask him about the $20 video swim clinics that many LOSTies did with him last summer.

My 2 daughters, Maisey and Jillian, are both on swimming scholarships too, at Delta State.  The cool thing is that they both landed the best summer jobs ever.  Maisey is an ocean lifeguard for the second year at Hilton Head in South Carolina!  They don’t make summer jobs better than that!

Jillian is doing much the same thing.  She’s an ocean lifeguard at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina too.  She sent me these two pictures.  Shows you the difference between lifeguarding at the Y or even at a lake… and ocean lifeguarding!

Hurricane Bonnie, hitting Myrtle Beach! Nobody for Jill to lifeguard today!

Hurricane Bonnie, hitting Myrtle Beach! Nobody for Jill to lifeguard today!

 

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The first LOST Swim of 2016… and the new “LOST Mile!”

The first LOST Swim of 2015... 60 swimmers, 50F... and the 10th year of LOST Swimming!!!

The first LOST Swim of 2015… 60 swimmers, 50F… and the 10th year of LOST Swimming!!!

Hello LOSTies!

First LOST Swim of 2010... 62F... 14 swimmers!

First LOST Swim of 2010… 62F… 14 swimmers!

Okay, I know I’ve been a little remiss in putting up posts over the winter.  I’d like to say that it was because I took a break from open water swimming over the winter, but of course, the opposite is true.  I’ve been working hard (along with my son, Dylan) on growing and developing the Global Swim Series, which we started last year.GSS Member badge 2016

That’s a whole other story, but essentially we have grown it from just a handful of Canadian races (it was known as the Canadian Open Water Swim Series the year before) and about 2,000 swimmers, to over 32,000 swimmers, in 61 races, in 17 countries including: Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, St Kitts & Nevis, Bermuda, Barbados, Brazil, Ireland, Spain, Austria, Greece, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.

So it has actually been a busy winter with open water swimming for us!

But now we are almost back to full circle and about to start the first LOST Swim of 2016!  There are a few crazies that have already been in (ie Loren and Juan, training for their Lake O Crossings this summer!), but for the rest of us “normal” crazies, the first Saturday in June is always the first big day… so that’s Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 8:00 am, at LOST Beach!

The Swim Around Key West gang in 2012!!!

The Swim Around Key West gang in 2012!!!

This should be an amazing summer, tons going on.  Like I said, there will be a few Lake O Crossings this summer, a few other marathon swims (Darren, Fannie and Jeff doing the 20k Swim Around Key West on June 4), and probably a few more swims that I have forgotten about, but rest assured I’ll keep you apprised as the summer goes on!

Speaking of new swims, I wanted to let you all know that this year for the 9th annual LOST Race on Aug 13, 2016 we will also be holding the first annual “LOST Mile”!  

Start at Maple Grove - Finish at Navy St Pier for LOST Race. Start/Finish at Navy St Pier for LOST Mile.

Start at Maple Grove – Finish at Navy St Pier for LOST Race.
Start/Finish at Navy St Pier for LOST Mile.

The 3.8k LOST Race will be exactly the same, however, after the start of the LOST Race at Maple Grove the race organizers will hustle down to the Navy St Pier (LOST Beach) and start The LOST Mile.  The LOST Mile will be a loop course, instead of the point-to-point route like the LOST Race.

I’ve wanted to add a shorter race for years, to allow more people to participate.  It’ll be perfect for anyone who hasn’t quite worked up to the 3.8 km distance but still wants to do a good solid open water distance race (1 mile = 1.6 km).

After we had to shortened the LOST Race last year  to 500m and 1k distances because of the cold water (55F/12C) we did realize a couple of things.  One, that we could offer a couple of distances at the same time, and two, that having a loop course near the finish was actually great for the spectators to watch the race.  And so the LOST Mile was born!

2015 LOST Race Winners

1 km      (*shortened due to water temp, 55F/12C)

Winners of the 1000m; Mens Naked: Loren King, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Greg Streppel, Womens Wetsuit: Lynn Rogers, Womens Naked: Sara Nicholson

Winners of the 1000m; Mens Naked: Loren King, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Greg Streppel, Womens Wetsuit: Lynn Rogers, Womens Naked: Sara Nicholson

· Fastest ‘Naked – Man’: 16:45, Loren King

· Fastest ‘Naked – Woman’: 18:20, Sara Nicholson

· Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Man’: 11:40, Greg Streppel

· Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Woman’: 16:24, Lynn Rodgers

LOST Race results (2015)

500 m   (*shortened due to water temp, 55F/12C)

Winners of the 500m: Mens Naked: Charles Bolduc, Womens Naked: Kristen Sanhueza, Womens Wetsuit: Lisa Pickering, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Dylan Kent

Winners of the 500m: Mens Naked: Charles Bolduc, Womens Naked: Kristen Sanhueza, Womens Wetsuit: Lisa Pickering, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Dylan Kent

· Fastest ‘Naked – Man’: 10:11, Charles Bolduc

· Fastest ‘Naked – Woman’: 9:27, Kristen Sanhueza

· Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Man’: 8:14, Dylan Kent

· Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Woman’: 11:13, Lisa Pickering

Well that’s it for now.  We’ve already had a ton of people sign up for LOST Swimming and the LOST Race.  We should have a logo up for the LOST Mile shortly too… so go ahead and register for another fun summer of open water swimming… and LOST coffee!

The LOST coffee mug!

The LOST coffee mug!

I look forward to seeing you all in the lake, wetsuit or… naked!  And I know I say this every year, but “this is going to be the best season of LOST Swimming ever!”.  Stay tuned for some very exciting news from GSS this summer too!  And I also have it under special advisement that there will be one or two Olympians that are joining LOST this year… this is going to be fun!

PS. I’ve been right about it every year too, because it does keep getting better!

PPS.  Yes, it’ll likely still be “a wee bit chilly” when we start… but we aren’t the only ones who swim in chilly water!  Enjoy…

Cheers,

Rob

 

 

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The Polar Bear Dip… and 100 x 100’s on 100!

2016, 37 dippers, -2C air, +3C water! Special thanks to Darren "The Neoprene Kid" for bobbing around out there keeping an eye on everyone!

2016, 37 dippers, -2C air, +3C water! Special thanks to Darren “The Neoprene Kid” for bobbing around out there keeping an eye on everyone!

Now that’s a fun way to roll into the New Year!

Maybe I’m getting old, but New Year’s Eve was no biggee.  And unless I’m going to Time Square it usually isn’t… and I’ve never been to Time Square for New Year’s Eve.

However, New Year’s day was lots of fun!  We had the 6th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip!  And it was great!  Our biggest LOST PBD ever… 37 dippers, twice as many people watching all the fools in the water… -2C air temp and +3C water temp… perfect!  Well maybe not perfect, but better than the last two freakin’ cold winters!

Then on Jan 2 a whole bunch of us made the trek out to the Pan Am Pool in Scarberia to do 100 x 100’s on 100 (which in non-swimming lingo means swimming 100 meters, 100 times on a 1:40 pace time = 10k swim!).  Great new pool… in the middle of nowhere.  Should have been in Oakville in my (biased and) humble opinion, but that ship has sailed.

What a turn out!  Etobicoke Masters, Oakville Masters, Burlington Masters... and of course LOSTies! (most are both!)

What a turn out! Etobicoke Masters, Oakville Masters, Burlington Masters… and of course LOSTies! (most are both!)

Bud did a great job getting out a lot of the Etobicoke Masters, Lynn represented Burlington Masters, Joanne, Michael and Will were the pride of the Oakville Masters… and of course, most of them were (or will be!) LOSTies as well!  I believe we had about 30 swimmers out for it, not too shabby!  I was worried there would only be 5 or 6 of us, but they just kept coming!

I have been nursing a bad back for almost 3 weeks now and was hoping it would cut me some slack and let me do the 100 x 100’s… well we came to a compromise.  My back said you can do it, but… you can only do open turns!  That’s a lot of slow open turns!  But we got it done!  I think there was only about 7 of us that were able to do all 100 on 1:40, but it doesn’t matter, everyone was able to over-do it to their own ability.  I’m pretty sure everyone was feeling it the next day.

Special tip of the hat goes to Tara Norton (our celebrity former pro-Ironman guest).  She came to mind when I turned to Brian at #38 (or 3.8k) and said “I’d much rather do 62 more than have to get out and jump on the bike for 180k!”  I’m thinking Tara would have loved to have gotten out and jumped on the bike then!  But she did the whole thing… and earned some real “pool cred”… although I did say to her when we finally finished 2 hours and 47 minutes later when I saw her grimacing because she had to pee so badly she thought she was going to explode… “you’ve got the swimming down, but if you really want to be a true swimmer you have to learn how to pee in the pool!”  (of course, I was joking… I’d never pee in the pool!  eww.).

My post-swim, 4 lb, "Bad Ass" burrito! Lucky if I broke even on calories for the day!

My post-swim, 4 lb, “Bad Ass” burrito! Lucky if I broke even on calories for the day!

Scary thing is she went home and ran 12k.  She wins.  I made it to Bud’s truck and ripped open a box of chocolates he had received from a client an scarfed them down.  And that was just to get me home.  When we got home, Joanne and I went out for lunch.  I had the “Big Ass” burrito… about the size of a small child… and then held the couch in place for about an hour and a half.  Overall I probably broke even on calories for the day.

But… a good time was had by all.  Well done everyone!

Only 5 or 6 months until the start of LOST Swimming!  Woohoo!

Cheers,

Rob

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6th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip!!!

polar bear dip, 2014_edited-1 (1)

Come on out to the 6th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip… it is kind of like the LOST Beer Mile… if you don’t want to participate that’s okay… it’s fun just to watch!

But it’s more fun to dunk!

Same LOST place, same LOST time… New Year’s Day, Friday, Jan 1 at noon sharp at LOST Beach!

10881584_626385090801363_7250829640479538834_ngoing in 2

you can measure the temp... by the facial expressions!

you can measure the temp… by the facial expressions!

See you there!

Cheers,

Rob

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Here is something kinda fun and different… get a team together and swim a relay for an hour against other teams!  Winner gets a turkey!

Looks like fun!  Check out embraceopenwater.com for all the details!

Cheers,

Rob

turkey relay swim

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The off-season… with EOMAC and the Global Swim Series…

facebook logoSo one nice thing about LOST Swimming is there is an off season!  That’s when I get a bit lazy and don’t put up as many posts (although there is still a ton of stuff on the LOST Swimming Facebook page, so join there if you haven’t!) and tend to take it a bit easy.

eomac logoActually… I haven’t really.  I’ve joined EOMAC, (Etobicoke Olympium Masters Aquatic Club), which is great, I feel like I’m actually getting back into shape!  Having placed very well at Ironman Lake Placid (in the swim ONLY!), a swimmer can fool themselves into thinking they are fast.  That is a totally unfair comparison though.  It is a real swimmer swimming against triathletes.  It just makes you feel like you are fast.  I’m sure its the same for good riders and runners who race against triathletes.  But then I joined EOMAC.  And started training and racing against swimmers.  A bit of humble pie after feeling like a champ after IMLP.  But the good news is it seems to be coming back.  Slowly.

LOSTies at IMLP 2015

LOSTies at IMLP 2015

The other bigger news is the organization that Dylan and I are running.  The Global Swim Series.  It is going swimmingly.  Pardon the lame pun.

Dad waiting for Dylan to finish his first Ironman... (yes, I phrased that so that you noticed I beat him... got to make note of it while I still can!)

Dad waiting for Dylan to finish his first Ironman… (yes, I phrased that so that you noticed I beat him… I’ve got to make note of it while I still can!)

You may recall that it started last summer as COWSS, the Canadian Open Water Swim Series.  We were really happy with how it worked out, we had 12 races and over 2,000 participants across Canada!  We were ecstatic, we had no idea it would be that popular.GSS LOGO FINAL

So as you have probably seen, this year we decided to open it up to the whole world and call it the Global Swim Series.  It is a ton of work, but you know what?  It is an even bigger success.  And again we are ecstatic, and had no idea that it would be this popular!

It has become the largest swim series in the world.  Over 18,000 swimmers in all the races.  31 races have joined.  10 countries; Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, Barbados, Brazil, Ireland, Russia and Australia… and Bermuda (as I was writing this post!).  And there are a whole bunch more that I’m speaking with that plan on joining in the very near future.  The cool thing is that we are starting to get some recognition outside of our immediate circles.  People and organizations are starting to come to us, rather than us going to them.  That’s pretty exciting.

Ian, Mairi, Trevor & Cam... LOSTies in Barbados!

Ian, Mairi, Trevor & Cam… LOSTies in Barbados!

So now with all these races and swimmers and interest we are in a position where we can start looking to the future and adding more “things”.  Obviously I can’t get into the details, but we would like to continue adding more races and swimmers… and then even add a world championship race and several other surprises too.  We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves but things are coming together, maybe not by the end of this season, but we’re looking into it.

A big congrats, while I think of it, to all the LOSTies who participated in the Global Swim Series this summer!  And a special “tip of the hat” to the LOSTies that went down to Barbados for the amazing Swim Festival there!Barbados start

Anyway, the point of all this was to tell you why I haven’t been putting up many posts lately.  It’s because I’ve been dogging it, it is because I’ve actually been swimming and promoting open water swimming around the world.  Seems like a decent excuse.

PS. do me a big favor… like the Global Swim Series Facebook page… and sign up for the GlobalSwimSeries.com Newsletter and help spread the word about the GSS!!!

PPS. while I was writing this another race joined the Global Swim Series… Bermuda is in!

Cheers,

Rob

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Diana Nyad speaking in Toronto!!!

She has done some amazing swims (including a Lake Ontario Crossing in 1974… see the record book, under the Lake O Crossings tab above), but she’s coming to talk about her new book which was written about her biggest swim… the Cuba to Key West swim!  She’s been a controversial swimmer at times, but she has also pushed the barriers on a lot of fronts.  Here is your chance to hear her story directly from her.  Should be amazing!

Cheers,

Rob

Diana Nyad book tour

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LOSTies in Kona!!!

Just got this pic from Lambrina of Helene and Brett in Kona, Hawaii… all set for the Ironman World Championships!!!

In fact, I’m sure they are more than ready… anxiously waiting for 5 more sleeps!  Sleep tight, kids… its coming!  And we’ll all be watching!

PS.  Happy 53rd Birthday, Brett… have fun testing out your birthday suit in the swim!

Helene and Brett... LOSTies, rarin' to go!!!

Helene and Brett… LOSTies, rarin’ to go!!!

Cheers,

Rob

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The 2015 LOST/Connor’s Runner’s Beer Mile!

And they are off!!!

And they are off!!!

Sometimes when I write these posts I have to be a little creative to try and convey the fun we had at a specific event or swim, because it man not seem immediately obvious that swimming in cold water, or rough water, or cold and rough water would be as much fun as it is.  This event, however, was not one of those events.

It was a lot more fun to spectate THIS running race!

It was a lot more fun to spectate THIS running race!

It was just as much fun as it looks like it was.

The first and second beers are fun...

The first and second beers are fun…

... the third and fourth... a bit more "challenging"!

… the third and fourth… a bit more “challenging”!

This was the second year of the LOST/CR’s Beer Mile rivalry.  Swimmers vs Runners.  And we LOSTies held onto the title again!

Here are some interesting facts:

  1. Winning time was 3 seconds faster this year than last year… 7:12
  2. Slowest time was 15:08 this year, vs 24:51 last year
  3. One more competitor this year… at 18
  4. 9 LOSTies, 9 CR’s
  5. 9 of top 11 were LOSTies
  6. most popular beer: Canadian (3), Budweiser (2), Cameron’s (2), Keith’s (2)
  7. 11 runner’s under the the “Miracle (Beer) Mile” time of 10 minutes… (only 4 last year)
  8. best costumes: Elvis (CR), The Wrestler (CR), Caitlyn Jenner (LOST), The Skirt (CR)
  9. 2 women in 2014… and two different women in 2015
  10. Even more beers were had at O’Finns after the race!

Ya, the pictures pretty much tell it all.  It was fun.  A lot of fun.  And as I said at the time, I think the spectators had as much fun as the runners!

Special thanks to Mauro, Darren, Andrea for organizing!

See you all next year… have fun training over the next 364 days!

Cheers,

Rob

The Wrestler (Ted)

The Wrestler (Ted)

Elvis (Russell)

Elvis (Russell)

The LOST Boys (and girls?!)

The LOST Boys (and girls?!)

Connor's Runner's Boys and Girls!

Connor’s Runner’s Boys and Girls!

... and a couple of beers to celebrate the Beer Mile!

… and a couple of beers to celebrate the Beer Mile!

2015 results 2014 results

 

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… I guess calling the season last weekend was right… surf’s up!

Darius, catching a wave on the West Harbour side of the creek!

Darius, catching a wave on the West Harbour side of the creek!

So I decided to make the call last weekend to wrap up LOST Swimming for the season.  The waves were pretty crazy, but the weather was warm and the water was still warm too… but I had a hunch that would likely be it.  Boy, was I right.

Surfs up!

Surfs up… thanks to Hurricane Joachim!

Hurricane Joachim hit Oakville this week.  I’m sure the US east coast got it much worse, but it is so strong we were feeling it here too!

Darius, down from Guelph to catch a ride at LOST Beach!

Darius, down from Guelph to catch a ride at LOST Beach!

I went for a run down to the LOST Beach and across the creek to the West Harbour side too, on Saturday.  HUGE waves… I even saw someone out there surfing!  I thought it was Darren so I waited until he came in, but when he came in I realized it wasn’t him… it was a guy name Darius… who came all the way from Guelph to surf here!  He was telling me that the Scarborough Bluffs and Ashbridges Bay were the best places to surf on Lake O… but that this was awesome too!

Crashing over the Pier!

Crashing over the Pier!

Funny thing is… it got even rougher on Sunday!  LOSTie, Steve Ellis, got this shot on Sunday… wow!  Biggest waves I’ve ever seen on Lake O!

But it does make me want to learn how to surf!

Cheers,

Rob

 

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Saving the best for last!!!

P9250003

I think Darren said it first, but 3 or 4 other people came up to me after the swim yesterday and said “that was the best swim this year!”

Yikes!!!  Too late now John!

Yikes!!! To late now John!

P9266392Yup, LOSTies certainly are an adventurous bunch…because that was one adventurous swim!

... a little "lumpy" out there today!

… a little “lumpy” out there today!

It was kinda weird.  The weather was nice.  No real wind and the air temp was about 70F/20C… certainly didn’t seem like September 26.  And it seemed like it should be a nice quiet and calm send off for the last LOST Swim of 2015… but it was anything but quiet and calm!  This has been a bit of an odd ball year really.  Colder and rougher than most other years.  But, hey, that’s open water swimming!  That’s what makes it a lot more interesting than swimming in the pool!  And, boy, it was interesting.

... but these are LOSTies... a few little wave just make it more fun!

… but these are LOSTies… a few little wave just make it more fun!

well we won't be getting in on LOST Beach today!

well we won’t be getting in on LOST Beach today!

Adrian... "aaaahhhh!!!"

Adrian… “aaaahhhh!!!”

...watch that first step, Dylan... it's a doozy!

…watch that first step, Dylan… it’s a doozy!

Stewart, I'm not sure putting you car keys in your buoy was such a good idea!  ;-)

Stewart, I’m not sure putting you car keys in your buoy was such a good idea! ;-)

Mike and I got there early to set up and oddly, before you even got to the water you could hear it!  I pulled the kayak out of the jeep and headed down to the water and as soon as I saw the water I dropped it and Mike and I had a good laugh.  There was no way we were going to be able to launch the kayaks from LOST Beach… the waves were huge!  Biggest waves I’ve ever seen there.  We stood there in awe and just watched for quite a while.  We tried to guess how big the waves were, without the typical BS that usually accompanies peoples biased measurement of wave height… I put the waves at 6-8 feet!  A few might have been higher!

The good news was that the waves had quite a nice long wave length… which made them very swim-able… if you could get in!

Clearly we couldn’t get in on LOST Beach, although Darren and Fanny did get an earlier swim in from there and after helping them get out over our rocky beach we confirmed that would probably not be the best thing to do!  Even though the first words out of a “kelp” covered Darren was “That was awesome!”

A bit further down that it looks eh, Mark?!

A bit further down that it looks eh, Mark?!

So we tried something different.  Something kinda fun and exciting.  We all went down to the end of the pier and jumped into the creek side and then had a great swim back to our usual spot!  It worked out well because we were able to get out on the ladders at the same spot on the creek side too.

The water was 63F, so temperature was not an issue… but the waves, well it was hilarious!  I think it was Mark who summed it up after by saying: “It was crazy, I was swimming and looked UP and saw Miguel above me!”  You could be 6 feet away from someone and in the trough of the wave and see someone 6 or 8 feet above you on the crest of the wave!  May not be unusual in big waves in the ocean, but totally unusual for Lake O!

Darren: "I swear there is SOMETHING down there!"

Darren: “I swear there is SOMETHING down there!”

There was 28 LOSTies that were rewarded for their loyalty by coming out a few days before October with a very memorable swim!  The Blue Jays aren’t the only ones that had a great September!

A good September for LOST Swimming... and the Blue Jays!

A good September for LOST Swimming… and the Blue Jays!

Well that’s it for 2015.  Thanks to all the LOSTies that were able to get out and enjoy some fun swimming this summer… and to all the LOST supporters who followed along too!  (special thanks to Mike, Richie and Stuart for getting such great shots of this amazing swim!… here are Stuart’s pics!)

Mike, Miguel, Dylan and myself, along with all our volunteer kayakers over the summer put in a lot of work every Saturday morning for no reason other than to have a little fun… and honestly, it wouldn’t be any fun or worth doing if we you weren’t there and if we didn’t have the support from all the LOSTies and friends of LOST Swimming.  So my sincere thanks to you all!

Ian: "well that was CRAZY!"

Ian: “well that was CRAZY!”

Next official LOST Swim… Jan 1, 2016 at noon… for the Polar Bear Dip!  (and good luck to all the LOSTies going to Barbados for one of the last races in the Global Swim Series this year!… more to come on that!)

See you then and thanks for a great season!

Cheers,

Rob

Thanks for a great LOST season LOSTies!!!

Thanks for a great LOST season, LOSTies!!!

 

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The waves before the storm!

Sep 19, 2015... and still swimmin!  28 swimmers and 68F/19C!!!

Sep 19, 2015… and still swimmin!      38 swimmers and 68F/19C!!!

Well that was interesting!

Mike and I got down there early to set up (and Mauro was already there setting up… thanks guys!) and there was hardly a ripple on the water… but by the time we got in the water it was rockin’!  Weird morning actually, because by the time we were packing up and most people had left the waves were dying down again?!

At 68F degrees... nobody wanted to get out!

At 68F degrees… nobody wanted to get out!

... deflating the buoys after they almost blew away!

… deflating the buoys after they almost blew away!

Chris... lovin' it!

Chris… lovin’ it!

It actually made for an interesting swim.  The kayaking was a bit more challenging though!  I kinda felt bad for Mike and Dylan.  We pumped up the 3 large buoys and they towed them out and put them in place.  I gave my little speech.  We all got in and started swimming.  And then we noticed the buoys seemed to be in a bit bigger loop than when we started!  They were blowing away!  They still had weights on them, but they were still blowing away!

Well, always looking at the bright side of things… the water was toasty warm, 68F/19C … and there was no rain yet!

The long and short of it was it was still a fun swim, and with warm water it makes it fun to just surf around in the waves!

I ran into two other groups that seemed to be enjoying the wind and waves… a pair of beautiful swans that came over to check us out (not sure if those are the same two swans that were in the exact same place when they came out to greet me as I finished the last 50m of my Lake O Crossing 3 years ago, but I wouldn’t be surprised!)… and some kite boarders!

two other groups that didn't seem to mind the wind and the waves... the swans...

two other groups that didn’t seem to mind the wind and the waves… the swans…

... and the kite-boarders!!!  They were on their way into Toronto!!!

… and the kite-boarders!!! They were on their way into Toronto!!!

I went up and spoke to the kite boarders and they were getting 4 or 5 set up to kite board all the way in to Toronto!  They said it would likely take them 2-3 hours to do it… I said the way the waves were rolling it felt like we could have raced them!  (but I was a bit reluctant to put any money on that! haha)  It looked really cool, I’ve always wanted to try it.  I’m not sure who was more fascinated by what each other was doing… them or us!  Just cool to see more people out enjoying the lake!

So far so good… we’ll see how the weather and water temp holds out, but if the season suddenly ends, as it often does, I’ll send out an email and let you all know… otherwise… see you next Saturday!

PS.  for those analytically minded (like myself), I went back in my log book to see when we ended LOST Swimming in previous years, my log book goes back to 2003, but I only started LOST in 2006 and in the early years there was only a handful of us, so it just ended when we didn’t show up:

Get out for a swim now... before it looks like this!  This really was Lake O in 2015!

Get out for a swim now… before it looks like this! This really was Lake O in 2015!

  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Sep 7, 2013
  • Sep 15, 2012
  • Sep 24, 2011
  • Sep 11, 2010
  • Aug 29, 2009
  • Sep 13, 2008
  • Aug 25, 2007
  • Aug 19, 2006 (because I left for Dover… to swim the English Channel!)

Cheers,

Rob

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The warmest swim this year!!!

25 swimmers and 73F!!!  What a day for swimming... in September!

23 swimmers and 73F!!! What a day for swimming… in September!

After what has been a pretty cold summer (at least water-wise!), with one week in the middle of the summer at 45F/7C (that we still swam in), and the LOST Race at 50F/10C (that we still had a good, but shortened race), we now are reaping the rewards… it warm.  It was 73F/23C!!!  The water was even warmer than the air.  The air was only 62F/17C.

Funny thing was, I woke up like I do every Saturday morning in the summer at about 6:45 and rolled out of bed to get ready for LOST Swimming.  But today I looked out the window and it look crappy out.  I briefly considered going back to bed, because it was rainy and cold out.  No one was going to show up for LOST Swimming.  But I knew a couple of people still would, so I would too.  Motivation in numbers.  I got down to LOST Beach and no one was there yet.  Then a couple people showed up to swim in the rain.  Then, low and behold the rain stopped… and more people showed up.  We ended up with 25 swimmers!

The water was actually quite wavy and didn’t look inviting at all with the overcast cloud cover too.  But at that first moment when you dip your toe in,  there was a sudden relief… it was really warm.  And that changes everything.  The menacing, rolling waves suddenly turn into nice rollicking waves to play around in!  We didn’t bother setting up the buoys (partially because I didn’t think there would be many swimmers!), so we went old school and just did a 1 km out and back, for 2 km total.  The water was so comfortable that about a dozen of us ended up bumping into each other about 1km down the shore and “sat” there and chatted for a while, I joked we should have had a floating coffee raft (like they have at the Tremblant Ironman!)… but I think it would have tipped in the waves!

Anyway, we had a great swim and the sky even cleared up by the time we went for coffee.  Another nice swim.

Looks like this Saturday might be the best swim this summer… we are supposed to get some unseasonably warm weather and I’m sure the water will still be warm too!

Jenny and Roger in visiting... and in for a dip... from Portsmouth, England!  Great to have international swimmers!

Jenny and Roger in visiting… and in for a dip… from Portsmouth, England! Always great to have international swimmers visit us!

PS. it was nice to meet Jenny (and Roger!) who joined us for a swim… who were in town visiting from Portsmouth, England!  Always cool to have some international visitors come swim with us!!!

Cheers,

Rob

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Caledon Quarry Swim II

The start of the 2k!

The start of the 2k!

LOSTies and those after final Global Swim Series points made up a large proportion of those at the Caledon Quarry Swim II on Sunday, but there were also some really speedy young swimmers from coach Barrie Shepley’s C3 team.  (check out the results on GSS!)

Some LOSTies that made the trip up to Caledon, with big ol' grins on their faces!  Jenn, Mairi, Gabrielle and Ian.

Some LOSTies that made the trip up to Caledon, with big ol’ grins on their faces! Jenn, Mairi, Gabrielle and Ian.

We had the unusual case on Saturday of having warm water in Lake O (73F/23C) and only 17C air… but it was nicer weather than we got on Sunday at the Quarry, where the air was only 12C and the water was 71F/21C… I think it was the only time this summer that Lake O was warmer than the Quarry!

Lynn, getting out-run... in a swimming race!

Lynn, getting out-run… in a swimming race!

... better luck next time, Lynn!

… better luck next time, Lynn!

But having said that… it was still fun.  The Quarry is a nice place to swim and it’s always fun to race against a bunch of buddies and do your best.  The water was very comfortable, but the wind really whipped up some significant chop in the far corner where the waves bounced off the walls!  I was telling some other swimmers about my race and they took some comfort in knowing that even an old vet like me took in a few unexpected mouthfuls in that corner!

I was smoked by a few of Barrie’s very fast kids in the 2k, and much like the weekend before at the TCoB’s Pier to Pier swim I was beat by my son… just barely.  I wasn’t sure if it was him ahead of me, but on the last half of the last lap I was determined to reel in the swimmer who was 20 meters ahead of me… and much to my surprise, I did!  We came around the last turn with 150 m to go and I got a better line

Dylan trotting in ahead of me... after boxing me out!

Dylan trotting in ahead of me… after boxing me out!

beat by Dylan again... the little ^$#@!

beat by Dylan again… the little ^$#@!

on the finishing arch and was pulling ahead as he headed wide… I was bi-lateral breathing and by the time breathed to that side again he had noticed I was pulling ahead… so he simply cut over and boxed me out!  After the race he said “I had nothing… but I still wasn’t going to let you pass me… so I just used some open water strategy and boxed you out!”.  Oh well, good fun.

Cheers,

Rob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three successful Lake Ontario Crossing swimmers!!!  Miguel Vadillo, 2010... Carlos Costa, 1993... Rob Kent, 2012.  And, yes, Carlos is also a double amputee!

Three successful Lake Ontario Crossing swimmers!!! Miguel Vadillo, 2010… Carlos Costa, 1993… Rob Kent, 2012. And, yes, Carlos is also a double amputee!

Here are some of Barrie’s highlights from the race too:

NATIONAL TEAM FASTEST 2K SWIMMERS

C3’S Andrew Yorke has swam in the C3 James Dick Quarry for nearly a decade as a junior athlete, under 23 athlete and pro.  Andrew now lives in Guelph as he prepares for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  Andrew was in Edmonton last weekend, where his 8th place World Cup Triathlon finish was the best male performance this year.  He is in his final taper for next Saturday Sept 19th’s World Championship in Chicago.  Andrew’s Guelph National Team-mate was Domi Jaminicky. Domi was just 15th in Edmonton and was featured on CBC just yesterday.  Andrew’s CBC race will be this coming Sat 19th from 3-4pm on CBC Sports Weekend (tune in).  Thanks to coach Taylor for bringing the top athletes to Caledon for the day.

WARD YORKE SWIMS FARTHER THAN ANYONE

While his son Andrew maybe big-stuff on the triathlon circuit, its dad Ward Yorke who today had the longest swim of anyone in the field going an amazing 11km straight.  Ward and his C3 team-mate Geoff Sullivan both started swimming about 8:30am this morning and had amazing end of summer swims. Kudos to both C3 athletes for life-time longest swims.

GREG & BOB ROCK A FAST 10 WITHOUT A WETSUIT

When Bob Hayes heard that Greg Streppel was doing 10k, he got into his car early and drove to Caledon to have a chance to swim with the world-class athlete.  Together the dynamic duo rocked just over 2hrs 20min for the 10km without a wetsuit.  They basically swam 20min km for the entire 10km.  Thanks for being a part of the day.

TIMMS FAMILY STILL ROCKING FAST

Twenty years ago, Toronto lawyer Stefan Timms was one of Canada’s top elite pro triathletes.  He raced all over the world representing Canada.  It was through triathlon that he met his wife Kate, who was also one of Canada best young triathletes. Two decades later, Stefan and Kate have two beautiful kids and today had the fastest 4km swim (Stefan) and fastest female 1km swim (Katie).  With a busy life and kids, its fantastic to see how you can still stay in shape.

CARLOS COSTA INSPIRES

Four decades ago, Carolos Costa lost his legs at 2 years of age.  Obviously he has learned to overcome any obstacles in his way.  Today he swam the 4km, no-wetsuit in under 90minutes.  It was an honour to have Carlos in the field today.  Carlos also swam across Lake Ontario in 1993 in 32 hours and 42 minutes!!!

ROB LOSES TO SON DYLAN BY A SECOND

Clearly Dylan Kent has no respect for his elders.  Today the man who takes care of the website for the Global Swim Series, took a bite out of his father by a few seconds in the 2km race.  Rob and Dylan have been instrumental in creating and developing the Global Swim Series. Kudos to both hard working guys. 

AMAZING SUPER-MASTER SWIMS

Five years ago, I had to argue with 66 year old Bob Knuckey to register for a mini-triathlon. He couldn’t swim and didn’t believe he ever would. Last year he won the World 70.3 World Triathlon Championships and was on the podium a few weeks later in Kona.  Today he had one of the fastest swims in just over 35mintes.  Incredible.

Not to be out done, 81 year old George Milne was just over 25 minutes for the 1km swim. 

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The Terry Fox… SWIM!!!

Terry FoxHey LOSTies!

Here is a chance to get another swim in this year… and donate to a great cause… in the name of the greatest Canadian!

Last year we were asked to put on a Terry Fox “Swim” event instead of a run – and this year we are doing it again!  We are looking for swimmers and supporters (kayak/SUP/boat) for Sunday, September 20 – swim, float, wade, whatever you like! We have not finalized the details – but it is likely to be a 1 – 1.5k course (water dependant) at Coronation Park.

You can join our team or sponsor us at:  http://www.terryfox.ca/cparkswim

This is an amazing event to be a part of, it was a lot of last year and will be again this year!  If you can help with on-water support – message me directly, if you want to swim – sign up!  We look forward to seeing a HUGE swimmer turnout!”

Cheers,

Mike Morton,    mmorton@oreilly.com

Terry Fox 2

 

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Frank’s Swim for Mental Health!

Hey LOSTies,

Here is the information to our fellow LOSTie, Frank Zamuner’s “Swim for Mental Health”!  A great cause and a great guy!  Take a look, donate and participate if you can too!

Swim for Mental Health, 2015 Poster

 

Cheers,

Rob

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