Good news!… bad news… Good news! (and congrats to Mark!)

So the good news is… we had 57 swimmers out on Saturday and had a great swim!  woo hoo!

June 16, 2018… 57 swimmers… 48F water!

The bad news is… I didn’t know what the water temperature was.  At least until I went in myself.  Our “trusty” old thermometer went missing over the winter.

The good news is… I went out and bought a thermometer.

This is just  me beating around the bush a bit.  About saying how cold it was.  It was cold.  Really cold.  As in “stupid cold”… which means it was in the 40’s F, or single digits Celsius.  Like I said last week, those of us that have been doing this a long time can typically guess the water temp to within a degree or so.

I went in (yes, with a wetsuit!), but when I finally worked my way down to the water’s edge after getting everyone going and taking care of all the LOST matters, I realized I had forgotten my swim cap.  I almost never swim without one, but was too lazy to go back up to the grass and get mine.  I didn’t think it would make “that much” of a difference.

And lesson learned.  Swim caps make a big difference.  I never get “freeze brain” in the water, even in cold water.  Well I got it today!  I was swimming along and had to do some breast-stroke because my head was getting so cold!  Ice cream headache cold!

So, ya, it was probably about 48-49F/9C.

Warming up at Bean There… after a bit of a chilly one!

But, here is the crazy thing.  All 57 swimmers went in.  And not just for a second or two.  I’m pretty sure almost everyone did at least one 300m lap.  And the majority did several.  As in 6, or 7 … or 10.  There were people in there for 45 minutes.

And there was a significant number that were “naked”.  To go that long, in water that cold, without a wetsuit… wow.  That’s impressive.

Ritchie and Chris finishing up their LOST Race route swim… in 48F!

Then you have Chris and Ritchie.  In a class of their own.  They did the LOST Race route, 3.8k from Maple Grove.  And Chris did it without a wetsuit!  Now, I know you probably think that is nuts, and I wouldn’t recommend it for just about anyone, but in their defense, they did swim ALL winter!  Every month.  Right down to 0C!  So they actually do know what they are doing and have acclimatised their bodies to it.

Darren out on the SUP… he and Jeff are doing a major SUP race in Hawaii soon!

Long and short of it is though.  Well done everyone!  This will make you better swimmers and will make you a lot more comfortable when the warm water comes!  Which, who knows, might be soon with this heat wave!

See you on Saturday!

John and Mark… all smiles after the 2014 LOST Race! John is currently sailing the South-Pacific Ocean… while Mark just completed the 20k Swim Around Key West!

Oh and I have to give a big round of applause to LOSTie, Mark Bintley!  Who this spring did his longest ever run (80k at Sulphur Springs Trail Race!)... and then while we were swimming in 48F water, he was doing the Swim Around Key West in 90F+ water!  Completing his longest ever swim too!  20k in 5:54 and placing 59/99 overall!  Way to go Mark!  And good luck on your upcoming Ironman!!!  woohoo!

PS. we will hold our first post-swim “LOST Run” on June 30!  I’ll design a beautiful, LOST related, 10k route that anyone is welcome to join in and do!



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A couple of misleading LOST “facts” at the swim on Saturday…

We beat the ratio early this year! More swimmers than degrees! 62 swimmers, 56F degrees!

The buoys and the temperature.

I know, the temperature issue has been known to happen somewhat frequently… but this one wasn’t my fault!  ;-P

One of the other guys measured the temp… and I just witnessed it… it said 62F/17C.  Unusually warm and pancake flat.

Pancake flat and picturesque…

But… it wasn’t 62F.  Or at least when you get out beyond 4″ deep.  Asking those that have been LOSTies long enough to know the temp by feel, to within 1-2 degrees, it was agreed that it was more like 55-56F.  Still not too shabby for this time of year.

More importantly it didn’t keep any of the 62 LOSTies out!  Of course, everyone still went in.  And most went in for quite a while… from 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Under Darren’s and Tom’s watchful eyes.

It just goes to show you 2 things… 1) how you can get used to cold water.  Where 56F isn’t that cold.  It isn’t that cold for LOSTies, but it is for regular swimming muggles.  And keep in mind, nobody “likes” cold water, just that you actually get better at being more comfortable in it.

And, number 2… the power of peer pressure.  When you see literally dozens and dozens of other people, of all kinds of abilities, swimming and having fun in water that cold, you start to think that it is possible.  And, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The LOST Brain-trust! hahaha

The second misleading issue was the distance.  The LOST Brain-trust, the same crowd that guessed the correct water temp, also guessed the distance at about 300 meters per loop.  Turns out that experience was pretty much bang on… well until the last lap!

Darren, paddled over to bring in the buoys at the end of the swim, but had a bit farther to go than usual!  The buoy had lost it’s weight and was on it’s way to Mississauga!  So for those of you that thought you must be getting really tired because the last lap was taking forever… fear not… Kathy Eaton proved it wasn’t you… it was the travelling buoy!  haha.

Run-away buoy!

Looks awesome for tomorrow!  Don’t take great days for granted (in LOST Swimming, or in life)… get out there and take advantage of it!

See you tomorrow morning!



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First LOST Swim of 2018 is in the books!

First LOST Swim of 2018! 49 swimmers, 53F/12C… let the 13th season begin!

Okay, for the first time in 13 years, I wasn’t at the first LOST Swim of the season.  But don’t worry, I still got a nice swim in!

My daughter, Maisey, and I did Ironman 70.3 in Raleigh, North Carolina!  It was Maisey’s first Ironman event and unfortunately she had 3 friends that were going to do the race with her… but they couldn’t be there, for one reason or another.  So she called me 2 weeks ago, sounding a bit down in the dumps because she was going to do her first IM race alone.  So Joanne said “you should go down and support her, you can be her sherpa and help her out and greet her at the finish line”.  To which I said “well… if I’m going to go… I’m going to race!”.

Maisey’s first IM 70.3… in Raleigh, NC!

I’m of the view that “life is a participation sport”.  Just get out there and do it.  Now, to what degree you do that is subjective.  Of course, racing a Half Ironman without having been on your bike in 3 years and running less than once per week, may be stretching that philosophy a bit for most people… but… whatever.  I did it anyway.

Finishing strong!

Long story short.  We both made it!  I was able to fake a 6:38 (not pretty, but I’ll take it, all things considered!).  Maisey did it!  7:11… not too shabby for her first one!  She was 3rd woman overall out of the water (the 2 that beat her were pro’s… she beat the best of the pro’s though!).  But she’s like her dad… still “room for improvement on the bike and run”. haha.

The long and short of it is… I had a lot of fun and had a special time with my daughter doing this race!  Really proud of her and it is pretty cool share something special like that.

Oh ya… my point was… yes, I got a swim in last Saturday too.

1.9 km, 81F in 32 minutes.

Talk about winging it! But I’ll take it!

And the most important part… fun and beers with my daughter after the race!

I’m thinking I beat all of you guys! haha.  Probably longer in distance and time… and definitely warmer!

But after that warm swim last weekend… and the GSS Global Championships in Cancun the weekend before… you’ll get a good laugh when I dip my toe in at LOST Swimming on Saturday!  I’m afraid I may have gotten a little soft…

But by the sounds of it from Dylan (thanks for hosting it for me!), everyone had a good time and the water was surprisingly “uncold”.  Maybe not warm, but not cold.  I think I heard about 55F/11C.  I’ve seen worse.  Especially on opening day!

Also that we were off to a flying start with 49 LOSTies coming out!  Very impressive.  Especially on opening day!

I’m sure it will still be cold tomorrow too… but… what else are you going to do on a Saturday morning… sleep in?!

PS.  If you have friends or family that want to give the kayaks and SUP’s a try… bring ’em down!  We now have a few stored in the LOST Shack!

See you at the Lake!



Dylan, taking over the role of “announcements from the stone!”

It just looks like fun!  We have extra kayaks and SUP’s if your friends or family want to come, but not swim!

A cool shot of LOST Swimmers and the Big Smoke!


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Get ready… here comes the 13th season of LOST Swimming!

Incredibly we are starting our 13th year of LOST Swimming.  Wow.

Register here.  Yup… it’s still just $45 for the whole summer… and the LOST Race is still just $50!

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

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

When this all started 13 years ago, it was because I decided to try and swim the English Channel and I needed a place to train.

At that time, absolutely nobody swam in Lake Ontario.  I had lived in Oakville by the Lake for 10 years and I had never seen anyone so much as dip a toe in the Lake.  Maybe if you went to the Beaches in Toronto or Burlington Beach to splash around, but certainly not to train for open water swimming.

Not that there was much open water swimming to train for.  There wasn’t a single open water race in Ontario then.  My buddy, Richard Pessah, in Ottawa started the very successful “Bring on the Bay” race in 2007, and one year before we started the LOST Race, but there was nothing in 2006.

The following summer I kept swimming and a few of my triathlon and running buddies.  We’d meet down at what was to become LOST Beach on Saturdays at 8:00.  We’d get 8 or 10 of us out.  We kept at it over the years, just because it was fun.  And it grew.  A few years later we were getting 30-40 people out… now we regularly get over 100 swimmers out!  All just word of mouth and it just kept growing.

Record swim: 122 LOSTies! July 29, 2017, water temp 70F/21C

And it hasn’t slowed down.  Have a look at several records we set last summer:

  • largest membership = 222 members!
  • largest Saturday LOST Swim = July 29 – 122 swimmers!
  • largest first LOST Swim of the season = June 3 – 82 swimmers!
  • largest number of swimmers for the LOST Race/Mile = 176 swimmers!
  • coldest (& foggiest) LOST Race (not all 176 swimmers swam!) = 48C/9C 

The “Fog Year”, also happened to be the coldest year too… 48F/9C

But don’t worry about the last point, we’ve moved the LOST Race to the 3rd Saturday in August from now on.  It has traditionally been warmer then (mind you the water was 69F 12 hours earlier too! haha).

I’m sure you are all aware of the Global Swim Series and that it was members of LOST that started it and run it.  Well, we are adding a new Canadian race this year… The Toronto Mile” and it will also be “The GSS Canadian Championships“!  The cool thing is that it will be a part of the Toronto Triathlon Festival too!

Al, David and Darren in the middle of the Canadian Death Race!  We have a long history of great LOST Runners and Triathletes!  They are either showing off their Hoka running shoes… muddy calves… or auditioning for a Captain Morgan’s ad…

One other thing we are going to add after Saturday swims is… LOST Running!  We plan to add a 10k-ish run after our swim!  For those that want to get a run in too… but you can also head over to Bean There for coffee, if you’d rather… or do both!  More to come on this!

regardless of the size of the waves or water temp… coffee at Bean There is a nice way to start the day!

Also this year we have the LOST Shack!  Which just allows us to have all of our equipment down there.  But that will only make the swims better with more buoys, kayaks, SUP’s, etc.  We now have a LOST kayak and a LOST SUP that you can use during our Saturday swims.  Cool way to test it out if you haven’t done it before, or a fun way to get your friend or family member involved too!  We are always happy to have more spotters for our swims!

The finished product!

I’m also working with the Town about a LOST Plaque and Patio… hopefully we get the go ahead, so stay tuned for that!

This is going to be the best summer of LOST Swimming ever… so sign up now and we’ll see you at 8:00 am on June 2nd!!!

Register here.


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LOSTies hit Vermont for Ice Swimming races!

LOSTies do us proud in Vermont!

Okay, not really my bag, but some LOSTies like Ice Swimming.  I mean I’ll do some “stupid cold” swims, like the rest of you, in the summer.  Like at the LOST Race this year, when the water was 48F/8C… and even then we made it wetsuit mandatory… and the air temp was still nice.  It makes a world of difference when the air temp is waaay below freezing too!

But this is a whole other kettle of fish.

Yes, there are that many people who Ice Swim!

This is 8C colder.  And no wetsuits.  The “no wetsuits” part actually makes sense to me.  I mean if you are going to swim in water that is that painfully cold, then you might as well go the whole distance.  In for a penny, in for a pound.

Posted by Amy Ross on Sunday, February 25, 2018

The only part of this whole crazy swim that makes sense to me is the fun and adventure of it.  I get that.  Fun and adventure is the common bond we LOSTies all have… well that and the love of water.

So Richie sent me a little story about their adventure for you to enjoy!  Looks like they did!  Way to represent!

Richie… going Commando!

Hi Rob,

We went to Vermont, USA, last Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, to participate in the 2018 Memphremagog winter Swim Festival, the Lake Ontario Swim Team was destined to meet the ICE head-on!

Coincidentally, we were stopped by black ice at Brighton on our way for ice-swimming. Our cars were actually sliding off the shoulder of the road!  Fortunately, Edwin “Mr Hockey” Greenfield was seen ice-skating on the highway with his rubber shoes.  Even the de-icing-truck skidded and blocked the highway!  We were definitely going to the right place if we were looking for ice.

Chris, getting psyched for some fast swimming!

Arriving at Lake Memphremagog, most of the LOST swimmers showed their lack of ice experience, no one was unprepared to walk on ice!  There wasn’t even snow on the ice, just pure, slippery ice!  Nobody had an ice-gripper boots, but fortunately my official chaperone, who is an ice-fishing enthusiast, anticipated this and provided me with a pair.  With just rubber shoes, “Cold Swimmer Chris” and “Mr Hockey” were seen skating on the ice going to the swimming-pool to get the water temperature.

seriously… that just doesnt look that welcoming to me…

The water temperature was “home” for LOSTies, especially given all the cold water training we all had done in Lake O.  That was Saturday and it was 0.5C (but we learned later the reading was actually -0.8C).

… okay, that looks a little more inviting!

Then there was a briefing. All participants had to wait for their turn inside the East Side Restaurant to go out avoiding a long exposure to frigid wind chill by maintaining radio contact with race director. Going out with our new Dry Robe already “naked” and with shoes/slippers on, we were escorted by volunteers and one of them is our very own Liza Champion.

You had to know there was beer involved here somehow!

Once there, the waiting time is relatively short and then being in the water the race director hurriedly shouts (no megaphone) “ready… on your mark… set… GO!  for both ice-swimmers and timers to hear.

Going in and out of the water volunteers were there to help all swimmers and another volunteer to escort us back to the heated Restaurant which was a hundred meters away. It was all fun.

Amy and Craig… with smiles frozen on!

“Mr Hockey” (Edwin) got the title in the best Crazy Hat Contest. But there were several other great ones too: Chris had his Canadians Beer Mug hat, Kat had her naked swimmers hat, I had a Navy Seal outfit, and Joseph with his Mako Shark hat.

There was even some fast swimming!  Craig shattered three records in: 25-free, 25-fly and 50-free, relay Team-Canada compose of Craig, Amy, Martha and Chris were burning the ice-pool with speed and won the relay competition too!

No wetsuits allowed! Everyone goes “naked”, even Katherines dolls!

Sundays event was colder with blowing snow making the swims harder especially the 200m which is the main event as it is the longest distance. Sunday, the official water temperature reading was a -0.9C!  Before the start of Sundays 25-fly, 200-free and the 4 x 200 relay they had to scoop the ice out!

A number of swimmers backed out and some didn’t finish the 100 and 200. A couple of swimmers were seen shivering and seriously in trouble after the 200m event but they were fine afterwards.

Looks Caribbean blue… but I’ll wait for the real Caribbean blue in Cancun!


Ultimately though, the goal was achieved: all the LOST swimmers had a lot of fun and “cool” adventures swimming in frigid cold water!

The Ontarians who crossed the border for this incredible adventure were: Craig and Amy, Katherine, Lisa, Josef, Nadine, Ammie, Gemma, Gen, Chris, Edwin, Richie. It was my first winter swimming event and one of the best weekends. I had and never expected it to turn out so magnificently!

Hats off to the organizer, Phil White and all the amazing volunteers who helped the event a success and made ice swimming safe. The camaraderie of open water swimmers who morphed into ice swimmers for this event in Vermont has given my swimming a boost and had raised the bar a bit higher!

Richie Eslawa, LOSTie and Ice Swimmer!

Well done, Richie and the whole “LOST Ice Swimming Team”!



Posted by Amy Ross on Sunday, February 25, 2018


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Rob’s freestyle stroke analysis

Hi all,

Here is the stroke analysis that our EOMAC Coach and 10k Olympian did of freestyle.  My take-away’s were: head positioning and higher elbow pull.

See if there is anything you can use to improve your stroke!  Always room for improvement!




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What does a LOSTie do in the winter?

hmmm… well it’s usually still water related.  There are actually a handful of LOST swimmers that swim all year round.

Olga and Dylan at the Smokey Hollow Ice Falls, Jan 1, 2018… that counts… it’s still water related!

…and no, Brett… I don’t see the resemblance…

I was really excited to be exploring the ice caves!

…. I mean a lot of us swim all year round.  Some swim masters with Etobicoke, Oakville, Burlington or other Masters.  Some swim on their own at the Y or with a tri group.

Ice swimming at Vermont’s “Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival!

But that’s not what I meant.  There are a handful of LOSTies that swim IN LAKE ONTARIO all year round!  Yikes.   You probably saw some of them swimming at the LOST Polar Bear Dip… not dipping… swimming.

Why you ask?  Because the LOST Race this year was just too damn hot.  Well, that and because they are training to compete in the Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival.  Feb 23-25.  Check it out.

This is who is going so far: Chris, Edwin, Richie, Kat, Loren, Craig, Amy, Nadine, Josef, Gemma, Aimee and Gen.  Most of them LOSTies and 12 in total from Ontario!

Not my bag, baby… but good luck, be safe and have fun!  Bring back lots of pics and vids… and cold beer!



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New LOSTie adventures coming up!

To quote one of my favorite lines about LOSTies:  “He’s got a bit of a spark to ‘im, doesn’t he!”  

Alex, Deanna, me and Peter… “How hard could it be?!” Our first Ironman in 2003!

For some reason I remember it well.  It was several years ago, when I first met this new Aussie guy (John Gayford) at LOST Swimming on Saturday morning.  He was talking about (Alex Mcmillin) one of the original LOSTies.

Now I forget what Alex was actually doing… but Alex does a lot. (22 time Boston Marathoner, multi-time Ironman, big time sailor… oh, and he likes beer).

Both are real LOSTies.

Darren, Thumper, Rob, Alex and Jackie… in the pubs of Key West… after swimming around it!

As it turns out so does John.  He’s “got a bit of spark to him too!”  A few years ago he was interviewed on TV about that airplane that went down in the Indian Ocean, that they never found.  It is one of the most severe and isolated places on earth.  Not good for swimming.  Or for sailing even.  Few people in history have ever sailed to Australia taking this route, they usually go across the Pacific.  But John has.  And it was rough.

The 3 Amigo’s… Chris, Gerry and John!

And now he’s off on another legendary sailing trip!   Sounds like he is going to pick up a few exotic GSS points for his Global Ranking too! ( He’s currently ranked 11th in the world, in the Male – Wetsuit Division!).

Some guys are just true adventurers…

John’s next little adventure… sailing the South Pacific!

Here’s the note from John:

“After nearly ten years from the last adventure of sailing from Canada to Australia, the sailing is set to start again.

Im sure they will be keeping their eyes open for all kinds of aquatic life on the way… even Mermaids!… even if it is just in the pubs!


Brendan S and I are partners in a legendary C&C 43 sailboat that is ready to sail the world from Fiji.  Built by Bruckmann Yachts, the C&C 43 is outstandingly strong, powerful and fast racer/cruiser. Our boat has been completely rebuilt inside and out, at Bruckmann Yachts, with the same attention to detail as the original build with all the latest mod cons for comfortable cruising and adventuring.

LOSTie, John Gayford, all ready to go at the Embrace SwimFest!

Yikes!!! Too late now John!

This time the sailing will focus on relaxed cruising with the purpose being: Fun, Friendship, Fitness, and Adventuring.

We want this adventure to be more than just sailing.  We want to enjoy lots of swimming, diving, fishing, walking, biking, and exploring new places and cultures.

Tentatively we expect to be in Fiji for May, NZ for June/July, Niue, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu for July, August, September, and East coast of Australia after that.”

Cheers     Brendan and John  

John and Mark… all smiles after the 2014 LOST Race!

Good luck, boys!!!  Send pics (and fresh water mermaids!).



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Kicking of the New Year… with LOST adventures!

So I’m a little behind on LOST posts.  Hey, it’s the off season and the Global Swim Series has eaten up all my internet time, as it continues to grow unabated.

But we’ve done a couple of cool things already this year!

57 swimmers doing the “100 x 100 on 100”, Dec 31, 2017

4th Annual “100 x 100 on 100”

This was “fun”.  And by “fun”, I mean, a lot harder than I thought it would be.  As in, I wasn’t in very good shape.  But I made it.  But it was one of those things that really didn’t seem like a good idea at the time… but it did after.  It’s a tough swim, but it is definitely easier to do with other like minded swimmers/idiots.

57 ended up showing up, our biggest turnout ever!  We capped this at 60 swimmers, so we wouldn’t have more than 6 swimmers per lane.  And partnered with Etobicoke Masters and Swim Ontario Masters (thanks guys!) to rent out the Scarborough Pan Am pool for 3 hours.  I believe there was about 26 swimmers (in the pic above) that actually made all 100 x 100’s on 100 seconds!  But a we were really happy to have even more than that number come out and do 50, 60, 75 or more on a slightly slower pace time.  Still a helluva 3 hour workout to kick off the year!

Well done and see you next year!


8th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip


Ok this was a little crazy.  But just “regular LOST crazy”.  Remember this is the same LOST crowd that did the LOST Race in the middle of August with a water temp of 48F/8C!!!


Even in the world Polar Bear Dips, this was a cold year.  In fact, all the other PBD’s in Toronto area (including the big one in Oakville!) were cancelled because of the cold!

Actually, it was also because of the ice and conditions, caused by the cold.  The reason the one at Coronation Park in Oakville was cancelled was because of the ice.  Because Coronation Park is so shallow, it gets more ice forming, which makes it hard to get in and out.  Something we LOSTies know about at LOST Beach, but usually just in the summer!

The other reason it was fine at LOST Beach was the same reason I

Viking cold! But Ted is still smiling!

always say it is such a great place to swim in the summer:  circulation.  Most places along the shores of Lake Ontario were totally iced up due to the cold stretch.  In fact, the whole Hamilton Bay was iced over completely!  But at LOST Beach it was totally clear of ice in the water.  This is because the water is deep right off the shore, and because the water is always moving.  This is why it is a great place to swim in the summer, as it is always circulating, which keeps it clean… and apparently it is also a great place to do a Polar Bear Dip when it is “stupid cold” out too!

Of course, the water temperature for the PBD is always about the same… right around 1 degree.  I think Edwin had it at 0.4 C.  Cold.  But what made this year especially tough was the air temp.  It was REALLY cold.  -20C… with a good stiff wind.  Freakin’ cold.  But that was

Kinda beautiful… to LOOK at…

another benefit we had over the huge PBD’s, we didn’t have to wait in line to be stupid.  I remember the second year of the LOST PBD it was 12C, quite a difference!

I believe there was about 35 LOST Dippers.  Down a bit from previous years… (see above as to why!), but we had lots of viewers and cheers… and we were in and out well inside a minute for “most” dippers!

The LOST Swimmers… not to be confused with the LOST Dippers! In there for 5 – 15 minutes! Yikes…

Of course there was also the LOST crew of Ice Swimmers.  They were in for anywhere from about 5 to 15 minutes.  Unbelievable.  But it shows you what you can train your body to acclimatize to.

If you are so inclined…

As usual, the best part of the LOST Polar Bear Dip was having a nice warm drink at “Bean There”!  Thanks for opening up just for us, Brett & Lambrina!

PS.  I believe Lorne and I were the only ones to do the full “LOST Double-Double” (100 x 100 on 100… and the LOST Polar Bear Dip!)

Well done LOSTies!  See you next year!



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100×100’s… and The LOST Polar Bear Dip!!!

2018 here we come!!!

It’s winter, but for LOSTies there are still lots of crazy swimming things to do.  Such as:

100 x 100’s on 100

  • who: LOSTies, Etobicoke Masters and others who would like to join us!
  • what: 10k swim… 100 repeats of 100 meters on 100 seconds, ie 1:40.  yes, there will be slower pace times too
  • when: Dec 31, 2017,    8:30 am – 11:30 am
  • where: TPASC (Toronto Pan Am Sports Center)
  • why: to kick off the New Year… start getting in shape for the GSS – Global Champs in Cancun… and because you really want to earn your nap in the afternoon
  • how: pay me $20 at the pool… and you need to fill out the form … and email it to me at … by the Dec 21 cutoff!!!           (if you are a Swim Ontario swimmer you’ve already paid in your membership and registered, so it is only $5!).
  • limit: we’ve rented out the whole 25m x 10 lane pool!!!  So we have capped it at 60 swimmers…

    100 x 100 on 100, Jan 2, 2017

8th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip

  • who: LOSTies and others who would like to join us!
  • what: a crazy quick dip in Lake O!
  • when: Jan 1, 2018, 12:00 noon, exactly!  Get there at least 15 minutes early!
  • where: LOST Beach
  • why: to kick off the New Year… and what better way to do that than by doing something crazy!
  • how: show up.  It’s free!
  • limit: as many people as we can squeeze into Lake O!  More and more each year, last year was 57 crazy LOSTies and lots of sane watchers!

The 7th Annual “LOST Polar Bear Dip”… get ready…

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The 4th Annual LOST Swimming vs Connor’s Runners BEER MILE!

The start…

Well that was way too much fun.

big ol’ grins all around!

Ya, this is the 4th year of this fall classic.  A big thanks to those people who helped “not-organise” this fun and “unofficial” event: Mauro, Lisa & Catherine.  As I said to Mauro, using the “organisational work to fun” ratio, this is the best event ever!  Very little prep, a couple of volunteer timers, a few quick beers and burps and we’re off to the pub to celebrate!

My kinda fun.

… and the crowd… waiting in eager anticipation…

Star Wars and the Wookie!

And of course, everyone has their own little twist they’d like to see: a relay, a “shot” replacements, the swimming beer mile, etc.  But then it wouldn’t be “the Beer Mile”.  And I’m happy to participate if someone wants to organize one of those other derivatives of the Beer Mile, but in the meantime I’ll stay old school on this and stick to the official rules (there are official rules, btw!).  The race is all about fun and laughing and racing… and beer.  But having said that, it really is tough too!

I think there are probably more DNS (did not start) than DNF (did not finish)!  Most people talk the talk throughout the year (yes, I’m lookin’ at you!), but when the bottle caps fly, the crowd has thinned out a bit.  So a big tip o’ the hat to all those that completed it!  We may not all be Al Wiggins, but just finishing it is pretty impressive… ya, I’ll say it… kinda like an Ironman!

… and a leprechaun…

In fact, that reminds me of our favorite coffee man, Brett Titus.  The LOSTie owner of “Bean There” Cafe, where we end up after every swim (and run, for that matter).  He also just qualified for his 3rd Ironman World Championships a month ago!  But he had never done the Beer Mile.  And frankly, he sucks at chugging.  Or sipping beer for that matter.  Which is why it was so funny talking to him before the race.  He said he’d never been so nervous before a race!

And justly so.  He yacked.  But he made it.  Way to slay those demons, Brett!  And thanks for providing us with lots of fodder for jokes at the King’s Arms after!

While all of us like beer… we all are also still competitive.  So Mauro crunched some stats that you will likely find interesting:

Over the past 4 years:

  • 60 different participants
  • 30 participants in 2017
  • 4 people have done it all 4 years
  • 5 people have done it 3 out of the 4 years

    that’s just picking up a beer… not bending over for other reasons…

  • 8 people have done it twice
  • Al Wiggins has won 3 of the 4 years, and PB’d this year!
  • 2017 – 16 LOSTies, 14 CR’s,

See results for all 4 years!

So I guess to sum this one up… a ton of fun for spectators and “athletes” alike… and we love the good-hearted competition with our buddies at Connor’s Runners (I wonder if I will be so generous if the runners ever beat the swimmers! haha).

Until next year… stay thirsty, my friends!



The 3 time winner… Al Wiggins, with a buddy and his son! A proud, proud day!

Kabir… trying finishing one this time!

the devil made him do it!

… and the prize for the best dressed LOSTie goes to… Darren… makin’ velour sexy again!

2017 Beer Mile Results

4 Year Summary of the Beer Mile!

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The LOST Swim Shack!

Thanks to Chris Mark and the Town!

So I just wanted to post this final version of the LOST Swim Shack.  I think we’ll go with that name, I like it because it kinda reminds me of a “Surf Shack”, that kinda beach, kinda hip, surfer dude vibe.  Although it is much nicer than that! haha.  Honourable mention for names go to: Swim Shed, LOST Lodge, Swim House, the Office, HQ and LOST House.  I have further plans in the works, so we might save those names for later!

We ended up spending a lot more money than I expected, but as I’ve said LOST is a non-profit, so we had some money saved up for just such an occasion, so we are okay on that.  And it took a lot longer than I expected too.  But we had enough help when we needed it, so that worked out fine too.

Milo, the team mascot!

To that end, thanks to everyone who helped out!  Going back to an earlier post/rant I put up earlier this summer, I think volunteering is really important.  And I, and all the other LOSTies, really appreciate it when you help out.  And I don’t mean to say that everyone needs to volunteer tons of hours to help run the club (like Mauro, Darren, Mike, etc) or donate money (but that helps too!  Thanks to John Stribany for the LOST glasses and cash donations for the upcoming LOST plaque too).  I just mean doing ANYTHING.  Helping set up on Saturday mornings.  Even if it is just bringing stuff out of the shed or putting it back, or throwing stuff in the garbage, or rolling out the mat, or helping people in or out of the water.  Anything really.  Because if we have 100 people down there helping out, then it all runs really smoothly.

Alexei, Chris and Rob… starting the framing…

But that’s not the real reason why I like people to help out… because it really isn’t a lot of work.  The real reason I like when people help out is… culture.  When people help out, it takes them from just participants to some degree of ownership.  I don’t want people to just sign up and go for a swim.  I want people to sign up and go for a swim… and feel like they are part of the LOST community.

sustenance… to keep us motivated! Thanks Jo Fallon!

I’m always saying that I’m amazed that there are so many people that come out and swim with us.  They don’t have to.  There are tons of other places to swim.  But there must be some reason that so many people, from so far away (St Catherines, Toronto, Mississauga, Barrie, Richmond Hill, London, Guelph, Ottawa… as well as South Africa, England, Ireland, Italy, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Boston, Virginia, Florida, etc) come and swim with us.  And I think the answer is: culture.  We are a fun, welcoming and inclusive group that likes to swim.

transporting the walls in Adrians trailer…

That’s the part that I’m most proud of.  So keep it up.

To that end, next summer we’ll start a new tradition.  On the inside of the 2 doors we’ll get swimmers who swim with us from outside of Ontario to sign their name… and on the other I want to get everyone who helped, even in a small way, to build the LOST Swim Shack, to sign their name!

Here are a few of the names that I can think of that get to sign the door next summer, but feel free to remind me if I forgot you:

… and getting the walls out of the truck too!

starting the roof… getting stuff done!

  1. Rob Kent – a bit of everything
  2. Mark Bintley – the nail gunner!
  3. Chris Scade – the framer
  4. Cameron Blair – the engineer!
  5. Darren Osborne – the painter
  6. Alexi Martchenko – the muscle and framer!
  7. Cesar Centeno – more muscle
  8. Joanne Kent – windows
  9. Dylan Kent – framing
  10. Rick Paradis – framer & muscle
  11. Robert Paradis – more muscle
  12. Jo Fallon- treats!
  13. Adrian Brackel – the truck
  14. Mike Morton – gopher!
  15. Mauro Campinelli – muscle
  16. Alan Swankie – muscle
  17. Steve Ellison – man on the spot!
  18. Chris Mark – the pad, from the Town!
  19. Wayne Schnurr – muscle
  20. Ann Schnurr – muscle too!
  21. Milo – team mascot and “walker thru the paint”!

And in case you feel like you missed out… don’t worry, I’ve got some other big plans for LOST coming up next year!

PS. next stop… New Year’s Day “LOST Polar Bear Dip”!



The crew… working til dusk!

The finished product!

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12th season of LOST Swimming comes to an end!

So that’s a wrap…

The last official LOST swim of 2017… when the crowd starts to shrink and shadows starting to get pretty long!

Last Saturday seemed like as good of a point as any to wrap up the season.  Typical date, mid-September.

But I have to admit, this has been kind of a weird summer.  It never really got warm.  I think we only had 1 week over 70F/21C.  That’s unusual.  Usually after mid-August it stays over 70F, but as we all know, it rolled at the LOST Race (48F/9C!!!) and never really warmed back up.

Last Saturday it was a pleasant 60F/15C, which was totally fine, but still cold for this time of year.  And we still had a dozen or so LOSTies out, but down from the 72 LOSTies the weekend before.  So, as Neil Young puts it: “Comes a Time”…to pulled the plug.

Having said that, it was still a pretty amazing summer!

  • we had our biggest Saturday morning LOST Swims ever… 122 LOSTies!
  • we had a record membership… 222 paid members!

    The “Fog Year”, also happened to be the coldest year too… 48F/9C

  • we had record number of swimmers in the LOST Race/LOST Mile… 160 swimmers!
    • although the “*” there is that about half of them bailed because of the freezing water!
  • record cold for a LOST Race… 48F/9C!  (okay, that one I’m not bragging about as much!)

    LOST Race 2017… “The Fog Year”… because the water rolled over from 69F to 48F overnight!

  • There is a LOST sign still coming… and Darren is finishing the painting… but almost done! Not too shabby!

    we got our own piece of real estate… with the LOST Swim Shack!  That one makes me very happy!  We had a large group of LOSTies help build it (and will be allowed to sign the door!) and it’s almost done!  Darren is currently painting it and I’m ordering a big LOST logo sign for the front of it.

    • with our name, visibly out there, I think we’ll have an even bigger turnout next year!
  • we saw the Global Swim Series grow to 115 races, in 30 countries!  The biggest swim series in the world… by far!  And we had a bunch of LOSTies go to the Global Champs in Cancun!  And it all started here, with LOST Swimming!

    “El Cruce”, the host of the first GSS – Global Championshps!  Put it on your calendar for 2018!

    Etobicoke Masters “GSS Global Championship team”… Luis, Joanne, Jason, Graciella, Bud, Dylan and Rob… Luis won the 10k!

  • And we have a few more things coming down the pipe too:
    • I’m making a pitch to Town Council to let us build a patio area and plaque!  Stay tuned.
    • I’ve got dibs on the “pumphouse”, right next to the LOST Swim Shack, that is to be decommissioned soon(?)… that we can renovate into a clubhouse!  Stay tuned on that one too!

      3rd Annual “LOST Swimming vs Connors Runners BEER MILE!

Ted… awesome… just because…

And now that LOST Swimming is over for the season… some of us will be getting into running shape this fall… and some of us will just be drinking beer.  But a few brave/adventurous/stupid souls will be doing both!

The next thing up on the “unofficial and underground calendar”… is the “4th Annual Beer Mile”… that is definitely NOT brought to you by “LOST Swimming & Connor’s Runners”.  A little birdie told me that it will be held on the same date (Fri, Oct 6, 6:30) and same location as previous years.  Ask around if you are interested.  (no relays/no beverage substitutes/no wimps).

Onward and upward!!!

The first and second beers are fun… but then it gets tough!

Al Wiggins… winner for the second year in a row!

Cheers, Rob




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The hits keep comin’… another record, 122 LOSTies out this week!


Record swim: 122 LOSTies! July 29, 2017, water temp 70F/21C

What can I say, it’s pretty amazing.  We had 122 swimmers out this Saturday.  The 3rd record Saturday in a row!  100 swimmers more than what we used to consider a good turnout only a few years ago!

I know this record streak won’t last forever, but it’s pretty cool to see so many LOSTies out there!

As for the actual swim… the water temp was awesome, 70F / 21C.

Look out, Edwin!!!

a bit rough today… especially when compared to last week!  A pretty easy one for Celine and her daughter Allison (who painted the LOST ROCK awards!)

Ironically though, just last week I said we were due for a rough one, one of these days… and we got it.  Having said that, it wasn’t that rough.  I’d just call it a “medium rough” day.  I always say that about 8 out of 10 Saturdays, over the summer, we get perfectly flat swims.  But about 2 out of 10 days we get some rough water.  Last weekend was our 9th Saturday of the summer… so, ya, we were due.

The other thing to note about “rough” water is the difference between “chop” and “waves”.  Chop sucks.  Chop is just small waves with no real direction.  They hit you from every direction and is very hard to get into a rhythm.  Waves on the other hand are a bit harder to swim in than flat water, but can be very manageable.  If you don’t fight it, you can get into a nice rhythm, which means timing your stroke to try and match the waves.  Nice long strokes while climbing them, then short fast ones to try and surf your way down them.  Mind you, if you are swimming straight into them, then it is just plain hard work.  And a lot slower.  But my point is that I’ll take waves over chop, any day!

And on Saturday, we had waves.  Not huge waves, but good enough that you had to focus a bit on them.

Shut up and swim, Al!  (and I can see why your goggles are leaking!)

If you can remember way back a month ago, when, on July 1st we were swimming in 44F water, the issue was how to swim in (stupid) cold water.  But learning how to swim in cold water makes you a better swimmer.  You learn how to deal with it.  Remember when I told you the key was to “relax and exhale” (see earlier post).

Rough enough that we lost one buoy! Fortunately Mark and I were able to head it off at the pier!

Well, this week you got a taste of how to swim in rough water.  And the one key thing I mentioned was sighting.  In rough water, don’t sight for the buoy.  Site for something much bigger.  The tree line or a building.  It doesn’t have to be directly in line, just a relative position to the buoy.  Because in rough water there is no way you are going to be able to see that buoy until you are almost there.  Remember you are sighting from 1 or 2 inches above the water line… not 5 or 6 feet, like you would be on land!  Let alone when all you can see is splashing and arms.  And when you are picking the image you want to use as a reference point to sight with, don’t pick it when you are on land.  Because it isn’t in line with where you will be swimming.  Get in before the race at the start line… THEN pick your sighting object in relation to the buoy.  Use your head before the start and pay attention.  Then take a second and re-sight after each turn.

This is REALLY IMPORTANT.  We all have laughed at people in races that are 100m, 200m, 300m apart… ya, somebody is swimming a helluva lot farther than someone else!  And of course, everyone thinks it is the other guy that is swimming crooked.  But in the water it is very hard to see who is, especially over a long distance.  Even funnier is when people follow other people… who also are not swimming straight!

People worry about their stroke, their turnover, how fast their new expensive wetsuit is… well here is a little tip… SWIM STRAIGHT.  It is really cool when you can beat someone who is way faster than you! (I almost beat Dylan in Caledon last summer, if he hadn’t boxed me out!  And he’s way faster than me).  And it really sucks when someone who is slower than you beats you!  (and Loren beat me by 10 minutes in the Lake Erie 10k last summer!  But I’m hanging that one on my kayaker!)  I know it is easier said than done… but that’s what we just practised.

Little update on the LOST Shed.  Rick and Chris and a couple of the guys working on my house built most of the 4 walls this week.  So we have a bit of work to do still.  The plan is that on Saturday we will go back to my place and finish up the 4 walls… then Adrian has said he will move the walls from there down to our new cement pad by the TOWARF building… and we’ll try and get the 4 walls up on Saturday.  The we’ll need to put on the roof and shingles… and paint it.  Not sure how long all that will take, but essentially, a few of the guys and myself, will be there Sat, Sun and holiday Monday… until it gets done.  Feel free to join us!

And even more importantly… THE LOST RACE IS NEXT SATURDAY, Aug 12!  Please come out and swim or volunteer!

  1. On-water – ie) kayaks & or kaykers, SUPS and or SUP’ers, etc
    1. contact Mauro at:
    2. or contact Claudia:
  2. On-land – ie) registration, handing out medals, parking, assisting, set up, etc.  You can request a post that will still allow you to swim too!
    1. contact Darren to volunteer at: 
    2. or contact Steve at: 

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Yet another consecutive record turnout… 116 swimmers!!!

Biggest day ever… 116 swimmers!!! And an awesome day, 68F and flat as a pool!

Darren and I were laughing at the swim yesterday.  I told him we had a record turnout of 116 swimmers.  To which we both laughed.  “Only about 100 swimmers more than what a good turnout, just a few years ago!”

Then there was the “swimmer to water temp ratio” that we used for a few years.  We always thought it was a huge day if we had more swimmers than degrees in Fahrenheit!  ie) 61 swimmers to 60F would be a pretty amazing turn out!  Well, we’ve kinda blown that measurement out of the water (little pun there), I’m happy that the water wasn’t 116F yesterday!

But it’s awesome.  It is so great to see so many new people and returning people… it’s been a while Victor!  The last time he was out was probably when we were excited to have 16 swimmers.

Not that the weather has that much to do with the big turnout, as we saw with 80-90 swimmers out when the water was 44F.  But it’s not that surprising that we got a few more now that we’ve turned the corner and the warmer water is here… but I’m still surprised.

Yesterday was great.  Flat water and very overcast, in fact the rain was even good enough to hold off until we were done.  Very sporting of it.

The two great new additions this week were the plug in and the pad.  It may not seem like much (and it isn’t), but it is progress!

I had to laugh.  Cam said “Wow, you must have a lot of pull with the Town to get them to put the pad in that fast!”  Meaning that since I announced we were getting it until now was only a couple of weeks.  Which would be impressive if it was true.  It took a couple of years.

Now that I got everyone all worked up and excited about helping out to build the shed… we have to delay it a bit.  The cement wasn’t quite cured to drill the lag bolts in it yet.  And the Town has said that for liability reasons they would rather have us build it offsite and just assemble it onsite.  But maybe we can paint it as a group!  We’ll build it at my house, hopefully sometime this week.  The material is sitting in my front yard (Joanne loves that!).  I’ll keep you posted.

So that’s about it.

PS.  If you haven’t come out for coffee yet with the whole gang… make sure you do!  That’s how you get to know everyone.

And good job to Sean and the Feet of Fury gang who headed out for a good run after the swim!



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Record turnout for LOST Swim… 112 LOSTies!!!

Record turnout… 112 LOSTies!!! 61F/16C, July 15, 2017

The water was still a bit chilly, 61F/16C, but a helluva lot better than the “stupid cold” it had been (44F & 46F!!!).  The air temp was beautiful too.  Just a nice summer day.

The water was perfectly flat, as all the swims have been so far this year.  I warned everyone to be prepared for a wavy swim one of these days.  If the water isn’t cold, then we’ll find another challenge, or “learning opportunity”!  We’re due.

But it wasn’t to be on this day.  This day was close to perfect.

Just a really nice day for a swim in the Lake.

So I was there a bit early setting up as usual.  And it’s funny because it always seems like no one is going to show up.  At 7:15 there is usually just me.  Then 3 or 4 show up in the next 15 minutes.  Then between 7:30 and 7:45, 20 or 30 more show up.  That’s when I think, “hmmm, must be some races on this weekend or something?  Looks like we’re going to have a smaller crowd out today”.  Then between 7:45 and 8:00 they come pouring in!  And of course, a few people late for the pic too!

You might not have noticed, but there were seagulls all over the place! They were diving into the water… because there also was small fish everywhere too! Never seen that before at LOST Beach!

But when it was all said and done last Saturday… we had the largest turnout ever for a Saturday morning LOST Swim!  112 swimmers!  Freakin’ amazing.

I always like to remember a few years ago, maybe 5 or 6, when we were getting 20-25 people out, which I thought was pretty cool, and Carl said: “you wait, in another few years you’ll be getting 30-40 people out!”

I thought that would be huge.  Neither of us ever thought we’d ever get over 100 swimmers out.  Which incidentally was the previous record.

The water must be okay… even Milo went in… mind you, so did Steve… but not quite warm enough for Joanne… yet!

I was really happy to see this, obviously, just because it is amazing.  But the nice thing is that everyone (and then some!) stuck it out through the (really) cold Saturdays and didn’t give up on the Lake or LOST!

Often we see lots of keeners out at the beginning of the season, just like the first day in the gym after New Year’s… but then the novelty wears off and people get tired of the cold water and attendance dips a bit.  The thing is though, if you pay your dues in the cold water, then when the warm water comes, you are better prepared for it… and it is so enjoyable.

We’ve turned the corner now, but 61F is still a bit chilly without a wetsuit but comfortable with one… and the warmer water is still coming!  So now that we are over the hump, sit back and enjoy the ride, it only gets better and easier from here on it!  (unless it doesn’t, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it! haha).

Why are these two clowns always the last ones in?! (Oh, wait, that’s me and Mark!)

Anyway, hat’s off to everyone that got to enjoy the first nice long swim of the year!  I jumped in the kayak after my swim and went out and helped Mike spot.  Mike had set the loop up in about a 350m loop… and as I was pulling the plug with Mike when we were dragging the buoys in, I asked the last couple of LOSTies how many loops they had done?  One woman (with a great kick!) said she had done 8 loops!  Wow.  Then the last guy in before I turned off the lights, who also had a great stroke, said he had done 13 loops!  Amazing!

So, ya, if you get in and get going, you can get a good solid swim in an hour or so!  Like 4.5 km!  Not too shabby.

Update on the LOST Shed:

The Town is pouring the cement pad today! woohoo!  And because of liability they would prefer it if we built most of it off-site and then just assembled it on site.  So that’s the plan for now.  Hey, we’re just kinda winging it a bit… but it’s lookin’ good!  You might want to bring some painting clothes on Saturday though!

Check out the loot for the LOST Race and LOST Mile too!


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If you want something done… ask a busy person.


I’m going to skip most of the usual LOST story today.  I’ll just give you the short version here: 59F/14C… very comfortable and pancake flat… 83 swimmers.  Best swim of the year so far.  But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today.

I think it was my grandpa, one of the most common sense guys that ever lived, who told me “If you want something done… ask a busy person”, it has always stuck with me.  And it’s true.

Volunteer Kayaker Jill… and Charterability!!! (thanks Stephen Cull!)

Essentially, it is counter-intuitive.  A busy person should have less time to help you with someone than somebody who isn’t busy.  But the difference is that a busy person knows how to get things done.

The other related truism is that “everyone is busy”.  And I find that the busiest people are not the ones telling you how busy they are.  You just kind of look back at them and marvel.  It gradually comes out that they do a lot.  Again, everyone does a lot.  But these guys do more.

Alex & Charterability always volunteer their boats for the LOST Race!

Now the reason I bring all this up is that it is relevant to most of the people reading this.  Because most of us try to squeeze as much out of life as we can.  We try to do more and more.  Yes, sometimes to a fault, but I’d still argue that that is better than not.

When you are doing an Ironman or major swim or ultra endurance race people always say: “Wow.  How do you find the time?”  This tends to be someone who knows enough to “get it”.  The person who doesn’t know that much about endurance sports thinks that the race is the hard part and is in awe (and justly so) of how hard the actual race or event is.  But my response is: “For most people the race will be the hardest event they will ever do.  But really the hardest part is finding the time to train”.

The Champ… Mike Morton, who always volunteers to watch over you all!

With the exception of professionals (of which there are very few), most of us have other stuff going on in our lives.  The funny thing is that now that my wife and I are empty nesters, I’m a little burned out at doing Ironman tris.  But back in 2003 I did my first Ironman, and then several more after, and a bunch of marathon swims, 40-something marathons and ultras, etc, was also when we had 3 young kids… that were all involved in sports and activities… and eventually all 3 in high performance swimming… and renovating houses… and several internet startups… and working 50 hour weeks on the trading floor… and Joanne worked as an emergency room nurse… and on and on.  Oh, and volunteering every Saturday morning (for 12 years) to running LOST Swimming (PS. in case you were wondering, LOST is a not-for-profit.  No one has ever made a dime off of LOST, including myself.  We charge as little as we can, and put any residual profits back into the club… so it was never for the money).  But we got it done.  And we had fun doing it.  And we wouldn’t have done it any other way.

My point is, it was busy.  And still is.  Just like everyone else.  But my further point is, it is good to give back.  To volunteer.  At anything.

But when your “thing” is triathlon and or swimming (amongst numerous other things, I’m sure), it makes sense to give back to the thing that you are interested in and like.

Honestly, ask yourself how many races you’ve done.  Of all types.  10, 20, 30… 100, 200 races?  And then ask yourself how many times you’ve been the guy handing out the gatorade at the water stations?  1, 2, 3 times? None?

The thing about volunteering is that it is like so many things in life that are defined by the 80/20 rule.  Like sales in business.  80% of the sales are done by 20% of the people.  (At LOST Swimming those 20% guys are: Mike, Darren, Mauro, Dylan, Elizabeth, Mark, Edwin, Miguel, Katie and a few others that I probably forgot).

Same thing with volunteering.  You often see the same people volunteering.  I get all my volunteering done via LOST, but I’m the same, I often duck out of volunteering with the countless other things when people are asking for volunteers.  Human nature is what it is.

The good thing about LOSTies is, even though LOSTies have various athletic skill levels, there are a few things that we all have in common.  Most of us are pretty generous people… and aren’t particularly lazy either… and just given the fact that you apparently like LOST Swimming, you like our culture and community too.

So when it comes to volunteering… most of us just need a little nudge… or a kick in the ass to remind us… but we’re all game to helping build this community.  That is honestly why we have such a great group.  So typically, one just has to ask… so I’m askin’!

The good ol’ days are back… The Maisey Awards are now the Allison Awards!!!  (Alan’s daughter, Allison, volunteered to make these… that my daughter, Maisey, had volunteered to do, years ago!)

So that was your (not so subtle) gentle reminder!  We are looking for volunteers for 2 important things coming up soon:

  1. the LOST Race & LOST Mile on Saturday, Aug 12.   
    1. On-water – ie) kayaks & or kaykers, SUPS and or SUP’ers, etc
      1. contact Mauro at:
      2. or contact Claudia:
    2. On-land – ie) registration, handing out medals, parking, assisting, set up, etc.  You can request a post that will still allow you to swim too!
      1. contact Darren to volunteer at: 
      2. or contact Steve at: 
  2. the LOST Storage Shed construction on Saturday, July 22
    1. Construction Guys – for this job, we don’t really need 100 people running around with saws and hammers, but if you have some “construction experience”, we’ll take you!  (Adrian Brackel, who is currently building my house has agreed to lead this!)
    2. Donut Guys – or if you feel more helpful painting, setting up, organizing, or supplying donuts… well that’s helpful too!
      1. contact me:

PS.  If you can’t help with either, no sweat.  It is more that we all just lend a hand when you can and doing whatever you can.  

Here are a few great examples:

Amy, Duane, Mark, and a few others – some of the regulars that just need a gentle nudge with my talk at the beginning of the swim about volunteering and guess what?  I didn’t say anything, but at the end of the swim they were there helping deflate the buoys, roll up the carpet, etc. 

Brett & Chris – you know Brett from his coffee shop that we always go to after swimming, but he’s also a LOSTie too.  He came down and said “hey, do you need a kayaker this morning?” and jumped in.  And this was after I was a bit short setting up, so Chris jumped into the kayak and set up the course… and hadn’t kayaked in years, but managed to stay dry!

Johnny Cupcakes – couldn’t make it out last week, but gave Mauro a whole box full of cookies for everyone when they checked in.  He owns Black Forest Bakery on Lakeshore and for him it was just a nice, thoughtful… and yummy thing to do.

The LOST Board – all the people that you didn’t even know are essential to making LOST Swimming and the LOST Race happen: Darren, Mauro, Mike, Dan, Elizabeth, Lynn, Katie, Miguel, Joanne, Dylan, Steve, Alex, Mark, Loren, Alan, Bud, Claudia

John Stribany – last year he (and his company) donated 150 LOST pint glasses to the LOST Race & LOST Mile!  This year he is donating 240 LOST pint glasses for the LR & LM and all the voluneers!!!   Oh, and he donated $1,000 for the LOST plaque we are working on too.  Thoughtful and generous.

The point is not that everyone has to do everything… just something.  Just do what you can.  It is really appreciated… and it makes our group better.  




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The older I get, the better I was…

Etobicoke Masters “GSS Global Championship team”… Luis, Joanne, Jason, Graciella, Bud, Dylan and Rob… 600 swimmers in the 10k and the largest 10k in the world…Luis won!

So way back in the day, I was a decent swimmer.  1988 Olympic Trials, a few national records, and just a step down from the best.

And these days one of my favorite lines becomes more and more relevant: “the older I get, the better I was!”

I still like to swim and still train pretty hard with Etobicoke Masters (EOMAC).  I love open water swimming and still love to race, even though the speed has long since dissipated.  Once you accept that the good ol’ days have come and gone, and that there is still a ton of fun in competing with a different perspective and new goals, it is pretty liberating.

Like a lot of former decent athletes, however, in my mind I’m still pretty fast.  And I still have a pretty good stroke.

However, after viewing the videos below, let’s just say there is always room for improvement!  Have a look at the videos, I’m willing to bet you could learn a thing or two about your stroke too!

Luis at a training camp “a couple of years ago”… that’s him, bottom row on the right… you might recognise some of his training partners… like the guy top row, 3rd from the right… Michael Phelps!

A big thanks to our EOMAC coach, Luis Escobar, who did this video for each of us on the team.  And who has a fair bit of knowledge and credibility.  He was that big step above where I ever got to.  2008 Olympics in the Open Water 10k… several World Championships… and the Canadian Age Group Coach of the year.  Nice guy too.

And I think the saying “you can’t teach an old dog a new trick”… is bullshit.  Keep learning.  Keep improving… and stay thirsty, my friends!

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I got called out… by Lake O!

A very happy (and cold, 44F and foggy!) Canada Day… happy 150th Canada from the 79 LOSTies crazy enough to swim today!

Okay, I know I said last week was our last cold water training session… at 47F/8C, saying that it was going to warm up by the following week, seemed like a pretty safe bet.  But I was wrong.

It got colder!

This week we had 79 swimmers and a water temp of 44F/6C!  That, my friends, is “crazy cold”.  Literally to do an official “ice mile” the water has to be 5C or colder!  We were practically there!

So foggy you could barely see more than 50m… fortunately nobody was going to be swimming further than that anyway!  Although most people did 2 or 3 of the 75m loops!

It made for a bit of a weird day.  It was actually quite nice and warm out.  Which does make a big difference when the water is that cold.  Swimming in 44F water in July is a lot easier to take than swimming in 44F water in December… both of which could easily happen!

But hey, that’s Lake O.  And that’s open water swimming.  I heard there were a few people that were a bit disappointed/frustrated by the cold water.  A couple of weeks of this is one thing, but more than that is a pain in the ass.

… sometimes it’s tempting to just say “screw it… Im going home”.

I get it.  Nobody likes water that cold.  But unfortunately there isn’t much we can do about it.  And secondly, I look at it like getting a flat tire on your bike while on a training ride.  It sucks.  But it you have to make the best of it.  Maybe you didn’t get that nice long ride in, that you had been planning on… but you are probably better at changing a flat now.

A bit of the cup is half empty… or half full.  I like to look at it as it’s “half full”… of freezing freakin’ cold water, in this example.

But like I said last time: it does warm up.  I’ve been doing this for 12 years now and these surprising cold “roll overs” are actually pretty predictable.  Yes, I missed it by a week this year, but it’s coming.  I’m not going to jinx it again for next week, but let’s say just say, I’d be willing to bet quite a lot that next week you’ll be able to have a nice comfortable swim… for about an hour.  We’ll see.  You’ve now paid your dues anyway!

now that’s foggy! The English Channel has nothing on this!

Again, on the bright side, it was kinda fun.  Watching all the crazy LOSTies get in and get it done.  And the surprisingly large number that went “naked”… amazing.  The other thing that was pretty neat was the fog.  The water was like glass and about as heavy of a fog as I’ve ever seen (again, because of the cold water, but I think we’ve beat that one to death!).  Pretty cool though, either way.

So, all this is to say… don’t give up now.  Good swimming is on it’s way!

Darren, back in the old days… when he was “the neoprene kid”… no, they didn’t wear wetsuits in Key West! The water is HOT!

PS.  a big “Congrats” to the LOSTies that did big races last week, including: Mt Tremblant 70.3 IM, Welland Long Course Triathlon, Caledon Quarry Swim (congrats to Barrie & Miguel for hosting a successful mid-week race!), and the most impressive race last week was done by: Darren Osborne and John Stribany both completing the 20k “Swim Around Key West“!  (more to follow on that, when I get their pics and stories! Results here).  And not rub your nose in it… but the water temp there was probably double what we swam in! haha.  Well done boys!

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The Freestyle Experience is going back to Barbados!

Join The Freestyle Experience for a week-long swimming adventure in sunny Barbados – coached exclusively by OLYMPIANS!

The Freestyle Experience Camp Barbados is designed for all levels of masters and open water swimmers and triathletes and takes place in sunny Barbados, at the National Aquatic Centre’s outdoor pool and the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The camp is timed to occur during the Barbados Open Water Festival (an incredible 5-day GSS event) and the camp pool sessions do not conflict with the BOWF so you can participate in both our pool sessions and the BOWF open water sessions if you wish!

swimming over sea turtles in Barbados… doesn’t get much better than that!

Your camp will include 9 coached pool sessions,  specialized swim clinics (think butterfly and starts and turns), swim-specific yoga and pilates, stretch and strength sessions, team activities (paddle boarding or surfing for example), some team meals and social events and the opportunity to participate in the Barbados Open Water Festival with a group of new friends and teamates.

Your coaches, all Olympians, will guide you through this fun and exciting week while considering your abilities and goals. It will be challenging, but everyone can do it, and those who do won’t regret it! Change your swimming forever….join us in Barbados!


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And that concludes our “cold water” sessions for the year…

June 24, 2017… 79 LOSTies swimmin’ in 48F/9C! Another beautiful Saturday morning swim!  (remember, you can click to enlarge any pic!)

Yup, it was freakin’ cold yesterday.

What can I say, the Lake only gives us a few cold ones to take advantage of before we start climbing the temperature ladder again.

We usually get 2 or 3 “stupid cold” ones (ie sub-50F/10C)… a handful of “chilly” ones (sub-60F/15C)… and the rest “warm” (60F -70F)… or “hot” (over 70F/21C).

Cold water or not… that’s a beautiful way to start the day and the weekend!

And unfortunately you’ve used up all your “stupid cold” swims for the year.  Yesterday was the first (and always the most drastic) roll-over of the year.  We’ll likely get 2 or 3 roll-overs later in the summer, but they won’t be anywhere nearly as big.  You might get a 70F that rolls to a 60F overnight, but no biggee.  Then they roll back.  That’s how the lake warms up.

Ya… you’re all nuts… believe me, I wouldn’t have gone in if you all hadn’t gone too! All drinkin’ the same Kool-aid… at least it’s made with nice, clean, cold water!

It is actually the wind that is the biggest determinant of water temperature.  If we get a north wind that pushes all the nice warm surface water across the lake to Rochester… which pushes the cold water from the bottom of the lake up on our side.  And a wind from the south does the opposite.  Pushes all the warm surface water over to us.

The nice thing is, that cold water is about as clean as mountain water.  And as cold.

A giant squid in Melkboss, South Africa! So which would you take… a bit of cold water… or a giant squid grabbing your surf board! Call me crazy, but seems kinda cool… helluva story over a pint, that’s for sure!

Ya… that’d be pretty freaky. Not many of those at LOST Beach!

Then there is my daughter, Maisey (and an original LOSTie!)… just another day at work! Her 3rd year as an ocean Lifeguard at Hilton Head Island, SC. Had to bury this poor little guy… a baby blacktip shark! None of those at LOST Beach either!

Anyway, you’ve paid your dues (literally and figuratively!… 189 paid LOSTies already!) with the cold water.  Trust me it’ll be warmer next weekend.  Quite a bit warmer.  So this is when we often lose all those early season keeners.  They come out all gung-ho… find out it is cold… stay for the first 3 or 4 swims and then decide it is too cold for them… and stop coming out… just when it is warming up.  Again, trust me, after 12 years of this I know the pattern.  Global warming or not the pattern is pretty predictable.

Steve, Ted, Lisa & Mauro at IM Mt Tremblant 70.3… well done Connor’s Runners & LOSTies!

… and that was after doing Escape from Alcatraz last weekend!

And honestly, if clean, clear, fresh, cold water on a warm, beautiful Saturday morning is the biggest worry we have… well, then those are nice problems to have.

At least we don’t have sharks or giant squids!  Hey, we have one of the best places in the world to swim… Lake O.  And even on Lake O, not all spots are equal.  Where we swim is one of the best… ironically, because it is cold and clean!

Having said that, you’re all nuts!  I’ll finish with the same line I opened with… “that was freakin’ cold!”.  And 74 LOSTies went in (and came out!)… and trust me, there aren’t many (any?!) places in the world where 74 swimmers go in and swim for 15 minutes in 48F/9C!!!  Yup, not in San Francisco… not in South Africa… not even in Ireland.  You guys are tough.  And ultimately, it will make you better swimmers.  You’ll be lovin’ it when we hit 60F and beyond!

PS. congrats to all the LOSTies racing this weekend!  A bunch at Ironman 70.3 Mt Tremblant, Welland Long Course Tri… and especially LOSTies, Darren Osborne and John Stribany, who did the 20k Swim Around Key West!!! (6 hours, 45 minutes for Darren and 6:58 for John… that’s all I know right now!  Congrats boys… making us LOSTies proud!)

See you on Saturday!



Mauro bring home the hardware from IM MT yesterday! Well done, Champ!

recognize this shot from the Netflix documentary “Barclays Marathon”?! Mauro has had a busy spring!  (okay, he crewed… didn’t run it… yet!)

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No more waiting…

58F/14C… 85 swimmers! Remember when beating the “ratio” was a big deal?! haha

Yup, the water started this year at 47F… then 53F… and on Saturday it was 58F!

(ok, I rounded up a little on Saturday to 60F, a bit of a psychological boost, if you will!)

No more waiting, it is very swim-able now… and only going to get warmer!  (well, okay, except for the occasional “roll-over”, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!).  And this was no polar-bear dip… most swimmers were in there for 30-45 minutes!  Well done!

Lynn, Bud, Mark and Madhu… got in a bit early… eventually! Even these old vets took forever to get in! haha… mind you, they were naked… like an ever growing group were!

Oh, and no more waiting for this years’ edition of the famous LOST Swimming cap!  They are in… so come out and pick your’s up, included in your registration!  (replacements only $5, even though they are really nice silicone ones!).  Check them out!

Craig and Amy… modelling the new LOST caps! And not modelling the wetsuits… tough guys!

Anyway, we had a great swim on Saturday!  The stats: 58F/14C… 85 swimmers!  It was only 2 years ago when we used to try and “beat the ratio”.  And by that I mean, we thought it was pretty exceptional if we had more people than degrees.  ie) 58F vs 59 swimmers, was pretty amazing.  Now it’s not even close!  We’ve had 82, 79, 85 swimmers so far this year… unfortunately I don’t see the water temp making this much of a challenge anymore… unless global warming becomes pretty dramatic! haha.

As I usually say, we get about 8 out of 10 days where the water is amazingly flat and calm.  And we’ve had 3 in a row.  It was again beautiful flat water, on a sunny and warm day.  What a way to start the day and the weekend!

So flat the paddlers from the Burl-Oak Canoe Club even ventured out of the creek! And they were moving!

It was so flat that even the flat-water rowers were able to get out of the creek and hit the real open water.  At the end of the swim we saw them streaking by!  Amazingly fast.

We tried something different this week too, we had a mass triathlon start!  Just for practice.  It didn’t work that well because the water was still a little chilly to just be sitting there waiting for the start.  We’ll try it again when the water is warmer.  Just a good skill for the triathletes in the group to practice in a non-stressful situation.

Our mock-tri start!

If you missed the post last week about “having some anxiety” while swimming, give it a read.  I got some good feedback on it.  A pretty common issue for swimmers new to open water swimming.

This week I saw a good question on the LOST Facebook page about being “dizzy” after the swim last week.  I’m glad when people ask questions, because it makes me feel smart! haha.  Only because after the many years of open water swimming I’ve done everything wrong at some point and if I can save you having to do it wrong, then it’s a short-cut for you… and makes me feel like at least I can salvage something from my mistakes!

So the answer to why you might have been dizzy after last weeks’ swim is: because it was cold.  The cold water on your eardrum can make you dizzy.  And there are really only 2 ways that I know of to deal with that.

1) earplugs – I’ve broken my eardrums over 15 times each (I stopped counting), so they break pretty easily now.  So  I always have to wear them.  The benefit is that they actually keep you warm and prevent dizziness.  You can use whatever works for you.  Inexpensive silicone ones from the drugstore or the $100 custom made ones I have, from a hearing clinic at Maple Grove Plaza in Oakville, or lots of other places.

2) you get used to it – lots of people don’t use earplugs… because they don’t need them or only swim in water cold enough occasionally and even then rarely feel dizzy.  But if your body doesn’t get used to it eventually then try earplugs.

Darren and a few of the gang… squeezing in a bike ride and a swim!

That’s about it for this week… see you in the Lake!



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Told ya it would warm up… from a nippy 47F to a balmy 53F!

June 10, 2017… 53F/12C… 79 swimmers… right on schedule! It’ll be warmer next week too!

Okay, “balmy” might be a bit of a stretch, but at least I was right when I said “it won’t be any colder than last week!”  At 47F/8C that’s a pretty safe bet.  Even for Lake O.

Didn’t matter anyway.  It was such a beautiful day, everyone was game.  Everyone.  And this was not polar bear dip, everyone was in for quite a while.  As in about a half an hour!  That’s impressive, wetsuit or not.  Doesn’t hurt when the water is flat as glass, crystal clear and clean and on a sunny summer day.  What’s not to like.

Good to have Mike “the Kayak King” back in the saddle! Thanks to Peter in the other kayak too! Always happy have more if you have a spouse or friend who would rather take a pass at this temp!

There were probably about 15 or 20 newbies yesterday.  And I singled out one newbie, “Josh”, to use as an example.  In my little pre-swim talk I told everyone that I got an email from Josh.  And the funny thing is that I get almost the same email once a week from the newbies.  It goes something like this:

“Hi, I’m a new LOSTie.  I’m getting to triathlon.  I’ve done a few short ones and have a few more lined up for this summer.  I’m a pretty good runner and a decent cyclist, but swimming is my weakness.  I’m okay in the pool but I get kinda anxious and even a little panicky in open water.”

Sometimes this is after a rough experience in one their first triathlons.  They got their goggles knocked off, or the water colder than what they were used to, or rougher than they had ever swum in, or found their wetsuit too constrictive, especially around the neck, or gulped a bit of water that freaked them out.

(Check out the video that LOSTie, Freddie So and I did yesterday too, posted about this on the LOST Swimming Facebook page too!)

And if you thought 53F was cold… don’t tell this crowd that… they were some of the LOSTies that went “naked”!  Yes, you really can acclimatize to the cold water!

It happens.  The issue is how you deal with in the race.  And the way you deal with it is to be properly prepared.  And the way to be properly prepared for it is to have experienced it and figured it out… preferably in a safe and controlled, but tough simulation.

Like, I don’t know, a LOST swim.

The idea is to train in tougher conditions than you would have to race in.  You do that on the bike and run.  Hills suck on the bike, but you do hill repeats up the escarpment.  And there aren’t many races that have hills like that in the race.  But even if there are, you’d be ready for it.

Cool action shot! Good sighting, Chris!

Same thing with swimming.  There were 2 or 3 LOSTies doing the famous “Escape from Alcatraz” this weekend (congrats!  can’t wait to hear the deets next Saturday!).  And as I said to one of them “the water is always cold there, but after 47F at LOST, you will be the only person there thinking “this is warmer than I swam in last weekend!”.  And it’s true.

The main thing you need to do in a situation where any of the conditions are tough is: breath.  I know, it sounds dumb, but it’s true.  Of course you need to breath in running and cycling too, but it doesn’t effect your mental and physical condition in the same way as it does in swimming.

Nothing wrong with swimming or even racing with a tow buoy!  Look how high the water on the pier is, it is usually about a 4 foot drop to the water!

Now when I say “breathing”, I really mean “exhaling”.  Underwater, of course, not above.  People think “I couldn’t get enough air!”  And by that they mean “air in”.  But really the reason they couldn’t get enough “air in”, is because their lungs hadn’t gotten rid of the old air.  And you can’t bring in new air if the old air is still in there.

And if you don’t get full breath then this is what happens.  You run out of energy quicker.  That’s why you see those guys at the YMCA doing laps that go so hard, with their arms spinning as hard as they can and do 3 lengths and are TOTALLY winded and have to stop.  And the opposite is seeing the great distance swimmer that has that smooth awesome stroke and looks effortless.  Looks like he could go forever.  And he could, because he never gets into oxygen deprivation.  Even when he chokes on water, gets his goggles knocked off, gets smoked by a big wave, whatever.  These things happen to good swimmers too.  But it’s like I said, it’s how you deal with it.

It’s Saul Goodman!
(a little pun for the Better Call Saul crowd!)

So come out and practice swimming in tough conditions… with a 100 people… but in a stress free simulation that ISN’T a race.  That’s how you get better at it.

The real bonus is… I’d be willing to bet that you might end up loving open water swimming!  That’s how we ended up where we are, 12 years later.




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Lookin’ green for tomorrow!

Looks like it will be around 60F / 15C tomorrow!  That was quick.  See you tomorrow!



PS.  you can always find the link for this under the “Weather” tab above.

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Well that was cool… a little pun there!

So LOST Swimming is off to a screaming start!  Literally.

Okay, it was a bit nippy.  We had an incredible 82 swimmers out… for a dip in 47F/8C water!  How cool is that!  (I can keep going with these puns all day… or “dad jokes” as my daughter Jillian refers to them!).

It was a perfect morning… and we haven’t had ton of those lately.  Not a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky, not a wave to be seen.  And FREAKIN’ cold water.

But we swam.

People always email me and ask “so are you cancelling swimming?  I heard it is going to be too ________ (wavy, rainy, windy, cold, etc)”.  Well in the first 12 years of LOST Swimming, I have never cancelled a swim.  Ever.

It doesn’t LOOK cold…

Now, there is a bit of an asterisk with that though.  We have made them pretty short.  And this was one of the shorter ones.  A lot of people got in and swam 100m or so… maybe twice.  That’s what I did.

that is as fresh and clean as glacier water!… ya, and about as cold… seriously…

But I would argue that 60-70% went longer.  Crazy.  They would go in and swim for 3 or 4 minutes.  Which is a feat in itself.  Then come out, regroup, both mentally and physically.  And then go back in.  Numerous times.  Like 6, 7, 8 times!  Wow.  Much tougher than me!

Now for all you out there that say that is crazy… well I don’t have much of a comeback.  But if you think “what’s the point?”  Well, you’d be wrong there.  There really is an actual benefit to swimming in water that cold.  

We live in Canada.  The water is cold here.  Not always, but often.  And people get freaked out by it.  Fair enough.  Nobody “likes” cold water, despite what they might tell you.  However, the definition of cold water can change… as you get better at swimming in it.

And getting “better” at swimming in cold water really means “acclimatizing” to it.  And how do you do that?  You swim in cold water.  And you do EXACTLY like what these die-hard LOSTies did.  You go in for as long as you can (safely) stand it.  Then you get out.  Get yourself collected, mentally and physically… and then you go back in.  And like I said, it still freakin’ cold… but in some weird way… it does get easier.  And repeat.  Not just 2 or 3 times today (or 8 or 9), but also next week.  And the week after.  And the week after.  And the year after.  And the year after that.  And eventually, you get “good” at cold water.

Not only can you withstand it better physically and mentally, but it actually becomes more enjoyable.  Not at 47F/8C though.  That never becomes enjoyable.  But when the lake warms up, and it does, it becomes really enjoyable.  So you can swim at 60F easily.  And 70F you can swim in all day.  And beyond that… well that’s just hot.

And, of course, it is even easier with a wetsuit.

And although cold water swimming (really cold) is never that fun, open water swimming always is.  At least in my book.  I swim 4 times a week in the pool, have a great team I train with, a great coach and a nice pool… and I would still take open water swimming any day over pool swimming.  Like I always say, it’s like road running compared to trail running.  Not even close.

And if you can take the cold part out of it, because “cold” is subjective, well then you’ll be able to enjoy the whole thing a lot more often and for longer periods.

Oh, and I’m a bit of a purist.  Not a big fan of wetsuits.  But, yes, I was not one of the… shall we say “strongly acclimatized” (crazy) LOSTies that can stand 47F easily.  I had my (sleeveless) wetsuit on.  That was cold enough for me.  Well done to the dozen or so that did.  Wow.  Anyone that doesn’t think it makes a difference wasn’t there on Saturday!

So all this is to say: “well done.  And although it may not have been an endurance workout, not every workout is supposed to be.  And being comfortable in cold water will make you a better swimmer (and triathlete).  So it was definitely a very productive workout that will benefit you later this summer and further down the road.  Trust me”.

And, I feel pretty comfortable saying: “it won’t be any colder than that this summer!”  See you next Saturday!

PS.  It was a bit of a tough transition swimming in 47F this Saturday… and swimming in 83F in Cancun, Mexico last Saturday!  (at the GSS – Global Championships!… join us next year… it was awesome!)




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