LOST… Down Under!!!… (or Darren hits Bondi Beach!)

Here is a story from one of my best friends and a “true LOSTie”.  A really good athlete… and fun-lovin’, crazy… and always up for a great adventure!  Almost makes him sound like his an Aussie, doesn’t it!  Nice one Darren.

SMFAO... because they are sexy and they know it! (click to enlarge... if you must!)

SMFAO… because they are sexy and they know it!
(click to enlarge… if you must!)

Darren is never taking his medal off... and framing this picture too!

Darren is never taking his medal off… and framing this picture too!

Darren Osborne, The Neoprene Kid! (58F)

Darren Osborne, ready to go! Gulliver’s, May 8, 2010 (58F)




Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Sydney Australia for the swim of a lifetime.   On my Australian To Do List was, in order of priority, get drunk with some Aussies, swim across Bondi Bay, surf at Bondi beach and run across Sydney Harbour Bridge.  I was there for work and only had two days to myself; time to get busy.  Day one consisted of a run across Sydney Harbour Bridge and an afternoon of surfing at Bondi Beach.  The evening of the first night I attended a work related reception where I met up with a couple of Aussie colleagues (now BFFs) to get good and drunk.  At the end of the first day I was able to check most things off my list.

Day 1a-bottle-of-fosters-beer-stands-near-a-freshly-poured-glass-

sydney bridge run

sydney bridge run

  • get drunk            check
  • run the bridge   check
  • surf Bondi           check

    Not entirely sure... but think that's Darren...

    Not entirely sure… but think that’s Darren…

  • swim Bondi         tba

I thought my accomplishments on day one were pretty good considering I was going on 4 hours sleep from a 23 hour overnight flight from Toronto to Sydney. That translates to four hours sleep over 51 hours.  Needless to say, at the end of my first day in Sydney I was tired and I crashed pretty hard.   Just before my trip, Madhu lined up an entree for me with Alan Gow from Icebergs Swim Club via his buddy Joe at the South End Rowing Club. Icebergs Swim Club has the number one rated public pool in the world.  The club is located on Bondi beach where the members regularly swim across the Bay.  I woke up Saturday morning and saw an email invitation from Alan to swim across Bondi.  My excitement turned sour when I when I saw Madhu’s subsequent email urging me “get down there and not to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.”  That was when I noticed the invitation was for a 9:30 am swim and it was already 10 am.  I passed on my regrets to my host Alan who was nice enough to invite me for a beer later that afternoon and show me around the club.  I went for a long run in the morning and met Alan later in the afternoon at the club.  In stereotypical Australian fashion, one beer turned into four or five and we had a great time. I told Alan that I was lecturing the next day and could swim the bay either early in the morning or during a 4 hour gap between my lectures.  He said the early morning swim was out because the bay was, “kind of sharky in the morning.” Even though he was involved in their weekly swim meet the next day, he said he would arrange to get a few people together to swim me across the bay during the break in my lectures.

I wrapped up my morning lecture in record time and ducked out of the room to catch a cab for Bondi.  The moderator of my lecture asked if I was sticking around formorning tea and I evasively told him I had other plans.  He asked where I was going.  “Here’s the deal,” I said, “I wasn’t going to say anything because I didn’t want to worry anyone but I am going to whip out to Bondi Beach and swim across Bondi Bay.”  He was visibly rattled.  I assured him I would be back in time for my next lecture and bolted. bondi_beach_ poster

Thirty minutes later I was standing on the observation deck at the Icebergs pool at Bondi Beach  - still in my blue suit, bowtie and Florshiems.  There was a swim meet going on so there was over a hundred swimmers milling around.  I was pretty easy to spot considering I was the only guy in suit and tie.  Actually I think I was the only guy in pants.  I found a few guys I had met in the bar the day before and they helped me find my host Alan who was just getting ready to swim a timed relay.  He told me that he had arranged three young ladies to accompany us across the bay in just a few minutes.  He said he would meet up with me after he finished his race.  I changed into my swimsuit, met up with the rest of the gang and headed down to the water.

The entrance to ocean is at the back of the Icebergs pool where the waves were crashing against the sea wall.  There is a small stair case that takes you down to a shallow rock ledge where you wait for a break in the waves and swim out.  Alan instructed me to dive into a wave, swim out 100 meters past the breakers and wait for the rest of the gang.  The girls said the water was clearer than it had been in weeks and just before I dove in I heard one of them joke, “that means you can see the shark coming from a mile away.”   As I was diving into a wave I kicked what I think was a grouper that was hanging around the rock shelf.  I thought, “what a great start to a monumental swim.” bondi-beach 3

The water was so clear you could see 90 meters out and the image of the white sand bottom 4 meters down was so sharp you could have read a book off it.  After a 100 meters out we all regrouped and Alan pointed out the sights around the bay.  What a great perspective.  The famous Bondi Icebergs swim club was on one side and as I panned around I saw dozens of surfers waiting for their waves, the iconic beach (birthplace of Speedo), the concessions and the condos rising up the hill.  Probably one of the best perspectives I have ever experienced.

The bay is 800 meters across and Alan suggested we all regroup again in the middle.  The water was a very comfortable 19 degrees and the low rolling waves moved you around enough to make it interesting.  I swam beside Alan and at one point we drifted about 10 meters apart.  I glanced over to spot him and the water was so clear he looked like he was flying through the air.   The bottom of the bay is nothing but drifting white sand.  My wife asked me to bring her back a shell from Bondi Beach but there were none.  Bondi has nothing but pure white sand, water and waves.

Bondi Beach ocean pool... home of the Icebergs Swim Team!

Bondi Beach ocean pool… home of the Icebergs Swim Team!

Alan and I stopped in the middle of the bay and waited for the girls to catch up.  I was please with myself for being able to keep up with the host this far into the swim and was complimenting myself for swimming faster than the girls.  When they caught up with us they apologized for taking so long; they had stopped for a watch a sand shark.

Sand Shark

Sand Shark

We continued across and the wind picked up a bit and made the water a bit choppy.  Just before we got to the other side of the bay, Alan pointed out a Manta Ray swimming off to our right.  We swam up to a rock ledge and I could see thousands of tiny fish swim around us playfully.  After a short regroup we headed back.  Thewind was stronger on that side of the bay and the water was a little choppier than when we started.  Cold water started to drift in and I started to get a bit of a chill.  I cranked up my stroke rate to get warm and really enjoyed the second half of the swim.  Alan stayed right with me the whole way back so I worried less about sighting our landmark and had a great opportunity to enjoy the sights below the water. The white sand was drifting lazily below me and I thought, this has got to be the greatest swim of my life.  My favourite thing about swimming in open water that you can really appreciate openness of a body of water.  In a pool you can enjoy your swim, but you have to be mindful of your lane, the wall, other people and just when you get going, the wall is right there.  With this swim, the “end” was so far away you could focus on the mundane aspect of your stroke and relax the rest of your mind. pee wee herman

After the swim, we warmed up with a hot shower and a sauna then it was off to the bar for a quick beer.  Where else but Icebergs pool could you get all that in one place. I can see why it is ranked the best public pool in the world.  Three hours later I was back in my lecture wearing my blue suit, tie, Florshiems and this big smile that just would not go away.

Thanks Alan for the friendship, the swag and one of the most memorable swims in my life.

Madhu and Joe, thanks for the in.  What a great swimming community we have.



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A great swim?!?

Okay, it was still cold… 54F/11C.  Actually a degree warmer than last week :) .  But yes, still chilly.  (And you know how I knew it was going to roll over last week… well, don’t get psyched out, I’m quite sure it will be warm again by this weekend!)  But how, you ask, could it have been a “great swim” then?

66 swimmers out... for a chilly one!

66 swimmers out… for a chilly one! (I know… not everyone was in the picture, but that’s how many signed in!)

Well I was thinking about that.  Because the water was cold… but we had 65 swimmers (yes, we crushed the temp/swimmer ratio again!!!  54/65!!!) show up for a dip… and when it was all said and done and everyone was out of the water and walking away… everyone had a smile on their face.  Everyone had fun.  I didn’t hear a single soul grumbling about the water temperature and turning all sour on it.  Okay, it may still have been the topic of conversation (or not), but I guess the answer is that the temperature of the swim wasn’t the only measure of a “good swim”.

The National Lifeguard Champions joined us!

The National Lifeguard Champions joined us!

To use an analogy I used to use with my kids when they were small.  We’ve all been there when it is a beautiful summer day and the kids come moping around saying “there’s nothing to do, I’m bored”.  And as the parent we’d say “there’s lots to do!  You could: go play outside, read a book, go play ball hockey, go for a swim (okay, maybe only at our house), go play a game…” and on and on.  But we knew what they meant… they were bored… but mostly they were bored because they had no one to play with, or at least no one to take the initiative and invent a game… not because there wasn’t a million things they could do.  But eventually they would figure it out and find someone to play with and something to do.  The something to do was easy, in fact the simpler the better.  A sprinkler, some worms or sidewalk chalk went a long ways.

They were real pros and the cold water didn't scare them at all!

They were real pros and the cold water didn’t scare them at all!

Well, here we are 20 or 30 or 40 years later… and things haven’t really change much.  The fun part of LOST Swimming is getting out there and doing something “fun”, like acting like a little kid… but thing that really makes it is having someone to do it with.  Or 64 other like-minded wacko’s to do it with!

A nice little dip... none the worse for wear!

A nice little dip… none the worse for wear!

That’s why there are so many people out… that’s why people drive 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there (Alyssa!)… that’s why you can be a little kid and come out of cold water with a big ol’ grin on your face!

Mike set the buoys up in a pretty tight triangle this week, because it was so cold… but you know what… everyone was still in for quite a while… 15-30 minutes!  Some for several laps… some naked… some twice… but all smilin’!

So… keep comin’ out… because that’s what makes LOST Swimming what it is!

PS.  special thanks to our newest LOSTies, the girls that qualified for the National Lifeguard competitions in France!  (and loaded up a whole bunch of boards and a trailer and drove down from Guelph and have a swim with us!).  Thanks girls, your welcome anytime!

What the beach looks like... without 65 LOSTies on it!

What the beach looks like… without 65 LOSTies on it!



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A bit nippy this weekend…

… assuming you call 53F/11C nippy.  So 2 weeks ago it was 68F… then we got a bit of a roll over last week that took it down to 60F.  Which at the time I recall saying that is a pretty mild roll over for the July 1 long weekend.  Turns out it just wasn’t quite done yet.July 12, 2014

I happened to be down at the Lake on Tuesday as well.  And happened to have to occassion to stick my hand in.  And it was “stupid cold”… as in, it hurt to put your hand in.  Naturally I had my trusty thermometer with me as well… it was 45F/7C!!!  P7110049

That’s the roll over I was expecting.

P7110045The good news is that it had warmed up 8 degrees by Saturday… the bad news is that 53F is still pretty freakin’ cold!

However, when Saturday morning rolled around we still had the LOST faithful show up… 47 LOSTies in fact… (almost beat the temp/swimmer ratio like last week!)… and it was a bit chilly.  Sure it's a bit chilly getting in... but look at that water... and sky! Beautiful!

Mike and crew set up the course, pretty short, given the temp… just a 300 m loop.  But that weird thing happened again.  We’ll call it the “LOST effect”… everyone got in!

But not only did they get in… something most sane people wouldn’t do in water that cold… they swam!  100% did at least on lap.  Most did 2 or 3 laps.  Several did as many as 6 or 7 laps!  And several of those were naked!!!  Amazing the power of positive thinking… and just seeing everyone else doing it!  Works every time.

It didn’t hurt that outside of the water on dry land, it was HOT!  There is big difference between getting out of cold water… only to find the air cold too… vs getting out and finding it is a toasty warm, sunny summer day!  Nice.P7110048

Smart thinking on behalf of several LOSTies too (Dylan, Chris, Maryellen and Roger come to mind), for coming out to LOST to literally test the waters yesterday, before the Toronto Triathlon Festival that was today!  Lucky for them the water wasn’t as cold and because of their LOST swim they were physically and mentally prepared for it, even if it was!  Congrats on your races guys!



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Al, David and Brett… LOST conquering hero’s!!!

Just a quick shout out to 3 LOSTies who have just completed a couple of amazing races.

Cousin Al (he’s not my cousin, mind you, but he must be somebodies cousin) and David (probably somebodies cousin too… but he doesn’t get the moniker) are both training for the Canadian Death Race!  (I was supposed to be joining them, considering it was my idea… but I begged off)… actually so is Darren, but he didn’t do this race… and he’s doing a totally different training plan.

Somebody should be doing a study on this.  Darren is essentially just getting in really, really good shape by doing tons of short, quality stuff.  Even cross-training with swimming.

David and Cousin Al are doing it old school.  Just packin’ on a ton of really tough, grueling miles.  As in, last weekend they ran 7 hours of trails… finished at 2 am… went home, slept… for 2.5 hours… got up and ran 2 more hours in the Rotherglen trails with the “normal people”.  And that wasn’t an exception.

So instead of doing a run like that, but longer, this weekend, they elected to do a “training run”.  They went down and did the Finger Lakes 50 Mile Ultra-marathon (80k… and that’s on a TOUGH trail!).  As a training run.

Cousin Al came 5th overall.  And won his age group, 45 – 49… time: 9:05.  Davie came 12th overall and second (?) in his age group, 50 – 54… 9:54!!!

Al's medal... the coolest medal ever!  A cow crossing sign... because they have signs on the course when they have to cross cow pastures and open and close gates... "Don't let the cows out!"

Al’s medal… the coolest medal ever! A cow crossing sign… because they have signs on the course when they have to cross cow pastures and open and close gates… “Don’t let the cows out!”

In keeping with my thoughts at the Caledon Quarry race… if you are going to get beat… get beat by fast guys… we went out for our usual Wednesday night, 11k tempo run… a recovery run after the 80k trail race 3 days earlier… I couldn’t keep up.  Even for these two… they are in Super-human shape!

The only trick now will be getting to the starting line… healthy… in 3 weeks.

And Brett… he’s a sub-3 hour marathoner and 10 hour Ironman… who never gets injured.  Until recently.  It finally caught up to him.  With a vengeance.  The poor guy had a groin/ab injury that couldn’t be diagnosed for months… and finally got better.  Then almost instantly got a very severe pinched nerve in his neck and couldn’t move his arm for months.  Absolutely nothing.  Nothing.  For months and months.

I’m sure he got sick of people asking him “how’s the recovery coming?”… because it wasn’t.  For months.  But finally this spring he could start to move his arm.  And run pathetically slow (slower than me).  Well, he seems to be doing better.

Brett, 3rd place in Peterborough Half Ironman... 4:42!!!

Brett (in blue), 3rd place in Peterborough Half Ironman… 4:42!!!

He did a 4:42 Half Ironman on the hilly and hot Peterborough course.  And came 3rd in his age group.

Ya, we can all stop asking him how his recovery is coming.  He’s back.

Congrats guys!



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Caledon Quarry Swim… the first local race in the COWSS!!!

Epic Swim, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia!

Epic Swim, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia!

On June 28, 2014 the first ever race in the Canadian Open Water Swim Series took place… The Epic Swim in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia!!!vowsa logo

Then on July 1, 2014 the second race of the inaugural year of the COWSS took place, The Canada Day Challenge, in Port Moody, British Columbia!!!

And so the first local race in Ontario in the Canadian Open Water Swim Series took place in Caledon, Ontario on July 6, 2014!!!

P7060041And I swam in it.  As did about 120 or so other people!  I didn’t win though.  You can imagine my disappointment.  Actually I took solace in the fact that some of the fastest young triathletes in Canada were there!  Hey, if you are going to get your butt kicked, you might as well have some fast swimmers do it!

Olympic triathlon coach, television broadcaster, coach of C3 Triathlon Club and owner and head coach of “Personal Best” tri training… Barrie Shepley… was the Race Director and founder of the race.  He took time to introduce a few of the new “young guns” who all all major national and international stars in the world triathlon scene… and all with a very good shot at making the next Olympics!  How cool is that!

Olympic prospects!

Olympic prospects!

Actually, I shouldn’t say they beat me… they didn’t.  We were in different races.  Phew.  They were all swimming the 4k race (close to the 3.8k Ironman distance swim).  But there were 1k, 2k, 4k & 5k races.  I wimped out and went in the 2k.  My daughter, Maisey, convinced me to go in the 2k with her.  At least I went naked… I had to, the water was a very warm 69F… I never would have lived it down if I had worn a wetsuit in that!  And I would have over-heated… it was a very comfortable temp.  And flat as a pool.  A great swimmin’ hole!  Definitely worth making the trip up for the second race there later this summer, if you are considering it… check out all the details at COWSS.ca.

Start of the 4k Race!  (I almost got trampled!)

Start of the 4k Race! (I almost got trampled!)

So my illusions of grandeur were crushed in about the first 100 meters.  I was hoping to try and keep up with, or at least within sight of Maisey for the race.  Ya, not so much.  But like I said, if you are going to get beat, get beat by somebody fast… makes for a better story.  And she’s pretty fast… she a Div 1 swimmer for Bryant University in Rhode Island.  Takes some of the sting away from being beat by your 19 year old daughter.  Some.

The sting came back when I got to the finishing arch and trotted across the line looking for her.  I found her.  She was the one standing there all dried off with a shirt and shorts on, sipping on a Gatorade.

Oh well, it was a lot of fun.  And I can’t wait to see how I am placed in the National Ranking of COWSS!!!  I hope they have that out soon!COWSS logo

Oh wait.  That’s Dylan and I (mostly my son Dylan though) that’s doing the stats for that.  So that’s our next project!  We should have them out shortly!

Thanks Barrie, Miguel, Katie and C3 for a great race in the Quarry!




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We beat the temperature/swimmer ratio!!! woohoo!!! (July 5, 2014)

67 swimmers... 60 degrees!!!

67 swimmers… 60 degrees!!!  (okay, not everyone was in the pic!)

Okay, so I’m running a bit behind, but this is the report from last week… and the cool thing about this swim was we beat the “temperature to swimmer ratio”!  In my little statistically oriented mind that’s quite an accomplishment!  We’ve only done that a few times… pretty good sign of happy swimmers… especially at this time of year… maybe everyone is just getting tougher!P7040004

So what is the temperature to swimmer ratio?  It is when you have more swimmers out for a swim than you have degrees on the thermometer.  It only counts when you do it in Fahrenheit.  Not nearly as impressive if you do it in Celsius.  ;)

Pretty sure that's Lynn!

Pretty sure that’s Lynn!

So the week prior, the water was a balmy 68F (18C)… but good ol’ Lake O knew that that was getting a bit ahead of itself for this time of year… so she rolled over.  And it dropped to 60F (15C).  As I always say, in my mind 60F is the cut off… above is warm… and below is starting to get cold.  If you are naked.  Which is one of the reasons the English Channel is as tough as it is… 34k is a long way to go… in 60F water.  However, in a wetsuit… 60F is perfect.  You won’t overheat and you won’t freeze.

Celine, becoming one of our regular kayakers!

Celine, becoming one of our regular kayakers!

So the temp was 60F… and we had 67 swimmers out!!!  Pretty cool.  Probably about 20% naked too.  Not too shabby.

Kim having a great paddle too... perfect conditions for the SUP!

Kim having a great paddle too… perfect conditions for the SUP!

Pretty flat… and lots of fun.  As you can see from the pics… 60F takes a minute to get into, but once you are in and get swimming… it is beautiful.  Lots of smiles and time to fool around in the water after the swim and take some pics even.  Actually a few extra pics this week because I took the camera in the kayak this week… thought I’d see how the other half lives above the water!  (actually I had a ear operation this winter and it was flaring up a bit so I thought I’d give it a rest).

Adrian... muggin' for the camera!

Adrian… muggin’ for the camera!

As usual… thanks to all our kayakers!  We’d be lost without you.  (do what you want with that double entendre!).

See... there's a few naked swimmers!

See… there’s a few naked swimmers!

Anyway… a great swim and a fun time had by all… thanks Lake O!

A nice swim shot with the Toronto skyline in the background!

A nice swim shot with the Toronto skyline in the background!





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Oakville marathon swimmers featured in new book!

Hey LOSTies,  

So if you missed the swim last week or had to run after the swim (literally or figuratively), you missed Laura Young’s book launch of her book “Solo, yet never alone:  Swimming the Great Lakes.”  It was great for everyone to meet Laura and ask her questions about her experience writing the book and talking to all the amazing swimmers that she interviewed for the book.  Quite an amazing collection of very impressive swimmers were on hand and lots of mutual book signings took place too!

Thanks Laura and good luck with the book!  If you are interested in buying a copy from Laura you can get her at:  leyoung552@gmail.com or 705-522-3977.



Also, here is the story from the Oakville Beaver about the launch!

Jul 08, 2014 

Oakville marathon swimmers featured in new bookMembers of the Oakville-based Lake Ontario Swim Team (LOST) will have particular interest in Laura Young’s first published book.

The Sudbury author was at the Central branch of the Oakville Public Library Saturday for a launch promoting Solo, Yet Never Alone: Swimming the Great Lakes, a book that describes swimmers who have swum across the large lakes in southern Ontario.

Featured in the book are LOST swimmers Rob Kent, Madhu Nagaraja and Melanie Price, who all have their own individual chapters. Price successfully crossed Lake Ontario from Port Dalhousie to Oakville in 2011, and Kent and Nagaraja followed suit the next year.

Among the other subjects interviewed for the book are Marilyn Bell (the first person to swim across Lake Ontario, 60 years ago) and Vicki Keith (the first to swim across all five Great Lakes, doing so in a two-month period).

Many LOST swimmers attended Saturday’s launch after their regular two-hour swim in Lake Ontario. The launch included a panel discussion and an audience question-and-answer period about the challenges of swimming the Great Lakes.

Rebekah Boscariol, 19, also attended the launch. Boscariol crossed Lake Ontario from Niagara-On-The-Lake to Toronto in 2011 and will attempt another crossing later this summer.

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Xterra wetsuit deal!!!

xterra wetsuits, $119At least once a week in the winter and several times per week in the summer LOSTies (and friends of LOSTies) ask me about wetsuits… let me save you a few steps and answer some of those questions:

- first of all… we get an amazing deal through our sponsor Xterra… 60% off!  That’s pretty hard to beat.

- they are good wetsuits... and, if I’m not mistaken, they are the most popular wetsuit out there.  I would guess that over the past 3 years or so, LOSTies have bought over 200 wetsuits… and I haven’t heard any complaints.  And if there are any issues, we always seem to get good account managers that are willing and able to take good care of us… probably because we sell so many of them, but they are good to us too with prizes for the LOST Race too.

- sleeveless or full sleeve? - my standard answer is: if you are a good swimmer (however you want to define that!) go for the sleeveless.  You get almost all the benefit of extra warmth and buoyancy, but have much more freedom to swim!… and if you are newer to open water swimming and cold water swimming, go for the extra warmth and buoyancy of a full sleeve.

- sizing?  Xterra doesn’t have a store where you can try them on… but they have a great sizing chart and of the 200 or so that LOSTies have ordered I’m pretty sure you could count on one hand the ones that needed to be sent back for a different size.  And they are very accommodating if they need to be sent back.  Myself and my family are all generally freakishly tall and skinny… and we’ve all found ones that fit us well!

- price?  Like I say, we get a great deal.  Even the cheap ones are good.  It’s not like you need to get a top of the line one and the rest are crap… they all range from “good to very good”.

- ordering?  Just drop me an email (the5kents@msn.com) and I’ll send you the code.  And they usually come very quickly.  I’ve seen them come as quick as 2 days… but usually around a week!  (they are coming from San Diego).

Here is their latest deal… $119 for a good sleeveless… shop it around, you won’t find a better deal than that!

Why am I always pumping Xterra?… What’s my angle?… no angle… I just like to get more people out swimming in open water!!!

Having said all that… real swimmers don’t need a wetsuit anyway!!!   :-)



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Book launch!!!

Hey LOSTies!

Don’t forget about the book launch tomorrow (July 5), immediately after our LOST Swim!  We’ve even arranged to have it just up the street at the library… and if that wasn’t enough… they are supplying the post-swim coffee and donuts!  See you there!


RobSolo, yet never alone

My friend Laura Young has written a book about Lake Ontario Crossings!!!

There really hasn’t been a book about swimming the Great Lakes since the excellent book by Conrad Weneberger: Wind, Waves and Sunburn, which is about marathon swimming back in the glory days in all the Great Lakes, but Laura’s book is all about Lake O Crossings and is up to date as of 2012!  (which mean, yes… even, lil’ ol’ me is in it!)

Even better, you can pick up an autographed copy of the book from the author!  And even better than that… we’ve arranged a book signing and a little panel discussion with the author and 3 people in the book… me, Madhu and Melanie!  And it is going to be at the library just up the street from our Saturday morning LOST swim on Saturday, July 5 at 10:00 am!  Perfect!

Here is the press release:  (for printable versions of both, click below):

SOLO Oakville_smPstr_Page 2

Press Release Oakville June 16 2014

Solo, yet never alone, press release

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2nd Race in the Cdn Open Water Swim Series (& BBQ)… and it’s only $20!!!

PB-Caledon-Swim Swim with Personal Best in the clean, clear, safe, fresh, warm Caledon Quarry on Sun July 6th & Sat Sept 20th 1k, 2k, 4k, & 5k swim distances, wetsuit & no-wetsuit categories.


The Klean Athlete Caledon Quarry Swims are a part of the Canadian Open Water Swim Series. The July 6th Caledon event is an introduction to the Series, a chance to meet the event race directors, get in a low-frills fun Sunday afternoon open water swim and a great post-swim BBQ with Olympic and international athletes & coaches.


Swimming is a life-long physical activity and the organizers of the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS) are creating a series of safe, fun open water swim events that will allow your entire family a race distance that they can successfully accomplish. The July 6th Caledon Quarry Swim # 1 (note there will be a series ending swim on Sat Sept 20th) is a low-frills introduction to the race series. COST: $20.00 includes a timed swim (1k, 2k, 4k or 5k) as well as a post-race BBQ & draw prizes open to all.


  • 11:30am gates open/registration
  • 12:30pm 4k & 5km swimmers start
  • 1:15pm: 1k & 2k swimmers start
  • 2pm Post Race BBQ & Social

LOCATION: James Dick Quarry in Caledon Village 17847 Hurontario Street (hwy 10) Caledon Village


The series ending event in the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS)

  • 11:30am gates open/registration
  • 12:30pm 4k & 5km swimmers start
  • 1:15pm: 1k & 2k swimmers start
  • 2pm Post Race BBQ & Social

EVENT: The series ending event includes

  • Timed races (1k, 2k, 4k, 5k)
  • Race Series Gift
  • Post race meal, awards, prizes

Click here to register:  http://personalbest.ca/workouts-events-camps/weekly-workouts/83-caledon-quarry-swim

$20.00 for the July 6th event
$40.00 year end  September 20th event
COMBO: Race 1 (July 6th) and Race 2 (Aug 20th) combined $50.00


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68 & 65!!!

Okay, I’ve been accused of being somewhat “temperaturely optimistic” in the past… but there was no need on Saturday… the water was awesome!

June 27, 2014... 68F... 65 swimmers!  (click to enlarge)

June 27, 2014… 68F… 65 swimmers! (click to enlarge)

So dig this progression so far this year… LOST Swim #1 – 39 swimmers, 50F… LOST Swim #2 – 31 swimmers, 58F… LOST Swim #3… 65 swimmers and 68F/20C!!!  Wow… 18 degrees warmer… in 3 weeks!

At this rate it will be boiling by the time the LOST Race rolls around on Aug 9… and be over 1000 people!!!  ;-)

Anyway, a huge turnout and a great swim.  Funny I was thinking “oh, there probably won’t be many people around for the long weekend.”  Boy was I wrong.  As usual, we had swimmers commute from Barrie, Ajax, Scarborough, Toronto, Cambridge, Guelph, London, St Catherines… and of course, lots from Burlington, Mississauga and Oakville too!

just another day at the beach!

just another day at the beach!

And it was worth the drive.  It was really a nice swim.  Although I will give you that it was a bit choppy.  But as always, trying to find the upside in that… as my running friend Stephen Connor says when he is coaching us on hills… it’s not a problem… it’s an “opportunity”!  (the guy is as pathetically optimistic about tough conditions as I am!).  So Saturday was a great “opportunity” to swim in water that was a bit choppy!

It wasn’t that choppy though, and with the issue of cold water being out of the way, it just gave you one thing to work on at a time.  Jillian, Celine and Darren set up the course (thanks!), which started as a 1.5 km course… but the far buoy was blown down the shore a bit further… so your laps might not have been too consistent.  Especially after I got Jill to bring it back in a ways.  Oh well… an “opportunity” to practice your sighting… with a moving buoy!

a nice swim with kayakers; Darren, Jillian & Celine!

a nice swim with kayakers; Darren, Jillian & Celine!

I had to laugh though, at the start of the swim the kayakers were running a bit behind setting up the course, so we had the 3rd buoy still to put out… so I needed to get it dropped out there somehow.  When who should step up beside me but one of the all-time greats of open water swimming, Greg Streppel, (see last week’s post) about to get in the water.  Now I would never ask this of anyone else, but… when you’ve got a swimmer of that caliber standing next to you… and you are in need of a buoy with a bucket full of rocks attached to it taken out a couple hundred yards into the lake and dropped off… well, it seemed like it would have been a missed “opportunity”… for me, sure… but also for Greg!  Just a nice little warm up for him!!!

Anyway, great swim everyone!  And congrats to those that told us about their races over the past week or so (John, swimming from Alcatraz… and Helene, qualifying for the Half Ironman World Championships… are just 2 that leap to mind!).

Helene places 3rd to qualify for Half Ironman World Champs!!!

Helene places 3rd to qualify for Half Ironman World Champs!!!

See you next week… also, don’t forget the first entry to the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS.ca) is next weekend!  Have a look… it will be your best chance to get a jump in the rankings to become the first Canadian Open Water Swim Series Champion!!!  Remember, 50% of the points come from participation!

Theo... the LOST dog!

Alex and Theo… the LOST dog!



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Superstar swimmers in the midst… and now new LOSTies too!!!

31 LOSTies... 58F/14C... a nice combo!

31 LOSTies… 58F/14C… a nice combo!

So I’m writing about the swim last weekend today… a bit late, but there were some cool pics too, so I wanted to get them out too.  Funny thing is, as I’m writing this today I’m amazed how much things have changed since last Saturday.

Last Saturday the air temp was only about 14C/57F, kinda chilly… and the water temp was 14C/58F too!  Both were okay, but not hot by any stretch… but today it feels like we are in the heart of summer suddenly!

Nice stroke, Art!

Nice stroke, Art!

It certainly feels hot today, about 25C… the 89% humidity makes a big difference too!  I was just down at the water and using the ever-reliable “Rob’s hand in 6 inches of water test”, I’d say the water must be in the mid-60′sF!!!  And I was curious how reliable my hand as a thermometer was, so I just checked the water temp map and my hand was bang on!!!  It shows it at 67F/19C!!!  temp map, june 27, 2014


Woo hoo… no wetsuits tomorrow, baby!!!

Anyway… back to last weekend.  The weekend prior the water was “chilly”… it was 50F/10C… okay I’ll cut you some slack if you wore a wetsuit in that (I did)… then it warmed up 8F degrees in a week to 58F… pretty good… but it’s looking like it is up another 9F degees this week!  Still we had 31 hardy swimmers out, and guess what… everyone was cool with that… or rather everyone was “okay” with that temp!  Nobody came shrieking out, in fact we doddled in the the water, took a few pics and were quite fine… even those that thought they’d be cold.

Lynn, Miguel, Art, Alex... above water...

Lynn, Miguel, Art, Alex… above water…

Lynn, Miguel, Art, Alex... below!

… and Lynn, Miguel, Art, Alex… below!

Nice to see a few newbies out too.  Some totally new to open water swimming… that’s pretty cool that we motivated you to get you out to discover the joys of open water swimming for the first time.  But we also had a few people who were new LOSTies… but

Sheila winning the Toronto Island Lake Swim last summer!

Sheila winning the Toronto Island Lake Swim last summer!

not exactly new to swimming… Craig Ross, a swim coach and former Varsity swimmer with Brock University… great to have you out Craig!  Then we had Sheila Hewerdine Treleaven out too… she’s a pretty decent swimmer too… swam NCAA at Texas Christian Univ, Pan American Championships and even holds 4 Masters World Records… she even won the Toronto Island Lake Swim last year!!!  Wow… great to have you out too Sheila!  But Craig and Sheila picked a tough week to come out and look like superstars… because we had a true superstar out… Greg Streppel.

Greg being inducted into Swimming Canadas "Circle of Excellence"!

Greg being inducted into Swimming Canadas “Circle of Excellence”!

So who is Greg Streppel, you ask?  Well he is one of the greatest open water swimmers in the history of the sport, is all!!!  Click on his name above and it will take you to his Openwaterpedia page, but a quick summary is: in the 1990′s he won just about everything on the pro circuit in open water swimming, he won gold at the World Swimming Championship… in the 25 km swim!!!  He won gold at Pan Pacific Championships… twice. He won 11 FINA World Cup marathon swimming races in Argentina, Mexico, and Italy.  In fact, between ’92 – ’95 he won every World Cup race he entered… and 13 of 16 in his career.  He’s been called the greatest open water swimmer… ever.  And in case you were discounting the fact that open water swimming was in its infancy then… he was also a good pool swimmer too.  Oh wait… he still is… at the age 46, a couple of months ago he swam a 16:56 for 1500 short course meters swim at the 2014 Canadian Masters swimming championships.  Not too shabby.

Miguel and Katie... above...

Miguel and Katie… above…

Miguel and Katie... below!

… and Miguel and Katie… below!

Just goes to show you… you never know who you’ll bump into at a LOST swim!  Great to have Craig, Sheila and Greg as new LOSTies!!!  And all the new “mere mortal” LOSTies too!

Madhu, Lynn, Michael and Bud... above...

Madhu, Lynn, Michael and Bud… above…

... and below!

… and below!  (yes, that’s Buds foot…)

So come on out tomorrow and enjoy the sun, sand and surf! (okay, no sand, but it sounds better that way!).  And introduce yourself to other LOSTies… some pretty interesting people out there bobbing around in the waves!



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36 Miles of CRAZY :) !!!… by Annaleise Carr!

So you probably all remember 2 summers ago when seven of us attempted a Lake O Crossing… 3 of us made it… me, Madhu and Annaleise Carr… but the most interesting story out of it all was Annaleise’s.  27 hours, something like $250,000 raised for a kid’s cancer camp… and she was just 14 years old!!!

Rob, Annaleise and Madhu... the three 2012 Lake O Crossing successes!  (so far, Colleen leaves tomorrow!)

Rob, Annaleise and Madhu… the three 2012 Lake O Crossing successes! (so far, Colleen leaves tomorrow!)

This year she’s doing another major swim… 72 km across Lake Erie.  Miguel and I are acting as swim-master’s for the swim on July 25… and the story below is about the race she just did in North Dakota that is being used as her qualifying swim… a 58 km river race!  Have a read…



So, school is done and I’m back from North Dakota!  I was blessed to be able to compete in the longest open water race in North America, the Extreme North Dakota Water Endurance Test (END-WET), and even more blessed to finish in 2nd in the competitive women’s division…or possibly more blessed to still be alive :) !  This race is 36 mile/58 km of craziness, or at least it was this year!  The mighty Red River was at the extreme flood level and the local sheriff’s dept almost called the race off because of the danger…I know why!  The river moves pretty quick, which will tell you how I finished in 9 hours and 31 minutes, but it’s the other things that really make it crazy!!  How about floating trees!!  Otters!! Street signs buried beneath the flood waters!!??

IMG_8531 IMG_8564 IMG_8543 IMG_8529 IMG_8528 IMG_8502 IMG_8573

Anyhow, it was crazy fun and I once again had one of the greatest kayakers in the world (right up there with Darcy Campbell, Rob Smith and Tyler Wilson) in Scott Olsen from Fargo, ND!!  Thanks Scott for looking out for me…and for helping me when my life was on the line!!

IMG_8579 IMG_8504 IMG_8522 IMG_8558 IMG_8577

So, I suppose you all want to know the story?!  Okay! We were a long way through the race and we stopped so I could feed.  We were right on a bend and I got caught in a current and it swept me toward at dam of logs and trees which had kinda’ washed into an elbow in the river!  I tried to swim out of the current, but there was no use!! As I got closer to the pile of logs, rather than be swept underneath of it, I grabbed on to the first log and held on until Scott could manoeuver around all the debris and help me!!  My hero ;)!! I know he was upset, but it’s that type of thing that makes this sport so appealing to us open water swimmers!!  The unknown!! Just because you made a swim once doesn’t mean you’ll make it next time!  What will be around that next bend?  All of these type of things keep us coming back for more!!  I was honoured and humbled to be able to swim alone side so many iconic open water swimmers in North Dakota!!  Thank you Andrew Magness for bringing me down to the brown Red River to play :) !

So, it’s always nice to be back in Canada!  Thought I’d update you and introduce you to my coach for my Lake Erie crossing!  Paula Jongerden http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Paula_Jongerden is one of only a few people who have swam across Lake Erie and a very awesome person, and can you believe she lives only about 3 minutes from my home!?  I’m so proud and honoured to have her on board and she is so positive and funny and I know she will make this crossing a lot of fun!!

Our planning has been so well done!!  My team is just amazing!! I believe we are ready now…I know I’d like to go any time!!  The water is the prefect temperature!  Last Sunday when we did the training day the temp was 61-62  which I thought was great!  I’m sure it’s much warmer now.

I’ll sign off by mentioning that I’ll be in the boat parade and the street parade on July 1st in Port Dover!  Happy Canada day everyone!!  Don’t forget to get out and help me help Camp Trillium!  Let’s keep the donation thermometer on my website rising!!!!




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The Canadian Open Water Swim Series!!!

… or COWSS… as we like to call it!  (COWSS.ca)LOST Race logo

This was a brain child of mine from several years ago.  I always thought it would be cool to have a whole series of open water swimming races across the country!  But, alas, life is too full of other nuisances… like work and such.

But LOST kept growing… and so has the sport.  And other people got involved to help me run it.  Like our LOST Board… and Miguel, Katie and Shirley.  And last year Steve and Bill contacted me because they wanted to start up a swim race on Toronto Island (2nd annual Toronto Island Lake Swim is part of COWSS too!).  And I’ve gotten to know Richard, who runs the very successful “Bring on the Bay” in Ottawa… and he was game too!  So suddenly, with all these like minded open water swimmers… we did have the initial momentum to get it going!

TILS logoAnd one Saturday in the middle of January… when no one in Canada was thinking about open water swimming, except for the handful of us, met and put this thing together.

bring on the bay logoI spoke to a few guys I knew out in Vancouver and Kelowna… and they were in… with 5 races from out west!  One of the original LOSTies, Alex, spoke to his brother out in Halifax and they brought in a couple from out there… then Miguel brought in Olympic tri coach, Barrie Shepley and C3… and they are putting together a couple more epic-open-water-swim_logo (2)(still coming)…and all of a sudden we were up to over 10 races all across the country… before we had even announced the series!  (and yes, we are accepting more!… see the website for how to get a race included in the Series!)

Now the cool thing is, it is set up so there will be actual “National Champions!” (4 actually, M/F Naked, M/F wetsuit… 10 year age groups will also be ranked and shown on the website)… and just by entering any of the individual races, you are automatically entered into the Series… at no extra cost!

The thing I especially like, that we all agreed on, is that you can earn up to 100 points per race, but you automatically get 50 points just for participating… and from 0-50 points for how you placed, based on your vowsa logopercentile finishing.  (ie. if you came 10th in a 20 person race you don’t get as many points as if you came 10th in a 500 person race!).  Because our goal in creating this whole thing is to promote the participation in the sport of open water swimming… so it’s not just for the fast guys!

across the lake swim logoSo if you enter more races, you can beat someone who is faster than you… and become the National Champ!!!  (of course, if you are fast, that doesn’t hurt either!) Anyway, I won’t write out what you can see on our new (and continually evolving) website at COWSS.ca, check it out!!!

This is really going to be a real game changer!BrigaSwim_LogoRattlesnake Island swim logo

Maisey's vision of a mass start at a COWWS race!

Maisey’s idea of a mass start at a COWWS race!



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Embrace Open Water Swimming…

Embrace, summer programs, 2014

Embrace, summer programs, 2014

You may have been wondering what’s the deal with “Embrace”… so that is the name of Miguel’s swimming company, Embrace.  Through that he and (his soon-to-be-wife!) Katie offer all kinds of swimming programs.  Some are affiliated with LOST and some are affiliated with other Tri groups.

The cool thing about all these groups in the area is that we are all friends… and cooperate with each other.  We all like open water swimming and triathlon and just want to see the sports grow.  Pretty cool that there is such a great body of swimmers and triathletes around… and just as importantly… that there are facilities, organizations and experience and knowledgeable people to help the sports grow.

Trust me, it isn’t like this everywhere.  In southern Ontario, we live in a huge hotbed for the world of triathlon… and I would even go so far as to argue that LOST has also become a hotbed for open water swimming, even on a global scale!  And why not… we have one of the best places in the world to swim!  (PS. check out the flag counter I installed a couple weeks ago on the side!)

So come on out and join LOST, if you haven’t already and enjoy it! (incidentally, one week into the season and we are already pushing 100 members and counting!!!).  Or talk to Miguel or Katie at Embrace… or any of our other triathlon, swim and run buddies at:

  1. Embrace Open Water Swimming
  2. TCOB… Tri Club of Burlington
  3. Burlington Masters Swim Club
  4. Oakville Masters Swim Club
  5. Pace Performance, coaching
  6. C3… Canadian Cross-training Club
  7. Personal Best, coaching
  8. Connor’s Runners

PS.  Over the years I have trained with, and continue to train with, each one of these groups… and I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t know and respect the people running them… and the fun people in each of them.  Ironically, there are lots of people who float around from group to group, like me.  It’s a small world.

PSS.  I just got a pic from one of my son, Dylan’s best buddies, Amy… she’s a lifeguard in Massachusetts… and this is what she does on her break!!!  Okay, Lake O isn’t perfect.  I wish we had surfing too!Amy surfing! Amy surfing! 2 Amy surfing! 3



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Woo hoo… first LOST Swim of 2014!!!

First LOST Swim of 2014!!!   (50F & 39 crazy swimmers!)

First LOST Swim of 2014!!! (50F & 39 crazy swimmers!)

Okay, I’ll cut to the chase… and answer the question everyone always wants to know for the first LOST Swim of the year… it was cold!

How cold?  50F/10C!!!  (remember you can check the “weather” tab above… but I wouldn’t bet the house on it… sometimes it’s warmer… or colder… so come regardless!)

So you are sitting there in your jammies at the kitchen table, just waking up, saying “phew, glad I missed that one…”.  Well you actually missed a great one!

More to the point, about 39 LOSTies didn’t miss it… and had a great swim!  What a turn-out!  Take a look at the first LOST Swim from 4 years ago… 14 swimmers (which I was really happy about having that many out!)… and the water was 62F/16C!!!

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

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

I amazed how LOST Swimming has spread, just by word of mouth… I’d love to say it was all because of me… or because of the Lake or some other reason… but the true of the matter is, I think it is all because of all the LOSTies!!!  Truth is, any of us could go and swim by ourselves or with a buddy or two, in Lake O or any other lake any time you want… but it’s more fun to swim with a group… and it is even more fun to swim with a big ol’ bunch of fun-lovin’ crazies like we had out today!!!

Let me tell you… if I had walked down to the water by myself and stuck my toe in and found it was 50F… I would have turned around and walked right back to the Jeep.  But the magic of LOST Swimming is that you see all these other wacko’s doing it… so you figure, “well if all of them can do it, then so can I”.  And you do.

And you know what?  It ends up not being that bad.  Don’t get me wrong… it’s still freakin’ cold… but it’s not that bad.

I told everyone that the guys in Dover who also start their training about this time this year for their English Channel crossings are instructed by “The Channel General” (my ol’ buddy, Freda Streeter!) to go in for a dip in the freezing water… come out, dry off, warm up… and then go back in!!!  For some reason, the second time isn’t as bad.  Again, yes, it’s still just as cold… but you get your head around it.  You get conditioned to it.  Both mentally and physically.

Freda Streeter, the world famous "Channel General"!  (who has coached more people across the English Channel than anyone... including her daughter who holds the record at 42 times!!!)  And she's much meaner than she looks in this picturer!  ;-)

Freda Streeter, the world famous “Channel General”! She has coached more people across the English Channel than anyone… including her daughter, Ali Streeter, who holds the record at 42 times!!!   PS.  she’s much meaner than she looks in this picture!   ;-)

Naturally, the 40% or so that were newbies, thought I was nuts.  Most were thinking of bailing out… not going twice.  But then people started going.  Madhu, Rebeckah, Loren and even one awesome Brit who was visiting all went in “naked”! (that’s without a wetsuit, for the real newbies!).  So then the rest, not wanting to be shown up by the naked also went in.  Then there was the usual 5 or 6 that were really having a hard time getting psyched up.  So I chatted with them a bit about going in twice (forget just once!)… and sure enough they did.  In fact, they all went in 3 times!!!  Awesome!

Some wimps (like myself!) were only in for 5 or 10 minutes… but amazingly… most people, new or vets, young or old, strong swimmers and weaker swimmers, were in there for 20 – 30 minutes!!!  That is amazing.  Really.

Your average triathlete would not do that.  Nor would your average swimmer, for that matter.  And there in is the magic of LOST.  Not your average group of swimmers.

Well done!!!  See you next week!!LOST_SWIM_CAP_2014_SAMPLE_1024x1024LOST_SWIM_CAP_2014_SAMPLE_2_1024x1024

  • don’t forget to register!
  • email me if you want the code for a new wetsuit (they usually come within a week!  Xterra takes good care of us LOSTies!)
  • the new SILICONE caps that come free with your registration should be in for next week… Miguel designed them and they look great!  You can write your name on them and they are your proof you’ve registered!
  • check out the LOST Store for the great hoodies and T’s… I was like everyone and wanted to see them first… but they look great and I bought one from Katie on the beach!
  • special thanks to Katie (LOST Store Manager), Miguel (Team Manager), Mike (Kayak King)!!!
  • don’t forget to come out for the coffee social… that’s half the fun!!!  Warming up is just the bonus!  (“Bean There”… at Reynolds and Lakeshore!).
... living the dream... at Bean There!

… living the dream… at Bean There!

This is going to be the best LOST season yet!



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Here we GOOOO!!!

This is where we swim!(click to enlarge).

This is where we swim!(click to enlarge).

Now that our crappy winter is a distant memory and summer is finally here… so is LOST Swimming!

The first swim will be this Saturday, June 14 at 8:00 am, at LOST Beach!!!  

So make sure you are registered (click on the LOST STORE and online Registration to the right to register).  

Click on the “How to be a LOST Swimmer” tab above if you have any questions.

You’ll probably want to get there plenty early to get the lay of the land and to get into your wetsuit (if you are wearing one!), and given this is the first swim and there will be plenty of newbies, we’ll go over how everything works!

Of course everyone wants to know the water temp (myself included!)… but it looks like it should be one of the best first swims in several years!  Click on the “Weather” tab to see the water temp… 60F/15C… ish!

water temp, june 13, 2014

See you on the Beach!




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Eagleman… and “Rob’s Road Rule”!

Eagleman was great!!!eagleman-logo

I probably sound like I’m one of those perpetually perky people, who thinks everything is “great!”… I’m not, I’m just normal(ish)… but I try to be a pretty positive guy… and I really do love racing and competing… so it would be unusual for me to not have fun at a race!  Eagleman was no exception.

The unique thing about this race was that it was my son’s first big race!  He had done a few little “kids of steel”-type of triathlons growing up, and he was supposed to do the Marine Corps Marathon with me last fall, but had to pull out at the last minute with a bad achilles injury… so this Half Ironman was going to be big!

He entered the race last year and a couple of his university buddies, brothers Pat and Todd, were game for their first big race too!  When he told us that he was going to do Eagleman, Joanne and I jumped right in and signed up too!  Pretty cool to have mom and dad racing their 22 year old son!

gordie howeI still say my swim across Lake Ontario, two summers ago, was my real “Gordie Howe” moment that every dad dreams of, but this was close too!  I see we have tons of international swimmers who follow LOST too, so for clarification, Gordie Howe was probably the 3rd best hockey player ever, after Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr, but one of his most famous accomplishments was to have played professional hockey in 5 decades!  In fact, he played so long that he was able to play on the same team as his two son’s, Mark and Marty!  So swimming across Lake Ontario and having Dylan, Maisey, Jillian and Joanne all pace me on the toughest athletic adventure I’ve ever done… is my Gordie Howe moment!

Dylan and Rob... the "dudes" hit the Lake!

Dylan and Rob… the “dudes” hit the Lake!

But I digress.

The Set Up: the lead into to this race was… less than spectacular.  Dylan was still nursing his achilles injury and was only doing 10 and 1′s and his longest run was only 14 km going into the race.  Pat and Todd, were both newbies and had no idea what they were getting into and were equally under-trained too.  Joanne is “Steady Eddie”, she’s always in good shape and always trains diligently for each event.  But she had pneumonia in the weeks leading up to the race.  I on the other hand have no logical fear of blowing up in a race and have been know to get by on “experience” and fake my way through the race… as I had just done in the 50k trail race two weeks earlier.  This race was no different.  I had swum exactly twice since LOST Swimming ended last September… and ridden by bike exactly twice as well… so I was relying pretty heavily on the run to bail me out.

Having said all that… we are still competitors and out for fun.  So I came up with the game we used a few years ago at the Pentathlon meet when I was swimming with BMSC.  Instead of guessing who was going to win, which would be unfair because I was clearing going to win, you had to throw $10 in the kitty and the winner was the person who finished closest to their “predicted time”.  These were the “predicted times”:

  • Rob – 6:00
  • Joanne – 7:00
  • Dylan – 6:30
  • Pat – 7:00
  • Todd – 7:00

So race day finally came… ready or not.  And it was hot.  94F hot.  Plus 60% humidity hot.  That’s bad enough but we haven’t exactly trained in that kind of heat so far this year.  So hot, in fact, that when race day morning rolled around… it became a no wetsuit swim!  The water temp was over 76.2F!

Of course I don’t mind, in fact, I’d rather swim without one, it’s a definite advantage to swim with one, because you are so much faster… swimming like a cork with arms!  Which is why I always swim with one in a triathlon, hey, it’s a race!  But when you have to get rid of them then that’s great for the real swimmers!  Jo and I are pretty decent swimmers, but next to the Dylan, Pat and Todd (NCAA Div 1 swimmers) we were still a notch down!

Then there was a bit of a twist to the swim.  You had to swim with a shirt on.  What the hell kinda rule is that?!  I’d never heard of anything so stupid.  And we got no warning, so everyone had to wear what they were wearing on the bike… bike jersey’s or tri tops… you know the ones with the big pockets in the back… that act like parachutes if one was to swim with one on… ya, those ones!

Oh well, whatever.  So we were walking over to the swim start and started hearing another rumor… and when we got to the start we found it was true… the shirts had to be sleeveless?!  What the hell kinda rule is that?!  So there were body marking volunteers standing there, who traded their markers in for scissors!  And were standing there cutting the sleeves off of everyone’s $100 bike jerseys!

Oh well, whatever… I had a tri top on, so I didn’t really care.  The best though was a guy we saw who was standing with his girlfriend who had obviously been caught short of a top or didn’t want to wreck his bike jersey… so luckily for him his girlfriend helped him out… he put on a skimpy running bra!  It was hilarious!  It also improved our mood and soon we were off!

Strangest looking swim start ever!  Kudo's to Pat sporting the LOST tri top!

Strangest looking attire for a swim start ever!     Kudo’s to Pat sporting the LOST tri top!

Dylan and Pat were in an early wave, Joanne in the next wave 5 minutes back and I was 5 minutes back of her.  Poor Todd was over an hour back (just another reason I had “wave starts”!).

So the plan was to only let Dylan and Pat put about 5 minutes into me in the swim.  Turns out he only beat me by 3 minutes (32 vs 35 mins, slow, but no wetsuit).  Pat actually beat Dylan out of the water, but lost it in transition.

I was hoping to catch him or stay even on the bike… and maybe catch Jo and Pat on the bike too.

So I’m feeling great after the swim, hop on the bike and I’m hammering it.  People passing me left, right and center… but I’m hammering it.  At least in my little head I thought I was hammering it.  I’m watching ahead for Joanne as my first conquest.

And at about 40k I saw her.  She passed me!  What the…?!  I yelled as she blew by me “what are you doing behind me?”… “you passed me in the swim!”

The "Mother and Child Reunion"... for all the Paul Simon fans out there!

The “Mother and Child Reunion”… for all the Paul Simon fans out there!

Good news, bad news, I suppose.  I crushed her in the swim… the bad news is it didn’t look like I was going to be catching her on the bike!  She was out of sight in no time.  Small consolation… I passed Pat.  On his old steel Puegot… with no shoe clips.  Lots of respect to Pat for not getting all the fancy equipment for his very first race, just getting in there and doing it old school!!!  (in my first tri I had to take the baby seat off my mountain bike the night before!).  Regardless, passing Pat on the bike was not a huge moral victory.

After 3:07 on the bike I was finally off… actually I wasn’t at all disappointed with that… I certainly didn’t deserve any better than that.  Regardless, I was now off to hunt down Jo and then Dylan on the run!

I caught Jo in the first km.  She was walking and asked me to walk with her as she the heat had already gotten to her (she’s a medical tent kinda gal when it gets hot like that… IM Cda, IM Louisville, Boston, Mississauga marathons)… so I walked with her and tried to cheer her up.  Kinda took the fun out of “blowing by her”… but I was the nice husband.

The Tri Kent's!

The Tri Kent’s!

But then was shortly back on the hunt for Dylan… my big conquest!  The run was 10.5 km out and 10.5 km back on the same road… not a lick of shade anywhere… but at least you get to see everyone.  So I kept my eyes peeled for Dylan.  I figured I didn’t really have to start watching for him until near the turnaround, because he likely wasn’t too far ahead.  My math went something like this… 10 minute head-start in his wave + 5 minutes in the swim + zero or so on the bike (he was on a steel bike too) = 15 minutes ahead of me at the start of the run.  So I should be able to catch him about at the turnaround, 1 hour in.

So imagine my surprise when I’m only about 5km in and I see him bounding along on his way back in… big ol’ smile on his face.  I hadn’t been so surprised to see someone since… well, since Jo caught passed me on the bike!  The best I could do was yell out “so I guess I won’t be hunting you down then!”  The little bugger looked great.

I also saw our other LOSTie friends, Eileen and Mark Luxton and Alan Swankie… all of who had great races!  Eileen doing just her second, but beat her previous time… Mark, who has always been a very strong du-athlete, took the plunge and completed his first tri!!! Woohoo!!!  And Alan, the veteran marathoner also finished his second Half IM too!  Todd and Pat finished in very respectable times, all things considered… and had a great time! Congrats everyone!

Pat, Joanne, Rob, Dylan, Mark, Eileen, Alan... and Todd still out on the course!

Pat, Joanne, Rob, Dylan, Mark, Eileen, Alan… and Todd still out on the course!

  1. Dylan Kent – 5:32 – great race… kicked my butt… I think that’s called getting “punk’d”
  2. Rob Kent – 6:00 – bang on to my predicted time at least, got about what I deserved
  3. Mark Luxton – 6:11 – great first half IM, crushed the bike and run!
  4. Eileen Luxton – 6:14 – great second half IM
  5. Joanne Kent – 6:22 – good comeback after pnuemonia… and didn’t even need an IV! ;)
  6. Pat Bryan – 6:51 – awesome old school first tri and even represented LOST with jersey!
  7. Todd Bryan – 7:15 – great first triathlon too!
  8. Alan Swankie – 7:32 – not bad for a second half IM


Oh yeah… and what is this about “Rob’s Road Rule”, you ask?  We came up with a new rule on which races to enter based on distance to the race and length of the race.  The rule is: “never drive or fly longer than the average time it takes to do the race!”

For example:

  • 10k running race – average time 50-60 minutes… don’t enter a race that is further to drive to than that.
  • marathon – average time is 4 hours… don’t enter a race that is a longer flight or drive than that (Boston is a possible exception!)
  • Ironman – average time is about 14 hours… don’t enter a race that is a longer drive or flight than 14 hours
  • And the Eagleman, Half Ironman – average time about 6-7 hours… it took us 11 hours to drive there!!!  Never again.

A great time was had by all… aside from the drive!



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Just to get you in the mood… here is “The Swimming Song!”

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On-line registration is now open!!!

This is where we swim!(click to enlarge).

This is where we swim!(click to enlarge).

In case you didn’t see the email (you should sign up for the email updates, on the right, and you’ll get all the important updates and LOST news)… LOST Swimming officially starts SATURDAY, JUNE 14!!!  Same time, same place… 8:00 am, at the LOST Beach! (the foot of Navy St in downtown Oakville).

I’d love to tell you it’s going to be toasty warm… but I wouldn’t bet the house on that one… you might still want to bring your wetsuit!  ;-)

Doesn’t matter… we’re goin’ in!

So go ahead and register on the right side of this page… where it says “The LOST Store… and on-line registration!”  (we’re pretty proud of our new little LOST Store… we’ll be adding more stuff to it as the season goes on… a big thanks to Katie and Miguel for that!!!)

We’ve already got a bunch signed up… so take the plunge and be a LOSTie!

See you soon!


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Great deal from our sponsor, Xterra!!!

Here is a great deal from our sponsor, Xterra!  If you are interested in this deal or any others, just email me and I’ll send you the code!


Rob     (the5kents@msn.com)

xterra promo, May 28, 14I hope you and your team have been kicking some tail this season, Rob!

We have just received our full inventory of Transition Backpacks just in time for the meat of the season. With this inventory we want to offer a special deal to our sponsored Clubs, Teams, and Coaches.

With the Purchase of any Vortex Fullsuit or Sleeveless Wetsuit you can purchase a Transition Backpack for $39 MSRP $75.

We are also launching our brand new 12’6″ Red Touring Board exclusively to you at the pre-sale price of $675; MSRP $1,300. This package includes an updated paddle, pump, backpack, and more.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading! Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Jay Weber
Northeast USA and Eastern Canada Regional Executive
XTERRA Wetsuits and Boards
675 Gateway Center Drive
Suite A
San Diego, CA 92102

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Sulphur Springs… and the Bruce Trail Night Trek!!!

Sulphur Springs, 2014 aThis was my 5th Sulphur Springs trail race… I’ve done the 25k twice and the 50k three times… and I keep coming back because it is a great race.

I keep thinking one of these years I’ll be one of the tough guys and do one of the “real” races… the 50 mile, 100k or the 100 miles!  Maybe.  But not this year.  In fact, this year I was quite happy to just finish the 50k.

There is something very refreshing after the typical spring.  Lots of LOSTies and other friends have similar spring schedule of races:  The Chilly Half Marathon, The 30k “Around the Bay, then for the lucky (and fast) the Boston Marathon, and if not then the Mississauga Marathon or the Toronto Marathon.  That’s a lot of road races.

So being in good shape and just hitting the trails for the fun of it has some real appeal.  After all those road races it is nice to not have to worry about trying to get your Boston Qualifying time and just run through the woods… because it is beautiful… and because you can.  Nice.

Sulphur Springs, 2014 bHaving said that… it’s still a lot more fun when you are in good shape.  Because this is a very tough course.  Very tough.

I didn’t have my best race… but you can’t always have PB’s.  And it is definitely more enjoyable to have a slow race when the scenery is as nice as Sulphur Springs is!  Yes, I’m beating around the bush… my time was 6:13… about 45 minutes slower than my best 50k there… but truly, I didn’t care.

One of my favorite lines is: open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running.

Pool swimming and treadmills make you better, but I’ll tell you, if you have the choice… there is absolutely no reason not to do a trail run or an open water swim when you can!!!

So a bunch of us did the 25k or 50k (also saw a ton of other friends there too!)… but I have to give special, honorable mention to David and Cousin Al.  They just did the 50k as a training race for the Death Race later this summer (check it out… 125k… and 17,000 feet of elevation change, through the Rockies!).  They placed 14th and 16th overall and both placed 4th in their age groups!!!  Oh, did I say it was a low key training run?!  Nice.  They are going to crush the Death Race!Sulphur Springs, 2014 c

That’s about all I have to say… it was great.  And David summed it up in an email (below) better than I would anyway:

It Rocked !!!!

- Way more fun that pounding out on the road.
- Al is an awesome training partner – hung with me for over 30k.
- Rob’s a machine. Can do more without any training than 99.9% of the population can dream of.
- Was great to see Lamb(Scotty), Carla, Kirsti, Mike and Ron.  Very supportive group – as always.
- Didn’t see Alex finish but did see him a couple of times on the run. Very strong and usual smooth stride.
- Carla, Lamb and Kirsti seemed to float along in a great gab-fest.  Ps – did Lamb find her shoe ??? :)

- Ron ran me through the 30km transition then I assume went for a monster ride. Wus :) P5240049

Anyone up for a trail jog Sunday afternoon?


PS.  Thanks Chris Gorchinsky for taking the pics!



Bruce Trail Night Trek!!!

Rob, Dylan, Ron, Rick, Maisey, Brett, Lambrina, David... on a spooooky night trek!

Rob, Dylan, Ron, Rick, Maisey, Brett, Lambrina, David… on a spooooky night trek!

Oh ya… I almost forgot about this one!  With David, Cousin Al and Darren all training for the Death Race, we were all more than happy to just tag along for the training… just the training for something like that is pretty cool… imagine how much fun (& pain) that race is going to be!

What a view!

What a view!

David and Al wanted to test out their headlamps, as they will be using them going through the Rockies!  So we headed up to escarpment country and did a night trek!  Awesome!

Maisey and Dylan were all over this adventure!  (don't know where they get that from?!)

Maisey and Dylan were all over this adventure! (don’t know where they get that from?!)



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The Great 16 Mile Creek Kayak Race!

So LOST Swimming is mostly about swimming.  But a) it isn’t quite open water swim season yet… and b) it isn’t “just” about swimming… it’s about life’s adventures!

You see, at its heart, LOST Swimming and LOSTies are all about adventure.  We just like “doin’ stuff”.  Swimming, obviously, but also triathlons, running, cycling, trail races… pretty much anything that gets you outdoors and having fun.  But mostly swimming.  If you happen to be good at it (whatever “it” is), then that’s a bonus.  If you are fast or can go far then kudos to you… but ultimately the goal is to just do “it”.  Because the fun is in the participation, the journey, the training, the team camaraderie and the event.  That’s life… that’s fun.

And the LOST adventure a couple of weeks ago was: a kayak race.2014-05-03 14.17.41

“The Great 16 Mile Creek Kayak Race” was started by a LOSTie original, Peter von Euw.  Who was also the 3 time reigning champion going into this weekends’ race. Like many things LOST, it has humble beginnings.  The first year Peter won.  The second year Peter won again.  And the third year Peter beat the second person to enter the race, Brett.  Mind you, in all fairness to Brett… his inner tube did get a flat near the end of the race!  Did I mention… humble beginnings!

Well, this year we hit the big leagues!  6 kayaks, 1 canoe, 2 blow-up rafts for $19.99 from Canadian Tire… and off we went!

The contestants this year were:

1) Peter… of course, the founder and wiley ol’ vet!

Peter and David... ready for anything!

Peter and David… ready for anything!

2) Brett… the less-than-wiley-ol’-vet… the guy doesn’t learn to quick… he only upgraded from the inner tube to the inflatable raft!  But he does get points for keeping to the humble grass roots of the race!  Turns out the inner tube from the previous year worked better, this time he only made it a couple hundred meters before his ship perished in the rapids!

Brett... I cant believe he made it 100 meters!

Brett… I cant believe he made it 100 meters!

3) Ron and his son Ethan… also in a very non-durable inflatable dingy… some good father and son bonding… until the ship went down just after making it through the Glen Abbey Golf Course!

Ron and Ethan... oddly Im thinking this boat was Rons idea!

Ron and Ethan… oddly Im thinking this boat was Rons idea!

Cousin Al and Mike... duking it out at the finish!

Cousin Al and Mike… duking it out at the finish!

4) Mike Morton… the only real pro in the group… he had a skirt on his kayak and everything.  You might recognize Mike as the LOST Swimmer kayaker… out there every Saturday morning with us!  He cheated.  He knew what he was doing.

5) Scott… tip of the ol’ hat to Scotty for the last minute decision to join the race.  He brought his virgin wetsuit to the race and at the last minute decided to jump into the canoe with Dale.  He was a good of a human ballast as a team-mate could ask for.  We are slowly getting Scotty closer and closer to being a full fledged LOSTie… and not just the land-lubber LOSTie… first the Polar Bear Dip, now the kayak race!

Scotty... well at least he took lots of pictures!

Scotty… well at least he took lots of pictures!

6) Dale… a bit of a dark horse.  He’s pretty new to the group, so we didn’t know how he would do… and we all thought that he was nuts when he showed up with a beautiful carbon fibre canoe!  I wasn’t betting on it making it much further than the inflatables!  (plus he had Scott in the front… which was necessarily an advantage!)

Dale... the dark horse... who knew someone would know what they were doing!

Dale… the dark horse… who knew someone would know what they were doing!

7) David – newbie-moron in a kayak

8) Cousin Al – newbie-moron in a kayak

Cousin Al... musta had a fast boat... because it wasnt talent!

Cousin Al… musta had a fast boat… because it wasnt talent… or maybe it was the gels in his cap!  Finish at the LOST Lighthouse!

9) Darren – newbie-moron in a kayak  (see Tree story below!)

dats me... ready to go!

dats me… ready to go!  (note the strategic use of dish gloves!)

10) Your’s Truly – it occurred to me that even though I throw my kayak in the back of the Jeep every Saturday morning and bring it down to LOST swimming, I always swim and let someone else kayak… thus putting me in the same category as some of the above mentioned gifted athletes… newbie-moron in a kayak.

The Race:

It started out well.  As in, yes, we all started… but we had no idea what we were in for.  The water was high and really roaring.  It wasn’t long before we realized we were in over our heads.  Figuratively at least… not literally (well except maybe for Darren… but he’s short)… it was still pretty shallow in most spots.

So off we went, paddling under the same bridges we had run 20k over earlier that morning on the trails.  Before we knew it we had lost Brett… ripped a hole in the bottom of his “boat” in the first rapids.

20k over the bridge in the morning... and paddling under in the afternoon!

20k over the bridge in the morning… and paddling under in the afternoon!

Ron and Ethan also ripped a whole in the bottom of theirs… but the outer part was still inflated… so they kept going.

We weren’t sure how cold the water would be… but we all had wetsuits on… and were perfectly comfortable.  A few people actually had the right equipment, Mike with nice neoprene gloves, for example… whereas I went for the 99 cent, disposable dish gloves, to keep with the theme… and they worked fine.

Ron and Ethan pulled the plug after Glen Abbey.  The novelty of just floating down the river had worn off.

When we were still in a big pack, we came to our first obstacle.  The river (I know it is technically a “creek”, but it sounds scarier when I call it a “river”) had flooded and went around a huge old tree, which looked kind of funny all along in the middle of the river… so I yelled to the group “watch out for the tree!”  With more than a touch of sarcasm… because you’d have to be a complete moron to hit the only thing in the middle of the whole river!

Darren hit it first.  In fact, he hit it and got sucked under into the roots.  Tipped off his kayak and right under.  I ran right into him and his kayak.  I was genuinely a bit scared.  I fumbled my way around and yelled back… he was okay.  But we were all taking this a bit more seriously now.

It was hard to hit the tree... but we pretty much all manged to do it!

It was hard to hit the tree… but we pretty much all manged to do it!

This was just the right level of adventure, danger and stupidity for this crowd.  It was a piece of cake for Mike and Dale.  The rest of us… um, not so much.

There were numerous patches of serious rapids.  And when we went through, having not skirt on our kayaks, they filled with water.  Peter’s sank.  Several times.  Mine gradually filled… and finally sank in the very last set of rapids.  It was washed away, as was I.  I was calling for Darren to come and help me as I was being washed down the river.  My kayak got hung up in the rapids and Darren and I finally dragged it over to the shore and dumped it out, not much worse for wear.

Mike and I were not as smart as David... we didnt stop and pick up the 10 minute golf balls!

Mike and I were not as smart as David… we didnt stop and pick up the 10 minute golf balls!

This didn’t help my positioning in this highly competitive race.  Several of my competitors passed me… laughing aloud.  But I hopped back in and continued on.  Passing Darren as he walked back to his kayak.  Sucker.

In the end the prize money was split between the 3 way tie for first place.  And by prize money, I mean the two-four of beer.

Mike, Cousin Al… and David!

Photo finish!  Cousin Al and Mike battle it out crossing the finish line!

Photo finish! Cousin Al and Mike battle it out crossing the finish line!

You see… Mike and Cousin Al paddled and got there ahead of the rest of us, ya whatever.  But David, being just a lowly moron-in-a-kayak, wasn’t fast… so he out-witted them!

There is a long entrenched, but lesser known rule in this race (as in: I yelled it out as we approached Glen Abbey Golf Course!), “Any kayaker to retrieve a golf ball from the golf course will receive a 10 minute bonus for each ball retrieved”.  It’s a rule.

David found one on the banks of the river!  And he saw a golfer… stopped and got chatting with him about what all these morons were doing in the kayaks… and asked him for a ball!  20 minutes deducted from his time!  The wiley ol’ bugger!

I must say that even though I finished with a time of 1:15… just out of the prize money… once I collected myself and recovered my defeat… and had a beer in Ron’s hot tub… I was able to look back and reminisce fondly on the days event.

Sure Cousin Al got the Two-Four of beer... but Mike got the cool Captains hat!

                                                   Sure Cousin Al got the Two-Four of beer… but Mike got the cool Captains hat!                                                          (Brett, Scott, Ethan, Ron, David, Dale, Darren, Cousin Al, Capn Mike, Peter, Rob)


It was a blast!  Good work Darren for “planning” it (ie. sending out an email within 24 hours of a good rain storm!)… and Peter, for being the original moron-in-a-kayak!

A spectacular time was had by all!



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Two International Swims!!! Barbados and the Dominican Republic!!!

First here is the info on the Barbados Swimming Festival coming up in the fall… after a very successful first year last year, they are adding something new… a pool swim meet just before the Open Water Festival!  Very smart Zary and Kristina!!!

This looks like a great time, in fact one of my oldest swimming buddies from back when he and I swam for the “North Battleford Kinsmen Beavers”, in good ol’ North Battleford, Saskatchewan, is headed down and taking his whole swimming family with him too!  Might have to join him!  Have fun, Scotty!  (and send us some pics!)


Barbados pool and ows, header

We look forward to welcoming back many of the swimmers who visited in 2013 as well as swimmers new to our shores. Swimmers can enter the Masters Pool Meet and/or the Open Water Event: Swim the Bay 3. Don’t forget there is also a “Just for Fun 1.5km” for recreational swimmers who don’t want to race.

Barbados pool and ows

We are pleased to confirm that Alex Meyer, well-known Olympic open water swimmer will attend the open water event and will host an open water clinic on Saturday November 1st in Carlisle Bay!  Email us if you are interested in taking part in the clinic.

We will post a full bio on our site and face book page, as his swim bio is extensive.  Highlights:  Meyer is the 2010 world 25 km marathon swimming champion as well as the 2011 and 2013 USA Swimming National 10km open water swimming champion. He finished 10th in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2012 London Olympics and won the 2013 BCT Gdynia Marathon in Poland.  Meyer won the 2011 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships 10 km race in Fort Lauderdale. He won the inaugural 10 km Crippen Cup in Fort Myers, Florida on 12 April 2014.

We already have commitments from the major sponsors of 2013.  Our open water event will follow the same format as 2013 with “Swims” plus other exciting water activities: kayak races & SUP races as well as an all day beach party with music and refreshments!  We plan to continue to support “Variety – the Childrens Charity of Barbados” and continue to promote the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.

We are accepting entries and have received entries for the Pool Event and Open Water Event from England, Canada, many states across the US, Columbia, Costa Rica, Venezuela & maybe South Africa!  We are expecting competitors from other Caribbean islands as well.

Visit our web site to enter and to see photos, info on hotels, Summons for the Pool Meet and lots more. http://www.swimbarbadosvacations.com  (http://www.swimbarbadosvacations.com)

Like us https://www.facebook.com/SwimBarbadosVacations to keep updated!  Connect with us on twitter: @BarbadosOWSwim (https://twitter.com/BarbadosOWSwim) .  Email us from the web site or directly: kevelyn@caribsurf.com or zmevelyn@caribsurf.com with queries.

Zary & Kristina Evelyn


Swim Meet in the Dominican Republic!

Also, here is an email I got from Pablo in the DR… this looks like a fun time and a nice venue too!  Check it out if you happen to be going to the DR in November!

Good morning Rob,

Would you be so kind to share the document attached with the members of your team that may find themselves on vacation in the Dominican Republic during the week of 13ththrough 16th of November 2014 and be interested in participating in the “VIII Invitational Tournament Delfines del Naco Masters!”

Masters Swim Meet in the Dominican Republic!

Masters Swim Meet in the Dominican Republic!

For any additional information besides the already provided on the official announcement attached, don’t hesitate to contact me on the following e-mail address:  pablomota82@gmail.com

Click here for Rules and Entry Form: 

Official announcement VIII Delfines del Naco Master swim meet 2014

Many thanks in advance for the support.

Kind regards,

Pablo De La Mota

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Vibram agrees to settle class action lawsuit…

wearing my Newton's in the Boston Marathon!

wearing my Newton’s in the Boston Marathon!

Okay this story is relevant to me.  Not because I was part of the lawsuit, but I was one of the first to buy a pair of the Vibram 5 Finger shoes when they came out.  And more importantly as a big lug who had all kinds of problems from being a heel striker, I still credit Vibram’s and Newton’s and the books “Born to Run” and “Chi Running” as my savior!  They helped me get the right form to stop my years of back problems from being a heel striker!

Having said that… I am a very big advocate of barefoot running “form”, but not of barefoot running.  In my mind, true barefoot running (ie. running with no shoes) makes no sense at all.  None.  And I found running in Vibram’s was only a little bit better, but they did protect you somewhat from stones and glass and they were okay on the treadmill to try and change my form.  But for the couple of years I wore them, they did correct my form.  I still run in Newton’s and love those shoes.  Ironically, now that the Vibram’s and Newton’s have corrected my form and I haven’t had even a slightest back problem in about 5 years (after 20 years of severe chronic problems) I can run in any shoe.  Which was really the goal, to have the correct form to run faster, farther and with fewer injuries.

vibram-five-fingers-review-7So despite the fact that some of the claims about the benefits of Vibram’s were false (and barefoot running in general), I’d still like to say “thanks” to Vibram!

PS.  yes, I’ll also concede they look dumb… but they were perfect for The Great 16 Mile Creek Kayak Race!



The favorite toe-shoe of vegan restaurant servers and 55-year-old men with ponytails has settled a class action lawsuit brought against it by what sounds like every person who ever wore its foot-condoms.

vibram mountainsRunner’s World Newswire’s Matt McCue reports that though Vibram “expressly [denies] and continues to deny any wrongdoing alleged in the Actions, and neither admits nor concedes any actual or potential fault, wrongdoing or liability,” the company has agreed to pay a lot of money.

Vibram Agrees to Settle Class Action Lawsuit

Vibram USA, the company that makes FiveFingers running shoes, has agreed to settle a lawsuit that…Read on runnersworld.​com

The initial claim, filed in 2012, accuses Vibram of deceiving consumers by saying that its shoes could “reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles.” Unfortunately, Vibram appears to have pulled this out of thin air, really hoping it was true.

It is not true.

Science takes time, and since the advent of Christopher McDougall’s best-selling Born to Run (a book based mainly on anecdote that sparked the minimalist footwear revolution), science has discovered that barefoot running can really fuck you up.

“This study showed that increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture] are more common in subjects who were transitioning to the [Vibram FiveFingers],” concluded this 2013 study.

In penance for its crimes against fashion and humanity, Vibram has placed $3.75 million into escrow. Those funds will go to the fitness idiots who purchased a pair after March 21, 2009, with up to $94 for each in an effort to help your friends and family not shudder when looking at your feet.

vibram typingPS.  In case you were wondering what the most popular running shoes are with people who know a bit more about running than you or I, here is a good indicator published in Lava Magazine.


2013 Kona Running Shoe Count Results

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A collection of industry volunteers tracked the brands of shoes as athletes headed out of T2 for the marathon during Saturday’s GoPro Hawaii Ironman World Championship. Thanks to the folks at Zoot Sports for providing the count data. (Count reported as a percentage of the total athlete count, with the second metric the results from the 2012 count)

2013 GoPro Hawaii Ironman World Championships Shoe Count

Brand 2013 / 2012

Asics 17.5% / 17.8%

Saucony 16.5% / 14.6%

Newton 9.7% / 11.9%

Brooks 9.5% / 10.8%

Mizuno 6.9% / 6.4%

Adidas 6.4% / 5.4%

Nike 6.4% / 7.0%

K-Swiss: 5.4% / 10.0%

Zoot 4.7% / 5.5%

Other* 3.6% / 2.5%

New Balance 3.0% / 2.8%

ON Running 2.9% / 1.7%

Hoka One One 1.9% / 1.7%

Skechers 1.1% / 0%

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