LOST Swimming starts in 9 days!!!

Hi LOSTies,

67 swimmers... 60 degrees!!!

One from last year:  67 swimmers… 60 degrees!!! (okay, not everyone was in the pic!)

Well, after a long, cold winter we are now only a few days away from the first LOST Swim of the season… Saturday, May 30!!!

Yes... it was a long, cold winter alright!

Yes… it was a long, cold winter alright!

We have a ton of people already registered, but if you haven’t done so yet… get on it!  (just click on the “LOST Store and On-line Registration button to the right).

Also, as usual, the LOST Race is the second Saturday in August, which is August 8th, so feel free to sign up for that at the same time too… we’d love to have you!  This year’s race looks even better that last year’s… electronic timing, blow up finishing arch, the LOST medal and thanks to the generous donation of one particular LOSTie (John Stibrany!) we even have a great loot bag this year too!  Not to mention that the winners get their name on the beautiful LOST Trophy!

LOST Trophy and CNE pics

LOST Trophy and CNE pics

A couple of cool new additions to LOST Swimming this year:

  1. Miguel has been working on new LOST merchandise, which should be available in the LOST Store very soon!  For all the LOSTies who follow us from around the world, you are more than welcome to represent LOST Swimming too!  We’ll ship it to you!
    1. LOST Tri-wear!  There is a very large group doing Ironman and shorter distance tri’s this year… and this stuff looks great!
    2. New LOST T-shirts!  I’ve seen the design and they look awesome!
    3. LOST bumper stickers… just for fun and to show your LOST pride!  (haha?!)
    4. New LOST swim caps (included in your registration)
  2. The LOST Video Clinic!  Dylan is going to be offering a video clinic each Saturday at LOST Swims for just $20… he’s already got a bunch of people who have reserved dates and can only do so many per day, so drop him an email before it fills up!2013 Ironman World Championship

As many of you know, we started the Canadian Open Water Swim Series last year, which was a huge success!  We had 12 races across the country and over 2,000 swimmers in the series!

Global-SS-BannerIn fact there was such interest that we opened it up to the rest of the world  and changed the name to the Global Swim Series!  At present we have over 24 races and about 20,000 swimmers!!!  And more races joining each week!!!  This including races in Ireland, Barbados, Brazil, Vermont, Mexico and even more races in Canada!  Click on GlobalSwimSeries.com to check out all the races!

We just added 4 more local races… totalling 7 local races… so far! The newest additions are: Caledon Quarry Swim 1  and Caledon Quarry Swim 2, Mine Over Matter, and the Variety Village Open Water Swim .

The first race of the season is the Caledon Quarry Swim 1 race on June 14… so jump on this one early and start building your points in the Global Ranking! LOST in the Quarry

That’s all for now, see you on the beach very soon!



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1st Annual, Swim around Lido Key, Open Water Race!

The start of "Swim Around Lido Key"!

The start of “Swim Around Lido Key”!

So one of our LOSTies, John Stibrany, just did his longest race ever and loved it!

He wrote me a little race summary below and sent some pics too!  The race was the “Swim Around Lido Key”… not dissimilar from, probably my favorite race ever, which was “Swim Around Key West”… sounds like I, and I bet the rest of you, would really enjoy it too!

PS.  John has also donated a ton of swag for the LOST Race too!  Gotta love the generosity of LOSTies!  Thanks John!


Robmore kayaks

Hi Rob

Lido Key is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico near Sarasota, Florida.  I attended this U.S. Masters event last weekend hosted by “Swim without Limits”.  A total of 67 solo swimmers and 27 relays teams competed that day.  The relay teams were made up of 2 swimmers who would rotate between kayaking and swimming the course.  Swimmers came from 16 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The race was a 7 mile (11.3km) loop around the island of Lido Key.  All solo swimmers were provided with a kayak escort which provided navigation and nutrition during the race.  Kayakers were volunteers provided by the event organizers. Many were retired residents who lived in the area during the winter months. the start

The race was won by 50 year old Ricardo Valdivia of Miami who completed the course in 2:27:47.  The ages of the swimmers ranged from 16 to 66 with a third of all the solo swimmers over 50 years of age; myself included.  Like the L.O.S.T. Race, swimmers were given a medal as soon as they exited the water at the completion of the race.

Conditions were perfect for the race day.  Clear skies with warm water in the high 70’s.    The most difficult portion of the race was the last mile where you were battling currents to the finish of the race.  After the race, food and beer was provided to all swimmers and Kayakers.  Trophies were handed out to the top 5 males and females, and the top 5 relay finishers.

It’s an event I’ll probably swim again next year; it was very well organized.  Soft sand beaches, shopping and fine dining are all with a short walk from Lido Beach.  It’s actually a good family destination with all there is to see and do in the area.  The organizers were already talking about adding more distance options for 2016.



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LOST “Video Clinic”!!!

So here is one that people have literally asking for… a “Video Clinic”!  Check it out below, or on the tab above.



A “Video Clinic” will be offered to LOSTies on Saturday mornings during the regular LOST Swims!2013 Ironman World Championship

Whether you are just looking for some basic stroke correction, some open water swimming tips, triathlon strategy and skills, sighting skills or learning how open water swimming strokes differ from pool strokes, here is your chance!  You can even do a session early in the season and one late in the season, to see if you’ve been able to improve your stroke!

Essentially what this will involve will be Dylan Kent recording you on a GoPro, above and below the water, from a variety of angles to analyse your stroke.  He will take a few minutes of footage, then take it home and edit the footage and analyse your stroke and send the final copy to you!  Your final copy will include an emailed video of your swimming along with a comprehensive analysis of your strokes and suggested improvements to help you swim faster!

The cost is $20, and you can pay cash at the beach. 

You can book your “Video Clinic” with Dylan at: dylankent0@gmail.com   (you can also sign up the day at the beach if spots remain)

GoPro logoDylan has a wealth of swimming experience and enthusiasm for the sport of swimming. He has been a competitive swimmer for over since 1999 and has swum at the Canadian national level in the pool and competed at high level competitions across North America, he has also held club records as an open water swimmer.  Dylan swam for the top ranked club in Canada, the Oakville Aquatic Club, then attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) on an athletic and academic scholarship.  While completing his BSc in Financial Economics he was also a NCAA, Division I swimmer and was part of 3 America East Conference Championship winning teams.  He is also the Vice President of the Global Swim Series and is doing his first Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid in 2015 (along with 14 other LOSTies).

Dylan is an avid fan of swimming and is keen to help you improve your stroke and speed!

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

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

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LOST stats….

This summer will be our 10th year of LOST Swimming!!!

That’s a lot of Saturdays in the Lake.  And I, like a lot of you out there, like stats.  Especially sporting stats.  Not all LOSTies swim to get a “time” in a race.  But a lot do.  We open water swimmers, triathletes, runners, masters swimmers all like to watch the numbers… so here are some LOST numbers for you that I found interesting:

website counter________________________________________________________________








lost email counter


________________________________________________________________facebook logo facebook members facebook pics_______________________________________________________________

flags pics


Thanks for being a LOSTie, no matter where you are!





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Xterra Wetsuits!

Hi LOSTies,

I know a lot of you have already signed up for LOST Swimming and the LOST Race… some are planning out their tri races this summer too… so I just thought I’d pass this notification from our Xterra Wetsuit rep on to you in case you needed a new wetsuit!

We get an amazing 60% off most wetsuits and you can usually pick up a decent one for about $100!  LOSTies have purchased over about 200 wetsuits from Xterra in the past few years, and I can personally vouch for them as I’ve owned a couple myself!

Just drop me an email if you need the discount code!  RobertJayKent@gmail.com



Xterra wetsuits 2015

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The “Aquatic Aristotle”…

Dan 2Okay, I just had to share this email below… Dan is far to modest to post something like this himself… but it is so well written and describes swim races and life so well that… well, I wished I written it!

Just shows you how different people have different perspective… someone else might have been ticked off that they were injured and couldn’t swim and just missed the race.  Not Dan.  Not only did he come to the race, he volunteered.  And not only was he not bored watching the swimmers plug away from his vantage point in the patrol boat, he saw swimming and life in a very special way!   Very cool.

(note: the blockquote is of my doing).

Thanks for being a LOSTie, Dan!



... mind you, it was so beautiful at the LOST Race last year that it did one a chance to ponder things...

… mind you, it was so beautiful at the LOST Race last year that it did one a chance to ponder things…


Hey Rob,

Glad to hear you are going to start training again .  I was down at Lake Huron the other day, the water looked so inviting, calm and blue, between the ice flows – would have been a thrill to swim form one flow to the next!

Went to the Northshore Challenge web site and was reminded of last years LOST swim … as I remember it from one of the support boats …

I can’t remember the last time I saw something so human. People striving in an unfamiliar environment, the rhythmic, persistent movement, not knowing what lies ahead or beneath, but moving forward with each stroke, leaving behind the unfamiliar, moving toward the unfamiliar, experiencing each moment, not dwelling on the moment, moving forward, sharing and churning the soup, individually and together, not knowing how close they are, each at their own pace, each a hero, to experience more, learn more, be more.

Quietly, sounds muffled, visions blurred; the coolness of the water everywhere, the bright sun and blue sky, a reminder of a world that exists outside their moment. Each stroke just a splash, combined strokes and rhythmic splashes as relaxing as a gentle waterfall. A beautiful thing, people being people, experiencing the moment.


The way I saw it, from the support boat, LOST Swim August 2014, really quite a miracle to see all these people come together in a foreign envrionment, to experience it individually and together …

Cheers for now,


ps I signed up for the north shore 3.8k!

... a few more of the great volunteers we had at last year's race!

… a few more of the great volunteers we had at last year’s race!

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RE7 North Shore Challenge… price change April 30!

NS-Challenge-logoThis is a brand new race in Lake Erie put on by marathon swimmers Annaleise Carr and Josh Reid… and is also a new member to the Global Swim Series!  (so you points here will count toward your total in the Global Swim Series).

Joanne and I both just entered!

I guess it’s time for me to start getting into swimming shape… yikes!

Looks great and I, like about 14 other LOSTies are training for Ironman Lake Placid in late July, so the timing of this 3.8k swim a perfect pre-IM swim test! (June 28).  I know there are lots of LOSTies doing other

Annaleise swimming her first of 2 Lake Erie Crossings last summer (42k & 30k!)

Annaleise swimming her first of 2 Lake Erie Crossings last summer (42k & 30k!)

Ironman races too, so pull the trigger and sign up for this one!  And if you are training for an Olympic distance tri, or just want something a bit shorter, they also have the 1.5k distance.

Click here to go to the GSS site for details (you can also click through to the official website from there too).

Oh, and it’s only $35 if you sign up before April 30!!!

Hope to see you there!


Annaleise and her swim master (me!) as she finished her swim across Lake Erie!  Amazing swim!

Annaleise and her swim master (me!) as she finished her swim across Lake Erie! Amazing swim!



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Barbados is in!

BarbadosSo the other new open water swimming venture that Miguel, Dylan and myself started over the winter was the Global Swim Series! (GSS)

We have invited races from all over the province, the country and the world to join!

Essentially what it does is allow you accumulate points in any GSS race you swim in… and ranks you against all other participating races from around the world!  There is no cost at all to the swimmers, and only a very small cost to the races to join, so mention it to any races you know, we’d love to have them join too!

The newest race to join is in Barbados!  Check it out here.

There are also several in the application process from Brazil, Halifax and Vermont!  We already have about 8,000 swimmers in the Series!  And it is still growing quickly!  I even know a few LOSTies that are headed down to this one… might even see if I can get there myself… looks awesome!

swimming over sea turtles in Barbados... doesn't get much better than that!

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



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Register Now!!!

Hey LOSTies and soon to be LOSTies,

The first few keen and eager LOSTies have already signed up… so feel free to join them!  Just click on the icon on the right side of the page and feel free to register for a summer of LOST Swimming (likely starting Saturday, May 30) and/or the LOST Race (Saturday, Aug 8).

See you soon!



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France and the Sea Turtles!!!

This one is right up there with Miguel and Katie swimming with whale sharks this winter in Mexico… France, Pascal and their 5 daughters helped a family of 85 baby sea turtles make it from their eggs to the ocean!  Check it out… how cool is that!!!turtle 4

Here is France’s email to me from Mexico:

Yesterday morning 85 turtle eggs hatched right in front of our house in their sand nest. The manager of the property lay them there to protect them until they hatch since they are hunted and endangered. Me and Hilario dug them out one by one. It is an amazing experience. The girls and I will never forget this day. Today we are watching them and protecting them from birds and other prey and tonight we will release them in the sea at sunset. It’s just awesome.turtle 2
Just a few hours old and gaining strength, so fast to crawl to the sea. The locals save the eggs under tree trunks to protect them from crabs and thieves. Unfortunately these endangered turtle eggs are worth 25 to30$US each on the black market. People believe they have aphrodisiac properties and it’s killing the entire species. 85 eggs hatched and we put them in a cooler for the day to gain some strenght and released them at sunset. Most of them once hatched don’t make it to the sea because of birds feeding on them.  So we made sure that all 85 of them made it to the sea. Survival rate is very low even after that. Maybe 3 will survive. It was an incredible experience to dig them out of the sand and protect them all day. The girls and I are amazed by these little creatures has we wayched them open their eyes and crawl for the first time.
turtle 3

turtle 5

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Around the Bay, 30K!

So our Rag Tag Team was at it again doing the Bay on Sunday.  Looking at how many run this it’s the biggest race of the year for this group. Like no other race in the year  this race really gels our group and as Brian said it’s all about the friends.

image1A great race with a distance that separates the shorter distance guys from the longer. If you commit to the Bay it probably means you have a marathon or ultra trail run in your future somewhere.  Same cannot always be said about running a Half M.

Always fun trying to decide what to wear for the Bay and this year was not a disappointment. Probably In the end most of us wish we had dressed down more.  While I’m sure the old route will be prefered by most , I didn’t

hear anyone complaining at the 25km that they didn’t have to run up the valley hill.   The wind was certainly there and no doubt lots of drafting going on but couldn’t have asked for a better sunny day. As always was great to see everyone at the Gown and Gavel (thanks to Lamb for organizing).

A few PB’s and big runs yesterday. Here are the times. Sorry if I’ve missed people. This is a HUGE GROUP to keep track of:

Tyler              1.46.44  (28th out of 7277!!!  Must have been the shoes…)

Brett               2.03.38

Darren            2.07.39

AL                    2.07.57

Ron                  2.12.21

David               2.16.01

Patrick             2.17.02

Peter Rabbit   2.20.00

Scott                2.23.20

Adrian             2.23.28

Helene            2.29.03

Brian                2.31.20

Mark P             2.31.37

Kirsti                2.33.03

Rob                   2.33.48

Lamb                2.34.02

Mary St. J         2.34.41

Clara                 2.37.06

Fanny                2.47.26


And the rest who were either on injury recovery, had “issues” or just using the Bay as a training run to increase mileage.

Carla (just had a baby 5 months ago!), Mike, Andy, Eileen L, Mark L, Joanne, Patty, Branko, Duane, Al S.

Scott Mackinnon, Hugh, Rick and Alex didn’t run but I’m pretty sure one of them was the Grim Reaper. (or the Grim’s wife).  Nice to see “We Will Rock You” wheel chair guy (Stan) made it up the hill to take High Fives after his back surgery. Didn’t see BIG HAND BAREFOOT GUY cheering this year but I’m sure he was out there. (editor’s note: he was!)


Rob... sucking wind and running with his eyes closed!

Rob… sucking wind and running with his eyes closed!  Looks like fun…

A big shout out to our buddies from Connor’s Runner’s too, who were all over the race in orange!  (including double agents like: me, Joanne and Helene!)

RobRob, sucking wind ATB 2015, 2


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Announcing the new Global Swim Series!!!


2014 was the year of the “Canadian Open Water Swim Series” (COWSS) and 2015 will be the year of the “Global Swim Series”!

Last year a small group of open water enthusiasts, race directors and swimmers took an idea to bring together a handful of independent open water races in Canada for an inclusive Series.  We did, and it was a huge success!

About this time last year we had 3 races in the Series, The LOST Race – in Oakville, The Toronto Island Lake Swim – in Toronto and Bring on the Bay – in Ottawa.  By the end of the year there was over 15 races in the Series and several more that wanted to join for 2015.  There was even some inquiries from races from outside of Canada joining the Series!

So we got together again and came up with an even bolder idea than just having a “Canadian” Series, what if we invited races (and swimmers) from all over the globe to join in the Series?  How cool would that be!  So after a long and cold winter of hard work and planning we are proud to introduce: The Global Swim Series.


The basic idea of GSS is to have new and existing open water races join the Series (see the “Sanctioning” tab for more details about how to get a race into the Series).  And after each race, the race directors will submit their photos, race report and results to us.  We will put the race reports and photos up for the rest of the swimming world to see, acting an official news source for all things GSS.  With the results, we will calculate points and rank swimmers from around the world and display them on the site as well!

For those who may not exactly be on the World Cup Swimming circuit (ie regular mortals), we have leveled the playing field by how we calculate the VDwinnerpoints.  You can earn up to 100 points per race that you swim.  Regardless of distance, wetsuit or non-wetsuit, male or female, or age group.  We give each swimmer 50 points just for participating.  The other 50 points being based on your percentile ranking in the race.  The great equalizer here is that the more races you swim, the more points you earn, and the higher your global ranking gets, allowing highly enthusiastic people to compete head to head with the highly talented.

And that is how we achieve our goal of growing open water swimming around the world.  We proved it last year.  There was a significant increase in the number of swimmers in the races included in the Canadian circuit.  Not to mention a creation a whole bunch of new races.  Our statistics showed that people really did travel from race to race to get more points, even across Canada!  Now we shift our focus and want to do the same with the rest of the globe!GSS sanctioned stamp (large)

To use the quote from the late, great Canadian Olympic gold medalist and World Record Holder, Victor Davis:  “Go big, or go Home!” and starting right here in 2015 we are going big, so come on out and be be a part of it!


Rob Kent

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Smokey Hollow Ice Falls!!!

See, water is even fun when it’s frozen!

Smokey Hollow Water Falls!!! (cool name for an adventure too!)

Smokey Hollow Water Falls!!!
(cool name for an adventure too!)

So it was the Family Day holiday here in Ontario and 40% of our family was around, Dylan and myself, so we thought we were up for a mini-adventure!

Rob and Dylan... set for a (mini) adventure!

Rob and Dylan… set for a (mini) adventure!

I saw fellow LOSTie, Mark Bintley’s photo’s on Facebook the day before, when he took his 5 and 7 year old kids to the Falls and it looked so cool that I thought, well if his little kids can do it, then Dylan and I should be able to!IMG_0808

Now I’m sure all the locals around here know about all these cool spots, but having only lived in the area for 19 years, these things are new to me!  So I couldn’t believe that this really cool frozen water fall was only a 20 minute drive from our house!IMG_0789

Well, Dylan and I found all kinds of odds IMG_0780and ends for winter clothing, to combat the -25C/-12F weather!  All bundled up it wasn’t that bad.  And off we went.  I won’t spoil it with a long story… when I’ve got all these awesome pictures and I even fired up the ol’ GoPro!  Have a look, there is some pretty cool shots of us climbing through the caves behind the frozen falls!!!

(okay… I realize I haven’t quite mastered the editing quite yet!  I’m workin’ on it!)… enjoy!

... oh, wait a minute... I got a text...

… oh, wait a minute… I got a text…



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Not a bad week of adventure for LOSTies… especially for the off-season!!!

So we have a pretty amazing group of LOSTies here… check out this week of adventure!   This isn’t your your average hockey or baseball or running or even open water swim team, for that matter.  We have an amazing and “eclectic” (to put it nicely!) group.  Oh, and athletic.  I guess athletic and adventurous are the ties that bind… a dose of crazy probably doesn’t hurt either.

Check out the pics below from the LOST adventures around the world!  Way to go guys!

Not bad for the off season!!!  (Lots of great stories over beers to come!)



1)  Katie and Miguel swimming with Whale Sharks in La Paz, Mexico last weekend!


2) David, Mike, Al and Andy doing the Winterlude Triathlon in Ottawa yesterday… 8k skate, 8k cross country ski and 5k run… at -24C!

3)  Madhu (and crew of Mike and Alan) about to swim the Strait of Magellan!  The southernmost tip of Chile!

Water – 5C degrees
Distance Across – 4.0 km
Distance Travelled – 9.18 km (tide pushed him sideways!)
Time – 1h 50min (incomplete)

Madhu and crew starting the swim across the Strait of Magellan.  Jan 28, 2015

Madhu and crew starting the swim across the Strait of Magellan. Jan 28, 2015

4)  Alan with sightseeing in southern Chile after Madhu’s swim… with hundreds of penguins!

… and that’s just a taste of what we do in the off-season!




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Miguel and Katie… swimming with whale sharks!!!

So Madhu, Mike and Alan aren’t the only ones having amazing aquatic adventures in cool spots around the world… so are Miguel and Katie!!!

LOSTies, Miguel and Katie are on their belated honeymoon in La Paz, Mexico… and naturally they found time to get in a bit of open water swimming… which included swimming with the largest fish in the world… the whale shark!!!

Katie and Miguels Wedding!

Katie and Miguels Wedding!

Note that the whale shark is a fish… and is commonly over 40 ft long and weighs over 66,000 lbs… but eats plankton… thankfully.

As much as I love racing and marathon swims… one of the real benefits of being a swimmer is being able to explore the water.  I really believe that people who aren’t swimmers are missing out on something incredible.

You know when you are running and you see a deer or a fox or even a rabbit, you think “cool, that made my day”… well that’s why swimming is so awesome.  Can you imagine how cool it would be to be swimming along and see a whale or a dolphin or a sea turtle or yes, even a shark?!  And it is totally different, because you are in their environment.  I’ve only swam with a few things in the wild… a few huge fish, Tarpon, in Key West… and Spotted Eagle Rays in St Martin… some dolphins in Naples, Florida… a large Grouper on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia… but I would love to swim with the whale sharks, like Katie and Miguel did.  Wow.  Some day.

That’s livin’ life.W-Miguel-beside

Check out the pics.  Have a great time, Katie and Miguel… and Congrats again!



from Miguel:

Yesterday, we had one of the most amazing open water swimming experiences we have ever had while swimming in our entire life.  Words can’t describe it so I will only attempt and hope that the photos give you a sense of how awesome this was. Katie and I went to La Paz looking for places to do safe open water swims and thinking about possible training camps in the future, so we asked around and found a tour by an awesome french guide named Yann and our boat captain Juan. They took us to a place not even 2 km out of the city. You could see land all around you so we jumped to have an easy swim close to shore in shallow water of the Sea of Cortés.  We were happily swimming along when a big shadow appeared from the bottom… we were swimming over one of the biggest fish known to man!  This gentle giant magically allowed us to swim beside him for about 16 minutes! Some times we had to swim very fast to keep up, some times we almost stopped. We got as close as we wanted without touching him.  Neither Katie or I had never seen one except on documentaries.  Swimming beside a whale shark is truly an incredible experience. We were really blessed with this opportunity.

Katie and the Whale Shark!

Katie and the Whale Shark!

Katie and the whale shark!

Katie and the whale shark!




Hey Cousin Al... this is what it feels like when you are drafting off me!  ;)

Hey Cousin Al… this is what it feels like when you are drafting off me!  :-)

no whale sharks... but Maisey and Jill had fun blowing bubbles at the wedding!

no whale sharks… but Maisey and Jill had fun blowing bubbles at the wedding!

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Unfortunately… he was pulled…


Madhu and crew starting the swim across the Strait of Magellan.  Jan 28, 2015

Madhu and crew starting the swim across the Strait of Magellan. Jan 28, 2015

Hi everyone,

Madhu is safe and recovering from this latest adventure.

He came out of the water after 1 hour and 50 minutes of attempting to cross.  What was supposed to be a 4 km swim, was over 9 kms by that point.  Incredible!  Strong winds kept him from the finish.

I don’t know what his path looked like, but I am looking forward to the details from Chile.   Safety is #1 and he is safe.  Stay tuned.



Here’s the exact info that has been relayed about the swim:

Water – 5-6C deg – will confirm exact later
Distance Across – 4.0 km
Distance Travelled – 9.18 km (tide pushed him sideways!)
Time – 1h 50min (incomplete)

He didn’t make it all the way across… but what a swim… in water that cold! What an adventure!

Well done, Madhu Nagaraja! I’m sure it’s disappointing… but all us LOSTies are very proud of your incredible swim!!! Lots of stories to come over coffee at Bean There!


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At 8:53 EST… and he’s over half way there!

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It’s a go!!!

Here’s the latest… looks like it’s a go!!!

The team is back at the launch site and the word was that GO time was 7:50 a.m. local time (5:50 EST) in order to catch the Slack Tide (sounds like a good idea!).

It’s on! The sun is rising and it is a beautiful morning. Madhu has tested the waters. The team is pumped, focused and ready!

The team seems to be out of the SPOT auto check in range, but the manual ones seem to be ok, so Mike will do his best to manually hit that checkin button.

Let’s pace together this morning, across the distances, and wrap Madhu, Mike and Alan in our positive energy.

I will also post on Madhu’s Facebook page, and keep on checkingitsnotaboutswimming.com for those SPOT check ins (fingers crossed!).

Yours in excitement,

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To the End of the World… and back!

Hello LOSTies!

Madhu, Loren and Mark training for the Strait of Magellan... November in Ontario... air 4C... water 4C!!!  Now those guys are what LOST Swimming is all about... ADVENTURE!

Madhu, Loren and Mark training for the Strait of Magellan… November in Ontario… air 4C… water 4C!!! Now those guys are what LOST Swimming is all about… ADVENTURE!

As you have probably heard, Madhu is off to swim the Strait of Magellan at the most southern tip of Chile!!!  And we are going to have a nice “warm” send off for him this Saturday, just hours before he, Mike and Alan head off for the bottom of the World!!!

... living the dream... at Bean There!

… living the dream… at Bean There!  (okay this was take in the summer, but you get the idea!)

Location: “Bean There” cafe, (NW corner of Lakeshore and Reynolds in Oakville)

When: Saturday morning, 9:00 – 11:00ish, Jan 24, 2015

Who: LOSTies, CR’s and all well wishers!

For Whom: Madhu and his crew of Mike Morton and Alan Swankie that will be crewing for him in Chile!

Why: because Madhu, Mike, Alan, Loren, Mark, Steve, Marty, Brett, Darren and the rest of the gang deserve a nice warm drink and a pat on the back for all the hard work and training they’ve put in in the preparation for this adventure of monumental proportion!

Note: a bunch of us are moving our Saturday morning long run from JC’s Bagels to Bean There for this Saturday only, so we can run and have coffee with Madhu and the team!  If you care to join us for a run before coffee, please do!!!  We will leave from Bean There at 7:00 am sharp (just an out and back on Lakeshore going east, for as long as you want to go!)

See you there!

PS.  yes, I will keep you all posted about when he actually swims (very weather dependent!) and get all the live coverage from Mike and Alan as he swims… and put it up on this site!



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The 5th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip!!!

2015 LOST Polar Bear Dip!

2015 LOST Polar Bear Dip!

Well that was fun!!!  Kind of reminded me of the LOST Beer Mile that many of the same crowd did a few months ago… more guts than brains… and way too much fun!  I like it.

And apparently so did everyone else.  Lots of nervous smiles before… and lots of squeals and goofy grins after!

Ted, Luc and Russell from Connor's Runners!  (suck it up Ted, it's not that bad... just ask your son!)

Ted, Luc and Russell from Connor’s Runners! (suck it up Ted, it’s not that bad… just ask your son!)

We had 35 dippers show up this year (up from about 25 last year, it keeps growing!)… and about the same number of supporters as dippers.  Of course, by supporters I mean friends and relatives that were too sane to dip… but weren’t going to miss a chance for a good laugh!  They were not disappointed.  We had the die-hard LOSTies, and friends of LOSTies, we had a few Connor’s Runner’s out too, we even had my son Dylan and his posse of ex-NCAA varsity swimmers up from Boston and Baltimore (note: Reed was sure to point out the “ex” part of the title, as I think some of them are feeling the transition from school to the “real world”!)… but all in all we just had a bunch of brave/stupid, fun-loving people out for a dip!!!

Cameron contemplating the cold water... Lynn, did you get him hip waders for Christmas?!

Cameron, the smart one with hip waders… Lynn, did you get him those for Christmas?!

And it was cold.  We’d had a great Christmas, nice and warm, up to +10C or so… but it didn’t hold until Jan 1.  It was only about -3C or so, but the wind took it to a very chilly -10C!  Oh… and the water?!… it was 1C.  About as cold as Lake Ontario gets, given that it doesn’t freeze over.

... everybody in!!!

… everybody in!!!

... everybody out!!!

… everybody out!!!

But at the stroke of 12 noon we all stripped down to our bikini’s and speedo’s… and with the 10 second countdown by the crowd… we all dashed in!  Darren and Brett had set up the carpet (thanks guys!) and were standing in the water waiting for us!  Mind you Darren had a 7mm wetsuit on and Brett had hip-waders on over his wetsuit, so they didn’t sew what all the fuss was about!  Most everyone just dunked and got the hell out… but I saw Miguel and Art do a few strokes, so I did too… but then there are the Polar Boys… Madhu, Mark and Loren.  They are cut from a bit different cloth.

Dylan and Comrade Michael... "here, you drink this, it will keep you warm... just like back in mother Russia!"

Dylan and Comrade Michael… “here College Boy, you drink this, it will keep you warm… just like back in mother Russia!”     (note Bruce, the KGB agent, in the background)

You see Madhu is going to swim the Strait of Magellan on about Jan 24, 2015.  And what is the Strait of Magellan, you ask?  Well it is the Strait that the great explorer, Magellan discovered to get around the tip of South America.  It is a passage through a series of

Darren:  last one in is a rotten egg!!!

Darren: last one in is a rotten egg!!!  Madhu: but Darren, no one else is here yet?

islands at the southern tip of Chile, between Chile and Antarctica.  The section of the Strait that he is going to swim is about the same distance as an Ironman swim… about 3.8 km.  And the water will be about between about 4C and 8C… so practicing in 1C water is excellent training!?!  Mark and Loren are his training partners and have been there with him all the way… swimming in this water with him that is!  2 weeks ago the 3 of them set a new record for themselves and swam for about 12 minutes in 1C water!!!  Consider most of us were in for less than 30 seconds yesterday and how that felt!!!  Also consider when they talk about the Titanic sinking that most people survived between about 5 – 10 minutes in that water… and it literally could not have been any colder!  Pretty amazing.

Madhu:  hey Marty, wake me when it's time to swim the Ice Mile...

Madhu: hey Marty, wake me when it’s time to swim the Ice Mile…

But last week Madhu tried for the Ice Mile.  Which is pretty much as it sounds… swimming 1 mile (1.6 km) in water of 5C or less.  Naturally he chose the “or less” and attempted it in 1C water, the hardest possible swim (beyond that it’s just called “skating”).  And you might think that the difference between 5C and 1C isn’t much (about 4 degrees using my math skills), but it is huge when one is swimming in it.  The difference is exponential.  To swim 12 minutes in 1C might be the equivalent of swimming 2 hours in 5C!!!  Anyway… he didn’t complete the Ice Mile.  But he did swim a total of 29 minutes and 19 seconds without stopping, for 1.2 km (easily completing the Ice Kilometer!) and was in the water for 34 minutes and 38 seconds… in 1C water!!!

But I digress.  We were really cold too.  But just not in the same ball park as Madhu, Mark and Loren!

Brett: Help... I'm up to my armpits in LOSTies!!!

Brett: Help… I’m up to my armpits in LOSTies!!!

And it all had a happy ending… we went back to our usual post-LOST swim coffee shop, Brett’s cafe “Bean There” and all warmed up and shared a few laughs.  Quite a few.  Because in the end… that’s what it’s all about.

Bruce, Liza and Vicki... more CR's having fun!

Bruce, Liza and Vicki… more CR’s having fun… in fact, Liza might not be able to wait until next year’s dip she’s having so much fun!

So with the first LOST event of the year out of the way, let me wish all you LOSTies a Happy New Year!!!  May you all have a healthy, happy, prosperous and fun 2015!!!

Darren: so Brett... how big was the fish you caught last time you wore those hip waders?

Darren: “so Brett… how big was the fish you caught last time you wore those hip waders?”    Brett: “this big!”

Special thanks to: Darren “The Neoprene Kid” Osborne, Brett & Lambrina for opening up the shop to all the LOSTies!, and Mike Morton for his awesome video and constant support for LOST and everyone else that took the great pics!

Adrian, having way too much fun!

Adrian, having way too much fun!

See you all in a few months… for the next LOST swim of the season!!!   (and I promise… it won’t be any colder than it was for the first swim of the year!)



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Don’t forget to vote on our World Open Water Swimming Association award nomination!!! (Dec 31 cutoff)

wowsaSo LOST Swimming has been nominated for the award for the World Open Water Swimming “Offering of the Year”!!!

And put quite simply, we win the award if we get the most votes… so on behalf of all the LOSTies out there… we’d really like your vote!!!  (and all your friends and family’s vote too!)

Click here to VOTE  (we are #6, in the 4th category of “Offerings”)

That was for the “cut to the chase” readers who just want to know what this is about and want to know how vote.  It takes 2 minutes.  And is much appreciated.

LOST Race, 2014!!!

LOST Race, 2014!!!

For anyone who is still reading, let me explain why we want and, I think, deserve your vote.

otfLogoFirst for the pragmatic reason.  We have applied for a Ontario Trillium Grant.  Which is a grant the government of Ontario gives out for all kinds of reasons and purposes, including to sports organizations.  As a swimmer, triathlete, or a friend of swimmer and a especially an open water swimmer… well, you know that most of the real world doesn’t know much about our sport.  So if we were able to put on our application that we were not some Mickey Mouse club in some obscure sport, but rather an open water swim team with recognition from around the world to such a degree that we won an award from the World Open Water Swimming Association, well I think it would help our credibility and improve the exposure of LOST Swimming and open water swimming in general.

Happy Maisey!

Happy Maisey!

And the second reason we want you to vote for us… is because it would be really cool to win!  I’m not above saying that I would be really proud to win the award.  When I started LOST Swimming in 2006 in order train for my English Channel attempt, I certainly wasn’t doing it so that 9 years later I would win a WOWSA award… but hey, I’ll take it.

66 swimmers out... for a chilly one!

66 swimmers out… for a chilly one!

To dedicate every Saturday morning from June to September… every year since 2006… one isn’t doing it for the monetary rewards (haha, every penny we make goes back into LOST Swimming by the way)… or the WOWSA awards either.  Make no mistake about it, the LOST Board and countless volunteers we’ve had over the years (thanks, btw!) do a lot of work organizing LOST Swimming, The LOST Race, The LOST Travel Team, The Canadian Open Water Swim Series and all the other events… because it is worth it.  So if we aren’t doing it for the money or fame… it must be because of the friendships, the camaraderie, the adventure… oh, and because we really like open water swimming!

The Swim Around Key West gang in 2012!!!

The Swim Around Key West gang in 2012!!!

These pictures pretty much say it all.  And all I ever wanted to do was to share that fun and adventure with other like-minded people and promote and grow the sport.  So if you think that is worth it… then take 2 minutes and vote for LOST Swimming.  Thanks.


...and ...get out!!!

…and …get out!!!

PS.  The next LOST Swim will be Jan 1, 12:00, for the Polar Bear Dip… unless you are Madhu, Mark or Loren… who are training to swim the Strait of Magellan… then the next training swim/Polar Bear Dip is tomorrow!  Way to go guys, keep the LOST Swimming name out there all around the world!  And making us LOSTies proud!

Madhu, Loren and Mark training for the Strait of Magellan... November in Ontario... air 4C... water 4C!!!  Now those guys are what LOST Swimming is all about... ADVENTURE!

Madhu, Mark and Loren training for the Strait of Magellan… November in Ontario… air 4C… water 4C!!! Now those guys are what LOST Swimming is all about… ADVENTURE!

PPS.  For the more sane LOST Swimmers… hope you had fun at the Barbados Open Water Swim Festival on the weekend!!!  Send pics and have a pina colada for me!

Barbados Swim Festival!

Barbados Swim Festival!

PPPS.  I’m of course torn about who to vote for in the other categories (actually there are lots of other worthy people and friends in our category too… Susie Dodds, Bruckner Chase, Evan Morrison, Kent Nicholas, Ned Denison… but vote for LOST anyway!)… because I know a lot of them, some are Canadian, but regardless they are all worthy… but feel like I need to give a special tip of the hat to a few: Man of the Year – Adam Walker, Colin Hill, Phil White, Joe Locke and fellow Canadian, Xavier Desharnais are all spectacular swimmers and great builders in the sport.  Woman of the Year – Chloe McCardel and fellow Canadian Susan Simmons both had unbelievable swims!  And for Performance of the Year – there is Vicki Keith’s crew and Trinity Arsenault, both worthy as well!

Annaleise Carr, the 2012 WOWSA Woman of the Year, with Swim-master Rob, after swimming Lake Erie in 2014!

Annaleise Carr, (the 2012 WOWSA Woman of the Year), with Swim-master Rob, after swimming Lake Erie in 2014!

Happy voting!

... ya, and never grow up!

… ya, and never grow up!

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The 5th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip!!!

Yup, we are all good to go for the 5th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip!!!

polar bear dip, 2014

Hope you can make it…. like all things LOST, it’s a lot of fun!  So come down for a dip… or to laugh at the crazies that are taking a dip!  Either way, it’ll make your day and it’s a fun way to start the year!!!

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

you can measure the temp… by the facial expressions!

Here are the details:

  • 12:00 noon, sharp! on New Year’s Day!!! (so show up a little early)
  • at the Navy Street Pier, where we always swim
  • Brett has opened up the store (Bean There) just for us, for a little warming hot chocolate, coffee or tea after the dip!  Be sure to thank Brett for helping warm us up on his day off!  (Reynolds and Lakeshore, northwest corner)
  • water temp will likely be about 1C
  • there is no cost
  • the forecast looks good… for polar bears!  Looks like it will be a winter day!
  • be prepared, it’s a good idea to have: a towel and/or robe, clothes that are easy to get into when you are wet, water shoes, a little mat, and a buddy to help dry you off! (and to take pictures of you freezing your butt off! haha)
  • NOTE: every year someone confuses the LOST Polar Bear Dip at the Navy Street Pier… with the Courage Brothers Polar Bear Dip at Coronation Park… so unless you plan on doing that one, make sure you go to the right spot at the right time!  (nothing wrong with their dip, however it is different, it is HUGE, which means a lot of waiting around in the cold and theirs costs $25, which is fine, as it goes to charity… but just so you know the difference).  But we’d love to see you at the LOST DIP!

PS.  we may even have a special show for you… it looks like our 3 LOST Polar Bears (Madhu, Loren and Mark) are going to make an appearance and show you how it’s done!  (and show you what a bit of hard cold water training can do!… in case you hadn’t heard,  Loren and Mark are training partners of Madhu’s, and Madhu is going to swim the Strait of Magellan on Jan 24!  More about that later!)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!  See you in the water!




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A first hand report from the Barbados Swim Festival!

The last time I saw Scott, 2003... back in North Battleford after my first Ironman... (yes, pleated khaki's were in then!)

The last time I saw Scott, 2003… back in North Battleford after my first Ironman… (yes, pleated khaki’s were in back then!)

So my old childhood buddy, who I’ve only seen once in the past 29 years, Scott Parker and his family went from North Battleford, Saskatchewan (where he and I grew up… population 10,000!) to Barbados, for my new friends, Zary and Kristina’s Barbados Open Water Swim Festival… here’s what he had to say…I guess I’ll be going next year!


Hey Rob, you missed a fun time.

The race was ok too! Yes, that was our family your fellow LOSTie referenced. It was very nice of Zary and Kristina to recognize our participation. The only unfortunate part was that our oldest Matthew could not come due to first year university mid terms.

My old buddy, Scott Parker and his beautiful family at the Barbados Open Water Swim Festival, 2014

My old buddy, Scott Parker and his beautiful family at the Barbados Open Water Swim Festival, 2014

I attached a couple of pictures. Glad we didn’t have a video of me trying to carry my scrawny butt over the finish line. Yes it was exhausting. But I guess most people are like me thinking that a 5 km race will be a breeze if you do a dozen or so practices after not training for 25 years. (Well I am getting older, just not wiser) YET!!!

Considering that, the family and our group did do well for a bunch of flatlanders who most have not ever swam in open water. Oh, I did forget, it wasn’t a 5 km race, I am positive I swam 6 km or more because for some strange reason I could not find the black lines tiled into the bottom. Strange? Might need to speak to Zary about fixing that for next year.

swimming over sea turtles in Barbados... doesn't get much better than that!

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

The competition site and the sites for the pre-competition guided swims were beautiful. How much better can it be swimming/competing while having sea turtles swim under you, and finishing up on silky white beaches? The only complaint was the water temp was warmer than our indoor pool in North Battleford. (I didn’t think I would ever complain of warm water, and I must mention it was not to warm in North Battleford today at 6 this am. Brrrr ). Brings back childhood memories of you honking in front of my house each morning wondering if I’ll come to practice while I curled up on the sofa.

Oh, one more thing about my race. I just wanted to thank you (my friend), being what most would consider an open water specialist, for giving me advice (not!) on how to sight while swimming and the importance of practicing this skill before going. I think it was at the 2 km mark (if I remember I’m sure I was ahead of the field including that world champ guy… ok maybe it was the hypoxia kicking in) when after zig-zaging around the course I began cramping every time I would sight. Trying to cut back on my salt intake (I dont have a sore throat after all the gargling), I would kick harder to lift this thick head of mine out of the water which of course would also make the cramp harder. The good thing was there was only 3 km left. I can now look back at it as a character building exercise. Did I mention it was fun though?

Team North Battleford!!!  Way to keep adventure alive in ol' NB!

Team North Battleford!!! Way to keep adventure alive in ol’ NB!

As for results, Sheila finished 3rd in the 45-54 1.5km with time of 26.49, Jenna(15yrs) and Tara (9yrs) finished the 1.5 km fun swim, Taylor (13yrs) was the youngest in the 5 km finishing with a time of 1.27:43, and I FINISHED 5th with a time of 1.26:40 in the 45-54 yr old 5 km. Our teammates also did extremely well with Bjorn Prollius (14 yrs in 5km) swimming a 1.13.32, his dad Almereau Prollius swimming the 1.5 km in 27.29. Audrey Harder came 3rd in the 5km 35-44 yr age group with 1:39.43. As well, two of our 45-54 yr old ladies in the 1.5 km race, Leanne Cunningham completed in 32.44, Ang completing the 1.5 fun swim and Toby Gillen swam a 27.31.

Got to meet some interesting swimmers from around the world, had some good food, drinks and created great memories with family and friends. To bad you couldn’t have been there.

The other great thing that happened is before we even left, we all started talking about making plans for the next swim trip (sorry kids, no more Disney). It looks like it won’t take another 25 years; in fact, Sheila just sent away my registration for a master’s meet this month in Regina that was added to the age group meet which I was taking Taylor to. I think for this I’ll stick to the 50m and 100m races.

Anyways good to hear from you. Hope your family has a great holiday season if I don’t speak to you before.

Scott, Sheila and family

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If you only go on one open water/tri training camp this winter…

… make it this one!  (for those of you who were contemplating going on several… haha!)

LOST Team Manager, marathon swimmer, Mexican National Swim Team member, coach and all-round good guy, Miguel Vadillo will be hosting this training camp… and it looks great!  Aside from a nice swim, bike, run training camp in Mexico, not only will you be coached by Miguel, you will also be coached by Canadian Olympic Triathlon coach Barrie Shepley and meet legendary marathon swimmer Nora Toledano!

click here to view on Facebook

Mexico training camp

Hi LOSTies,

We are writing to offer you this training opportunity that we believe will be helpful for achieving your goals for the 2015 season.

It is one week of swimming training in open water and cycling and running in warm weather with the phenomenal world class coaching of Barrie Shepley, Nat Faulkner and myself.

The destination, Las Estacas, is a beautiful natural park 100km southwest of Mexico City surrounded by little colonial villages and towns with plenty of tourist attractions.
Training will be customized to participants of any level of fitness and skills and will end with a mini meet in the river followed by a talk by International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame member Nora Toledano

This is a first time offer happening January 24th to the 31st, 2015 that we want to make a yearly destination.  To make it a reality, we need confirmation of 14 people by Saturday December 13th preferably with $100.00 deposit.  If you are interested and you decide to come, please email us at info@embraceopenwater.com to make the arrangements via paypal for your deposit. 

Have fun and train hard… hope to see you in Mexico!


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Toronto’s Pan Am Games… tickets go on sale on Dec 8th!

So the organizers of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games contacted me a while ago about getting some open water swimmers for their commercial… check it out below!  Note that the fencing in the commercial is on the Navy St Pier where we swim too… so we’re all practically famous!  They also came back to me yesterday to let everyone know that the tickets go on sale on Dec 8th…

Open water swimming is July 11 (women’s) and July 12 (men’s)…

click here for: Schedule and tickets

… that includes tickets for the 10k open water swimming at the newly renovated Marilyn Bell Park, right beside Ontario Place.  I’ll be getting tickets… it really will be exciting!



Here are all the details:

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games are coming! Where will you be?

Starting July 10, 2015, Toronto will host the largest sport event in their history – the 2015 Pan Am Games/Parapan Am Games.  The best way to witness the power of sport is to be there. Share the highs of winning a gold for your country, the thrill of a close race and the camaraderie of 7000+ athletes from 41 countries and territories.

General ticket sales phase is open from December 8, 2014 – March 9th, 2015, on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Tickets start at just $20, with 75% of tickets priced $45 and under. For more ticket information, visit TORONTO2015.org/tickets.

And not to be missed … the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will feature a one-night-only performance by Canadian cultural icon, Cirque du Soleil, and a few other surprises along the way.

Don’t miss your chance to see some of the world’s top athletes compete. Start planning for one of the greatest events Toronto has ever hosted. http://www.seetorontonow.com/toronto-2015-pan-am-games/



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