World Open Water Swimming Association award nomination!!!

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.

Rob

...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 LOST Beer Mile!!!

Ok, that was way too much fun.

17 thirst competitors about to start the 2014 LOST Beer Mile!

17 thirst competitors about to start the 2014 LOST Beer Mile!

It was a long time coming, I’ve had the idea for a while, as did Darren and Mauro… and finally we got it together, found a date and pulled the trigger.  Of course with this being the first one nobody was sure who, if anyone was going to actually step up to the plate and show up for a bit of a track workout and some liquid muscle relaxants.

Darren... with a shirt that reads with anticipation of the finish...

Darren… with a shirt that reads with anticipation of the finish…

It was to start at 6:30… Dylan and I showed up at 6:15… and we were the only ones there.  It was starting to feel like high school all over again… sneaking out for a few beers… throwing a party and hoping somebody shows up!  But alas, Al pulled in behind us.  And then a whole parade of cars.  And soon we had 17 sign ups… and a whole bunch of Looky-Loo’s!  Thanks to Steve, Steve and Dave for being the Beer Mile Officials too… I’d hate to have such awesome times not recorded for the annuls of history!  I think the spectators probably outnumbered the runners by 2 to 1… but this was shaping up to be one of the most spectator friendly running events I’ve ever attended!

Ted... awesome... just because...

Ted… awesome… just because…

We had a true LOSTie… in his training suit and bathing cap (Madhu!)… we had a true vintage 1970’s runner, complete with mustache, mullet, headband and 70’s running shorts (Ted)… oh wait, that mustache was real?!… whatever.  And we even had a couple of women who weren’t afraid to step it up with the big boys (France and Kenzie!)… and yes, they did “chick” at least 2 guys!

Kenzie and France... funny, they don't look like they are in the middle of a race!

Kenzie and France… funny, they don’t look like they are in the middle of a race!

I'm not sure if Pre said that... or Michael, after the second lap!

I’m not sure if Pre said that… or Michael, after the second lap!

And the race… well, it was something.  The early favorites were Alex (4 time Ironman, running his 20th consecutive Boston Marathon this spring, east-coast’r and the defending Beer Mile World Champion of Oakville!)… and Michael… who just placed 20th in the Sprint Distance triathlon World Championships this summer and also ran track at the University of South Florida and did a Beer Mile each year there!  And 15 other schmucks who we doing their first Beer Mile and where going to be very happy just to finish… and not yack.  Myself included.

It must have been the Go Pro that slowed me down...

It must have been the Go Pro that slowed me down…

And off we went to the count down and roar of the crowd.  Drink a beer.  And quite literally Michael was done his first beer and was half way around the track before I was even finished my first one!  Even Alex was way behind.  He had this one in the bag.

Bannister passing Landy in the Miracle Mile... not unlike Alex passing Michael in the Beer Mile!

Bannister passing Landy in the Miracle Mile… not unlike Alex passing Michael in the Beer Mile!

But wait.  This is the BEER mile… running is the easy part of this gig.  And as far as beers go, the first beer is the easiest.  As Michael found out.  I think I heard that Alex caught him after the second beer!  Alex held on to win it soundly in a time of 7:15… the Roger Bannister of beer.  Although I don’t know if ol’ Roger could knock them back or not.  In fact, it was the young guys (Shawn and Dylan, both 23) who got their butts kicked by the old guys… and let me tell you, if it was just running a mile… Shawn would have easily been first!  But not today.

Today was about the old guys beating the young guys… fathers beating their sons… women beating some of the men… and just whole lot of good ol’ fashion fun.

Madhu and Adrian... did you ever go to a party and feel like you were way under-dressed?

Madhu and Adrian… did you ever go to a party and feel like you might be under-dressed?

And then the best part… rehashing it all at the King’s Arms over nacho’s… and of course a few cool-down beers too.

Don’t ever grow up.

Cheers,

Rob

Here are the results and a few interesting stats:

(official results have been uploaded to the Beermile.com  http://www.beermile.com/e/6154 )

LOST Beer Mile

  • most popular beer: Canadian (4), Budwieser (3), Coors (2), Creemore, Cameron’s, Guiness, Steam Whistle, Keith’s, Lakeport (1 each)
  • 4 guys under the Miracle Mile time of 10:00
  • 10 LOSTies, 7 CR’s
  • top 5 spots… and 8 of the top 9… were LOSTies
  • 15 men, 2 women
  • World Record: James “The Beast” Neilsen, 4:57, San Francisco, Marin Beer Mile, 34 years old, 2014, Budwieser, can
  • http://www.beermile.com/
  • Rules: 
  1. Each competitor drinks four cans of beer and runs four laps on a track (Start – beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap – finish).
  2. Beer must be consumed before the lap is begun, within the transition area which is the 10 meter zone before the start/finish line on a 400m track.
  3. The race begins with the drinking of the first beer in the last meter of the transition zone to ensure the competitors run a complete mile (1609 meters).
  4. Women also drink four beers in four laps (past rule lists only required ladies to drink three beers).
  5. Competitors must drink canned beer and the cans should not be less than 355ml (the standard can volume) or 12oz (the imperial equivalent). Bottles may be substituted for cans as long as they are at least 12 oz (355 ml) in volume.
  6. No specialized cans or bottles may be used that give an advantage by allowing the beer to pour at a faster rate. ie “super mega mouth cans” or “wide mouth bottles” are prohibited.
  7. Beer cans must not be tampered with in any manner, ie. No shotgunning or puncturing of the can except for opening the can by the tab at the top. The same applies with bottles – no straws or other aids are allowed in order to aid in the speed of pouring.
  8. Beer must be a minimum of 5% alcohol by volume.  Hard ciders and lemonades will not suffice.  The beer must be a fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and flavored with hops.  For an abbreviated list of valid beers and exceptions, click here.
  9. Each beer can must not be opened until the competitor enters the transition zone on each lap.
  10. Competitors who vomit before they finish the race must complete one penalty lap at the end of the race (immediately after the completion of their 4th lap). Note: Vomitting more than once during the race still requires only one penalty lap at the end.
  11. It is strongly recommended, when attempting official records, to tip the empty beer can or bottle over your head at the end of a chug to verify an empty vessel
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Christine crushes Kona!

Christine van WarmerdamFor those of you who don’t know Christine van Warmerdam… well, she swam with my son, Dylan, the Oakville Aquatic Club for years… and was “pretty good”.  Now I mean this in the best way, but she wasn’t one of the many superstars that OAK has had over the years, she was just “pretty good”… at least in the world of competitive swimming.  In the real world she was still a great swimmer… and apparently when you transfer that over into triathlon… she’s a great swimmer there too!  Anyway, that’s where I got to know her, as one of those little kids running around on the deck.

But then she went off to university… to get an Engineering degree… and that flew by… and before I knew it I was sharing a lane with her at Burlington Masters Swim Club!  Then a bunch of the BMSC gang decided to do IM Lake Placid this summer… Ben, Mel, Stacey, Jason and Christine (sorry if I forgot anyone else!).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

It was pretty cool, Ben’s first since his big accident and he did really well… 10:50.  Mel pulled out because the torrential rain made it really unsafe after they cut the swim short because of lightning!  There were tons of wipe outs on the bike!  Jason was amazing… 12:25… as was Stacey… 12:32!  And this was just Christine’s first Ironman so I think she, like most first-timers, would have been glad just to finish.

But obviously I didn’t know how good of a biker or runner she is too!  She won her age group (20-24), outright… in 10:31!!!

So she did the incredible… qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona on her first try!  Wow.

I haven’t heard how Kona went yesterday but here are her results!

Congrats Christine!!!

Cheers,

Rob

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4th person to complete a swim from the Farallon Islands!!!

Check out this swim… probably the toughest marathon swim in the world!  And Joe becomes only the 4th solo to complete it!  Leaving aside the ever present Great White Sharks that populate the area, the water was 53F.  We LOSTies know how cold that is… but not for 14 hours!  As well as all currents, jellyfish and very rough water.  He made it on his 7th try.    I have to admit, I’m among the many marathon swimmers that have kicked the idea of this swim around in my head… but I am not among the few who have attempted it… and not among the even smaller number that has completed it!!!  Wow and congrats to Joe!

Cheers,

Rob

JUL
14

Marathon Swimmer Joe Locke Completes the Farallon Crossing to the Golden Gate

I am an open water swimmer. Like a few hundred others at the South End Rowing and the Dolphin Club, I routinely swim in the Bay year round, without wetsuit.  But there are swimmers and there are Swimmers. An arcane group of athletes around the globe take on extreme athletic challenges, crossing large portions of open water without protection.  The English Channel is a well known passage, but there are many lesser known swims with greater risk and more extreme conditions.
Known as the Ocean 7, elite open water swimmers take on crossings like the Cook Straits, the Molokai Channel and Tsugaru Straits of Japan. Not part of the Ocean 7, but what many consider the most difficult of ocean passages is called the Farallon Island Channel.  This swim, now sanctified by the Farallon Island Swim Association combines cold water, strong currents, stinging jellies and the presence of great white sharks.The first two solo crossings from the island to the shore were in 1967 as part of a friendly rivalry between two swimmers from the Dolphin Club.  Starting at South East Farallon Island(SEFI) Dolphin Club member Lt. Col. Stewart Evans completed the first crossing to the coast, finishing at the beach near Bolinas in 13 hours, 44 minutes.  In early September, few weeks later Ted Erikson started swimming at SEFI and swam all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge in 14 hours, 38 minutes.  Since then, a few relay teams have made the trip across in both directions, but until June 2014 no one has made a complete solo crossing. This June, an accomplished distance swimmer, Coloradan Craig Lenning made the attempt to cross the Gulf to the Gate. Currents off Point Bonita caused Craig to miss the bridge but he successfully landed at Muir Beach in 15 hours, 47 minutes.

My friend Joe Locke has long had his eyes on this goal.  A soft spoken, hulk of a man, Locke has swum the English Channel and many other distance challenges.  When asked to advise him on sharks and the islands last year, I gladly joined his team to help escort him safely across the Gulf of the Farallones.
One of the great challenges of this swim are the conditions off our coastline. Coastal upwelling brings up deep nutrient rich cold water creating an abundance of life and the conditions for the summer fog we know so well. Storms from the Aleutians and localized northwest winds generate large swells, wind waves and strong currents. And then, there are the sharks.
Everyone talks about the sharks but few see them. In fact, most of the large white sharks of are still offshore in early summer, heading back home on their migration from the White Shark Cafe.
Although some white sharks stay in the region year round, the odds of a shark encounter get higher as the water warms and the season progresses towards Sharktober. Surfers, swimmers and divers have experienced encounters along our coastline.  The risk is always present, yet the odds of encountering a shark are lower than other wildlife.  In fact, more swimmers get bit by Sea Lions locally than Sharks.  Still, the sharks are here and its part of the risk we take surfing, diving and swimming in the Red Triangle. Swimmers considering the Farallons passage must weigh water temperature and weather against the increase risk of encountering a white shark as the Sharktober season progresses. It is not advisable to attempt swimming or even kayaking around South East Farallon Island when the large sharks are present in numbers roughly between August and December.

This was Joe’s 7th attempt and my third supporting him, and this time, the conditions looked ideal. On one swim Joe nearly made it to Point Bonita before being denied by the mighty ebb tide that pushed Evans and Lenning north. On this passage the tides and waypoints had again been carefully calculated. The weather pattern looked like it would hold for one day, and now it was up to Joe. Previous attempts had been too rough, or the water temperature in the high 40s made it impossible to stay in the water. Onboard were a team of experienced ocean swimmers including Marathon Ocean Swimmer Evan Morrison who acted as official observer.

Joe plunged into the darkness at the SEFI buoy a shade after midnight.  The sea lions and common murrres serenaded us as the 34 foot Hyperfish support boat followed behind as he immediately stroked east away from the rocky island.  His stroke rate was high, in the mid eighties, but the water temperature at 53 and calm seas boded well once he settled in. He soon left the odor of sea lions and murres behind but drifted over and through patches of stinging nettles.
For the first few hours Joe swam steadily between two and three miles in an hour. Every 40 minutes we fed him his home-brewed super food tossed out in water bottles on a line. No sharks came to visit, but a Sea Lion followed him for an hour, swimming beneath and bumping him from behind.

The swim observes the Channel Rules, and is sanctioned by a Farallon Island Swim Foundation. The rules allow no assistance and no touching the boat, a swim cap, suit and lanolin for chafe and not much else.  Joe swims like the water polo player he once was,  with a strong open stroke and a regular heads-up every 4th stroke.  Joe swam steadily through the night, braving stings from the jellyfish as he pushed through the bioluminescence. Sunrise found us just where we wanted to be, but we ran into the first of the waning ebb 12 miles out from Point Lobos. Joe powered through this sticky water but his rate dropped below 2 miles/hour and we worried about making the flood tide before it turned. It took 3 hours to push past a back eddy north of the Four Fathom Bank, but our speed picked up and making the tide looked hopeful. Tankers exiting the bay and cargo ships behind all converged as we came abreast of Bonita Channel. On a building breeze kite sailors and yachties cheered as the swimmer chugged steadily up the channel. The clock ticked and ahead inside the Gate I could see the green water of the ebb tide meeting the flood. We were running out of time. Ship traffic pushed us towards the south tower close to the footing where the current surged into a standing wave. Joe’s stroke rate increased slightly as he sensed the imminent river of water prepared to deny him once again.

Joe had hoped to swim to Aquatic Park but as he neared the bridge the going got really tough right when he least needed it.  The last half hour against the building ebb made the bridge an acceptable goal and he reached out and touched the pier footing to the cheers of the crew.  Powering through the final chop, 13 hours and 58 minutes later Joe cleared the shadow of the Golden Gate, becoming the second person in history to make the swim. This time beat both of the two other 6 person relays accomplished by the venerable Night Train Swimmers.
It felt great to support and document this epic feat of endurance.  This swim takes speed and power in addition to all the other traits that make up a successful ocean swimmer.
Training, commitment, concentration and a little luck put Joe into the history books. Many have their eye on this crossing, but the swim from the Devil’s Teeth is not for the faint of heart, even among the marathon swim crowd.
I think I’ll stick to diving with sharks.

Join Shark Stewards Director David McGuire on wildlife expeditions to the Farallon Islands in the fall. Want to learn more or help support our work fighting shark finning or the shark fin trade please visit www.sharkstewards.org.

Joe touches the South Tower in a building ebb.
All images and text copyright 2014 David McGuire, SeaStewards.org
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Canadian Open Water Swim Series announces the new National Champions!!!

cowss logoWell there you have it… the first season of COWSS has come to a close.  Pretty cool though… only a few months ago this was just an idea.  Then in the middle of February, as far from open water swimming season in Canada as you can get, a few of us made it a reality.  Me, Miguel, Katie, Steve and Richard.  We started with just the LOST Race, The Toronto Island Lake Swim and Bring On The Bay in Ottawa.  Then we picked up a few more people to help run it, Barrie, Dylan and Sean.  And we picked up a few races, in Vancouver, Kelowna and Halifax.  And soon we had the making of a true national series.  Wow.

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

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

We weren’t sure how it would all shake out.  We had lots of plans, but didn’t know how to put it all together.  Still lots of room for improvement, but like so many things in life, just starting… is everything.  Now we have the first summer done and a whole winter to find out ways to improve.  We want to add more races… and our biggest goal is to add more swimmers too!

So yes, we organizers deserve a pat on the back for getting it going (way to go guys!)… but the real success is measured by participation… did anyone show up?  Is there really a market for something like this?  Can we make it work?  And I’m going to have to say “yes”… it looks like there is really an appetite for something like this!  I have to say we are pretty happy with over 2000 swimmers participating in the inaugural season!  That’s a pretty good benchmark!

And people really embraced it as a “series”.  We didn’t think that many people would actually travel from place to place just to improve their ranking and to do more races… but we hoped they would… and that’s exactly what happened!  (check out the number of people who swam multiple races below).

Bill and Ross battling for 1st at the LOST Race!

Bill and Ross battling for 1st at the LOST Race!

And as much as anything, the the whole points system that I planned worked perfectly.  Right from the word go, I wanted 50% of the points just for participating and 50% for placing.  Thus leveling the playing field between “enthusiasts” and “speedsters”!  And take a look at our winners below and it bears that out.

Bill Leonard won the very competitive “men’s Non-Wetsuit” division… he is very fast… and traveled from Ottawa to do 4 races!  Speed and participation… very deserving!  (he beat me, 3rd, and my son, Dylan, 4th!… but we’re coming for you next year Bill!)

Steve presenting Maisey with her award for 1st place, women's/naked division!

Steve presenting Maisey with her award for 1st place, women’s/naked division!  Toronto Island Lake Swim.

And Maisey Kent won the “Women’s Non-Wetsuit” division. Yes, she’s my daughter, but that’s the beauty of the points, it take any subjectivity out of it!… although I am proud of her for winning and keeping the Kent name out there!  She narrowly edged out the super-star marathon swimmer, Annaleise Carr (who did a 42k and a 30k Lake Erie Crossings this summer too!)… pretty cool rivalry though too!

And Michael Fana won the Men’s Wetsuit Division.  This is kind of the coolest win of the four.  So the most points you can earn in a race is 100. (actually never quite 100 because it is a “percentile”, but the larger the race the closer to 100 points for first place).  And if you were like Bill you were averaging about 98 points per race.  But the the number of races you swim is the great equalizer!  Michael was one of only two people (Rhian Short, second in the Women’s Wetsuit division is the other) to do 5 races!!!  But Michael was only averaging about 69 points per race… so he’s pretty fast, but not the fastest… but he won!!!  Hey, if you show that kind of dedication to the sport of open water swimming… you deserve to win!  Well done Michael!!!  (and Rhian!).

LOST Race, 2014!!!

LOST Race, 2014!!!

And Sandra Jesson, won the Women’s Wetsuit Division.  And the cool thing about this win?… she’s in the 50-59 age group!  She did 4 races and earned about 75 points per race.  So forget about the age thing too!  Anyone can win!vowsa logo TILS logo Rattlesnake Island swim logo bring on the bay logoBrigaSwim_LogoLOST Race logo across the lake swim logo

Epic Swim, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia!

Epic Swim, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia!

 

So without further ado… here is the official results and comments from COWSS. (Thanks Dylan!)  You can find more info at COWSS.ca

Remember if you did ANY of the races in COWSS, you automatically were entered into the National Rankings!  So have look and see how you placed in the country!  (press CTRL F to find your name in the results).

COWSS National Champions, 2014

See you all next year… and bring a friend!

Cheers,

Rob

 

cowss logo

The inaugural season of the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS) came to a close on Saturday with the Caledon Quarry Swim II. After 12 events occurring over 3 months with over 2000 participants in races all across Canada the final rankings have been calculated and we are pleased to announce our National Champions for the 2014 season:

Men’s Non-Wetsuit, National Champion – William Leonard, Ottawa (390.37 points, 4 races)

Women’s Non-Wetsuit, National Champion – Maisey Kent, Oakville (276.84 points, 3 races)

Men’s Wetsuit, National Champion – Michael Fana, Mississauga (344.63 points, 5 races)

Women’s Wetsuit, National Champion – Sandra Jesson, Mississauga (299.15 points, 4 races)

Congratulations to our National Champions, your names will be engraved on the COWSS Trophy (we will post pictures for everyone to see once the engraving is completed).

The overall national rankings and the age group national rankings for participants in all races are now posted.

We would like to thank everyone for their participation this year and we look forward to you joining us next season when we plan on working to make the Canadian Open Water Swim Series bigger and better.

Some interesting stats from the Final Results:

Number of Events in COWSS: 12

Number of Races in COWSS: 26

Distances offered in COWWS: 750m, 1km, 1.5km, 2km, 2.1km, 3km, 3.1km, 3.8km, 4km, 5km, 6km, 7km, 10km

Total Participants: 2012

Male Non-Wetsuit Participants: 155

Female Non-Wetsuit Participants: 237

Male Wetsuit Participants: 765

Female Wetsuit Participants: 855

Largest Age Group: Female Wetsuit, 40-49 Age Group, (247 swimmers)

Highest Point Average for an Age Group*: Men’s non-wetsuit, 19 & under – 90.87

*calculated by dividing total points for the age group by total participants

Number of swimmers to complete multiple races: 182

Race with the most finishers: Across the Lake Swim (Kelowna, BC) – 636 swimmers

Highest Point Total Overall: William Leonard, 390.37 points

Average Point Total: 83.10

Median Point Total: 77.10

Swimmers to complete the most races: Michael Fana and Rhian Short both completed 5 races

Swimmer with the highest point average*: Rod Craig 99.19

*calculated by dividing total points by number of races, out of a possible 100 (swimmer must have done more than one race)

Events, locations and dates:

1) Epic Swim / Dartmouth, NS / Jun 28
2) Canada Day Challenge / Port Moody, BC / Jul 01
3) Caledon Quarry Swim Race / Caledon, ON / July 6th
4) Bring On The Bay / Ottawa, ON / Jul 12
5) Across The Lake Swim / Kelowna, BC / Jul 19
6) Bay Challenge / West Vancouver, BC / Jul 19
7) Briga Swim / Halifax, N.S / Aug 02
8) Kitsilano Challenge / Kitsilano Beach, BC / Aug 02
9) The L.O.S.T. Race / Oakville, ON / Aug 09
10) Rattlesnake Island Swim / Okanagan Lake, BC / Aug 09
11) Toronto Island Lake Swim / Toronto Island, ON / Aug 17
12) Caledon Quarry Swim Race / Caledon, ON / Sept 20th

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Caledon Quarry Swim II

PB-Caledon-Swim

Of course the risk you run by having a open water swim race in Ontario on September 20th is… well, you could freeze your butt off!  Sure you might luck out and have one of those beautiful sunny fall days… but what are the odds?  Doesn’t matter… we got it!

It was perfect… sunny (25C) and the water temp was even nice (58F/14C)!  Funny thing was that it was really windy, but the Quarry is so sheltered that it didn’t really matter… just a great day and a great swim… perfect way to end the 2014 open water season!

I was helping my son move that morning, he just got a new condo right between the Skydome (yes, I’m one of those guys that still doesn’t call it the Roger’s Center!) and the ACC… great apartment!  But I digress, the only reason I was telling you that is that is why I did the 2k rather than the 4k… because it started a bit later, so I could get there on time.  So after a nice warm up of moving furniture all morning I got there just in time for the race.

So yes, the air and water was nice, but I still wasn’t going to get in and warm up… better to risk it and take the plunge, so to speak.  Given that I wimped out of the 4k, I figured I would atone for that by at least doing the 2k naked.  Sure I’d be slower without the wetsuit, but better placing.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Winners of the 4k Wetsuit division: Greg Streppel and Hannah Fraser (with Sean Bechtel and I making the presentations)

Winners of the 4k Wetsuit division: Greg Streppel and Hannah Fraser (with Sean Bechtel and I making the presentations)

Miguel sounded the gun… and I went charging in with a ton of others!  At 58F/13C the first dive in is a bit of a shocker, and the hundred meters are “brisk”, but at race pace 58F is just about the perfect temp and you warm up pretty quickly.  I find it’s like a lot of the numerous variables in any kind of a race… wind, shoes, drinks, etc… if you don’t even notice it, it must be fine.  And after a couple hundred meters I didn’t notice the water temp, one way or another.  I was just focusing on the race.

I found a couple of guys my speed to swim with.  Or rather, they found me.  And drafted off me for the first half of the first 1k loop.  But I got wise and dropped back and drafted off of them for a little rest.  We came around the corner headed for home and naturally I figured that because these guys were my speed they were probably good open water swimmers too.  They weren’t.  We were about half way back when I sighted.  Only to find out the strong wind had blown the 3 of us way off course!  Rookie mistake.  By them and me.  They should have accounted for that and sighted more often.  I shouldn’t have hung my hat on them!

But at least I showed a bit of veteran experience in the same spot on the second loop.  The 3 of us were still together when we made the same turn that put the wind to our side again… blowing us off course again.  But I knew they’d be wiser the second time and correct.  As I said before, they weren’t that experienced.  They didn’t correct again!  But I did.  I probably saved at least 100 meter on them!

However, I was beginning to feel the effects of about 1.5 km at race pace… and no training.  They still beat me by a bit.  But the gap was 100 meters closer than it would have been.  Some consolation at least!

It was great to see so many LOSTies, we made up a very good percentage of the swimmers!  I love racing and I love swimming, so I can’t complain.  Great day!

Thanks Barrie, Miguel, Katie, Sean and all the others for a fun race and great wrap up to the summer of open water swim racing!

Cheers,

Rob

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Rick’s “Gordie Howe moment”…

My favorite Gordie Howe moment was during the 21 hours I spent swimming across Lake Ontario when my wife and 3 kids each took turns pacing me… very cool.  And for those non-Canadians or non-hockey fans out there… Gordie Howe was one of the greatest hockey players of all time… among his greatest claims to fame was the fact that he played professional hockey in 6 decades!… which allowed him to play on the same professional hockey team as 2 of his sons!

Rick and his son, Ian... flag bearers for the "Run to Remember"

Rick and his son, Ian… flag bearers for the “Run to Remember”

Check out the comments below that LOSTie and Staff Sgt, Brian Smithson, wrote about his buddy and fellow officer:

Sometimes in life we get to do something cool.    Attached is a picture of Rick Paradis and his son Ian. As some of you know, Rick is in his 34th year of policing and Ian has been here for almost 2 years.

Here they are pictured together running in memory of fallen officers in the “Run to Remember”.  A 460 km journey (relay) from Toronto to Ottawa in honor of police officers who have lost their lives in service to our community. I ask you all to imagine the pride Rick and Ian must feel.

Congrats Rick and Ian!

PS.  Rick is the only non-swimming LOSTie!

Cheers,

Rob

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The Erie Marathon!

Start of the Erie Marathon!

Start of the Erie Marathon!

So this past year was a bit of a mixed bag for me.  No big ones… but lots of others to keep me out of trouble.

I did a few tri’s… Eagleman 1/2 IM was the big one early in the season… and a few open water races… Caledon Quarry Swim 1, The LOST Race, The Toronto Island Lake Swim, Caledon Quarry Swim 2… Swim Master for Annaleise’s 42.2 km and 30 km swims across Lake Erie… a couple of trail races… Sulphur Springs 50k, Iriquoia Trail Test… and a few marathons… Marine Corp, Bahama’s, Boston and most recently Erie Marathon… all in all a pretty decent trip across the calendar!

"The Gang"... Erie Marathon 2014... it's a keeper!

“The Gang”… Erie Marathon 2014… it’s a keeper!

Having said all that… the training is as much fun as the racing.  Although I have to admit… I love racing.  I love racing when I’m good shape and can have one of those rare times when there are no excuses needed and you actually feel good about a race.  Could always do better, but it’s nice to feel content.  But I know that I’m a true “racer”, because I even love racing when I’m out of shape and really suck.  Which unfortunately more often than the former.  But as much as I love racing there is no way that I would do any of this if the training wasn’t fun.  And honestly… having people to train with is what makes it fun.  Regardless of the sport, having training buddies is everything!

we're liars... I have no idea why we were smiling... we weren't having that much fun at that point anyway!

we’re liars… I have no idea why we were smiling… we weren’t having that much fun, at that point anyway!

As I have for the past 18 years or so, I trained with all the usual running/tri buddies.  We don’t really have a name or a team, but these are the guys that helped form LOST swimming and are still key to LOST today.  There are also all the LOSTies that I really love training with.  As I’ve said before, I love being surrounded by positive, enthusiastic (and sometimes crazy) people… it just makes life more interesting… and training a helluva lot more enjoyable too!  And despite the differences in speed and ability, that is one of the common denominators between all LOSTies… we all seem to be pretty positive, enthusiastic and somewhat crazy about sucking the most fun out of life.  The other common denominator is having the guts to go for a swim in nice cool water!

Connor's Runners, Erie marathon, 2014

Connor’s Runners, Erie marathon, 2014

There is a running group that Joanne and I joined this year that we have been a part of in previous years called “Connor’s Runner’s”… and they seem to have the dry-land DNA of a LOST Swimmer.  Just a bunch of fun-lovin’, beer-drinkin’ people who still want to train hard and race as hard as they can… but mostly have fun.

gotta love Pre...

gotta love Pre… (from the Boston Pizza in Erie!)

So we all went down to Erie for the marathon.  “Our gang”… and our Connor’s Runners buddies.  About 10 from our gang and 34 from CR.  Two great groups, although with all the dinner’s and drinks and splitting time between the two groups it felt a little like an athletic version of “Three’s Company”!

Having said all that… what a great marathon!  Here’s why:

  1. flat, flat, flat
  2. beautiful… double loop course on a peninsula that goes out into the lake… very scenic
  3. just the right size… not too big… not too small… about 1000 runners
  4. only 3 hour drive away
  5. great tradition… 41st year!
  6. cheap!… $50 bucks… try and beat that for a full marathon!  (cheap hotels too)
  7. the narrow double loop is great for spectators
  8. the only weekend where you can get qualify for the Boston Marathon for the next 2 years!!!
  9. a very fast course

    Okay, it was a little windy the day before the race... (but not on race day!)... Al and Patrick... they look like they are on the bow of the Titantic!

    Okay, it was a little windy the day before the race… (but not on race day!)… Al and Patrick… they look like they are on the bow of the Titantic!

But maybe I shouldn’t say all that.  Now everyone is going to want to do it.  Oh well, I’m not good a keeping my mouth shut.

fyi... that chair was located about 15 feet past the finish line... and didn't come any too soon!

fyi… that chair was located about 15 feet past the finish line… and didn’t come any too soon!

So having said all that… how did I do?  I sucked… a 3:49.  I was “hoping” for a 3:30 to get back to Boston… but I knew that wasn’t going to happen, the training hadn’t been there and 3 weeks of construction on the new house wasn’t exactly the perfect taper… coming home exhausted every night is much harder than my old desk job!  (right Adrian and Al!… don’t know how you guys do it!).  Oh well.

There were some great races though and a ton of “double BQ’s” too!  Congrats to all my speedy friends, LOSTies and speedy Connor’s Runners friends!  (tough break for Joanne… she missed Boston by 48 seconds!… at least I missed it by a mile!… well, actually several miles!)

Chocolate milk... one of Brian's favorite drinks after a marathon...

Chocolate milk… one of Brian’s favorite drinks after a marathon…

Brian's (and Patrick's) other favorite drink after a marathon!

Brian’s (and Patrick’s) other favorite drink after a marathon!

In case you noticed there were only 9 points above, and not 10… that’s because “a beautiful little town” was missing.  I mean Erie is nice enough, but not one where you’d want to just laze around for an extra day… unless you were going for the laser tag and water slide, of course… or… unless your car broke down.  Which mine did.  So I got to spend 2 extra days there.  On the up-side… laying in bed watching movies for a whole day after running a marathon isn’t really a very hard sell.  It all worked out.

Anyway… on to the next adventure!

PS.  stay tuned… there will be a few ideas and invitations bantered around in the up-coming off season!

Cheers,

Rob

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Last COWSS race of the season… tomorrow!!!

Hey LOSTies,

So LOST swimming has finished for the season, but there is still one more good swim left… and it is tomorrow in Caledon!!!

For those of you who didn’t swim the first Caledon Quarry race at the beginning of the year, it is a great place to swim.  The Quarry is clean and clear and the course is clearly marked.  Also it’s cheap, fun and good value!  (Only $20!!!)  Check out the details below… see you there!

Oh ya… and I’m sure the big question is… “what’s the water temp?”  Don’t worry, it’s a very toast 62-63F… and it’s supposed to be a nice sunny day tomorrow too, about 23-24C (don’t ask me why I quote air temp in C and water temp in F!)  And don’t worry, that water temp came from Barrie Shepley… I took no liberties with rounding!

Cheers,

Robcowss logo

DON’T MISS SAT’S OPEN WATER SWIM & BBQ

Unlike most of the summer, Saturday maybe the nicest day in a month.  Weather gods are talking about sunny and 23-24c for Saturday’s Klean Athlete Caledon Quarry  Swiims.  Race organizers are going with a 1k, 2k, & 4k open water swim (wetsuit or non-wetsuit divisions – its your choice). Note for those who really want to get 5km in, we ask you to do 1km non-timed warmup before as your warmup, time it to be ready to go for 12 noon swim (for the 4km).  Those who are in the 1k and 2k swims, you will go off at 12:30pm.  The post-race BBQ & Social all occur immediately as you come out of the water.   If you have already registered, we are excited to see you there. If you have not registered, we ask you to do so in the next 24 hours so organizers can have the data into the computer for timing and efficient planning/food.  C3 members who have not registered, the event is included in your 2014 membership, but you need to email barrie@personalbest.ca to be pre-registered.  For those who are not 2014 C3 members, we ask that you register online in advance at http://www.personalbest.ca/workouts-events-camps/weekly-workouts/83-caledon-quarry-swim

COME FOR JUST THE POST SWIM BBQ OR PADDLE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SWIM ON SATURDAY

For those who don’t want to swim on Saturday, why not consider coming out and paddling around or having a burger and cheering on your pals.  The day’s agenda is the following:

*     8:30am optional bike ride from Inglewood Arena with C3 coaches
*     11am gates opening at the quarry for registration for swimmers
*     12pm 4km swimmers starting in one group (4 x 1km loop)
*     12:30pm all 1k, and 2k swimmers starting at once (1 or 2 loops)
*      Post race social BBQ when your done.

Note that the swim is a 1km rectangle (400m long x 100m wide) with 1 loop = 1km.  Its very safe, clean water, and great for viewing.

POST RACE DRAW PRIZE AWARDS FOR ALL

Our focus is fun & family.   Everyone will be equally eligible for post-race prizes based on participation.  Miguel, Rob and the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS) will be giving you ranking points in the specific race (1k, 2k, 4k) and categories (male/female and wetsuit-non-wetsuit).   Everyone who jumps into the water will be eligible for the overall draw prizes.

POST-RACE SOCIAL-BBQ

All participants will be welcome to the post-race BBQ.  Additionally, C3 members have the BBQ as a part of their 2014 membership (so stop in even if your not racing on Saturday).   There will be food available for  non-participating friends and family to purchase from the Lions Club Food Booth.

DIRECTIONS TO THE SWIM & BBQ ON SAT

C3 James Dick Quarry is on Hwy 10 (Hurontario) 1km south of Caledon Village.  For many, you will likely come up Hwy 410 (keeping going north as Hwy 410 will turn into Hwy 10 / Hurontario).  Come north of Old Baseline, up the big hill and through the set of lights.  The quarry is on the right hand (east) side of Hurontario.  You will see the C3 sign, hanging on the fence as you pull into the parking lot.  We have a big grass field up top looking over the quarry for you to park.  James Dick Quarry is 17847 Hurontario St. (Hwy 10), Caledon
Located on the James Dick Concrete property on the East side of Hwy 10, 500m south of the Caledon Fair Grounds.

WET SUITS & CANOE-KAYKERS

All participants will be welcome to wear wetsuit, or not wear wetsuits.  PB has a limited number of wetsuits to borrow on race day.  We are asking any of you who have a second, old wetsuit at home, to email barrie@personalbest.ca if you could bring it with you for someone to wear.  Water temperatures are in the lower 60’s.  Some have swam without wetsuits this week and were fine, but obviously every person reacts differently to cooler temperatures.  If you know that cooler conditions DO NOT BOTHER YOU, your fine. If you know that cooler conditions do bother you, then we encourage you to try to find a wetsuit (or hopefully we have one for you on Saturday morning).  If you have a canoe/kayak family or friend who wants to come out and paddle, we would love to have them. The more boats the better.

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20 EPIC accomplishments by LOSTies this summer!!!

Do Epic ShitSo just like that… summer 2014 is pretty much over.  (Caledon swim still coming mind you!).  It seemed like a bit of weird summer actually… never seemed to get here, even after the never ending winter… and then it was gone.  But having said that… it was still a pretty special summer… check out all these amazing accomplishments by LOSTies and friends!!!  A pretty incredible summer by any measure!Christine van Warmerdam

  1. Christine van Warmerdam qualifies for Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.  The catch with Christine’s Ironman is that it was her first!  And no long history of tri’s at all.  One of the biggest shockers of the whole summer!  Way to go Christine!!!

    David, Al and Darren at the start of Death Race!

    David, Al and Darren at the start of Death Race!

  2. Darren Osborne, David Brezer and Al Wiggins run The Death Race.  125 km with 17,000 ft of elevation change!  (not to mention the 80k race they did as a training race and finished in the top 12!)
  3. Darren Osborne swims across Bondi Beach in Australia… sharks aside not a huge athletic accomplishment… but one of the coolest!  (check out his whole adventure in a post below)

    Darrens swim across Australias Bondi Beach!

    Darrens swim across Australias Bondi Beach!

  4. Annaleise Carr swims 42.2 km across Lake Erie!Annaleise swimming across Lake Erie
  5. Annaleise Carr completes a second marathon swim in Lake Erie of 30 km… and in case that wasn’t enough… she raised $200,000 for a kids cancer camp… after having raised over $300,000 two years ago when she swam across Lake Erie!

    Annaleise landing in Port Dover after 30k swim

    Annaleise landing in Port Dover after 30k swim

  6. Miguel and I were privileged enough to be the Swim Masters for both of Annaleise’s swims!

    Swim Master for Annaleises Lake Erie Crossings!

    Swim Master for Annaleises Lake Erie Crossings!

  7. Brett Titus qualifies for Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii at Ironman Wisconsin!

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

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

  8. Hugh climbs Mount Kilimanjaro!  The highest point in Africa!

    Huge at the top of Kilimanjaro!!!

    Huge at the top of Kilimanjaro!!!

  9. All of the Ironman triathlons that all the LOSTies did this summer!  Muskoka, Lake Placid, Mt Tremblant and a few others!  Awesome.Ironman-Kona-Hawaii-2010
  10. World Aquatic Championships in Montreal… lots of LOSTies and swimmers from BMSC and Oakville Masters too!

    Burlington Masters (and LOSTies!) at World Aquatic Championships in Montreal!

    Burlington Masters (and LOSTies!) at World Aquatic Championships in Montreal!

  11. Trinity Arsenault becomes the second youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario… at 14 years old!!!trinity_with_bathing_cap.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo
  12. Colleen Sheilds becomes the oldest person to swim across Lake Ontario… her 3rd successful crossing… at 60 years old!!!

    Rob, Colleen Sheilds (3 Lake O Crossings) , Darren

    Rob, Colleen Sheilds (3 Lake O Crossings) , Darren

  13. Said goodbye to a LOSTie original, Denise Short.  Not an accomplishment, but a special moment for a special person. (see post below).

    The whole gang, at Brett's birthday at the King's Arms... (that's me with my arm around Denise in the front row).

    The whole gang, at Brett’s birthday at the King’s Arms… (that’s me with my arm around Denise in the front row).

  14. Started the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS.ca)! COWSS logo
  15. Michael Parker finishes 20th in the World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton!(sprint distance)… way to go, Mikey!

    Madhu, Lynn, Michael and Bud...

    Madhu, Lynn, Michael and Bud…

  16. Ross, Beth, Annaleise  and Bill win the 4 divisions in the 7th annual LOST Race!

    Winners of the LOST Race, 2014!  Ross, Beth, Bill and Annaleise!

    Winners of the LOST Race, 2014! Ross, Beth, Bill and Annaleise!

  17. Art and Nick Chasovskykh  finish 38th overall in the OtillO (the largest Swim/Run race in the world, in Sweden)… joining Lisa Neidrauer as the only other LOSTie who has done this race, which is considered one of the toughest in the world!

    O Till O swim-run race in Sweden!

    O Till O swim-run race in Sweden!

  18. Greg Streppel gets a silver medal in the 3k open water at Worlds in Montreal (and a silver in 200 IM too!).  One of the greatest competitive open water swimmers in the world… still has it!
    Greg Streppel getting silver in 200IM  and silver in 3k open water too!

    Greg Streppel getting silver in 200IM and silver in 3k open water too! (right)

     

  19. LOSTie, Chris Willer completes Ultraman Canada… 10k swim, 420.2k bike, 84.3k run!!!ultraman
  20. Sheila Treleaven and Maisey Kent win at the Toronto Island Lake Swim!
    Sheila gets 1st woman overall and 1st woman/wetsuit division!

    Sheila gets 1st woman overall and 1st woman/wetsuit division!

    ... the sweet taste of victory!

    … the sweet taste of victory!

Of course the problem with lists is that you inevitably forget someone… so sorry in advance if I did (but let me know and I’ll fix it!)  Regardless of the weather, that was a pretty amazing summer for those LOSTies and for the rest of us that just sat back and watched in awe… and just enjoyed a few races and dips in the lake.

Well done everyone, makes me proud to be associated with all of you!

Cheers,

Rob

PS.  this one pretty much says it all… I love it!!!

Do Epic Shit

Posted in The LOST Blog | 1 Comment

… and that’s a wrap… LOST Swimming 2014 is over!

The last LOST swim of 2014!... ends with a dip in 48F/8C water!!!

The last LOST swim of 2014!… ends with a dip in 48F/8C water!!!

Yup, that summer came and went very quickly.  It felt like we waiting for it to come and it kind of came and went before we really got into it.  But it was a fun summer of LOST Swimming.  Lots of “cold water training” and a couple of “rough water training sessions” too… as well as just a “perfect swims” too.

yup... that's "crazy cold"!!!

yup… that’s “crazy cold”!!!

People always ask me when LOST Swimming starts and when it ends… and the answer is the same… when the Lady of the Lake let’s us!  We usually start around June 1 (maybe May 1 if you really want to get some cold water training in!)… but the end of season varies a bit more.  Sometimes it ends in early September… and sometimes the door is wide open until early November!  And this year the door was slammed shut pretty early… and clearly.

... but all the crazies still went in!

… but all the crazies still went in!  Looks like a bank robbery… hands up!

Typical of Lake O, there was no warning.  Darren was on a roll… he had been in for a swim 12 of the last 14 days… and couldn’t believe it had rolled.  Believe it.  On Saturday we had a good crowd of about 30 swimmers out… and almost beat the swimmer to temperature ratio!  I took the temp right at shore and it was about 51F…. however upon entering the water with all 40 or so other crazies, I realized it was a smidge colder than that!  It was 48F!!!  As I always say about swimming in the 40’s… that’s “crazy cold”!!!

Lauren, Mark and Madhu (king of the crazies!)

Lauren, Mark and Madhu (king of the crazies!)

Having said that, we all went in for a nice little dip and had a very good percentage of the swimmers come up to Brett’s coffee shop for a nice warm drink after!  And yes, there were even a few that went in “naked”!  Madhu, Cathy and a few other tough guys!

... but half the fun is warming up at Brett's coffee shop, Bean There!

… but half the fun is warming up at Brett’s coffee shop, Bean There!

PB-Caledon-SwimHaving said that, don’t forget that there is still at least one good swim left… The Caledon Quarry Swim II!!!  It is also the last swim in the Canadian Open Water Swim Series!!!  So last chance to grab some more points and improve your standing in Canada!  There will be 1k, 2k and 4k distances… a BBQ and a very low entry fee of just $20!!!  We just want to get you up there and have a fun season ending swim!  Check out the details here: http://www.personalbest.ca/workouts-events-camps/weekly-workouts/83-caledon-quarry-swimBarbados pool and ows

Aside from that there is another swimming event… if you want to travel a little further than Caledon… check out this swim meet and open water swim races at the Barbados Swim Festival in October: http://www.swimbarbadosvacations.com/

So we’ll see you at the Caledon Swims… and stay tuned… more events to be announced soon too!

Cheers,

Rob

Posted in The LOST Blog | 2 Comments

My buddy, Denise Short…

The whole gang, at Brett's birthday at the King's Arms... (that's me with my arm around her in the front row).

The whole gang, at Brett’s birthday at the King’s Arms… (that’s her and I with our arm’s around each other in the front row).

My good friend, Denise Short, passed away Saturday morning from cancer that she had been fighting for about 7 years.  But she was everyone’s friend though too.  Everyone loved Denise.

I really don’t know what to write about her except that she really was a great person.  And I’m going to miss her.

Denise and Joanne after Denise's first Half Ironman at the Steelhead, in Benton Harbor, Michigan

Denise and Joanne after Denise’s first Half Ironman at the Steelhead, in Benton Harbor, Michigan

I saw her last at coffee at Brett’s coffee shop, 2 weeks ago.  Where we always go for coffee after LOST swimming.  And on this Saturday her good friend, Barb, came to coffee without her and told us she had just passed away.  She had actually passed away about an hour earlier, at 8:00 am, when we were just getting the water for our LOST swim.  Kind of an odd coincidence, I suppose.

I don’t want to make this about her and LOST swimming, because although she was one of the very original members of LOST, she was so much more than that.  To me and to everyone.

Barb brought up the point that she had survived much longer than the doctors thought she would, but that our group are all so healthy that it wasn’t surprising.  The funny thing about our whole athletic group is that we probably are much healthier than your average person, but even within that group she stood out.  She really was a great athlete… but that isn’t what made her special… she was simply one of the most perpetually happy and positive people I have ever met.  I think that is more likely what kept her going longer than most people could have.  I try and surround myself with positive, fun, up people… and nobody was more positive, fun or up than her.

Annette and Denise (and Lambrina with long hair!) at the Polar Bear dip!  A couple of the original "F.A.B.'s".

Annette and Denise (and Lambrina with long hair!) at the Polar Bear dip! A couple of the original “F.A.B.’s”.

So when she came down for LOST coffee 2 weeks ago, she was completely bed ridden and obviously not doing well.  But Barb and some other friends helped bring her down in her wheelchair.  Even though she only lived about a block from “Bean There” it was still a

At the first LOST Race... she was one of only 8 swimmers!  That's her with the white cap on and the Ironman wetsuit, from IM Canada she did the previous year!

At the first LOST Race… she was one of only 8 swimmers! That’s her with the white cap on and the Ironman wetsuit, from IM Canada she did the previous year!

major ordeal to get her there.  She had put on all kinds of weight from the medications she had been on and was not looking good and barely recognizable.  As soon as I saw her I walked over and gave her a big hug and a kiss and promptly put my foot in my mouth… I said “oh, Hi Denise, how are you?!”  She’s laying there looking awful and I asked such a dumb question… and what did she say in her same squeaky, perky little voice?  “I’m good… how are you?  How was LOST swimming this morning?  I heard the water was nice.  How many people were out?”  It was still Denise.  And typical Denise, she had no interest talking about herself and was always more interested in all the other fun things everyone else was doing.

Denise and Joanne at the Mississauga Marathon!

Denise and Joanne at the Mississauga Marathon!

She was really a nice, warm and exceptionally fun person to be around.  I am really glad I had her as a friend.  But I’m also really sad that I won’t see her anymore.

Out watching the Bruins game at "Four's"... just before the Boston Marathon in 2008.  (Joanne, Denise, me, Joe, Nicole)

Out watching the Bruins game at “Four’s”… just before the Boston Marathon in 2008.  That’s her with her Boston Marathon jacket from 2006!  (Joanne, Denise, me, Joe, Nicole)

Here are some pictures that I have of her that I thought I’d share.  At least those pictures and memories make me smile a bit when I think about her.

Love ya, Denise.

Rob

laughin' it up at before the Boston Marathon over a pint!  (me, Joanne, Nicole, Denise, Joe)

laughin’ it up at before the Boston Marathon over a pint! (me, Joanne, Nicole, Denise, Joe)

Swimming Hugh in at the first LOST Race... she was being nice dropping back for Hugh... because Hugh's swimming sucked back then!

Swimming Hugh in at the first LOST Race… she was being nice dropping back for Hugh… because Hugh’s swimming sucked back then!

b

And after the first LOST Race… tucked in between Madhu and Huge!

 

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Kathleen Wynne warns against marketing stunts that scare people after Bell’s Lake Ontario ‘shark’ hoax

Jake Edmiston | July 15, 2014 7:10 PM ET More from Jake Edmiston

Framegrabs from the video.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is expressing concern about a marketing stunt that had people thinking a shark may be lurking in Lake Ontario.

A YouTube video purporting to show three men surprised by a shark while fishing off a dock was posted a week ago, but it was only on Wednesday that Bell Media revealed it fabricated the video to build hype for the Discovery channel’s upcoming Shark Week programming.

Real or not, the video had some in Wolfe Island, Ont., afraid of swimming and also prompted Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Bill Mauro to warn that people should stay safe and report any sightings of the animal.

Wynne says she can’t comment on the tactic the company used, but says people who produce ads and promote them need to use common sense when they try to entice or frighten people.

She says everyone needs to recognize that people can get scared by what they’re seeing and they need to quickly be able to understand what’s really going on.

The premier says the turnaround needs to be quick enough so people don’t actually become terrified.

Some local residents on Wolfe Island, where the video was supposed to have been filmed, said the video had frightened them.

It’s concerning that somebody would come up with a wild hoax

Upon learning the video was a fake, Wolfe Island Mayor Denis Doyle said it was rather concerning that people “do those kinds of such dumb things.”

“It’s concerning that somebody would come up with a wild hoax,” said Doyle, who had previously insisted that the rumoured shark was the equivalent of the Loch Ness monster. “I guess it gets a little personal with some people … I think they probably intended it in good fun.”

Those behind the fake video said they decided to come clean after seeing the frenzy of speculation sparked by the clip.

A Bell Media news release on Wednesday sought to “quell the concerns of Canadians,” informing them that the creature in the footage was actually an “incredibly life-like prosthetic model shark.”  Before the revelation Wednesday afternoon, University of Guelph marine biologist Jim Ballantyne said the creature portrayed in the video couldn’t be a shark — judging from the way it moved. Prof. Ballantyne said it looked more like a harbour porpoise, judging from its up and down movement through the water.

“It sort of seems a bit unethical to frighten people,” he said Wednesday, after learning of the prank.

Paul Lewis, Discovery’s president and general manager, said his team started working on the concept six weeks ago with the full intention of making the video “go viral.”

If we upset anybody, of course I apologize for that

“[But] we didn’t want it to be something that would negatively impact people’s summer,” he said. When his team saw reports about concerns in Wolfe Island Wednesday, Mr. Lewis decided the responsible call was to cut the marketing campaign short and announce the video was a fake.

“It’s unfortunate that some people took what we did so serious,” Mr. Lewis said. “If we upset anybody, of course I apologize for that.

“It would be totally counterproductive for us to go out there and upset and disturb our audience.”

Erin Whalen, a waitress at a restaurant on Wolfe Island, said Tuesday she heard her customers talk about multiple sightings of a bull shark as well as a video of the creature.

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World Triathlon Championships!!!

Madhu, Lynn, Michael and Bud...

Madhu, Lynn, Michael and Bud…

So the World Triathlon Championships are on in Edmonton this week… and a few LOSTies are there… and one particularly quick one just told me in the most understated way… he had “a good day”!

Congrats to Michael Parker… top 20 in the world in the sprint distance tri!!!  Wow.

(click to enlarge)

Michael Parker, world tri champs

 

Cheers,

Rob

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4 up-coming swims!

  1. Okay, I'll admit it... I do have a bit of Burlington "beach envy"!  What a great spot!

    Okay, I’ll admit it… I do have a bit of Burlington “beach envy”! What a great spot!

    ... and after the jump from the pier... they're off!

    … and after the jump from the pier… they’re off!

    The TCoB “Pier to Pier” swim – this is a great annual swim that we LOSTies always do with the TCoB’ers.  Greg, Margaret and the gang put it on, it’s very low key, not really a “race” per se, more of a “swim”, but lots of us still race it!  It’s about 2.2 km, can be choppy and you often get lots of weird currents in that corner of the lake.  But it’s lots of fun and you get to land on the nice sandy beach!  Here are the details from Greg or check the TCoB website or Facebook page:

    “we are doing our annual pier to pier swim Monday Sept 1.  Plan to meet at the Waterfront hotel at the bottom of Brant street for 8:00 to car pool or car pool on your own.  Jump off the lift bridge pier at 9:00 am.  No cost.
    Also if you have any contacts with kayaks and/or motor boats. Their support would be greatly appreciated.”
    Thanks Greg.   http://triburlington.ca/event/pier-to-pier-swim/                          
  2. Variety Village swimThe Variety Village 2nd Annual Open Water Swim at the magnificent Buttermilk Falls Resort on Boshkung lake in Haliburton. Come and swim along side the queen of the Great Lakes, Annaleise Carr, as you challenge yourself on our fantastic 1.5 and 3.8 weed free courses.  September 6, 2014.

    Registration includes an après swim, dinner, hot tubbing on the beach, s’mores by the fire and Prizes, Prizes, Prizes!  All proceeds from the event go to Variety Village.
    Please visit www.vvopenwaterswim.ca to register.

    For further details please contact Kathryn Haggis at 416.699.7167 x 251 / khaggis@varietyvillage.on.ca
  3. The Terry Fox Swim 

    Hey Losties! Mike here – you know, the guy that spends all his time on the kayak instead of in the water… ;)   I wanted to bring your attention to a fantastic and unique opportunity for LOST and open-water swimmers in our area.terry fox swim

    The Chair for the Oakville Terry Fox Run, Pam Damoff, has approached us with a crazy, off the wall idea – having swimmers participate in the Terry Fox Run this year – not pounding the pavement, but in the water! As you can imagine, Madhu and I were all in as soon as Pam suggested it ;)

    The idea is that any swimmers that are interested will join Pam’s fundraising team, and on September 14 as a group we will get in the water at Coronation Park and do laps while the runners are doing their thing. Pam suggested even that we could go in a bit earlier, so she could bring attention to us, and have the crowd cheer us on!

    So why is this different? Well, it is the Terry Fox RUN, and we would be SWIMMING – so there is that… but also, this year the theme revolves around water – specifically the water jug that Terry dipped in the Atlantic and had planned to dip in the Pacific. Pam felt that adding swimming was a great tie in to this, and we agree.

    If you are interested (why would you NOT be!) in swimming as a part of Pam’s team, sign up here by clicking here: “Join Our Team”

    You should also email me (mike at webtraxx.com) to let me know you are IN, so I can contact you once we have all the time/details finalized.

    What we DO have finalized, is that we will likely be in the water before 10:00 (the official run start) and you can stay in as LONG as you like – one lap, ten laps, whatever! If you just want to hang out in the water and chat with Madhu – you can do that too ;) The swim will take place at Coronation Park (where the run also takes place).

    You are under NO obligation to raise money (tho that is the point right?) and there is no cost for this at all. I would suggest that if everyone participating raised or donated $25 or $50 dollars, that would go a long way for this fantastic organization.

    Even if you do not want to swim, you should all find a way to spend an hour or so doing a Terry Fox Run to support them on Sunday, September 14 in your local city, or come out and support the swimmers @ Coronation Park!

    Finally – I am looking for 2 more volunteers with Kayaks to help out – it is a small course, so we do not need too much on-water support – but my job is so much more fun with more people ON the water ;) Message me or email me at the address above if you can make it out to help.

    Thanks for your support everyone!

    Mike

  4. PB-Caledon-SwimThe Quarry Race II - this is the second race at the Quarry in Caledon and the last race of the season for the Canadian Open Water Swim Series.  It is about a 1 hour drive north of Oakville and will be on Sept 20.  This is hosted by Barrie Shepley’s C3 Tri Team.  It is a great facility and clean, warm water, even later in the season.  They have various distances and a wide variety of swimmers including several C3 swimmers vying to make the Rio Olympics in Triathlon!  Check out the details here:   The Quarry Race II                                                                
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Darren’s amazing swim… that never was… told in full Tim Dorsey style…

Here is a special little story from the twisted mind of LOSTie, Darren Osborne, that I thought bore repeating.  Recall his report (scroll down a few stories) from his hilarious trip to Australia a couple of weeks ago, if you liked that one, you’ll like this one!

Cheers,

Rob

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

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

Dave and I and Brett were all ready to go to the buoy and then Madhu was all – trust me, it looks good here but out there on the open seas it will be rough.  We will have trouble getting back.  With no support and the warning from Madhu, we swam along the shore.

Just imagine….

We get to the bouy just as darkness sets in and a we notice a Greenland Shark circling our location. The shark must have overheard my discussion with Alan Gow in Australia when he told me dusk can be king of “sharky.”  Just as the shark comes in for Brett, a bull shark, who was still in town for Shark Week rams the Greenland Shark and the two get into a huge shark fight.  Some national geographic photographers who were following the Bull Shark cruise up to our location.  They are accompanied by an “in the news” starlet hoping to narrate a nature documentary and erase the shame TMZ inflicted on her when she was caught naked and drunk at some famous LA nightclub.  They shoot the footage of the shark fight with us prominently in the foreground.  We go on the talk show circuit and are turn out to be a huge hit with focus groups who love the wetsuits and orange pull-bouys.  We are discovered by an action movie director and we go on to make buddy cop dramas where the cops are always

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

Not entirely sure… but think that’s Darren…

swimming around Santa Monica and keep finding bodies in the ocean.  We call the show, CSI – H20.  There is a move that starts with the sequel, CSI-H2O2: The Case of the Peroxide Blonde.   Brett and I are the cops, David is the forensic scientist and Madhu is the sergeant who keeps yelling at David and I to “stay inside the markers”.  We shoot the whole show in our wetsuits.    The formulaic content of the show is hot for about two years, by which time the four of us have developed very bad and expensive habits.  The show finally flops and with no way to support ourselves we go on a crime spree and die in a haze of bullets.  It turns out we were easy to spot with the orange pull-buoys still attached.

Darren... and the only other animals that spent more time in the lake than I did this weekend!

Darren… and the only other animals that spent more time in the lake than I did this weekend!

So, Alex and Madhu, you guys saved our lives.

Darren Osborne

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Casting call!!!

casting callOkay, I get all kinds of weird calls and emails… from swimmers, race directors, the media and clubs from all over the world… questions about marathon swimming, racing, sharks in Lake Ontario… just about anything about open water swimming, you name it and I’ve heard it.

But this was a first.

Last night I got an email and phone call from a real Casting company!

And talk about your niche requirement… they need open water swimmers for a casting call for a big commercial they are doing for broad sports project!… and yes, it is legit!

And yes… you get paid!

So here is what they are looking for, if you are interested contact them directly.  But feel free to drop me an email if you send an application in, I’d just be interested in knowing who’s applying… I know one person has already… no, not me… apparently they need people 16-30 years old… I said “what about 30-ish?”  Apparently I’m a little to heavy on the “ish” part!

Jigsaw Casting is looking for swimmers for a commercial!
Pays $300-$1,500 if selected
Shoot: September 4th-13th (one day only.)
Please submit the following to info@jigsawcasting.com by Thursday, August 28th at 5pm

  1. Name:
  2. Age:
  3. Contact Info (phone & email):
  4. Photos of yourself:
  5. Bio of your athletic experience:
  6. Video link of yourself:
Thank you!

director__spanGood luck you super-stars!  Just remember us little minnows when you make it to the big time!

Cheers,

Rob

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The Terry Fox… swim!!!

Hey Losties! Mike here – you know, the guy that spends all his time on the kayak instead of in the water… ;)

I wanted to bring your attention to a fantastic and unique opportunity for LOST and open-water swimmers in our area.

The Chair for the Oakville Terry Fox Run, Pam Damoff, has approached us with a crazy, off the wall idea – having swimmers participate in the Terry Fox Run this year – not pounding the pavement, but in the water! As you can imagine, Madhu and I were all in as soon as Pam suggested it ;)

The idea is that any swimmers that are interested will join Pam’s fundraising team, and on September 14 as a group we will get in the water at Coronation Park and do laps while the runners are doing their thing. Pam suggested even that we could go in a bit earlier, so she could bring attention to us, and have the crowd cheer us on!

So why is this different? Well, it is the Terry Fox RUN, and we would be SWIMMING – so there is that… but also, this year the theme revolves around water – specifically the water jug that Terry dipped in the Atlantic and had planned to dip in the Pacific. Pam felt that adding swimming was a great tie in to this, and we agree.

If you are interested (why would you NOT be!) in swimming as a part of Pam’s team, sign up here by clicking the “Join Our Team” button:

http://bit.ly/1tfOVYJ

You should also email me (mike at webtraxx.com) to let me know you are IN, so I can contact you once we have all the time/details finalized.

What we DO have finalized, is that we will likely be in the water before 10:00 (the official run start) and you can stay in as LONG as you like – one lap, ten laps, whatever! If you just want to hang out in the water and chat with Madhu – you can do that too ;) The swim will take place at Coronation Park (where the run also takes place).

You are under NO obligation to raise money (tho that is the point right?) and there is no cost for this at all. I would suggest that if everyone participating raised or donated $25 or $50 dollars, that would go a long way for this fantastic organization.

Even if you do not want to swim, you should all find a way to spend an hour or so doing a Terry Fox Run to support them on Sunday, September 14 in your local city, or come out and support the swimmers @ Coronation Park!

Finally – I am looking for 2 more volunteers with Kayaks to help out – it is a small course, so we do not need too much on-water support – but my job is so much more fun with more people ON the water ;) Message me or email me at the address above if you can make it out to help.

Thanks for your support everyone!

Mike

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Toronto Island Lake Swim!!!

So Steve and Bill pulled off another great race!  The 2nd Annual Toronto Island Lake Swim!

Toronto Island Lake Swim!

Toronto Island Lake Swim!

Now in case you think that being a race director is hard… it is.  Of course, you have all the regular things to take care of that you would at a running race… but you also have: the water!  And in case that wasn’t enough, you have the ever-so-moody Lake O!  And she was in one of her moods! Literally the day before the race the water temp was 50F/10C… which is very cold, and as I like to say about swimming in the 40’s… it is “crazy cold”!  So Steve and Bill were worried sick about what to do.  Do you cancel the swim? (after months of organizing!)… do you move the swim some place warmer? (like the Quarry in Caledon, not a small feat!)… or do you just wait and see what Lake O has in store for you on the day of?  No matter what you do… there is a lot of worrying involved, because you want the best and safest race possible. So what did they do?  They camped out on the island to monitor the conditions the night before!!!  Now that’s dedication!  And I guess the Lady of the Lake liked their dedication… because by the next morning the Lake had gone from 50F to 60F!!! Anyone who is not familiar with Lake O might find that hard to believe… and it is… but it’s also true.  They just don’t make lakes that are more fickle than Lake O… which is a big reason why swimming across it is so hard.  (PS.  good luck to LOSTie, Rebekah Boscariol, who is attempting her second Lake O Crossing tomorrow!!!  woohoo!!!) The long and short of it is… it worked out perfectly.  The water was 60F.

France, Marie, Dylan, Maisey and Rob

France, Marie, Dylan, Maisey and Rob

My son, Dylan and daughter, Maisey decided to do the 1.5 km (there was a 750m, 1.5 km & 3.8km races), so I wimped out and just did the 1.5 k too.  No training will do that to you.  But in an effort to redeem myself from last year (when I wore a wetsuit!), I decided to go naked… as did Dylan and Maisey.  Partially because we wanted to stay in the same division (naked) to earn more points for the Canadian Open Water Swim Series (COWSS.ca) from the ones we collected at The Quarry Swim and the LOST Race too! Well, to make a long story, short.  They both kicked my butt.

Steve presenting Maisey with her award for 1st place, women's/naked division!

Steve presenting Maisey with her award for 1st place, women’s/naked division!

Sheila gets 1st woman overall and 1st woman/wetsuit division!

Sheila gets 1st woman overall and 1st woman/wetsuit division!

Maisey won the women’s naked division!  Bill Leonard came 1st and Dylan came 2nd in the men’s naked division… the same placing as they were the weekend before at the 3.8k LOST Race!  Sheilia Treleaven won the women’s wetsuit division too!  A good race for LOSTies!  Congrats!  Also a big congrats to my running buddy and LOSTie, France… and her daughter, Marie, who swims for the Oakville Aquatic Club and did her first open water race too!  Well done! And congrats to Steve and Bill for putting on another great race!

Happy Maisey!

Happy Maisey!

... the sweet taste of victory!

… the sweet taste of victory!

Cheers, Rob

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An Early Start to Winter

Well since Rob was lazy and skipped swimming this morning (running a 34km trail race or something) it looks like I’m the guest columnist for this week’s LOST update.

For those of you who showed up this morning this goes without saying but for those who took the sleep in… you made the lazy (read: smart) choice.  This morning was cold.  48F/8.8C cold.  To put that into perspective, today’s water temperature off the coast of Alaska was almost 4C degrees warmer.   Combine that with the cooler than usual air temperature and this morning felt more like the beginning of November than the middle of August.

Still, even after the race last weekend and even with Arctic temperatures we still got a group of about 20 hardcores/crazy people out this morning.    Even before most people had shown up Madhu, Loren, Mark and Rebekah went out for a half hour swim without wetsuits.  I feel obligated to again say that the water temperature was 48F.  That’s stupid cold.  So great job to those 4 for a crazy cold swim.

When everyone else showed up and finally got motivated we actually ended up having a pretty good swim.  Thanks to a fully neoprene-clad Darren for the pump-up speech. “My advice to you is DON’T go in the water,” is the only quote I can remember from the speech but everyone including Darren decided not to listen to that advice.  We had a few people make the wise/wimpy choice to stay on land (looking at you Bud) but most people I think went in for longer than they thought they could.  There was a lot of screaming and a lot of head-up freestyle, but all-in-all it was actually a pretty decent swim despite the mind-numbing cold.  Everyone that came out this morning definitely deserves a pat on the back for that.

The calm conditions and nice sunrise almost make the lake look warm

LOST swimming was held in the Arctic today apparently.

But this morning I think everyone would agree that the best part of the LOST Swimming was LOST Coffee at Brett’s.  Probably the first time too that there might have been more people out for coffee than there were swimmers.

Madhu was already waiting in the water for everyone...

Madhu was already waiting in the water for everyone…

So it was a cold cold swim followed by a much warmer coffee.  Just goes to show how strange of a lake we have.  On the bright side it looks like the timing for the LOST race last weekend couldn’t have been more perfect.  On the downside those doing the Toronto Island Lake Swim tomorrow, myself included, are in for a cold one.

Hope everyone that came out this morning is warmed up by now!

Cheers,

Dylan

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The 7th Annual LOST Race… the whole story!

LOST Race, 2014!!!

The 7th Annual LOST Race Pier Pic!  woohoo!!!

So this year’s race planning started early with the LOST Board and myself getting things underway a while ago.  As most of you know, I like to gradually try and add new and better things to the race, as funds allow.  (which, by the way, ALL the money we make from LOST swimming and the LOST Race gets reinvested into LOST).  Well we’ve saved up for a few years and this year we blew the bank!

This year we added electronic timing (excellent job by Enfield timing, btw!)… we got some great prizes donated by our sponsor, Xterra Wetsuits (thanks Xterra)… Miguel did a bunch of leg-work and got a great deal on silicone caps and bags from China (and came up with a cool new logo too!… he’s a great graphic artist too!)… having Olympic triathlon coach and professional TV race commentator, Barrie Shepley, as the race announcer was awesome!!!

You can by one of Sharon Donnelly's "My Float" swim bags in the LOST Store!

You can by one of Sharon Donnelly’s “My Float” swim bags in the LOST Store!

… except that he made my public speaking look bad! ;) … also a big thanks to our newest sponsor, Sharon Donnelly… she’s an Olympic triathlete and new LOSTie (she was going to volunteer to help at the race, but we had it all covered and when she saw how perfect the

Maisey Kent, Josh Reid, Sharon Donnelly, Dylan Kent (and me... just photo bombing!)

Maisey Kent, Josh Reid, Sharon Donnelly, Dylan Kent (and me… just photo bombing!)

water was she wanted to swim anyway!… she came second to her old buddy, Beth Primrose, the 30 year professional triathlete!… Sharon also donated a couple of prizes from her new company “My Float” (a water tight bag that you can put your clothes in and inflate and pull behind you while you swim!)… but my favorite part of the new contribution was the trophy!

LOST Trophy and CNE pics

LOST Trophy and CNE pics

While Miguel was off sourcing stuff in China on the internet, I was sourcing out a trophy.  But instead of new and inexpensive stuff from China, I found an old and expensive(!) trophy in England!  I had never bid for anything on Ebay before and had no idea how to do it… in fact, I was livid (with myself) when I missed a great deal on 2 trophies, I didn’t know you could automate the bidding and was beat out by the computer!  Good thing though, because all the trophies I had seen to that point were old and beautiful, but they were all engraved.  I wasn’t too keen about getting a trophy that had “The 1928 Ipswich Farmers Festival” on it, but it didn’t seem like there was much choice.  But I stumbled across 2 that were not engraved, a real rarity.  I bid on one for the Canadian Open Water Swim Series… and got it with no competition.  Easy-peasy.  Then I bid on another un-engraved one for the LOST Race… but some @#$%^& ! sod in the UK wanted it too.  This one came down to the wire… but ultimately I won it!  (Joanne laughed when I yelled “I won it”… clarifying that I had just “bought” it… not “won” it!  Whatever… I like to think I “won” it!  :)081

Then I got a bit carried away.  My buddy, Ron Collins, who runs the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim (which I swam in 2012… great race, btw!), posted a really cool picture from a race at the CNE in the 1930’s!  I figured I was on a roll, so what the hell… they would be a great addition to the LOST Race and club and would be great on display.  Being the wiley ol’ Ebay vet now, I contacted the owner in LA and got a good deal on all 4!  They are “Press pictures” and are awesome… but read the captions on the back, that’s what really makes them!  Despite what many people think, swimming races in Lake Ontario didn’t start in 1954, with Marilyn Bell’s historic crossing… Lake O races go back way before that… as these pictures from the 1930’s show!!!

CNE Race, #1, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE Race, #1, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE Race, #2, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE Race, #2, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE Race, #3, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE Race, #3, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE Race, #4, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE Race, #4, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)

CNE race captions.  I told you Lake O has always been a great place to swim!  PS. call me cheap, but I didn't put up the $7500 in prize money they had in 1933... let alone the $119,000 inflation adjusted amount!  (click to enlarge)

CNE race captions. I told you Lake O has always been a great place to swim! PS. call me cheap, but I didn’t put up the $7500 in prize money… let alone the inflation adjusted equivalent of $119,000!  Amazing!!! (click to enlarge)

Colleen's Crossing, 2014... way to go, Colleen, third successful Crossing!

Colleen’s Crossing, 2014… way to go, Colleen, third successful Crossing!

Anyway… on to the race.  As I said earlier this was going to be the best LOST Race ever.  And it was.  Partially because of all the reasons stated above… but also because Lake O was in a really good mood and decided to be nice to us… so we ended up with the best swimming day so far this year!  (congrats to LOSTie, Colleen Sheilds who was also a beneficiary of the perfect swimming conditions… as I pointed out to everyone at the pre-race meeting… she was enroute to her 3rd successful Lake O Crossing of 52 km… while we were swimming a mere 3.8 km!  Way to go Col!)

Absolutely perfect conditions… flat as glass… perfect sunny day… no current… and water temp was 67F/20C… and note that wasn’t a “Rob temp” (I wasn’t allowed to take the temp, so it was real!).  What an awesome day._IGP6109

Oh yeah… then there was the swimming part.  A bit smaller crowd than usual, but that was expected because a lot of our masters swimming buddies were in Montreal for the World Aquatic Championships (congrats to Oakville Masters, Burlington Masters, Etobicoke Masters and Toronto Masters too!!!).  Everything started out perfectly, although there was one swimmer who had a bit of a panic at the beginning and wanted to stop in the first 100 meters.  However, one of our very capable kayakers helped him… he collected himself and went on to finish the race!

They're off!!!

They’re off!!!

And speaking of the finish… this was the best/worst/most exciting finish ever!!!  One second separating first and second!

William Leonard (a fast and experienced open water swimmer who made the trip from Ottawa for the race… and won the Welland 10k race the next day) and Ross Shepard (McMaster Varsity Swimming alum) battled it out.  Ross went out hard and was 100 m ahead of Bill at one point.  But Bill reeled him in later in the race.

Some days you are the fisherman… and some days you are the fish.

It's never pretty getting out at LOST beach!  Julie Moss has nothing on this crawl to the finish!  (google Julie Moss's crawl!)

It’s never pretty getting out at LOST beach! Julie Moss has nothing on this crawl to the finish! (google Julie Moss’s crawl!)

But by the time they got to within 100m of the finish they were swimming elbow to elbow.  A barn real burner!  And as I told everyone at the meeting, this year we would have a “land finish” and swimmers would have to run about 15m up the beach and across the electronic timing mats.  As everyone knows, getting out of the water at LOST swimming is never easy… or pretty… but they both knew this and made it look easy… Bill got a step ahead of Ross and headed up the mat… and promptly fell!!!

To borrow the ol’ line from ABC Wide World of Sports, for those who remember the days “the joy of victory… and the agony of defeat!”

Bill jumped back up, but Ross stepped ahead and won the 7th Annual LOST Race!!!

The good news is… they are both deserving winners… and because Ross was wetsuit and Bill was naked… they were in different divisions and will both get their names inscribed on the LOST Race trophy!  
Along side the former professional triathlete (for 30 years!!!) Beth Primrose… and Annaleise Carr, first in the women’s naked division!  You might remember Annaleise from 2 summers ago when she, Madhu and myself all swam across Lake O… she also just completed a 42.2 km swim across Lake Erie, that Miguel and I were swim-masters for… and will be again when she completes a second 30 km later this month!

The 4 Champions: Ross Shepherd (1st overall & 1st male/wetsuit)... Beth Primrose (1st female/wetsuit)... William Leonard (1st male/naked)... Annaleise Carr (1st female/naked)

The 4 Champions: Ross Shepherd (1st overall & 1st male/wetsuit)… Beth Primrose (1st female/wetsuit)… William Leonard (1st male/naked)… Annaleise Carr (1st female/naked)

4 worthy winners… big Congrats to Ross, Bill, Beth and Annaleise!  And to everyone who came out for a whole lot of fun in big ol’ Lake O!

In the end… a good time was had by all!!!

John and Mark... all smiles after the race!

John and Mark… all smiles after the race!

Smiles before the race too!

Smiles before the race too!

 

Time to put our feet up and celebrate with a beer... and the LOST Trophy!

Time to put our feet up and celebrate with a beer… and the LOST Trophy!

 

RESULTS:   http://www.enfieldtiming.com/l-o-s-t-race/

 

Welcome to the finish!  Thanks Enfield Timing!

Welcome to the finish! Thanks Enfield Timing!

 

Lots more pics on the LOST Swimming Facebook Page too!!!

 

Kayaker Jill... and Charterability!!! (thanks Stephen Cull!)

Kayaker Kim… and Charterability!!! (thanks Stephen Cull!)

PS.  Thanks to all the volunteers… the kayakers(!!!), Barry Shepley, Alex (and his boat and crew… Rick!), Stephen Cull and his boat Charterability and crew,  the registration crew (Joanne, Katie, Stacey, Shirley, Lisa, Maisey & Jill), Mike Morton, Darren Osborne, Miguel, Bob and Dot, Matthew, Elizabeth and Dan, our LOST photograher Branko and all the other photographers that sent me pics,… and everyone else that made this event happen!!!… and of course, all the swimmers!!!

Alex and Rick on the "martini boat"!

Alex and Rick on the “martini boat”!… with Jackie and Pete seeing if they really serve Martini’s!

Still several weeks of good swimming left before we have to go back to the pool… see you soon!!!

Cheers,

Rob_IGP6308 _IGP6289 _IGP6319 pre-race talk 2014-08-09 07.29.19 _IGP6264 _IGP6276 _IGP6154 _IGP6328 _IGP6284 _IGP6278

 … PS.  If there is a more beautiful 3.8 km swim course in the world, I don’t know where it is!!!  I pity the poor swimmers who only breath to the left!!!

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LOST Race results!!!

woohoo!!!  What a race!  The 7th annual and best LOST Race ever!!!

Absolutely perfect conditions… flat as glass… perfect sunny day… no current… and water temp was 67F/20C… and note that wasn’t a “Rob temp” (I wasn’t allowed to take the temp, so it was real!).  Awesome day… and a good time was had by all!

I’ll come back with more commentary later, but if you are like me you want to know the results… so here they are!  Thanks to Enfield Timing… great timing system, the onsite monitors were very cool too!

RESULTS:   http://www.enfieldtiming.com/l-o-s-t-race/

We have a ton of pictures, still to come, so check back later.  (those that took good pics send them to me and I’ll put them too!)

Thanks to all the volunteers… the kayakers, Barry Shepley(!), Alex (and his boat), Stephen Cull and his boat Charterability,  the registration crew, Mike Morton, Darren Osborne, Katie, Miguel, Shirley, Bob and Dot… and everyone else!!!… and all the swimmers!!!

Cheers,

Rob

 

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10 reasons why this will be the BEST LOST Race ever!!!

LOST Race logoI know, the “10 reasons” thing is a little over-done… but it’s true… the 7th Annual LOST Race will be our best race ever!  Check it out:

  1. COWSS – automatic entry into the first season of the “Canadian Open Water Swim Series”!!!  You will be able to see your National Ranking from this and other races in the Series on the COWSS.ca website!  Check it out, the Toronto Island Lake Swim is the next local one in the Series, the following weekend!
  2. Electronic Timing – yes, we are out of the dark ages and given the number of participants now, we can justify using electronic timing.  Cool and quick results… and it makes our lives easier too!
  3. More Stuff – everybody likes free stuff… well this year we’ll have: the coveted LOST medal, specially designed LOST Race silicone caps, LOST Race bags for the first however-many swimmers (I forget how many we ordered, but lots of them)… and a nice little snack after the race too!

    The LOST Race Trophy!!!  (circa 1940)

    The LOST Race Trophy!!! (circa 1940)… with names yet to be engraved for fastest: men’s/naked, women’s/naked, men’s/wetsuit, women’s/wetsuit for each year!

  4. The second coolest trophy in Canada – I bought this really beautiful antique trophy on ebay from England yesterday (hope it gets here in time for the race!)… we’ll have 4 winners on it from each year, going back 7 years… men’s/naked, women’s/naked, men’s/wetsuit, women’s/wetsuit.  Wait until you see this!!!  (okay… I’m giving the Stanley Cup first place…).  (PS. I also got a great one for COWSS too!)
  5. Lots more equipment – we’ve been helping out our new buddies in the COWSS with our swimming knowledge and our large group of swimmers… and they are helping us out by lending us some great equipment… a huge finishing arch, exit mats, podium, tents, sound system, more buoys… and bunch of other things that are going to make this an even better race!
  6. Barrie Shepley – the Canadian Olympic Triathlon coach and race announcer for televised triathlons all over the world… is going to be our race announcer!  Very cool!
  7. Talent – now I haven’t gone through all the entries yet, but you could be lining up next to: Olympians (Owen von Richter won it last year!), open water world champions (the likes of Greg Streppel), numerous young super-stars from the C3 group who are vying for the next Olympics in Rio, marathon swimmers who have swum the English Channel, swum the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, Swim Around Key West, Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Boston Light Swim, Catalina Channel… and yes, several who have swum the toughest of them all… across Lake Ontario!  (but don’t worry… most people are mere mortals!)
  8. Volunteers – as much as we have improved the race… it’s still a pretty “grass roots” race… and we will have a bunch of awesome volunteers, both on land and in the water who are just family and friends who want to help out and be a part of it all!  So if you have friends or family who aren’t racing and want to be in on the action… we could always use a few more!  (just email me at the5kents@msn.com)
  9. “The LOST Picture” – a chance to get in the annual LOST Race picture on the pier after the race!  One of my favorite parts of the race!
  10. Because it’s fun!… but still challenging! –  there just aren’t a whole lot of open water races around quite like the LOST Race… so come on out and try it… you’ll have a great time!

    The 6th Annual LOST Race, 2013... every picture tells a story, don't it?!

    The 6th Annual LOST Race, 2013… every picture tells a story, don’t it?!

Cheers,

Rob

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Ironman Muskoka… will be a full IM in 2015!!!

This will be a great race!… but after much consternation… a bunch of us have entered Ironman Lake Placid instead!!!  Join us… it’s still open as I write this!

Cheers,

Rob

 

TriMuskoka is absolutely ecstatic about IRONMAN Muskoka coming to our community as triathlon has been an integral part of the Huntsville and Lake of Bays community for over 25 years.  Having a full IRONMAN distance event truly reinforces the fact that Muskoka is not only Ontario’s vacation playground, but is a mecca for endurance sports and most notably our triathlon events of every distance.  Athletes coming to our community will find themselves amidst the natural beauty of the landscape that is carved out of the granite and forests that make up the Canadian Shield.Acclaimed by many amateur and professional triathletes alike, the IRONMAN Muskoka and 70.3 Muskoka courses provide a balance of a physical challenge that is a true test of an athletes’ ability.  This same physical geography – the lakes and rivers, the towering forests, the granite outcroppings, the hills and valleys – combine to produce a very beautiful physical environment that can distract athletes from the gruelling task at hand during an IRONMAN event.

Undoubtedly, Muskoka’s prestige and popularity is second to none when it comes to summer and winter tourism in Ontario.  And in Muskoka, we take relaxing as serious as seriously as we embrace endurance sports and triathlon.  With over 11 triathlons in our region each summer and a history of this sport in our area for over 25 years, we can truly claim stake that we are Canada’s Triathlon Country.
With triathlon being such an integral part of our community for so long, our community residents welcome visiting athletes and their families and friends with open arms.  Our local volunteers have been acclaimed to be some of the most enthusiastic and energetic that triathletes have ever experienced.
The IRONMAN Muskoka race course has recently been redesigned to offer spectators the opportunity to follow their athletes throughout their journey on all parts of the IRONMAN Muskoka experience.  This will enable families and support teams to celebrate the efforts and the accomplishments of the athlete throughout their IRONMAN Muskoka experience.

Read the full press releases:

Please share this with your contacts as this will undoubtedly be the biggest multisport event that the Province of Ontario has seen to date.

To keep up to date and keep abreast of this event, please connect with us on our:

See you at the start line in 2015!

Rich Trenholm
President, TriMuskoka

Copyright © 2014 TriMuskoka, All rights reserved.
Sport Club and Organization contacts.Our mailing address is:

TriMuskoka

Huntsville

HuntsvilleOn 0

Canada

 

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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)

Cheers,

Rob

 

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.

 

Darren

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