The LOST Sunrisers… Murn, Elaine, David, Geoff, Mike, Michele… and Bill & I… and what a sunrise swim it was… doesn’t get much better than that!

… so let’s start with the new LOST World Record!  We had a total of 66 swimmers out… the most ever for a Saturday morning swim!  Incredible. 

That includes the the handful we had out for the LOST Sunrisers swim at 6:00 am!  A few of us marathon swimmers need to get a few extra km in when we can and Murn, Elaine and David are deep into Ironman mode and came out just for a nice 6 am swim… before their 6 hour ride and 1 1/2 run, right after!  wow.  The picture here doesn’t lie… it was beautiful.  I told David to remember the nice refreshing water… when he’s out baking on the bike later!

66 swimmers… a new LOST World Record!!! 72F degrees is not too shabby either!

Then came the crowd.  And what a crowd.  Lots of LOSTies getting near peak tri season…

66 swimmers… and still room for more!

Mike Perrier is about to do his first Ironman at Lake Placid shortly… I remember him calling me a year ago, asking about LOST, saying that he really wanted to do and Ironman… so much so that he told his wife he’d even give up his annual golf weekend with the boys… just so he could do it.  She knew he was serious then.  And here we are a year later… magic.  Good luck Mike.  For all you LOST Ironmen out there, let us know how it goes… and send me some pics too!

Oh, back to the swim… it was 72F.  That is about as warm as Lake O ever gets, at least here in Oakville.  That is about perfect swimming temp, comfortable without a wetsuit… and still not too hot if you choose to wear one.

Brett… the LOST Coffee Guy… at “Bean There”… the only coffee shop in the world where they wear wetsuits to work!

To top it all off, we all went to the new location for coffee after, “Bean There”, at Reynolds and Lakeshore… which is run by LOSTie, Brett Titus.  And how is that for team spirit… we got there and he greeted us wearing his LOST T-shirt… and wetsuit!!!  Gotta love it!

Part two of the weekend of beautiful swimming was packing on a bit of extra mileage on Sunday.  Amanda and Annalise both completed their 6 hour qualifying swims.  I never heard how the plucky little 14 year old, Annalise, did… but I would be surprised if she had much trouble at all… seems like she’s really got it together… and is on track to become the youngest person to ever cross Lake O!

I decided to get a 3 or 4 hour swim in myself and my son, Dylan, was the lone remaining Kent kid at home and therefore got the pleasure of paddling for me!  Although I had to wait for him to get back from his 3 hour morning practice with the Oakville Aquatic Club… and the requisite nap after.  But the amazing thing was that the water had gotten even warmer than it was on Saturday… it was now 75F!!!  That is the warmest I’ve ever swum in in Oakville… and usually the water hits it’s peak in mid-August… not mid-July!!!  A strange season indeed.  But one less thing to worry about.

Cruising by Hugo Powell’s home… the largest in Canada… 47,000 sq ft… and most expensive… $80 million… oddly the water still felt the same…

Anyway, Dylan and I took off from the LOST beach and thought we’d swim/paddle to the cement factory pier, 6.5 km east… and back.  We’d done it before when I was training to swim around Manhattan and is a nice “destination” swim.  Last time it took me about 4 1/2 hours, but I recall we had battled a pretty strong of a head wind on the way back… and this time it was pretty calm.  We soon spotted Bill and Colleen out in the zodiac, crewing for Amanda who was doing her qualifying swim, a bit longer than 4 laps of the LOST Race route (16k or 6 hours is the qualification).  It took a while to catch them and when we did Amanda seemed pretty perky and lookin’ good, with just the 4th lap to go.

Dylan cresting a wave!

So Dylan and I continued on our merry way towards the cement plant pier… we were making pretty good time and I got there in less than 2 hours.  I did notice in the last 20 minutes or so the waves, wind and current had picked up and were going with us.  Dylan and I stopped about 100m short of the pier, because the ”

The view from Maple Grove… alone in the park… in my speedo… (click to enlarge)

bounce back” from the now very large waves were making it way to rough to get in to touch the pier and turn around.  So I stood up in the shallows… turned around… saw all “white caps” facing me and said to Dylan… “uh oh… looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me…”.

I was feeling fine and have learned the art / skill of swimming in large waves (about 3-4 ft swells that were breaking on both of us!)… but it’s still hard work.  We were going for about a half hour and stopped to feed when Dylan said “we’re not going anywhere!”.  Which was a bit of an exaggeration… but just a bit.  It took us about 3 times as long to get back half way… the start of the LOST Race… and 2 blocks from my house… it also put us at 3 1/2 hours… I was feeling fine… but my 3-4 hour swim was about to turn into a 5-6 hour swim.  You guessed… I said “Let’s get out at Maple Grove!”… didn’t take much twisting of the arm to convince Dylan as it was even hard paddling.  We bailed.  He got out and walked back and got the van… in the meantime I was the creepy guy hanging out on the lawn at the foot of Maple Grove in his speedo.

A good swim none the less.  And a great weekend of swimming in Lake O!



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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!


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