June 4, 2016

Well that was really something… 11th year of LOST Swimming and we are still having lots of “firsts”!

First of all, that was the warmest opening day ever… June 4 and 64F/18C!  Wow.  Flat as pool water too.  That’s as nice of conditions as the middle of summer.

Dylan setting up the course.
Dylan setting up the course.

Now that we are done with last summer (2015), I think it is safe to say that last summer was the… how shall I put this… “toughest” summer of swimming in Lake O since we started in 2006!  It was cold.  Due largely to the very cold preceding winter and large amount of ice on the Great Lakes.  And it was rough.  I have no idea why we had so many rough days, but we did.  And the rough water keep the Lake rolling over.  Which kept it cold. Fortunately last year was not the norm.

And of the 89 swimmers there were at least a dozen who went "naked"!
And of the 89 swimmers there were at least a dozen who went “naked”!

So to all those that slugged it out last summer… well you are all tougher and better open water swimmers because of it!  And for those that didn’t swim last summer… well let’s just say you timed it right for this summer!  Having said that, I’ll take weather and water like today!  And I hope that is indicative of the summer to come!

June 4, 2016, a1

Of course, the second big deal was the number of swimmers we had out yesterday… 89!!!  That is a new record, not just for opening day, but ever!  The previous record was 86!

I always say that if you can beat the temperature to swimmers ratio, you are doing very well… meaning that if you have more swimmers than degrees (F degrees), then you are doing well.  So at 64F it would be very impressive to have 64 swimmers… and we blew that away!

perfect morning... flat and warm for this time of year!
perfect morning… flat and warm for this time of year!

We had swimmers from all over.  Mississauga, Burlington and Oakville, of course, but also Toronto, Milton, Richmond Hill, Barrie… and the winner of the biggest road trip for a LOST Swim goes to Patrick… he drove up from Virginia… just to come swimming with us!!!

You might think that is crazy, and I’d have a hard time arguing with you about that, but it does tell you that we do have something pretty special going on here… and it is because of all the amazing swimmers and the enthusiasm they bring to the group.  Patrick is a pretty amazing guy, he’s climbed Everest and dozens of other major peaks, swam at Notre Dame in University and like myself tried, and wasn’t successful, at crossing the English Channel last summer.  So he’s going back this year to finish the job!  He got in a bit longer swim with Hamilton LOSTie, Lorne… who is also doing a marathon swim this summer, across Lake Ontario!!!

Lorne, attempting Lake O this summer... Patrick attempting the English Channel this summer.  Out for their pre-swim, swim!  Out before the big waves got them! haha
Lorne, attempting Lake O this summer… Patrick attempting the English Channel this summer. Out for their pre-swim, swim! Out before the big waves got them! haha

Also I would be remiss if I didn’t wish a hearty congratulations to our 4 LOSTies who completed the 40th annual, 20 km, “Swim Around Key West” at the same time we were swimming in Lake O! Geoff Farrow – 5:45, Fanny Grenier – 6:38, Darren Osborne – 7:09 and I haven’t heard how John Stribany did yet (results aren’t posted, and no pics yet).  I just got an email from Darren listing the times and “we are off to hydrate!”  14 of us LOSTies did this race in 2012… and I recall what the post-race hydration involved…

Congrats to all 4 of them for their first true marathon swim! (10k or longer).

Darren in Lake O... no, they didn't wear wetsuits in Key West!  The water is HOT!
Darren in Lake O… no, they didn’t wear wetsuits (or neoprene caps!) in Key West! The water is HOT!

It was also interesting to see the show of hands at the beginning our swim.  Probably 3/4 are triathletes, shout out to Sean McNulty’s group, the Feet of Fury tri team, who brought about 15 people!  Also it looked like of the 89 people, over half were new, it is amazing to me how it keeps growing!  I guess we must be doing something right.

One last thing.  So as you can see, we are a welcoming group.  And as you can see there are some amazing people to meet… and don’t worry if you are new, lots of people are… but do make a point in joining us for coffee after.  Getting to know everyone is the real bonus.

PS.  Another interesting person will be joining LOST, starting next Saturday… hint: he swam the 10k in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing… so come out for a swim and coffee… and you can meet him, and really embarrass him… ask him for an autograph!



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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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