Here is everything you need to know…
Click here for the registration forms: LOST Swimming and LOST Race, registration and info package, 2013
1) LOST Swimming costs $40 per year (May 1 to May 1). That is the bare minimum that we need to run the club… I know the rent on the Lake is pretty low, but there are lots of other little costs you don’t see, insurance and the LOST Race being the biggest. But $40 seems to be pretty fair compared to just about any other membership you’ll have this year! The numbers speak for themselves… people love LOST Swimming… it’s a fun bunch of friends enjoying some of the best open water swimming in the world… which is why it keeps growing! So come and join us… it’s worth it!
2) You need to fill out the Registration Form and send it and the cheque in. Just click on the link at the top of the page. Don’t make me be the bad guy and turn anyone away… we need to have you registered before you can swim!!! The easiest way is if you mail the form and cheque in to Melanie… but you will also be able to register and pay on the beach, if need be. Just show up early.
3) We meet every Saturday morning at 8:00 am from early June until late September. We meet at the foot of Navy Street, by the Lighthouse Pier, at the mouth of 16 Mile Creek in downtown Oakville. (Don’t worry we’re easy to find, we’re the ones walking around the park in wetsuits and bathing suits… just show up!)
4) Safety is paramount.
a) The key rule here is that we swim parallel to the shore and not too far out. So if you have a problem (cramp, tired, cold, etc) you simply swim directly into shore.
b) Swim with others. We usually have enough people out there of various speeds that there is always someone about the same speed as you.
c) You are on your own. Generally speaking, you should be able to swim about 5oo meters without much problem, which is 20 lengths of a 25 meter pool. We encourage newbies to come out, but you should have a base level of ability as this is a swimming club and not swimming lessons. As much as we all try to look out for each other and help each other, you are on your own and are ultimately responsible for yourself!!! No one is going to tell you that you are too tired, or too cold, or the water is too rough for you… you have to know your limits, your body and the water conditions… be aware of yourself and your environment… and both are continually changing!!!
We’ve had no incidents at all so far, but that is because we look out for each other… and more importantly, because everyone looks out for themselves!
5) We swim out and back, parallel to the shore, for a given amount of time, rather than distance. For example, there may be a couple of groups, one that goes 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back and another that goes 35 minutes out and 35 minutes back. Take note of who and how many are in your group, so we can make sure everyone gets back safely. If you are going shorter or get out early… be sure to tell someone, so we aren’t looking for you.
6) Equipment: a bathing suit, goggles, a cap (you get one free with your registration!), a wetsuit (optional if you are true open water swimmer!), some Body Glide for chaffing from the wetsuit (another reason you don’t need a wetsuit!), warm clothes for after. And that’s about it.
7) Come for a cup of coffee at “Bean There Cafe” after the swim! We all meet up at the NW corner of Lakeshore and Reynolds (106 Reynolds) for a cup of coffee after the swim. It will help you warm up… and it will help you to get to know everyone… because you’ll want to get to know us… we’re a fun bunch o’ swimmers!
8 ) Don’t be a chicken. It is often cold (55F/13C to 75F/24C) but you can wear a wetsuit… if you need to… and, yes, there is stuff in Lake O that you won’t find at the bottom of the pool (like lane lines and hairballs!)… but don’t let it freak you out… it is a very clean lake and we are swimming along one of the most beautiful shorelines in Canada! Once you get used to it you’ll find that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! It’s great.
9) Bring a friend. Lake O is one of the best bodies of water in the world… really, in the entire world… for open water swimming. It has a spectacular history of open water swims, from Marilyn Bell, George Young, Abu Heif, Ted Erikson and the great races they used to hold at the Toronto Exhibition to Vicki Keith’s amazing swim across doing butterfly! We have a great lake to swim in… tell people about it and bring them down to watch or even better, to swim! The more the merrier.
10) Do the L.O.S.T. Race. It’s really a lot of fun and a good challenge. Really.