June 3 is the first swim… of the 12th season of LOST Swimming!

1) Register:

It seems like forever since our last swim, last fall.  Which is okay I guess, it give you a bit more of an appetite to get going again now!  But here we go… the first swim is at LOST Beach, at 8:00 am, on Saturday, June 3!

So first things first: register by clicking here, which takes you to the LOST Store & Online Registration.

And, just because I get this question every year, “no, you can’t swim unless you are registered”.  Sorry but with this many people swimming, we need to cover ourselves from an insurance and safety perspective.  And because we are ALL volunteers and have been for 12 years now… every penny goes back into LOST to make it better!  So that’s kinda low to try and pull a fast one (but we always get 1 or 2 that think they have).  Judging by the turnout, I’d have to say it’s pretty fair value too!  And it’s just bad karma, man.

The cool way we keep track of who has registered is (the honour system and) making sure everyone wears this year’s cap!  Once again Miguel has designed a really cool new silicone cap that you get included with your membership at the first swim!  (PS. talk to Miguel if you need any professional graphic design done… he’s awesome!)

2) Best Season Ever!

I know I say this every year (but I’ve been right for the first 11 years!)… but this is going to be “the best season ever!”

Last year we set a new record, with our largest LOST Swim ever… 100 LOSTies out for a Saturday morning dip!  Wow.  By far the biggest LOST Race/LOST Mile ever too!

That was another big jump, as our previous record was 86 swimmers, but even more than the peak number of 100, we averaged between 80-90 swimmers each week.  Wow.  Again.  There was the addition of Sean McNulty’s Mississauga tri team, Feet of Fury, which bumped up the numbers up.  But there was a lot of returning faces, and lots of new faces too.

The funny thing is, it is quite surprising how many individual people join LOST Swimming.  They call or email me and are a little unsure about our group or more often, open water swimming in general, or cold water… but they take the leap.  And I tell them “just show up, I’ll explain it when you get there.  You won’t be the only newbie.  Don’t worry, it’ll be fun!”  And the numbers don’t lie.

So why will this year be the best year ever, you ask?  Well here are a few reasons:

  1. we are getting a plug-in!  Woohoo!  Okay, that alone might not be that big of a deal, but it will help me and our volunteer crew (Mike, Miguel, Darren, Edwin, Duane, Steve, etc) to blow up the buoys and SUP’s much more easily!
  2. we are getting a new storage shed!  Okay, again, probably not that big of a deal unless you are one of the volunteers that is trying make this whole show bigger and better… but it let’s us store more equipment on site (buoys, paddle boards, kayaks, mats, etc), which will make for better, easier and safer swimming too!  It gives us a bit of a presence too, which is nice.  Should be in the next couple of weeks… and I’m going to call on all of you to help us build it, kind of Amish barn raising style!  Should be fun!
  3. we are working on getting a patio and plaque!  Okay this will be really cool.  We have the Town’s “go ahead” to start the process, but there are still a lot of things to work out (permits, formal approvals, fund raising, presentations, etc).  I’m hoping to have it built some time this summer, but it may not be until the fall or even next spring, but it’s coming!
    • the plaque will have: LOST history, LOSTies who have swum Lake O, LOSTies who have done a major marathon swim, and the winners of the LOST Race!  The LOST Board will be putting together the criteria on exactly how one qualifies to get on the plaque… details to follow!
    • the patio will be a large sitting area around the plaque, in the area where we usually change and where the lone picnic table usually is!  Very cool.  Very exciting.

3) Water Issues!

Oh ya, “what about the water this year?  The water level is so high, how will it effect us?”

The short answer is, it won’t effect us too much.  I mean, the beach at the other end has been washed away, but where we are, it’s still okay.  And the water quality?  Yes, pretty much every sewer in the GTA has been cleaned out this spring.  Which sounds pretty gross and kind of is, but this is a big lake and it dissipates over time.  But more importantly, and I’ve said this a million times over the years, but where we swim is really a great place to swim.  It is all about circulation.  Where we swim the water circulates very well.  There is no bay, the water is deep, it’s not sandy, and it’s cold.  This makes it a clean place to swim.

Which takes me to the next point.  It’s cold.  As usual, at least to start.  “But how does the higher water level effect water temperature?” There are 3 schools of thought here.  1) With the addition of several billion new gallons of water to the Lake, it is going to take longer to warm up this year.  2) I believe the second school of thought, that rain water is warmer than Lake water.  So adding new “warmer” rain water will actually dilute the cold water… and the Lake will actually be warmer this summer.  3) Or, it’s a big lake (11th largest in the world)… and this won’t make any difference.

4) Wetsuits

triathlon wetsuit styles (click to enlarge)

This is the time of year when people are thinking about a new wetsuit.  Well we’ve got XterraOR... I’ve got a skype call tomorrow with the largest wetsuit provider in the world who is interested in striking a deal with us (& GSS), so I’m working on trying to get a good deal there too.  

In the meantime, you now have 2 options to order Xterra wetsuits:

1) click on the Xterra logo above and order any of their “Canadian offerings”, no code required.


2) Order any of their wetsuits and get it shipped to a buddy in the US and have them send it to you. Then you can use the LOST code. Just drop Rob an email for the code if you want to order this way, President@GlobalSwimSeries.com

5) Swim/Run Races

I was contacted by a new “swim/run” group called: Stroke & Stride who is putting on a series of races… we have decided to support their series.  What this means is that if we tell all of you about it… you all get a discount on their races!  Click here: 

We’ll see on Saturday.



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Winter swimming, GSS Global Champs and LOW Art Auction!!!

Hey LOSTies,

So we made it through another winter… without swimming.  Well sort of…

… unless you were among the few crazies that swam all winter in the Lake!  Yes, I’m looking at you: Chris, Edwin, Loren, Richie, et al… or did a little winter surfing… or if you were a little more sane and kept in shape swimming at the Y or with a Masters club… or if you were lucky enough to get away for a nice warm swim!

100 x 100 on 100, Jan 2, 2017


Either way… summer is coming!  And so is LOST Swimming!  THE FIRST SWIM IS JUNE 3… mark it on your calendar!

First LOST Swim of 2010... 62F... 14 swimmers!

First LOST Swim of 2010… 62F… 14 swimmers!  We’ve come a long way, baby!!!

In the meantime a bunch of us are going to do the GSS Global Championships in Cancun!  That’ll be amazing.  The race is actually called “El Cruce”, a 3k or 10k swim from Cancun to Isla Mujares where you swim right over an underwater museum!  Absolutely incredible.  Sorry if you want to go now, it’s sold out!  I believe the 3k is about 400 people and the 10k is about 500 people… making it the largest 10k in the world!!!

Oh well, there is always next year.

Also check out what our friends at Lake Ontario Waterkeeper have going on.  An art gala and auction!  The gala is long since sold out, but you will still be able to bid on the art, have a look:

See you soon!



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I’m going… you gotta do this one too!!! Maybe the best open water race you will ever do!!!

We just announced it and it is already almost sold out!!!  

443 already signed up for the 10k… capped at 450, and 288 of 350 signed up in the 3k!!!     (I’ll see what I can do about getting a few more spots for us, if needed!)

  1. GSS Global Championships in Cancun, Mexico
  2. only swim in the world where you swim over an underwater museum!
  3. beautiful, warm, clear water… and the beaches aren’t too shabby either!
  4. May 27, 2016… just into off-season, so great prices!
  5. sport your Mexican tan the next weekend… when LOST starts!
  6. and it’s not a hard sell to bring the rest of the family!

This is going to be great!!!



“El Cruce”, the host of the first GSS – Global Championshps!

The first Tour de France, 1903

The first Olympics, 1896

The first Ironman, 1978

The first Boston Marathon, 1897

Unless you are John Collins or one of the other 14 original Ironmen, you probably missed the first Ironman triathlon in Hawaii in 1978.

And I’m quite sure you weren’t at the first Olympics in 1896, or the first Boston Marathon in 1897, or even the first Tour de France in 1903.

But you do have a chance to be a part of modern sports history and participate in a truly global sporting event… the first GSS – Global Championships!


The first “GSS – Global Championships” will be held on May 27, 2017 in Cancun, Mexico!  And it may just be the most amazing swim you’ve ever done!

This Championship Race is open to swimmers from around the world, including the tens of thousands that have swum in any of the 92 races, in the 29 countries in the Global Swim Series!

This race will be the finale in the 2016/17 series of “Global Swim Series – Championship Races”.  The first championship race was the “GSS North American Championships” held in Toronto, Canada last September.  It was followed by the “GSS European Championships in Northern Ireland” in November, 2016 and the “GSS – Pacific Championship” in Sydney, Australia on February 25, 2017.

But as cool as it will be to swim in the first GSS Global Championships, the other thing is that this could be the most amazing swim you ever do!  This swim is also the world famous “El Cruce” or “The Crossing” which swims over an underwater museum in Cancun.

To start the 10k race you wade into the warm, crystal clear waters of the Mexican Caribbean on the shore of Isla Mujeres (Isle of Women).  And almost immediately offshore you will swim right over the unbelievable sunken museum.  The museum was commissioned as an exceptionally creative and artistic way to build an artificial reef.  You will swim right over 500+ stunning and detailed statues that were carefully placed at the bottom of the ocean for you to see and for coral to grow on, creating a whole new ecosystem.  Given the clarity of the water and the shallow depth these works of art can actually be seen as you are swimming in the race.

If the that distance is still a bit much for you, there is a challenging 3k race which is also quite unique, in that you are taken 3k off shore… and then jump ship and swim back to land!

Last year there was over 300 swimmers in the 3k and 500 swimmers in the 10k!  Both distances have numerous fast, world class swimmers, but the majority are swimmers that are there just to experience this amazing swim and the whole event in one of the vacation capitals of the world.  For this first year at least, you don’t have to qualify, everyone is welcome!

El Cruce is truly one of the most unique and spectacular races in the world… and this year, as the “GSS – Global Championship” race it is going to be spectacular and one race you won’t want to miss!

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A new 50m pool in Oakville!

Hello LOSTies!

Okay, the title of this email is a bit misleading… we don’t have a 50m pool… yet.  Buuuut… we are still working on it!

While my kids swam with OAK, I tried for 15 years to get the pool, to no avail.  However, I have passed the torch on to David Shemilt, who has kids that swim with OAK, and am still actively trying to help us get this friggin’ pool!

This is where we stand right now:

– Centennial Pool will be torn down (fairly soon)
– it will be replaced with a 25m pool as part of the new community center that will be built on the old hospital grounds
– so this is a golden opportunity to try and get the Town to make that a 50m pool!

So if you would like to see that pool built as a 50m pool rather than a 25m pool… fill out this survey!  Of course, the relevant question is kind of buried and indirect, but the question pointed at this is:

PS.  The cut-off for the survey is Feb 17, 2017!



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Xterra is shipping to Canada again!

Just thought I’d let you know that our friends at Xterra, who stopped shipping to Canada about 10 months ago, have now resumed shipping to Canada!

Good news for us… we can once again get the most popular wetsuits in the world at a heavily discounted price!

Xterra, Jan 13 2017

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Well that was cool… LOST Polar Bear Dip… and 100 x 100!!!

The 7th Annual "LOST Polar Bear Dip"... get ready...

The 7th Annual “LOST Polar Bear Dip”… get ready…

Pardon the pun, but that was a “cool” way to start the New Year!

On January 1, 2017 we held the 7th annual LOST Polar Bear Dip at our usual swimmin’ hole, LOST Beach in Oakville.

And like like all things LOST these days, it just keeps growing.  This was our biggest year ever, with 54 dippers and probably more than double that watching!

So at exactly 12:00 noon on Jan 1 we cured a lot of people’s hangovers… including mine.   We were at the King’s Arms for New Year’s Eve!  A buddy of mine and his band, “Taint Pretty” had rented the upstairs for a bit of fun.  Let’s just say I got my money’s worth.





Anyway, the PBD is pretty low tech.  The crowd counts us down… we run in… we get the hell out… dry off… and go to the coffee shop and talk about our 30 second excursion for the next couple hours!

Phew... made it! (some guys are just always stylish!)

Phew… made it! (some guys are just always stylish!)

Funny thing, I got a call from CBC about Ice Swimming and the Polar Bear Dip a couple of days earlier.  And they came out and did a little story about the 7 LOSTies that went for a little swim a couple of days before the PBD.  Then I realised I must now be in some data base as some type of aficionado on Ice Swimming/Polar Bear Dips, because the next day I got another call from CBC radio about it too.  I felt like a bit of a fraud because although I have done my share of cold water swimming, I had no intention of going in for a swim.  A dip, yes, but not a swim.  So I passed them both on to Loren.  At least he could add some authenticity by going in and demonstrating for them! haha.  Then I got a call from CFRB 1010 News Talk Radio to talk about the same thing… only it was live!  Yikes.  Then I got another call the next day for a different show but still at CFRB, on the same topic!

The reason I bring this up, other than to let you know that my 15 minutes of fame is being eaten up in multiple 30 second sound bites, is that I noticed a common theme.

Sometimes they asked about Ice Swimming or the Polar Bear Dip… but regardless of what the specific topic was, there always seemed to be a common thread and common question: Why?  Which, of course is a pretty legitimate question.

So I had to come up with some type of coherent and snappy little answer for live radio as to why someone would do something so uncomfortable/stupid/crazy/fun… here’s basically what I said:

“There is no really good answer.  I don’t really buy the supposed health benefits.  Although there may be some, I don’t think any one of us does it to give us a better complexion.  And there is obviously some health risks to cold water swimming too.  But from more of a philosophical point of view, I’d say because in the modern structured environment we live in, it is still nice to be a bit of a rebel… and colour outside of the lines sometimes.  As we all get a bit older, it is still fun once in a while to show that we can still be a bit of the “young and crazy” people we used to be… and maybe continue to be.”

If there is a take-away from this event… that’s probably it.  Colouring outside of the lines once in a while is a good thing.  Life is a participation sport.

Then we had coffee.  Thanks Brett for opening the shop up for the “young and crazy” bunch of LOSTies!

Then we went to bed… woke up the next day… and swam 10 km!

The 100 x 100s on 100 Crew! Jan 2, 2017!

The 100 x 100s on 100 Crew! Jan 2, 2017!

On January 2 at 9:30 am, a group of about 38 of us (many of the same crowd!) made the trek out to the new Pan Am Pool in Scarborough… and swam 100 x 100 on 100!

For the uninitiated that is: 100 meters, 100 times, on 100 seconds (1:40) pace time.  Which equals 10k, in 2:47 minutes.

But like all things LOST, we like to be inclusive.  That was the headline goal, but lots of people modified it, either by adjusting the pace time (there were lanes for 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:10, etc), or the number of 100’s (lots of people did different numbers, 50, 65 & 80 were common jumping off points!).  And on the inclusive note, although this is a LOST initiative, we’ve made it open to anybody, which was kind of cool… a ton of Etobicoke Masters Swimmers (22 of us!)… swimmers from the Beaches (Mitsy, Sarah)… Burlington Masters (Lynn)… North Toronto Masters (Chris, Bill)… and a few that just wanted to come out for a swim (Jill, Stuart, Al’s mom & daughter & friend, Bud’s son Eric, Michael, Martin)… 38 in all… and our biggest crowd!  And up a lot from our first year of 7!

So the long and short of it is that we all got a huge workout, had a lot of fun doing it, met a few new people… and all had a nap in the afternoon.

PS. be thankful I only wore the GoPro for the Polar Bear Dip… not the 100 x 100’s! haha.


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Welcome to a LOST 2017! Starting with: the Polar Bear Dip!!!… & 100 x 100 on 100!!!

img_0132Ok, here we go… into a brave new year of open water swimming!

And you might as well start it off by being brave!  So let’s start with the 7th LOST Polar Bear Dip!

So come one, come all… it’s stupid… and it’s fun!

Last year was our biggest year… 35 dippers!!!  Let’s beat it this year!!!

The 7th Annual LOST Polar Bear Dip:

  • when: Sunday, Jan 1, 2017… 12:00 noon, sharp!
  • where: LOST Beach
  • cost: free
  • what: a quick dip… clock strikes noon… get in… and get the hell out!
  • equipment: bathing suit (or whatever!), cap and goggles (if you really think you will be in that long?!), flip-flops(!), towel, someone to dress you after (and to laugh at you), towel… and a whole lot of LOST Courage!
  • follow up: Bean There Cafe (Brett is opening it for our “private function” from about 12-2).
  • bonus: free coffee to anyone that can stay in longer than Loren!

Etobicoke Masters participants (still working on getting the pic with everyone in it!)

100 x 100 on 100… Etobicoke Masters participants (still working on getting the pic with everyone else in it too!)

The second stupid thing to do in the new year: 100 x 100’s on 100!

  • when: Monday, Jan 2, 2017… 9:30 am start, sharp!!!
  • where: TPASC (Toronto Pan Am Sports Center… in Scarborough)
  • cost: $7.50 (I believe is the cost of admission?)
  • what: 100 x 100’s on 100.  Which is really a broken 10k swim.  (100m, 100 times, on 1:40).  And to save you doing the math, on 1:40, it takes 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • equipment: if you have to ask, then you might not be quite ready for a 10k swim! haha… but the extra stuff you will need is a water bottle or two (put some gatorade or something like that in it too… or you will be bonking by the end!)
  • bonus: yes, we will also have slower pace times too… just like we did last year!  1:50, 2:00, etc

So come out to either or both events… in typical LOST fashion… they are both very inclusive and way too much fun!




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Racing the turtles in Barbados!

About to start the 5k and 10k!

About to start the 5k and 10k!

What an incredible swimming experience in Barbados!  If you’re someone that’s on the fence about doing a destination race for open water swimming, it might be time to take the plunge and sign up for one of the amazing tropical races on the Global Swim Series calendar.

This recently Joanne and I travelled down to Barbados for the Barbados Open Water Festival.  There are a ton of cool races in the Global Swim Series, but like everyone else, we can’t make it to them all, but we were fortunate enough to make it down this year for the Barbados Open Water Festival… and it was incredible!  In four years the Barbados Open Water Festival has turned into a major event on the open water swim circuit and now having experienced it, it is easy to see why!

At the guided swim the day before the race! And straight off the plane!

At the guided swim the day before the race! And straight off the plane!

Upon getting to Barbados, we took part in one of the four “guided swims” that take place on the four days prior to the main event. The guided swims are just very pleasant swims on four of the other beaches in Barbados. They aren’t timed and aren’t races, just a chance to have a nice leisurely swim in warm (hot?!) crystal clear waters with over 100 other like minded swimmers. I wanted to see some of the large sea turtles that everyone claimed were around, as I was really looking forward to that… but no luck. But I did meet a ton of people during the swim and then after when we all went to the local “fish fry” and street festival for dinner.

Everybody swims in Barbados!!!... even the race horses! As we found out having breakfast at our hotel one morning! I'm no Ben Johnson, but yes, I can honestly say I'm faster than a race horse!!!... (at swimming...)

Everybody swims in Barbados!!!… even the race horses! As we found out having breakfast at our hotel one morning! Now I’m no Ben Johnson, but yes, I can honestly say I’m faster than a race horse!!!…   (at swimming…)

The next day was the 1.5k race, which is the largest race at BOWF.  This year will go down as “the rainy year”, just like when we had “the cold year” for the LOST Race!  On Saturday it poured.  Torrentially.  The streets flooded.  The beaches flooded.  Everyone was soaked.  As a race director myself, I know that no matter where you are hosting a race, bad weather is always a major concern.  But the race went off without a hitch and nobody was bothered… we were all getting wet anyway!

I had to laugh when I was talking with one of the many kids from the local open water swim team, The Saltwater Swimmers, that were in the race.  She said this was the most rain they had gotten all year and the coldest day! Being from Canada and even standing around soaking wet it was fine, probably about 77F/25C.  Although it was nice to go into the water to warm up a couple of times.  The water was about 85F/30C!

As for the race, it was awesome.  A single 1.5k loop along the shore with 350 of your closest friends!  And this time I did see a turtle!

I know, I know... dont touch the turtles... but this guy really liked me and swam with me for quite a while and was too much to resist.  I was never very good a following the rules anyway...

I know, I know… dont touch the turtles… but this guy really liked me and swam with me for quite a while and was too much to resist. I was never very good a following the rules anyway…

The next day was the 5k and 10k races.  3×1 mile loops and 6×1 mile loops of the same course.  This was the first year of the 10k and there were an impressive 33 people in it.  The 5k had an even more impressive 130 swimmers!  It seems like if you were going to make the trip to Barbados you want to get in as much swimming as you could, or at least that was my rational, so I did the 10k.

Race Director and all round good-guy, Zary Evelyn, presenting me with a prize for the 10k... (and no, I didn't say that just because I got a prize!)

Race Director and all round good-guy, Zary Evelyn, presenting me with a prize for the 10k…             (and no, I didn’t say that just because I got a prize!)

As a great representative race for the Global Swim Series, there were people from all over the world!  I believe I heard from as far away as Australia and 14 other countries.  I heard that in one of the races, I think the 5k, 80% were international swimmers!

There were swimmers of all types and abilities.  From Olympian and former World Record holder, Alex Meyer and plenty of other fast swimmers, to LOSTie that many of you know, Cam and his girlfriend, Annabel.  Cam completed his first 10k and getting in 30 seconds ahead of the 4 hour cut off time!  Annabel completed the 1.5k, which is pretty cool because it was her third attempt at it!  Congrats.

Racing Sue Ingram, from Austin, Texas... after 2 hours and 29 minutes of swimming... she beat me by 1/10 of a second!  Great race... even though I got chicked!

Racing Sue Ingram, from Austin, Texas… after 2 hours and 29 minutes of swimming… she beat me by 1/10 of a second! Great race… even though I got chicked!

I even found someone my speed to race (Sue Ingram from Austin, Texas as I learned later).  We raced the final 2 laps taking turns drafting off each other and then racing in the final half mile side by side and “sprinting” up the beach to the finish.  I knew it was going to be close so I didn’t even turn to see where she was and I didn’t let up until I was a step away from the finish line timing mat… which is when I saw her leg step across in front of me!  She beat me by a tenth of a second!  What a great finish to a great race!  Oh, and I did get to see more turtles in the 10k… about a dozen throughout the race.  Not much better scenery than that on a 10k swim!

On the final day of our trip we went for another swim.  One of the highlights for me was that an old swimming buddy from when we were little kids, and who I hadn’t seen in many years, was going back down for his 3rd time to the BOWF.  He had brought his whole family down and they are all great swimmers (although I was able to keep some historical pride and edge him out in the 1.5k! haha).  In fact his 2 sons both did their first 10k race and the younger one (15) won the 10k outright!

Taylor, Scott and I diving down to the ship wrecks in the bay... soooo cool!!!

Taylor, Scott and I diving down to the ship wrecks in the bay… soooo cool!!!

So after all the racing we all decided to go out for a fun swim in the sunken ships they have in the harbour.  They are shallow enough that you can swim right down to them.  We also ended up getting right up close to several sea turtles!

While we didn’t take part this year, our good friends at the “Freestyle Experience” hosted their swim camp in conjunction with the festival the week prior and by all accounts it was a huge hit, if a little bit challenging!  The camp was coached by 2 former Olympic swimmers.

Jo & I with one of my oldest buddies, Scott Parker and his swimmin' family! We grew up swimming against each other in the swimming mecca of North Battleford, Saskatchewan!

Jo & I with one of my oldest buddies, Scott Parker and his swimmin’ family! We grew up swimming against each other in the swimming mecca of North Battleford, Saskatchewan!

So there is my first hand experience of what the Barbados Open Water Festival was like.  And if you are an avid swimmer like me and most people on this site… you might seriously want to be planning on doing this race next year!

Taylor Parker (15), Joanne, me, Mathew Parker (19). Taylor won the 10k outright... by a lot! Mathew and I were happy to finish the 10k and Jo did her first 5k race! Smiles all around!

Taylor Parker (15), Joanne, me, Mathew Parker (19). Taylor won the 10k outright… by a lot! Mathew and I were happy to finish the 10k and Jo did her first 5k race! Smiles all around!



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Darren swims Alcatraz!

darren-swimming-alcatrazSo Darren and Al have shown “how you do it”.  These guys are adventurers that make LOST proud!

First Darren, David and Al did the Canadian Death Race… then Al won the LOST Swimming – Connor’s Runners Beer Mile... and while Darren was in San Francisco he made good use of his time and made his own adventure… he arranged his private Alcatraz swim!  That’s doin’ it right!  Atta go, boys… it is that kind of moxie that makes LOST great!

Here is Darren’s swim report from Alcatraz… enjoy!

Swimmers make great friends.  Two years ago, I was going to San Francisco for a conference and Madhu hooked me up with some guys at the South End Rowing Club.  I had never met these guys before, but because I was a friend of Madhu’s, they treated me like family.   One guy, Joe Butler, took me under his wing and helped me through their annual Anita Rock swim.  After the swim, we were all going into the club sauna to warm up, and I noticed guys were picking up beer as they passed by the cooler.  Joe saw me grab a beer and he called out, “Hey, what are you doing?”  Uh oh, I thought. Maybe it was “members-only” beer, or I had to contribute to the club beer fund.  “Grab two!” he said. “We’ll be in the sauna a while.” Joe and I were scheduled to swim Alcatraz later that day, but stuff happened, and we did not get the chance.

Fast forward two years. I’ll be in San Francisco for work, so I email my old friend, Joe. “Dude, I’m in town.  Want to go swimming?”  He emails me back a few minutes later with a cc to his friends, Ned and Andy.  In his email, he says he will be out of town but that I am long overdue to swim Alcatraz.  He asks Andy to pilot the boat and Ned to swim with me.  He lays out the date, the time, the tides, sighting targets – everything.  As I am reading this, both Andy and Ned (two guys I have never met) email, “I’m in.”  With friends like Joe, it’s that easy.

I arrived at the club the day of the swim, and the weather was perfect.  There was a bit of chop in the bay, but the sun was shining, and the water was a balmy 59 (ish) degrees.  A few days prior, we had decided to swim early in the day because Ned (who happens to be a local rock star) was playing a concert that afternoon.  For me, the timing translated to a stronger tidal current.  We were in the club house changing when I started to get a little nervous.  I had been worried about the water temperature, so just in case, I brought my wetsuit.  I asked Ned if I should wear the wetsuit, and he looked at me the same way the cool kids look at “that kid” who asks if he can walk home with them.  “Naw, fuck that,” he said. “Let’s just go.”   We strolled out of the clubhouse, down the street and into the harbor–Ned in his housecoat, me in my towel pullover.  We met up with Andy and his co-pilot, Kelsey, and headed across the bay.alcatraz-route

It’s only 1.6 miles across the bay, so we arrived in no time.  Once we pulled up next to Alcatraz Island, it was obvious that the current was very strong.  It was the middle of the flood tide which meant the current was coming into the bay.  Andy instructed me to sight to my right because the current would pull me left–hard.  San Francisco Harbor has a lot of boat traffic, so Andy had to radio Harbor Patrol to inform them that we were swimming across.  The patrol replied that there was a sailing regatta about to start so we had to jump now.  Before I knew it, Ned jumped and started swimming.  I jumped in too.

When I hit the water, my first thought was, “Holy shit, is this water ever cold!”  Then I started hyperventilating.  “Just calm down and get into a rhythm,” I was telling myself.  “Just calm down, get into a rhythm, and breath.”

“It’s too fucking choppy to get into a rhythm, asshole,” I replied to myself.   I was less than a minute in, and already I needed help.

I sighted and could see Ned a few feet ahead of me; that was slightly comforting.  But the chop was bad, so I defaulted to a one-stroke breath.  Boy, did I ever want to get back in that boat.  “You look great!” Andy and Kelsey yelled encouragement from the boat. I was still hyperventilating.

After several seconds (or minutes?) I got control of my breathing. I was still very uncomfortable, but I no longer wanted to quit.  Twice, a big wave spun me, and I had to stop swimming to get my sight line back.  Both times, Andy was great.  He would get beside me and point me in the right direction.

Darren getting ready to take the dip... with Alcatraz in the background!

Darren getting ready to take the dip… with Alcatraz in the background!

When I am swimming in open water, I will sight a point on the horizon and head for it.  It might be a lighthouse, the Toronto skyline, or Fort Mason in San Francisco.  I think of the point like a compass heading. When you follow a compass you head west, but you never expect to arrive “West.” In a similar fashion, I rely on my sighting point for direction, but I never expect to get there.  When I get closer, and it actually becomes a place, I start thinking, “Hey, I’m going to make it!”

In contrast, with this swim, I felt like I was sprinting the whole way. I don’t recall thinking of my sighting point as an actual place until I was right there.  I was probably less than a hundred yards from shore when it finally registered that I was going to make it.  Ned was a lot faster than me, so Andy flew off and picked him up at the pier, and they all came back for me.  I was a few feet from the pier when I just quit swimming.  I was treading water, in a daze, when Ned yelled, “Touch land anywhere and it counts!” I swam up to the pier and touched the wall.  I had escaped from Alcatraz.

Back in the boat, Ned told me the swim was just under 30 minutes long, and we had drifted about 1 km with the current.  When I checked the map, I realized I cut it about as close as you can.  If I had swum any more slowly, I would have missed the piers entirely and drifted into the bay.

Big thanks to my friend, Joe, for setting this up, Ned for swimming with me, Andy for piloting, and Kelsey for co-pilot skills and amazing photos.  Thanks also to Madhu for hooking me up with the coolest swim club outside of LOST.

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LOSTies do the Canadian Death Race!

death race logoRemember when I said in my previous write up about the LOST Swimmers beating Connor’s Runners at the BEER MILE… and that that wasn’t exactly true… I mean we did win, that part was true… but that we aren’t “just swimmers”.  A few of the gang also happen to be good runners.  In the case of Darren, David and Al, they happen to be really, really good runners.

Al Wiggins... winner for the second year in a row!

Al Wiggins… winner for the second year in a row!

Check out their “detailed” account of the Canadian Death Race.  Last year David and Darren finished and Al didn’t.  This year it got reversed.

This is one tough ultra trail race race.  Truly worthy of the description as an “Epic Adventure”.

click here: 2016 Canadian Death Race, race report!

PS.  yes, that is Al Wiggins… also the winner of the BEER MILE!

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The 3rd Annual “LOST Swimmers vs Connor’s Runners BEER MILE!”


3rd Annual "LOST Swimming vs Connors Runners BEER MILE!

3rd Annual “LOST Swimming vs Connors Runners BEER MILE!


Al Wiggins... winner for the second year in a row!

Al Wiggins… winner for the second year in a row!  And broke the 7:00 BEER MILE!

As usual, that was about as much fun as you can stand.  But that’s not too surprising because, to paraphrase a line from some of our swimming buddies in Ireland, “If it ain’t fun, we’re not playing!”

So for the third year in a row we held a beer mile that pitted the runners and against the swimmers… and for the third time in a row… the swimmers crushed them!

In fairness, there are a lot of LOSTies who are very good runners and triathletes… and there are a bunch of LOSTies who are also CR’s… and a bunch of CR’s who we’ve converted to LOSTies… but still, it’s fun to poke a little fun at the light-weight runners!

And to add a bit of “authentic flair” to the swimming side a few of us were even downing the beer that Marilyn Bell Di Lascio gave us as a very “thoughtful” gift when she came out with us on her recent visit!

Rod Stewart? David Lee Roth?... nope... its Ted!

Rod Stewart? David Lee Roth?… nope… its Ted!

It appears that Pascal has some catching up to do!

It appears that Pascal has some catching up to do!

Did you ever see anyone more excited about coming in 6th?!

Did you ever see anyone more excited about coming in 6th?!

Just keep it down Craig...

Just keep it down Craig…

She/he showed up late, but Alex is flying out of the start!

She/he showed up late, but Alex was flying out of the start!

chug... chug... chug...

chug… chug… chug…

Russell, your mother is going to be very disappointed in you...

Russell, your mother is going to be soooo disappointed in you…

Also as a good measure of the level of frivolity of the event, a big tip of the hat to some of the great costumes: Ted Hewitt (CR), as usual had a great one: some kinda David Lee Roth/Rod Stewart-type get up!  Russell Thacker (CR), every great Star Wars nerd!  Alex McMillin (LOSTie) and hula-girl!  Craig Ross (LOSTie) and Hooters Girl!

Some interesting fact from this year that Mauro came up with:

  • Our largest race so far (24 starters)
  • Fastest race so far (avg time of 9:55, versus last year’s 10:34)
  • 5 PB’s this year: Al Wiggins, Mark Luxton (and even drank 4 Tallboys!!!), Dylan Kent, Shawn MacLean and Mauro Campanelli
  • 7 participants that have attended all 3 annual events
  • 15 first timers !! (including our first Olympian… Luis Escobar… for swimming, the Beer Mile isn’t an Olympic event… yet).
  • Largest cheering crowd so far !!
  • here are the results… and Al is putting the results up on the BeerMile.com site too!
  • check out how close some of those times were: 3rd & 4th were 5 seconds apart… 5th & 6th were 2 seconds apart… 7th to 12th were all within 24 seconds!  We have some racers, even in the Beer Mile!

Well done, one and all!  Thanks for coming out to run and drink and cheer and celebrate after the race with a couple cold ones at the King’s Arms!

You guys are awesome.  Remember… it’s never to early to start training for next year!

PS.  We tend to keep this race discreet beforehand for obvious reasons, but if you’d like to be notified for next year’s race, drop me an email and I’ll add you to the email list.

Next stop: LOST Polar Bear Dip… Jan 1 at noon… and then 100 x 100 on 100, Jan 2!  



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What a great season ending swim… with Marilyn Bell!

Thats Marilyn Bell on the far right in the bright blue!

That’s Marilyn Bell on the far right in the bright blue!     (click to enlarge)

So that was pretty cool.

And for once I’m not talking about the water temp… it was 67F, by the way, toasty warm, especially for this time of year!  I was talking about having Marilyn Bell Di Lascio and her two daughters, Janet and Jodi, join us at LOST Swimming this morning.

Thats Marilyn on the far right in the bright blue!

… and that’s about 88 LOSTies that were pretty excited to meet her!

I probably shouldn’t have been amazed, but I was, at how many people had a “Marilyn Bell” story.  One LOSTie, Dave Richards, passed me a picture of Marilyn Bell and him!… it was when she was in Victoria to swim the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Marilyn was 16 or so and Dave was even younger than her in the picture!  And now they got to meet again all these years later!  That’s amazing.

Or another LOSTie, Katherine, who’s mother is quite affected by dementia, but when Katherine told her that she was going to go swimming with Marilyn Bell this morning, her eye’s lit up and said “really?! Marilyn Bell?!”.  There’s a longer story there, both Marilyn and Katherine got pretty choked up over that heart warming story.  Marilyn has definitely touched a lot of people along the way.

Marilyn Bell and me... I think everyone was pretty excited today... including Marilyn and me!

Marilyn Bell and me… I think everyone was pretty excited today… including the two of us!

I suppose I’m like most people, I didn’t really have a Marilyn Bell story, I just knew a lot about her.  Probably the closest I had to having a Marilyn Bell story is  that 11 years ago when I decided I was going to try and swim the English Channel, and what ultimately started LOST, I thought about Marilyn and wondered why nobody swam in Lake Ontario like they used to back in Marilyn’s day.  I also thought it would be kind of cool to try and bring back the golden age of marathon swimming and make it so people swam in the Lake O again.  So to have her and her daughters come out and join us at the last LOST swim of the best season of LOST Swimming we’ve ever had… well, I guess, it feels like it has all come full circle.

The cool thing is, now all 88 of us that swam this morning have a story about the time they swam with Marilyn Bell.  (Okay, to be clear, Marilyn couldn’t swim today because she had just had dental surgery, but she did get her feet wet helping swimmers in and out!  And she still does swim regularly).  My story will be about the time that she called me up and asked if she could join us for a LOST swim.  And how she got to see what LOST Swimming is all about.  And how she got to come back to Brett’s coffee shop and meet everyone… and I do mean everyone!  She and all the LOSTies had a GREAT time visiting and talking about open water swimming!  I like that story.

lake-ontario-waterkeeper-1lake-ontario-waterkeeper-2Speaking of water related stories, or “watermarks”, as Marilyn put it… check out the Lake Ontario Water Keepers website and tell them all about your “watermark” story.  Lake Ontario Waterkeepers is an organization that Marilyn is very close with and something that LOST and many of the LOSTies avidly support.

Lots of coffee, butter tarts and smiles to go around!

Lots of coffee, butter tarts and smiles to go around!

I have to admit that I’m pretty proud of LOST.  How warm, friendly and inclusive everyone is.  And how we all share a passion for open water swimming.  And if that is the criterion to become a LOSTie, well I’d have to say that Marilyn, Janet and Jodi are certainly LOSTies at heart too.

Thanks to all the LOSTies, including Marilyn, for making this the biggest and best season of LOST Swimming yet!  I am still shocked at how big it has gotten… and am hopeful that it keeps growing next year too!

beer-from-marilynPS.  We presented Marilyn, Jodi and Janet with a LOST beer glass (thanks again, John Stribany!) and a Global Swim Series t-shirt (Marilyn loves GSS and is even a bit envious at all the great swimming opportunities we have to swim all around the world through the GSS!)… and they gave me two 2-4’s of beer!!!  Warms the cockles of my heart… kinda weird that they knew I liked beer though?

On a totally unrelated note the next 2 LOST 2015-resultsevents are:

  1. The LOST Swimming Season Wrap Up & Pub Night!!!    (date to be confirmed)
  2. The 3rd Annual LOST Beer Mile!!!  I hope the Connor’s Runners are up to the challenge again this year!  (Friday, Oct 1… more to come on that).



Thanks for a great summer of LOST Swimming everyone!



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The last LOST Swim of the season is this Saturday… and Marilyn Bell is going to be there for it!!!

bell-swims-lakeSo this is a special treat for all you LOSTies out there!  And a nice way to wrap up the season.

Marilyn contacted me this week to see if she could come and swim with the LOSTies. Her and her daughters, Jodi and Janet, are doing a road trip and wanted to stop in and see us! Pretty cool.

As you can imagine, being as into open water swimming as I am, I have read all there is to read on the subject and know all the names and places and swims.  Part of my goal for LOST Swimming was to “re-start” open water swimming in Lake Ontario, after a hiatus of about a half a century.  And much to my surprise, I’d say we’ve done it.  I would argue that LOST Swimming and the Global Swim Series have made open water swimming as big in Ontario as it has ever been!  Which of course is thanks to all of you coming out and making it a fun thing to do on a Saturday morning.  So with Marilyn joining us, it kind of feels like it has all come full circle.

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

CNE Race, see original caption below, (click to enlarge)


marilyn_bell_plaque As you likely know, open water swim races used to occur at the CNE back in the 1920’s and ’30’s.  Wrigley, chewing gum company, even used to put up huge prize money that would draw big numbers out for races.  The equivalent of over $150,000 in today’s money!  They kept going for many years after that and they had some very large… and long (15 mile) races too.  There was even a professional race across Lake Ontario in 1976.  But of all these big events that occurred in Lake O, by far and away the most famous was when a 16 year old Toronto girl named Marilyn Bell (her married name is actually Marilyn Di Lascio, but people still often know her as Marilyn Bell) swam across the Lake.  There was actually $10,000 in prize money offered to an American woman who was the reigning world champion marathon swimmer, and Marilyn only jumped in late, almost as an afterthought.  The American never made it, and after Marilyn was part way across, and all of Canada was following her progress, they then offered the prize money to her if she made it.

And she did.  And the rest is history.

marilyn-bellSo come out and be a part of LOST history… but more importantly, come out and have a nice swim with other like-minded swimmers… one of which happens to be Marilyn Bell Di Lascio!

PS.  I asked Marilyn if wanted me to call the media and local dignitaries and stuff… because this is pretty cool… she said “no thanks”, she’d rather ditch the formal stuff and just come and make new friends that share her passion for open water swimming!  Although she did say, she’s happy to do selfies with anyone who wants one with a 78 year old grandma! haha.

See you on Saturday.



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Frank’s Swim For Mental Health… Oct 16!!!


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LOST Race & LOST Mile…

original - Copy 3

Well a picture is worth a thousand words… and the 9th Annual LOST Pier Pic says a lot about all the LOSTies… it was a great race and a lot of fun!

So here is the jist of it… it was our biggest and best race ever!  I know each year I always say this year is going to be our best race ever, and some year I’ll be wrong, but I haven’t been yet!  (at least about that :-p).

First of all we lucked out with the weather.  Totally.  It was supposed to pour rain and thunderstorm and the whole bit… but it held off until a few hours after the race.  And instead we got perfect conditions!  72F/22C… flat water… incredibly hot and humid 35C+… which is fine if you are going for a nice swim!  We also had our biggest turnout ever…

Number of Participants:

  • 2016 – LR – 114 swimmers – 73 wetsuit, 41 naked (36%)
  •           – LM – 55 swimmers – 38 wetsuit, 17 naked (31%)
  • total:          – 169 swimmers – 111 wetsuit, 58 naked (34%)

    The LOST Race trophy

    The LOST Race trophy

… and here are the top placing swimmers in each race… and the ones who will have their names engraved on the LOST Race Trophy and the LOST Mile Trophy!


  • Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Man’: 54:27, Geminio Grossi
  • Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Woman’: 57:57, Megan Dodge
  • Fastest ‘Naked – Man’: 52:29, Dylan Kent
  • Fastest ‘Naked – Woman’: 58:51, Lynn Rodgers


The LOST Mile trophy

The LOST Mile trophy

  • Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Man’: 24:08, Craig Ross
  • Fastest ‘Wetsuit – Woman’: 31:27, Heather Winmill
  • Fastest ‘Naked – Man’: 24:37, Luis Escobar
  • Fastest ‘Naked – Woman’: 32:23, Sarah Gallagher

And if a picture says a thousand words then the video must be worth a few thousand!  So I’ll spare you all from a book about the LOST Race and let you watch the video!  It turned out pretty well.  Enjoy… and thanks for coming out to swim or volunteer!  See you at the 10th annual LOST Race & LOST Mile next year!

Lots of great pics and video, including drone video too!  Thanks to John Johnston, Branko Vrzic and Phillip McCatty of Drone Therapy for all the great pics that we put together!

Hope to see you all at the Global Swim Series – North American Championship on Sept 4, at Woodbine Beach in Toronto!

PS.  check out a bunch of historical facts, records and pics on the LOST Race tab above!



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Secret swim last week… the LOST Race & LOST Mile this week!

68F/20C and 86 swimmers... best swim this year!!!

68F/20C and 86 swimmers… best swim this year!!!

So what was the big secret surprise swim last week?  It was the test run of the LOST Mile!

As you hopefully are aware, at the LOST Race this year we are introducing the LOST Mile as well!  We got the idea from our race last year, when the water was 55F, so we had to shorten the race and made two shorter races; a 1k and 500m.  We made lemonade out of the cold water we were dealt last year and it worked out well.  But more than that it gave us the idea to introduce a shorter distance and make it a loop course at the finish!

It made for much better spectating and it allows for swimmers who aren’t up to the 3.8k distance to still get a good solid race in… and have some open water fun!

So last Saturday we thought we’d give it a try.  We set up the course, essentially a long rectangle.  And it’s a good thing we did set things up and try it out first… because we did have one big problem… the first buoy lost its anchor and started drifting across the lake… just as the swimmers where approaching it! haha.

Following the drifting buoy! Haha! It was funny to watch on land... and glad it didn't happen on race day!

Following the drifting buoy! Haha! It was funny to watch on land… and glad it didn’t happen on race day!

We did a mass start, just for practice, for those that were interested.  For those that weren’t, it didn’t matter, you could still do the course or do the normal triangular course.  But only seconds after the start when the lead swimmers were headed out to the first buoy, it started drifting away.  Not fast enough that anyone noticed at first… so the whole herd of swimmers were chasing it to try and go around it.  It was hilarious… watching it from the shore at least!  But I’m just glad it happened on the test day and not race day!

The finish area!

The finish area!

Miguel paddled out and got it and the swimmers continued on.  Some did the short course, most did the Mile and a lot did 2 Miles!  Well done!

Not surprising though… it was the best day this year!  68F, flat as glass and 86 swimmers.  We even had a few of the LOST Sunrisers who got up early and swam a test swim of the 3.8k LOST Race route, just for fun.  They were coming in just as we were starting out.

Speaking of the LOST Race and the LOST Mile, we are bringing back a great tradition.

Back when Maisey painted "Maisey Award" stones for each finisher!

Back when Maisey painted “Maisey Award” stones for each finisher!

The first year of the LOST Race there was a grand total of 8 swimmers.  And one of my daughters, Maisey, who was 12 years old at the time (9 years ago… if my math adds up!) made some prizes.  She took a few of the stones from LOST Beach and painted them up to look like medals.  Kinda fun and quaint.  The next year she did it again… except there were 39 swimmers!  The following year she had to cut back and only give them to the top 3 swimmers in each division, because there was 64 swimmers!  I think the following year we had everyone paint their own rock and then they picked a different one out when they finished.  Anyway it was cute and pretty grass roots.

The good ol' days are back... The Maisey Awards are now the Emma Awards!!!

The good ol’ days are back… The “Maisey Awards” are now the “Alison Awards”!!!   And they are AWESOME!

Don't forget to sign up for the LOST Race or LOST Mile next weekend!!! First 133 get a pint glass just like mine! (beer not included!)

Don’t forget to sign up for the LOST Race or LOST Mile next weekend!!! First 133 get a pint glass just like mine! (beer not included!)

But we kept growing.  And I’m not complaining about that, but we had to get insurance, timing systems, medals, caps, etc and the Maisey Awards kind of fell by the wayside.  But at the LOST Board Meeting this year, Alan Swankie, volunteered his daughter to pick up the tradition!  And what an awesome job she did.  Very cool… the good ol’ days are back again!

Mind you, I am kind of excited about the LOST beer glasses too!  (big thanks to LOSTie, John Stribany, for donating those!)


The LOST Race and LOST Mile courses

The LOST Race and LOST Mile courses

FAQ’s about the races:

  • we made it very accommodating, we’ve done a few races ourselves and know what you like… you can switch from the LOST Mile to the LOST Race (& vice versa) on race day morning!  (same price).  Weather changes, confidence changes, temperature changes, etc… hey, it’s open water swimming!  Just make sure you tell us at check in!!!
  • you can switch from wetsuit to naked, for the same reasons!  But again, tell someone at Registration!
  • yes, we have race day registration! (cash only)
  • but… the LOST beer glasses are limited to the first 133 (total) swimmers registered!
  • note: there are 2 starting locations… especially if you plan on switching races!
  • parking:  Lots of street parking in both locations.  We are there early so we get the good spots.
  • transportation from the finish to start of the LOST Race, after the race: car pool, jump in with a friend, or speak up after the race and jump in with a buddy… in 9 years we’ve never left anyone behind!
  • weather: yes, the weather is the weather… hopefully it’s good.  As always with open water swimming we’ll play it by ear!  Trust me, we are watching it… but we only need a 2 hour window too!
  • stick around for the awards and the traditional group picture on the Pier after the race!
  • for more info see the “LOST RACE” tab above!
The LOST Race and LOST Mile finish together!

The LOST Race and LOST Mile finish together!


LOST Race and LOST Mile medals!

LOST Race and LOST Mile medals!

See you on Saturday!



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Wow!… what a week… big waves, Crossings, Long Island and Mountains!

Ok, I know I’m a little slow getting this out from last week’s swim, but when see everything that has been going on this week you’ll see why!

A bit of a rough and tumble day... but 50 LOSTies still took the plunge! Well done!

A bit of a rough and tumble day… but 50 LOSTies still took the plunge! Well done!

First of all thanks to Mauro, Miguel and Katie for picking up the slack while Dylan and I were away in Long Island (more about that later).  Sounds like you guys had a “different” swim!

Well I called it… I have been saying that this has been a pretty normal summer.  It typically is cold to start, warms up slightly, rolls over and gets cold again… and then is warm.  Well last week was the start of the warm period.  I fully expect it to be warm for the rest of the summer… which will be all of August and probably all of September… at least!

Toasty warm at 71F... and lots of smiles all around!

Toasty warm at 71F… and lots of smiles all around!

The math had to add up.  Everyone was surprised how cold the Lake was, even though air temp was abnormally hot.  Well it’s a big lake.  And takes a while to warm up.  But once it does, it stays warm.  So from here on out I think we will have GREAT swimming!  You’ve paid your dues with the cold swimming, now it will be really nice.

Tom Foolery, Eileen Luxton and Mark Luxton having some fun!

Tom Foolery, Eileen Luxton and Mark Luxton having some fun!

Having said that, we don’t want it to be tooooo easy.  Which is why I have also said that about 8/10 LOST Swims are usually flat as glass.  And 8 out of 10 were.  Last week was week number 9!  Explains why it was so rough!  Don’t worry, my prognostications aren’t usually that accurate!

So hats off to Mauro for organizing the “Pier Jump!”  I understand that 50 people took the plunge in the big waves and some didn’t.  Totally fine.  As I always say, this is just “practice” and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.  Safety first.  And I heard the waves were too big to get in where we usually do, as the rocks were being thrown around in the waves, so it made more sense to do a Pier Jump and swim out to the buoy and back.  Apparently lots of people did it several times.  Awesome.

The hard part was getting in... too rough here, so it's a "Pier Jump" day!

The hard part was getting in… too rough here, so it’s a “Pier Jump” day!

In other news, I did the “Swim Across The Sound”.  This is a world class event and part of the Global Swim Series.  There really isn’t another race like it in the world.

First of all it raises money for cancer victims.  Which is interesting, because it isn’t for cancer research, etc., but rather for victims… as in, if you get sick and have to leave your job, they might help you pay your mortgage, etc.  Very cool.

Near the start... with over 100 other support boats! Amazing!

Near the start… with over 100 other support boats! Amazing!

This was the 29th year of the race… and they raised $2,000,000!!! Not over those 29 years, but on Saturday!  They said that should help about 30,000 people.

Part of the crew: Reed, me and Dylan. Happy to have a beer and dry off!

Part of the crew: Reed, me and Dylan. Happy to have a beer and dry off!

So that sets up the type of environment for the race, really nice and caring people… who have some perspective about life and this event.  Then there is the race… one of only 2 races in the GSS that are 25km (the other is the Kotlin Race in St Petersburg, Russia!).  There were only 7 solos, 3 two person relays, and then 28 four and six person relays.  So a lot of people to escort from Port Jefferson, Long Island to Bridgeport, Ct!  There were over 100 boats in the floatilla… a sight to behold!  I’ve never seen anything like it!  Kind of the North American version of another GSS race, the great “Rottnest Channel Swim” in Australia… which is even bigger!  (although “only” 20k! haha).

Look what was chasing us!

Look what was chasing us!

As for the swim itself.  It was awesome.  25k swims are never easy, but it was “good”.  The first 2 hours had me a bit worried… it was rough.  Real ocean swimming.  Not waves so much as chop.  And chop is much harder to swim in than waves.  But fortunately after a couple of hours it calmed down quite a bit.  We had a near miss with a storm at about 4 hours… and then right at the finish another storm hit!  I was fairly close to the front and made it into the harbour (although still about 500m from the finish!) when they called the race, over half of the other boats were still out there.  But everyone was safe at least.

The time I got was 8:18 for a rough 25k.  I would have placed 3rd.  Oh well, that’s open water swimming.  (Ask 14 year old Maya Farrell, who swam for about 23 hours across Lake Ontario only a few days before me… and had to be pulled 300m from Toronto because of a huge electrical storm!).

When it looks like you are so close you could touch it... but you are still many hours away! Don't look up, Loren!

When it looks like you are so close you could touch it… but you are still many hours away! Don’t look up, Loren!

The DryRobe didn't protect him from the champagne!

The DryRobe didn’t protect him from the champagne!

Speaking of Lake Ontario Crossings… Loren King made his!  On Tuesday this week, I was lucky enough to make it in to Marilyn Bell Park to see the newest LOSTie become a Great Lake Swimmer!  Loren had perfect conditions… 71f and flat as glass all the way across.  Now I’ve seen plenty of swim reports that exaggerate the conditions, making them sound much worse than they were.  Where 2-3 foot waves become 6-8 foot waves and 60f water becomes 50f water.  The crazy thing is, if ever there is a time when one does not need to exaggerate it is when you are doing a marathon swim!!!  Yes, Loren was lucky enough to get ideal conditions… and he honestly made it look easy… but there is still the small matter of swimming 50.5 km in 18:40… which is incredible.  I trained a bit with Loren and saw the work he did.  Amazingly not everyone that attempts a major marathon swim does all the work.  He did.  He could have handled some very cold and tough conditions as well as anyone.  He was very prepared.  But you train for the worst and hope for the best.  He got the best.  And as any experienced marathon swimmer will attest, you don’t always get the best conditions… so take ’em when you can get ’em.  I think about the only 2 sports that are as heavily dependent on weather (and therefore luck!) are marathon swimming and mountain climbing.  In Ironman, or ultramarathon running, bad weather can slow you down and perhaps stop you, but in marathon swimming and mountain climbing if mother nature says NO, well there ain’t much you can do about it.

Looks like Gilligan and the crew! Well done team!

Looks like Gilligan and the crew! Well done team!

All this is to say: Congrats Loren… helluva swim, buddy!  Welcome to the club!  Great to have another LOSTie with Lake O under his (or her) belt!

The 3 Amigos... Darren, David & Al! What a pic!

The 3 Amigos… Darren, David & Al! What a pic!

Speaking of ultra running in bad conditions… LOSTies, Darren, Dave and Al did the Death Race last weekend!  125 km in the Rockies… across 3 mountain ranges!  17,000 feet of elevation change!  Oh, and remember how I said weather is a bigger factor in marathon swimming than in ultra-running, well it is… usually.  But these 3 guys were at about 87 km into the race… up on a mountain ridge… above the tree line… when a huge 2 1/2 hour electrical storm hit!!!  Oh, that’s at elevation, by the way… which means it was about 0C degrees.

They are either showing off their Hoka running shoes... muddy calves... or auditioning for a Captain Morgan's ad...

They are either showing off their Hoka running shoes… muddy calves… or auditioning for a Captain Morgan’s ad…

Long story short… David and Darren ended up hypothermic (caught without the proper clothing… it had been very hot!).  They dropped out at that point.  They also had nothing to prove as they had both completed the race 2 years ago.  Al had the proper clothing… and had a monkey to get off his back… because he was the guy who had to drop out 2 years ago.  So he continued in what was then “just” pouring rain conditions.  He made it.  I believe I heard that only 27% of the solos made it this year.  Well done, Al.  And ya, well done, Darren and David!

The big finish and a monkey off his back! Well done, Al! Crossing the line still looking tough and rugged... moments before the tears! haha

The big finish and a monkey off his back! Well done, Al! Crossing the line still looking tough and rugged… moments before the tears! haha

Don't forget to sign up for the LOST Race or LOST Mile next weekend!!! First 133 get a pint glass just like mine! (beer not included!)

Don’t forget to sign up for the LOST Race or LOST Mile next weekend!!! First 133 get a pint glass just like mine! (beer not included!)

And so other than doing all that, and following other LOSTies this week, and resting and drinking celebratory beers with them… I’ve also been working with Miguel, Darren, Mike, etc to get the LOST Race ready for you all next weekend!!!  And the GSS – North American Championships 3 weeks after that… so you better show up!!!

PS.  as you can tell, this is tough crowd to stand out in! haha.  Some truly amazing people.  Hardly worth mentioning, but I am doing the Ohio IM 70.3 in 2 weeks and let me tell you it ain’t going to go well.  Oh well.   But that is also the weekend that several LOSTies are doing the full IM at Mt Tremblant… that is one of the best IM in the world in my books!  Almost taper time for them!  (time to start training for me!).  Good luck, Eileen, Mark, Andy… and all the others!



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The LOST Race: 1.6k, 3.8k, medals, beer glasses, trophies and mansions!

LOST Race and LOST Mile medals!

LOST Race and LOST Mile medals!

Each year we try and make the LOST Race better.  And aside from controlling the water temp (haha) we’ve been able to do that.  And this year is the 9th Annual LOST Race on Saturday, Aug 13th and it is going to be the best ever!

LOST Mile logo

First of all, not only are we having the classic 3.8k LOST Race, but after we had to be creative last year with the cold water, we realized that a shorter race would work really well too!  So this year we will be introducing the LOST Mile too!

Winners of the 500m: Mens Naked: Charles Bolduc, Womens Naked: Kristen Sanhueza, Womens Wetsuit: Lisa Pickering, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Dylan Kent

“Cold Year” Winners of the 500m: Mens Naked: Charles Bolduc, Womens Naked: Kristen Sanhueza, Womens Wetsuit: Lisa Pickering, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Dylan Kent

Winners of the 1000m; Mens Naked: Loren King, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Greg Streppel, Womens Wetsuit: Lynn Rogers, Womens Naked: Sara Nicholson

“Cold Year” Winners of the 1000m; Mens Naked: Loren King, Mens Wetsuit and first overall: Greg Streppel, Womens Wetsuit: Lynn Rogers, Womens Naked: Sara Nicholson









And it works for whatever you drink you want... lots of head on that apple juice...

And it works for whatever you drink you want… lots of head on that apple juice…

The LOST Mile is a great way to include more people and for some a good practice to start building their way up to the LOST Race iron-distance swim!

Next we have designed a very cool LOST Mile logo that you will have on your cap and on your new LOST Mile medals!

And one of my favorite new additions is the LOST Pint Glasses!  LOSTie, John Stribany, who donated a bunch of swag last year, including the LOST coffee mugs, which were such a big hit, is at it again!  Except when he offered the pint glasses, I knew that would be a hit with this crowd!  You can put whatever you want in it… but I’ve already tested mine out… and it works!beer glasses


But aside from the great competitive fun for everyone; from Olympic swimmers, to Ironmen, to marathon swimmers, and yes, regular swimmers too… the best part is just the swim itself.  On a spectacular point-to-point coastline swim past some of the most beautiful (and expensive) homes in Canada!

Sign up now… the LOST Pint Glasses are for the first 133 registered!!! 

Oh ya, I almost forgot… a cool, free t-shirt for all the volunteers too!Hugo Powell's house

Volunteer t-shirts

Volunteer t-shirts




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LOSTies pay it forward… and LOSTies swim the English Channel!

July 23, 2016... a chilly 57F/14C... and 87 tough LOSTies... and a great swim!

July 23, 2016… a chilly 57F/14C… and 87 tough LOSTies… and a great swim!

So we had another great swim day on Saturday… the stats: 87 swimmers, 57F/14C.

I could go on and on about how 57F is still pretty chilly, or how it is weird that 87 LOSTies found it no problem to swim in water that cold… but I won’t.  Because it is becoming the norm!  Well done.

87 LOST flip-flops... that's a lot of flip-flops!

87 LOST flip-flops… that’s a lot of flip-flops!  (and the LOST Crawl in the background too!)

As most of you know I try to get a quick dip in most Saturdays too, but usually not as long as the rest of you, usually play the “Walmart Greeter” for LOST, which is like being the host at your own party.  Being the good host I usually end up with 100 short chats and conversations with everyone.  Obviously I don’t mind doing this, and apparently I have the right personality to do it too… I truly enjoy chatting with everyone and being the fly on the wall, seeing how everyone makes out.  It’s kinda fun.

Luis and Erin... and several others even went "naked" too! Well done.

Luis and Erin… and several others even went “naked” too! Well done.

The one thing I did notice this week, because I had almost the exact same conversation with 2 people… almost verbatim.  It went something like this:

me: how was your swim?

LOSTie: great, I did 3 loops!  And I wasn’t too bad with the cold.

me: wow, that’s great for 57F!

LOSTie: I just started this year and on my first day I was too terrified to even do one loop!  I just swam back and forth along the shore!  I was so scared, and I found it hard to breathe, but I’ve learned to relax a bit now and found 3 loops easy!

me: okay, that is really cool!  I find that a lot of people are like that.  That once they try it, and calm down, and get their wits about them, they really can do much more than they thought they could.  Even to the point where it not only isn’t scary anymore… it actually becomes really, really enjoyable!

So then I saw a squirrel or something and got distracted and went on to one of my 100 other mini conversations… and had almost the EXACT conversation with another LOSTie!  Right down to the fact that she had done 3 loops today too.

The other thing was that this LOSTie told me that when she had first started, she was terrified… but another LOSTie had swum breaststroke with her for a whole loop, just to help her out and get her around to the point where she was comfortable…. and here is the cool part… she did that with someone  else today too!  Paying it forward.  Kind of a cliche phrase… but true and really nice.  I like LOSTies.


Most of you have heard me say it a 100 times, it really doesn’t matter how fast you are (I get lots of emails that say: “I want to join LOST but I’m not sure if I’m fast enough”.  To which I say: “honestly, it doesn’t matter.  You should be able to swim about 500m comfortably… but that’s about it.  It is really just a practice and a chance to get out and have a swim in a race like situation… without the pressure of a race.  It changes your perspective on open water swimming… just swim because it’s nice.  You can still swim hard and take your lap times on your Garmin if you want (thanks for the measurement, Jim… it was about 400m today!)… but just do whatever the hell you want… and enjoy yourself.

That's a lot of LOST swimmers... and that's a nice day for swimming!

That’s a lot of LOST swimmers… and that’s a nice day for swimming!

A final LOSTie, Jason, that I was talking to at Bean There after over coffee is an awesome new convert to open water swimming, with the quote of the day: “man, I wish I’d know about this 20 years ago!!!”

A couple of international tip o’ the hat’s today too… great to have a new LOST Aussie, who dropped in to swim with us on Saturday!… and you may or may not have seen on the LOST Facebook page but 2 LOSTies attempted to swim the English Channel last week!

Unfortunately one was successful and one wasn’t.

...some poser in a wetsuit... and 3 tough guys/gals! Patrick and Loren probably swam over 1k... wow.

…some poser in a wetsuit… and 3 tough guys/gals! Patrick and Loren probably swam over 1k… in 48F… wow.

Moments after swimming the EC! Sporting his LOST Swimming cap too!

Moments after swimming the EC! Sporting his LOST Swimming cap too!

A huge congrats to Patrick McKnight who swam the Catalina Channel a week ago… and then within a week also conquered the English Channel!  You may have met Patrick, he is the guy that drives up from Fairfax, Virginia (yes, Virginia!) just to swim with us, and is a self-proclaimed “LOSTie for life!”  Amazing guy… chat with him over coffee at Bean There… looooots of cool stories!

And long time LOSTie, Steve Faulkner, was also over in Dover for his 4th shot at making the crossing.  Didn’t work.  Which sucks.  No two ways about it.  But Steve has also done a whole bunch of amazing swims, including the 47 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and the Catalina Channel as well.  Just a string of sh*t luck with the EC.  Someone who participates and tries will always have my respect.  (read the “LOST Philosophy” quote to the right!)

The neat thing I think is that I can relate to both Steve and Patrick.  I’ve had some huge successes in swimming that I am quite proud of… but I’ve had one big failure too.  And it was the English Channel.  But I had another one that took me forever to accomplish too.  As I was saying to Steve, I remember trying to qualify for my first Boston Marathon… you know how many marathons I ran before I finally got my BQ?… 14.  And let’s be frank, it makes a good story now, because I finally got it, and have run it 4 times now… but it wasn’t fun then.  But I just kept trying and persevered.  I don’t believe in the bullsh*t line “you can do anything if you really put your mind to it and try your hardest”… mainly because we all live in the real world and have all kinds of other constraints… but  I think the Rolling Stones said it best “you can’t always get what you want… but if you try sometimes… you’ll find… you get what you need”.   And if Steve and I have some cool stories about attempting to swim across the English Channel… and have some LOST friends to tell them too… well, I can live with that.



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No sharks… but watch out for our own LOST aquatic-life!

A good ol' fashion Saturday morning swim with a bunch of LOSTies!

A good ol’ fashion Saturday morning swim with a bunch of LOSTies!

Who knew… the world didn’t stop if I wasn’t there!  haha.  Thanks to Dylan, Darren and the gang for picking up the slack while I was swimming the 10k at the North Shore Challenge with a bunch of other friends and LOSTies!

North Shore Challenge with: Bud, Greg, Michael, Anna, Lynn, Rob, Annaleise, Bob & Loren! The "Aquatic Avengers!"

North Shore Challenge with: Bud, Greg, Michael, Anna, Lynn, Rob, Annaleise, Bob & Loren! The “Aquatic Avengers!”

Dylan was even kind enough to do a little write up for me!… enjoy:

A number of Losties were away this past weekend at the North Shore Challenge down in Lake Erie, but even despite that there was another impressive turnout at Michael, Rob, Lynn, Bud, LorenLOST on Saturday with 84 people showing up!

Cool, Ive never seen a beaver at LOST Swimming before! Always new faces to see at a LOST Swim!

Cool, I’ve never seen a beaver at LOST Swimming before! Always new faces to see at a LOST Swim!

The water was 57F though a number of people said that they thought it was colder (I didn’t even have my dad’s magic rounding up thermometer I swear!) but that didn’t seem to stop anyone from having a good swim.  It’s crazy to think how this year 57F is no big deal for most people to get a solid swim when only a couple years ago a lot of people wouldn’t even get in.

Our cute little team mascot... Mikey the Mink! (on the rocks)

Our cute little team mascot… Mikey the Mink! (on the rocks)

It was a pretty typical morning for LOST with calm waters and everyone having a good time despite the cold, kind of crazy how having 80+ people swim in water in the mid-fifties can be classified as a “typical” morning but that seems to be the case this summer.

On a special wildlife update though, 2 weeks ago we spotted a mink down at the beach and then this weekend while we were setting up the course there was a beaver swimming around in the lake!  So while you don’t have to worry about sharks in Lake O apparently you might be swimming with beavers!  How Canadian is that…

Overall it was a nice day for a chilly swim and a good morning to warm up for coffee at Brett’s after!

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Hi LOSTies and LOST friends!

So the big “LOST Race” and the new “LOST Mile” are coming up very soon… Saturday, August 13!  I hope that you have all registered and will swim it… but we need a few volunteers too!

This year you will get a very cool “Global Swim Series” t-shirt for volunteering too!

We are looking for some “on shore” and “on water” volunteers and shuttle vehicles. The races start at 8am, and generally are completely finished by 10:30am. If you are volunteering it is safe to assume you will be required between 7am and 11am (and yes, we sign for student volunteer hours!).  Some of the jobs are only needed before the race and some only after, and most are pretty simple jobs… but we still need your help!  If you are coming to watch, why not get involved and help… it’s a lot more fun!


We are always looking to get as much support ON the water as possible. This role involves paddling along with the swimmers, spotting and directing swimmers getting off course, and identifying swimmers in distress.

1) We are looking for kayakers, SUP’ers, Canoeists, zodiac or Jet-skiers. If you do not have any of these, but are comfortable in/on one, we can source it for you! If you cannot make it but can donate a SUP/Kayak for the morning – please also let us know.

Requirements: being comfortable in a kayak, on a SUP or any other on-water vehicle.

Contact Mike – mike@webtraxx.com – with questions or to volunteer your time or on-water vehicle!

Mike Morton, the King of the Kayakers!... the only guy I hope never learns to love swimming!

Mike Morton, the King of the Kayakers!… the only guy I hope never learns to love swimming!


Volunteers are needed for the following positions:

2) Parking / Traffic Detail
Arrive at the start line one hour before the start of the race. Stand in a safe zone just outside the start line and direct racers to the parking areas.  Easy, peasy.

3) Registration take-down
After the race starts, assist with registration area clean up and load bags into transport vehicles.  Easy, peasy… again.

4) Body Marking 
Arrive at the start line one hour before the start of the race… to draw on people!  Preferably draw race numbers on swimmers.

5) Nutrition Handout
Arrive at the finish line immediately after the start of the race.  Set up nutrition/snack table. Hand out drinks and snacks to swimmers as they come out of the water.  Cool job because you get to see everyone as they finish the race!

6) Clean up Crew
After completion of the race, remove equipment, trash and leave the area better than we found it. Many hands make light work.

7) Transport Vehicles
Drivers with vehicles are needed to move the “bag check” and some equipment from the start to finish.  Quick and easy.

8) Registration table
Help mark bags with swimmers name or number, load bags and transport swimmers bags from the start line to the finish line

9) Shore patrol
You get a walkie talkie and are “on-call” to drive along lakeshore and pick up any swimmers who could not finish. They will be pretty easy to spot… walking along lakeshore in their wetsuits!  Most years we don’t have any, but we need to have someone on call.

Please email Darren at dosborne@ovma.org to sign up for a position. 

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

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



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nice to get that out of the way… my 6 hour qualifying swim!

None of us look any worse for wear after being out on the water for 6 hours!

None of us look too much worse for wear after being out on the water for 6 hours!… or we’re just happy to be done!

Loren and I both have a big swim coming up in the next few weeks.  Loren is doing a Lake O Crossing of 52k… and I’m doing the race tied for the longest distance in the Global Swim Series… Swim Across the Sound (the other one is the Kotlin Race in St Petersburg, Russia!).  Both are 25k.

Swim Across The Sound is across the Long Island Sound from Long Island to Bridgeport, Connecticut.  It should be in the upper 60’s, typically fairly rough, salt water… and yes, there are sharks, no incidents in the 29 years it has been run.  But it does play games with your mind as a swimmer.

Don't worry that's not me getting DQ'd! Brett still needs to work on his feeds!

Don’t worry that’s not me getting DQ’d! Brett still needs to work on his feeds!

So one of the things you need to do to qualify for both of these swims is do a 6 hour qualifying swim.  And unlike the 6 hour qualifier for the English Channel which must be done in water 60F/15C or colder, there is no temp requirement for Lake O or Swim Across the Sound.

P7100072 P7100073

So Loren and I hunted down some “warm” water in Lake O, last week, near Grimsby… it was about 60F.  Claudia came and paddle for us.  We made it 2 hours… but I could see I wasn’t going to make another 4 hours, I just haven’t put in the work this year to swim 6 hours in 60F water.  So we just changed it into a training swim.  We got out and warmed up… and went back in for another hour.


Chalked it up to a good training swim.  But my race is in less than 3 weeks… so Mr Panic was visiting me.  I needed to get this done.  Partially because it is a requirement.  But also because, as any experienced marathon swimmer knows, there are no givens in marathon swimming.  In races this long, just because you’ve done it before, doesn’t mean you will be able to do it again.  That’s endurance sports.  And it is even more pronounced in open water swimming.  So I wanted to make sure I could still do it.  My last long swim was 20 hours and 52 minutes in August of 2012… my Lake O Crossing.  Just like Loren’s upcoming swim.

Brett (the famous owner of the LOST coffee shop, “Bean There”!) and Claudia, another die-hard LOSTie, gave up their Sunday to help put this one behind me.

My aquatic "pace bunnies"!

My aquatic “pace bunnies”!

No screwin’ around this time.  I just wanted to get it done.  We went to the Welland Canal.  74F, flatwater and you can go for miles.  Didn’t hurt that it was a beautiful day too.  Brett and Claudia took turns paddling, swimming and picnicking while I swam.  We started at 8:30 am… and finished at 2:31.  Done.

Great swimming hole... the Welland Canal!

Great swimming hole… the Welland Canal!

There is no such thing as an “easy” 6 hour swim… but this one came close.  I’m always talking about having great adventures.  But I’m also happy when really tough things go as planned.  Even at the risk of being boring and straightforward.  Simple is good.  Doesn’t make for as good of story over beers, but the beer and bullsh*t can always be added after… I’m just happy to have it done.

Thanks Claudia and Brett.

Good luck Loren, happy to pace for you too, bud!



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Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls…

92 swimmers, 64F/18C and a beautiful summer day for a swim. Nice.

92 swimmers, 64F/18C and a beautiful summer day for a swim. Nice.

With apologies to The Clash… but the sentiment is right!  If you went into hiding after last week’s 48F dip, it’s time to come out and play!  Not that 92 swimmers is a small group, by any stretch!  Our second largest ever, in fact!

PS. little known fact: Joe Strummer was a big open water swimmer… take a look at where he filmed the greatest punk song ever recorded!

We started off unusually warm this year, then it got back to normal… cold … 62F, 50F, 54F, 56F, 48F (rollover)… and now back on track… 64F!  Best swim so far!

64F/18C is nice.  Not hot, by any stretch, but nice.  In a wetsuit, which the majority still are, it is almost perfect.  I don’t think I heard a single person getting out saying they were cold this week… first week for that!


Which leads me to the next topic… how many people got out of the water and weren’t cold?  92!  Second biggest group ever!  We had a handful that went in early to get long swims in.  Loren, who is training for his Lake Ontario Crossing in less than a month is building to get his 6 hour qualifier completed.  He did 4 hours on Saturday in that 64F water… naked, of course!  So when I say that 64F is “nice”, it is… but it certainly becomes a bit more “challenging” when you are doing 4 hours in it, naked!  Well done, Loren… and his pacers!


It was one of those mornings when you could have easily slept in.  Or at least I could have.  It wasn’t particularly warm out when I woke up.  And was overcast and had rained.  But by the time we got in the water it was sunny, warm and a beautiful day for a swim!

You know it's nice when you can just float around and chat with the kayakers!

You know it’s nice when you can just float around and chat with the kayakers!

Many of you know that I often say that based on my experience over the past 11 years of Saturday morning swims that we probably get about 8/10 swims where the water is pancake flat… and 2/10 that are wavy.  Well we’ve now had 6 that were pancake flat… so I’m thinking we are due for a wavy one.  It’s warmed up now and will continue to warm, until the next rollover (which is usually much more mild than the first one of the season), but the lady of the lake likes to keep us LOSTies on our toes.  There has to be some kind of challenge in it!  So I’m calling it… 2 of the next 4 swims will likely be warm… but wavy!  But that’s not a bad thing… try it, you’ll like it!

That's a nice swim... mind you I was in the kayak, but just because I was saving myself for my 6 hour qualifying swim the next day!

That’s a nice swim… mind you I was in the kayak, but just because I was saving myself for my 6 hour qualifying swim the next day!

See you on the Beach.

PS.  Congrats to all the LOSTies that did the Toronto Triathlon Festival and the Muskoka 70.3… great day for it!



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The Canada Day… Polar Bear Dip!

I’m always saying that we have one of the best places in the world to swim… and we do… a little cold at times (like this weekend was!)… but if having beautiful, cold, clean water is the worst thing… I’ll take it.


We don’t have: men in grey suits (sharks… like in Cape Cod!), giant creepy spider crabs (Australia)… and we do have: water (unlike Kelso Lake right now! Thanks Lamb.) and our only wildlife is a cute family of minks (great pic, Adrian)!

Yikes... Kelso is looking a little dry! Lowest I've ever seen it!

Yikes… Kelso is looking a little dry! Lowest I’ve ever seen it!

On a related note… the new “No Salt, No Sharks, No Worries” t-shirts are in… and they are great!  Thanks to my buddy, Ned Denison, who runs the open water swimming in Cork, Ireland for the idea… shirt’s in the mail, Ned!

The new LOST T-shirts are in... and damn they look good! And for $20 bucks you can prove you are a real LOSTie too! You can order in the LOST Store and pick up on at LOST Beach!

The new LOST T-shirts are in… and damn they look good! And for $20 bucks you can prove you are a real LOSTie too! You can order in the LOST Store and pick up on at LOST Beach!

I recall telling Brett this a couple of years ago… that the Lake always rolls over the Canada Day long weekend.  It didn’t last year, but last year was a weird year all around, due largely to the cold winter we had when 4 of the 5 Great Lake froze over completely!

But true to form Lake O rolled over this weekend… as it has 5 of the last 6 years on this date.  Which means it was 50F… okay 48F/9C.  I rounded up a little before the swim.  50F sounds a bit warmer than anything in the 40’s!

great white shark spotting, cape cod

So Mike set up the buoys for a 50m out and back swim (100m total).  I think Loren, myself and maybe a couple others were the only ones to go naked.  I told everyone to go out and swim a loop… then come in, get your head back together and collect yourself and do another.  It is still just as cold, but it’s definitely easier the second time.  Your body and mind know what to expect and it isn’t quite as shocking and it does get easier.  But it’s still freakin’ cold.

Our cute little team mascot... Mikey the Mink! (on the rocks)

Our cute little team mascot… “Mike the Mink”! (on the rocks)… not to be confused with “Mike the Kayaker” (on the water)… not that Mike the Kayaker isn’t cute and cuddly too!

So upon being about the last person in I was quite proud of doing my 2 loops naked.  Then Loren came out.  He had done 25 minutes (vs my 3 minutes!)… naked.  Wow.

Then I was talking to a newer swimmer, Beth, she was one of the last people out and I had seen her get in earlier.  I asked her if she was able to do 2 loops… she had done 10!!!  Wow.

Then she and I walked by two newbies, on our way up the mat, who were among the last to get out too.  I asked them how they had managed for their first LOST Swim.  Typically newbies are pretty shocked to see what we can swim in.  They had done 17 freakin’ loops!!!  Unbelieveable.  My 2 naked loops didn’t seem quite as impressive as what these 3 newbies had done… let alone Loren… but he’s in a different category entirely!

The truly amazing part is that 77 swimmers went into that 48F/9C water!  And in some twisted kind of way… enjoyed themselves!  Well done.

... so suck it up... a little beautiful, clean, clear, cold water is still pretty awesome!

… so suck it up… a little beautiful, clean, clear, cold water is still pretty awesome!


On the upside (I can always find the upside… and sometimes it isn’t even bullsh*t)… it was a beautiful sunny morning.  Having a nice sunny day greet you and warm you when you get out makes a world of difference.  And how about the water… that was a crystal clear and clean as water gets… if you could manage to put your face in! haha.

ya, that is a pretty great place to swim... and yes, it will get warmer!

ya, that is a pretty great place to swim… and yes, it will get warmer!

And the final bit of good news is… we are now past the first hurdle.  This is all very normal and typical of Lake O.  It is cold, warms up a little, then rolls over around July 1.  But now it starts warming up.  And any roll overs we get usually aren’t as severe as that first one.  What I’m trying to say is… it’ll be warmer next weekend!  So don’t give up now… you’ve paid your dues, and now is when the swimming starts to get good!  So see you on Saturday!

PS.  sorry about the pics… I left my camera in Miguel’s car, so we’ll have to make due with pics I stole from Loren, Lynn, Lamb, Alan, Adrian and a few others off of Facebook! haha.

Woodbine Beach, Toronto... site of the GSS - North American Championship, Sept 4!

Woodbine Beach, Toronto… site of the GSS – North American Championship, Sept 4!

Also, start planning for the LOST Race and the new LOST Mile… Aug 13.  As well as the Global Swim Series – North American Championship… Sep 4!!!  Both are going to be awesome!



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Same old beautiful morning for a swim… with a twist!

June 25, 2016... 58F that dropped to 54F... while we were swimming!  All 76 of us!

June 25, 2016… 58F that dropped to 54F… while we were swimming! All 76 of us!

I saw this post on the LOST Facebook page that a prospective LOSTie (Renee Devereaux, whom I’ve never met by the way), wrote that pretty much sums it all up:

“I was on the rocks this morning watching the goings-on to see if this would be a fun group to join. Within minutes I was envious of everyone in the water. Hoping to join soon, and wondering if anyone has suggestions for where I might find a second-hand wetsuit in the Oakville area. I’ll check Kijiji but happy to hear any other suggestions. Anyone looking to get rid of a wetsuit for an average-sized 5’9″ woman?”

Kinda cool.  Within minutes she wanted to join… and get a wetsuit!  I always tell people who are on the fence… come out and watch for one morning… you’ll be hooked!  Well said, Renee!  (And feel free to respond to Renee on Facebook if you have an extra wetsuit!)

Some of the girls from "Feet of Fury"!  Tell me that wasn't fun... even if it was cold!

Some of the girls from “Feet of Fury”! Tell me that wasn’t fun… even if it was a little cold!  The friends make it much warmer!

After 11 years of swimming in Lake O every Saturday in the summer, you’d think I’d know the Lake pretty well… but it still surprises me once in a while.

I remember when I learned about it “rolling over”.  In 2006, I didn’t know anyone that swam in the Lake regularly… well, because there was no one.  So I remember going down one evening to check the water temp and it was 72F, perfect for the long swim I had planned for the next morning.  And I arrived the next morning with my daughter, Maisey, who was going to kayak for me.  She checked the water temp while I got ready.  She said it was 55F!?!?  I got kind of angry with her and told her to stop fooling around and go check it again.  She did.  She left it in longer… and it was actually… 52F!  It had literally dropped 20F degrees over night!

It was actually pretty nice... even for Bud, Loren and Lynn... who went out "naked" for 30 - 60 minutes!  Although there was some shivering and parka wearing after!  Helps that it was sunny and warm after though!

It was actually pretty nice… even for Bud, Loren and Lynn… who went out “naked” for 30 – 60 minutes! Although there was some shivering and parka wearing after! Helps that it was sunny and warm after though!

Well, now we know that the Lake rolls over regularly.  And that is in fact how it warms up.  The roll overs are caused by the wind.  You get nice warm stretches of weather like we’ve had these last few days, which warm the top surface water, but that can’t warm the water at the bottom of the Lake.  Then you get a wind from the north and that blows all the nice warm surface water over to Rochester and Buffalo… which pushes the water on their side down to the bottom of the Lake… and that cold water at the bottom of the Lake then comes up on our side!  Conversely a nice south wind brings the warm water our way and makes the other side of the Lake cold.

And another good way to warm up... with a cuppa coffee at Bean There after!

And another good way to warm up… with a cuppa coffee at Bean There after!

... sitting inside or out!  Wherever you can get a seat!

… sitting inside or out! Wherever you can get a seat!

Eventually this happens several times over the summer and the whole Lake, from the surface to the bottom gets warmed all the way through.  And since water holds its temperature longer than air does, that explains why often the Lake is still warm into September and even October, even though the warm weather is gone.

But the strange thing that happened yesterday, and that I’ve never experienced before was that the Lake was rolling over while we were actually swimming!

Inukshuks to watch over us too!

Inukshuks to watch over us too!

I measured the temp while I was setting up at 7:30… and it was 58F/14C… however by the time I actually got in at 8:30 (after playing the Walmart Greeter)… the temp had dropped to 54F/12C!  So it dropped 4F degrees in an hour, while we were swimming!  That’s amazing!

There is no way the water is the same temp now as when we went in... I'm taking the temp again!  I knew it!

There is no way the water is the same temp now as when we went in… I’m taking the temp again! I knew it!

Having said that… all 76 swimmers got in and had a great swim!  And everyone was in for quite a while, 15 – 45 minutes!  I think everyone is getting tougher already!  It really is amazing how seeing everyone else get in and do it helps you believe that you can do it!

You can't tell me that doesn't look inviting!  Great shot, Chris!

You can’t tell me that doesn’t look inviting! Great shot, Chris!


See you next weekend!



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