LOST Swimming: Aug 29, another great swim… and LOSTies head to Sweden!

46 LOSTies and 58F... still a bit cool, but calm and clear!  A nice half hour swim!

46 LOSTies and 58F… still a bit cool, but calm and clear! A nice half hour swim!

Okay, it was still a bit cool… but not bad.  58F/14C, chilly but not “stupid cold”.  And the proof is in the pudding… we had 42 LOSTies out and we all went for a nice swim, probably a half hour or so.

I had to laugh because a bunch of people got there and saw that the water was as flat as a millpond and said “wow, it’s perfect, not a ripple!”  Which it was, of course… but Lake O doesn’t hand out free passes easily.  So unlike a few swims at the beginning of the summer where we had some pretty raucous waves, that wasn’t the issue today.  It was that the Lake was still pretty cool.

However, in my typical manner of avoidance I just said it’s “a bit chilly”.  Which, most LOSTies know how to interpret(!).  Several said “How cold?!!”… and when I said 58F, they all went “Phew!… at least it’s not in the 40’s like a few weeks ago!”.  Yup, it’s all about managing expectations.

The good news is that the Lake will likely stay this temp or warm up as we are apparently in for some hot weather.  Now that it has rolled over several times this summer it has warmed up through and through and I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually got warmer.  (But with the way this Lake has been behaving the past 2 summers… well, I wouldn’t bet the house on it getting warmer either!).

O Till O in Sweden!  (which means Island to Island, btw!)

O Till O in Sweden! (which means Island to Island, btw!), check out the equipment they swim and run with!


Truth is, you can blame the water temp on Ross, Christine and Paul.  I actually kept the water at this temp just for them… they are off to Sweden to do the world famous swim-run race “O Till O”!!!  And this is the perfect training temp for them.

The grand-daddy of all swim-run races in the world!

The grand-daddy of all swim-run races in the world!

O Till O is kind of the grand-daddy of the newest racing craze, swim-run races.  This race is 75 km long… 65k running and 10k swimming… over an archipelago of small to tiny islands in Sweden!!!  In fact, there are 35 times when you have to get in and out of the water!  The terrain is quite rocky and looks a lot like Muskoka.

This is the toughest swim-run race in the world and one of the toughest endurances races in the world too!… and very hard to get in to.  You either get in by lottery or “merit based” (which means you have an athletic resume that shows you are capable of that much

Paul and Simon paddling down the Amazon on their TV show Boundless!

Paul and Simon paddling down the Amazon on their TV show Boundless!

swimming and running!).  Ross won the LOST Race last year and Christine is almost as fast, they both swam for my old buddy Andrew Cole at McMaster and happen to be good runners as well.  So they got in on merit.  Paul “Turbo” Trebilcock found another way to get in… have them produce a TV show about all the extreme races you do around the world… and they’ll let you in too!  (although with all the amazing races he’s done, he’d get in on merit too!).  Yes, he’s now in his third season of Boundless on the Esquire channel.  Very cool show.

Good luck to Christine, Ross and Paul this weekend!!!

Good luck to LOSTies: Christine, Ross and Paul this weekend!!!  Good training for O Till O this morning!

Paul, Christine and Ross will actually be the 4th, 5th and 6th LOSTies to do O Till O… and it looks like there will be a few more going over for next year too!  Dave and Al, quite coincidentally, were swimming in their running shoes this morning too (you do that in the race!) as they started training for next year!  Nick and Art Chasovskykh also did the race a couple of summers ago… but the real trailblazer was the diminutive Lisa Neidrauer (& John Humenic)!  (In case, you were wondering where she is this summer, don’t worry, she’s hasn’t given up adventures… she had a baby!… which should tide her over for a while!).

Lisa, on to the next adventure... motherhood!  Another generation of LOSTies on the way up!

Lisa, on to the next adventure… motherhood! Another generation of LOSTies on the way up!

Lisa and John... you have to stay within 10m of your partner the whole race!

Lisa and John… you have to stay within 10m of your partner the whole race!

Anyway, last week we got to wish Steve Faulkner good luck on his third attempt at the English Channel… this week we got to send off Ross, Christine and Paul to O Till O… never a dull moment for LOSTies!  Just the way I like it!

John and Lisa... big smiles for the finish!

John and Lisa… big smiles for the finish!

Good luck to Steve, Ross, Christine and Paul!  See you all for a swim, coffee and stories when you get back!



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LOST Swimming, Aug 22… still good swimmin’!

60F, perfectly flat and clear!  Nice.

60F, perfectly flat and clear! Nice.

First of all… I know the pics are from the Embrace SwimFest on Sunday, rather than the LOST Swim on Saturday… but I seem to have lost the pics from Saturday!  Oh well, you get some pics anyway!

It’s funny, I see it every year, at the beginning of the year we have a ton of people out even though it’s still pretty cold.  Then it warms ups in July and it starts to peak… then we get a roll over… then the LOST Race.  And for some reason people always ask me “is there still swimming after the LOST Race?”.  “Hell ya.”

Ironically, often the best swimming is often in late August and early September, because the Lake is finally warmed up and it is less likely to have roll overs and even if we do get one they are less severe.  Usually.  Although the past two years have been odd years.  Colder winters and more roll overs in the past 2 summers than usual.

Anyway, the point is that there is still lots of good swimming left.

LOSTie, John Gayford, all ready to go at the Embrace SwimFest!

LOSTie, John Gayford, all ready to go at the Embrace SwimFest!

This past Saturday we had 45 swimmers out and 60F/15C.  Coolish to get into but actually a really comfortable temperature once you get going.  It was also pancake flat.  Really nice.  And it was the clearest the Lake has been this summer.  Crystal clear.

People laugh when I tell them it is just like the Caribbean when it is that clear.  I think they laugh because the temperature isn’t quite the same… okay, I’ll give you that.  But the clarity is like the Caribbean.  We have a rocky beach… but if you go out 20m or so it is a beautiful white sandy bottom.  And for some reason I always have this compulsion to go down foot first for the 10-12 feet and bury my feet in the sandy bottom.  Weird, I know, but I just love it.

One of my other favorite things to do when it is that clear is to spot the fish.  Lots of little 6″ fish (no idea what kind), the occasional rare salmon sighting and fairly common you can see carp.  Which can be quite ugly fish if you get nose to nose, which I have down past Maple Grove, where they spawn… but the ones I see here are often a very bright luminescent blue.  Just like in the Caribbean.  Several people commented that they saw fish at the bottom, but I wasn’t lucky enough to see any.  Some people still get the heeby-jeebies when they see fish… which I kinda get, I guess… but I just think its so cool.  It’s like when you are out on a run and you see a rabbit or a deer or a fox… just kinda makes your day.

Anyway, nice swim.  See you on Saturday.

PS.  If you didn’t make it out to the Embrace SwimFest at Gulliver’s Lake, it was great!

Mairi, Jennifer and Avril at the SwimFest too!

Mairi, Jennifer and Avril at the SwimFest too!



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New race added to the GSS… the Embrace Swimfest!!!

Check out the newest race added to the Global Swim Series… great variety of distances, something for everyone!

Looks like fun… I think I’ll be doing the 5k!



swimfest poster

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The 8th Annual LOST Race… “the cold year”…


So this year was shaping up to be a great year for the LOST Race.  Two weeks out we were on pace for record registration (over 130 swimmers), Toronto was under a heat advisory, the Lake was over 70F/21C, I had just purchased some great new buoys for the course, Mike, Darren and Miguel had all the volunteers lined up (thanks to ALL the volunteers! Seriously.) and all the organizing under control.  We even welcomed a couple of new groups to the on-water support, Derek Schrotter and his SUP crew from Port Credit and Wendy from the BurlOak Canoe Club were going to support us as well as Alex and his Martini Boat and Steven Cull and his Charterability Boat.  Awesome.P8070008

But this is open water swimming… things don’t always go according to plan.

Aug 1, the week before the race and a huge rollover... but 56 bad-ass LOSTies swam in 43F/6C water!... not that far, but still...

Aug 1, the week before the race and a huge rollover… but 56 bad-ass LOSTies swam in 45F/6C water!… not that far, but still…

The regular LOSTies out there know that the Lake “rolled over” a week prior to the race.  It went from around 70F to… 43F.  Yikes.  That is the biggest roll over I’ve ever seen in the 10 years I’ve been keeping records.  But we still had a week to go.  It could, and was forecast to roll back over, and be 60-65F by race day.

This is what we were "supposed" to get...

This is what we were “supposed” to get for race day…

So we (me, Mike, Miguel, Darren, Alex, Dylan and few swimmers) quietly and patiently watched and waited.

But the Lake held touch.  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… still 45F… Wednesday, Thursday… still 44F… Friday I checked it at 9 am and it was 46F.

Oakville native, Canadian record holder in 200 fly, silver medalist at Pan Am Games, favorite to make the 2016 Olympics in Rio... and the LOST Race starter!... Zack Chetrat!

Oakville native, Canadian record holder in 200 fly, silver medalist at Pan Am Games, favorite to make the 2016 Olympics in Rio… and the LOST Race starter!… Zack Chetrat!

But I checked it at 3 pm… and it was 52F!!!  Woo hoo, the roll was finally coming!  Still had overnight for it to get to 60F or so and we’d be set.

But the group of us were still a bit panicked.  We must have exchange a couple hundred emails that day.  What was Plan B going to be?  Well if it was 43F, like last weekend, it would have to be cancelled.  Period.  But maybe we could shorten it if it was 50-55F?  So that became Plan B.  And we made all the preparations for that.  Hoping that the roll would still come and we wouldn’t have to use it.

I checked it at 6 pm and it was still 52F.   I woke up at 4 am and checked it again… it was 50F.  Crap.  Well Plan B it was.  At least it wasn’t a borderline temperature, made my decision easier.  I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a soul there, even among the hard-core LOSTies, that could have swum 3.8 km in 50F (or would have wanted to).  Not me, that’s for sure.

Mayor Rob Burton: "you guys are crazy"... hard to argue with that really...

Mayor Rob Burton: “you guys are crazy”… hard to argue with that really…

The good news is that the race actually went smoothly.  And everyone had fun.  Ultimately that’s all we really wanted.

We had Zack Chetrat, silver medalist from the Toronto Pan Am Games, Canadian Record holder in 200 fly and favorite for the Rio Olympics next year as our starter!  We had Mayor Rob Burton come down and wish us luck… and tell us we’re crazy!

And we had a 500 m rectangular loop race and a double loop 1000 m race.  Funny thing was, because we normally have volunteers and equipment at the start and the finish, but it was all at the finish this year, it actually made the race easier to conduct.  And it was much better viewing too.

Dylan finishing the 500m as the 1000m swimmers are going in!

Dylan finishing the 500m as the 1000m swimmers are going in!



A success if you measure the race by smiles!  Rob, Dylan and Zack with big old grins!

A success if you measure the race by smiles! Rob, Dylan and Zack with big old grins!

I know it sounds a bit like nepotism, but my son Dylan won the 500 m cleanly, although there were some fast swimmers in that race too!  In the 1000 m, it was a great race.  Former World Champion in the 25 km distance, Greg Streppel and Samer Yagmour, a seriously fast open water swimmer and former Varsity swimmer U of T put on a pretty good show.  They both know how it’s done.  Greg “let” Sam lead for the first loop and 1/4… then they switched… and Sam “let” Greg pull for a while… or did Greg just make his move?  Around the last buoy and headed for home… Greg dropped him.  Put about 20 m between them and came in for a very hard fought win.  Well done everyone.

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

And the thing about cold water swimming is the perpetual question “is it easier to be fast and spend half the time in the water… or is it harder to be slower and be in the water a whole lot longer?  Tough to say, but it is easy to say there were no easy swims on Saturday.  Anyone who finished either of those distances in rough, 50F water did well.  Very well.  The Irish and the San Francisco swimmers have nothing on that race (nice to see San Francisco “Southender”, Jay Ligda, joined us for the race too!)

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

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

Oh and for the record… yes, there were still plenty of “bad ass” LOSTies out there who went “naked”.

Check the results here.

More pics here.

(Thanks to the Oakville Beaver and Edwin Greenfield, among others for the pics!)IMG_2384-vi

So for better or for worse, this will go down as “the cold year”.  I’ve done lots of races over the years in lots of different sports.  In 2003 I did my first Ironman at Lake Placid, it was the “wet year” (although there have been a couple there since too!), and a bunch of us LOSTies did Ironman Canada in 2011, “the hot year”, when the temperature got to 39C/102F.  My buddy, Madhu, did the Marathon des Sables (7 day ultra marathon across the Sahara Desert) the year after Jeff Hunt and I did it, it was up to 55C the year Jeff and I did it… Madhu got the “wet year”, it was cold and raining for the bulk of his race… across the Sahara.  Weird.  Usually adverse weather sucks.  Period.  But in some perverse way these tough conditions really do make it more memorable.  You can say you did it in the “cold year”.  Some serious street cred there.

Off they go!

Off they go for a quick 500m!

Or maybe I’m just rationalizing.  But it was pretty impressive to watch, that’s for sure.

Kristen and Claudia... something to stop their teeth from chattering! ;)

Kristen and Claudia… something to stop their teeth from chattering!

But that’s the thing with Mother Nature and with open water swimming in particular.  She plays a big role.  Even more so in open water swimming than in running or triathlon or most other sports.  If you get crappy weather during a marathon or triathlon it might effect your time, but you can always just “walk it in” and finish it, unless it’s a hurricane or something.  But in open water swimming you are much more exposed to the whims of the weather AND the water.

This was our biggest registration year by far.  We had 135 people registered to swim 3.8 km.  That makes it the largest-longest open water swim race in Canada.  Note, there are longer races, but none with more people than what we had.  Having said that, lots of people bailed.  And I don’t blame them.  Again, open water swimming is not like a running race, safety is much more of an issue.  And it is much harder to swim in cold water than warm water.  A lot harder.  Both mentally and physically.  There is no one there that had signed up for a 3.8 km race who couldn’t have swum a measly 500m or 1000m swim in 70F/21C… but its all different in cold water.  Drop that temperature by 20 degrees and its a whole other ball game!

The only rescue of the day... experienced kayaker, Graciella, took a spill just before the race started!

The only rescue of the day… experienced kayaker, Graciella, took a spill just before the race started!  Yes, it was pretty rough out there too!

I was told there were a few people standing in line a bit confused and saying something like “really?  It’s only going to be 500m or 1000m?”  I assure you, there wasn’t a soul there that was wishing it was still 3.8 km… especially after the swim!  In fact, I doubt very much if there was anyone there wishing it was even 1100m!

Oh, and as the winner of the 500m said when he got out: “It was cold, but I got used to it… but it was a lot rougher out there than it looked!”.

Mike getting some of the on-water group organized... best support ever!

Mike getting some of the on-water group organized… best support ever!

It was a tough swim no matter how you cut it.

So even after having to resort to Plan B, I was pretty happy to hear that everyone seemed to have a good time and got a “challenging” swim too!  To steal a line from the Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want… but if you try sometimes, you get what you need”…

... and then putting the swag to good use right after the race!

… and then putting the swag to good use right after the race!

All in all… I had a good time… hope you all did too… and I hope to see you all again next year too!  Thanks.




PS. a few more pics below, just because it was hard to choose!

cold?!... hell, this is bikini weather!

cold?!… hell, this is bikini weather!

Pretty cool... even support from an outrigger canoe!  Perfect for rougher water like this!  Thanks canoers!!!  PS.  they were bringing in the buoy, they arent that crazy of drivers!

Pretty cool… even support from an outrigger canoe! Perfect for rougher water like this! Thanks canoers!!! PS. they were bringing in the buoy, they arent that crazy of drivers!

IMG_2384-vi 11846701_10153522124506764_5663792716994628223_n

Sam leading Greg in the 1000m... but it was still early!  Sam won the 10k we hosted a few years ago!

These guys were smokin!  Sam leading Greg in the 1000m… but it was still early! Sam won the 10k we hosted a few years ago!

A success if you measure the race by smiles!  Rob, Dylan and Zack with big old grins!

A success if you measure the race by smiles! Rob, Dylan and Zack with big old grins!

That is a pretty cool shot...

That is a pretty cool shot…

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The LOST Race celebrity starter: Pan Am Games silver medalist… Zack Chetrat!

So this is pretty cool… Dylan asked his old Oakville Aquatic Club teammate, Zack Chetrat, to be our celebrity starter… and he said “yes”!

Zack... silver medal in 200 Butterfly at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto!

Zack… silver medal in 200 Butterfly at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto!

zack 5We’ve know Zack (and his mom!) for years.  Back when he was just one of those little kids running around on deck.  And then he got good.  Just “kinda good” on the club, to start.  And back then OAK was just “a pretty good” team (they are now ranked #1 in Canada).  But he, along with Olympian, Tera van Beilen, were the two biggest stars to come out of the team… so far.  But they rode the crest with a ton of other really talented and hard working kids that are now off to university across Canada and the US and took the Oakville Aquatic Club to new heights.

It really is kinda crazy that a town with only 180,000 people and no 50 meter pool is somehow the best team in Canada?!  You can only attribute it to a good organization as whole… and good coaching.  Depending on when and how you measure it OAK is #1 in the country though.  But compare it to some of the other great swim teams in Canada: Pointe Claire (Montreal), Edmonton Keyano, Cascade zack(Calgary), Island Swimming (Victoria), Etobicoke Swim Club, Toronto Swim Club… and they all are much bigger cities and have good facilities, at least one 50m pool.  But no matter how you cut it… OAK hits way above its weight class.  And a lot of that has to do with Zack and Tera.OAK


Okay, I have to tell you a little this story about Zack…

He’s a pool swimmer… but he does have some open water racing experience.  A little.  He made the Canadian Team one year, several years ago, to go to a major swim meet in Guam.  Very cool.  But I believe he had a crappy race in his main race, 200 fly.  Most people find a way to deal with a bad race, it happens to everyone.  Some people sulk, some get mad, some people blame themselves, some people blame other people.  A few people learn from it and try and get better.  Proof shows that Zack is the type that learned from it.  But he is also one of the nicest and most modest guys you’d ever want to meet, and he sure wouldn’t blame anyone else.  In fact, I guess he blamed himself.  So he decided to punish himself.  And he entered himself in the 10K Open Water race… at this major international meet.  And it worked.  He said it was the toughest race he’d ever done and came dead last (among some of the top 10k swimmers in the world, mind you).  So let’s just say he knows how to work hard.  And I don’t think he has especially good connotations with open water swimming! haha.

Maybe the LOST Race will change that! haha.zack 4

A few fun facts on Zack:

  • he missed the 2012 London Olympics by… .02 of a second… 2 one thousands.
  • he is one of the favorites to make the 2016 Rio Olympics in 200 butterfly
  • he is the fastest Canadian to ever swim 200 m Butterfly
  • he won the silver medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto (originally bronze but the gold medalist was busted for steroids)
  • he swam varsity at U of Toronto
  • he is one of the vet’s of the Canadian National Team and was co-captain of the swim team with another OAK alum and Olympian, Tera van Belien.
  •  you can often find his mom, Sue, sitting in the back of Brett’s coffee shop, Bean There, after her run on a Saturday morning… when all the LOSTies come in and invade the place!zack 3 zack 2





So come on out and meet one of the fastest Canadian swimmers of all time… and with him good luck on the road to the Rio Olympics… at the LOST Race!



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Ironman Lake Placid… another great adventure!

…to borrow a line from Captain Matthew Webb, the first person to swim the English Channel in 1875… “nothing great is easy”.  And IMLP was not easy.  But it was great.

So to set the stage… 13 LOSTies signed up a year ago to do IMLP.  Four were Ironman rookies (Julia, Dylan, Lambrina, Roger)… and one (Lambrina) could not swim… at all!… and the rest of us just needed a new challenge.

Alan, Lambrina, Brett, Julia, Joanne, Rob, Al, Dylan, David, Eileen, Ron, Darren... LOST in Lake Placid!

Alan, Lambrina, Brett, Julia, Joanne, Rob, Al, Dylan, David, Eileen, Ron, Darren… LOST in Lake Placid!

12 years ago, 3 years before I attempted the English Channel and started LOST Swimming as an afterthought, 4 of us did our first Ironman… Ironman Lake Placid.  After one particular Wednesday night run out of the Running Room (which we still do to this day!)… and a few pints (several) after the run (which we also still do to this day), I told Alex that the bank I was working for could probably get us into IMLP for free and his response was that now famous LOST battle cry: “I’m in!”.  Peter said he wasn’t though… as he couldn’t swim.  Several beers later though, he could… and shouted with a little less exuberance: “umm… I guess I’m in too”.  Followed by the other famous LOST battle cry:  “How hard could it be?!”.  We even got Deanna to join us a few days later… and then there were 4!

Peter Von Euw, Alex Mcmillin, Rob Kent, Heather Fuhr, Deanna Solomon, IMLP 2003

Peter Von Euw, Alex Mcmillin, Rob Kent, Heather Fuhr (the winner!), Deanna Solomon, IMLP 2003

In 2003 few people had heard of Ironman.  None of us had ever even met anyone who had done an Ironman, back then.  In 2003 it was just the 5th annual Ironman in Lake Placid and the only other one in North America was IM Canada in Penticton, BC.  Tells you how much the sport has taken off since then.

We really had no idea what we were getting into.  But somehow all 4 of us completed it in the driving rain and hail.  And my wife and 3 young kids (5, 9 & 12) were all there to cheer me in!

One of my all time favorite race pics... Maisey, me and Dylan... IMLP 2003!

One of my all time favorite race pics… Maisey, me and Dylan… IMLP 2003!

Rob, Joanne, Jillian, Dylan and Maisey... IMLP 2003

Rob, Joanne, Jillian, Dylan and Maisey… IMLP 2003

Skip ahead 12 years and this time I was competing against my wife and now 24 year old son.  And tons of people have done an Ironman, but Ironman is one thing that isn’t diminished by the number of people that have done it.  It never gets easier.  And there is no “easy” Ironman.  But there are some that are harder.  And I would argue Lake Placid is among the very toughest… including Kona.

It didn’t disappoint this year either.  And in case climbing 6800 feet on the bike and 4 large hills on the run wasn’t enough… weather again played a major role.

When we arrived on Thursday it was rainy and cold.  Rain sucks.  And it really sucks when it’s cold.  And it sucks even more when you are going down the “Keene decent”.  A windy, 10 km downhill.  So steep that if you don’t touch your breaks you can easily get up over 70 kph!  (I looked down VERY briefly on the bike on Sunday and saw 75 kph… before I hit the breaks)… I shudder to think what speed Brett and David got up to?!  Pushing 100 kph?  Let’s just say it’s a white knuckle ride.

Brett... going bananas on the bike!

Brett… going bananas on the bike!

Having said all that… the forecast changes constantly in Lake Placid, and we were all watching the forecast all week… all of which, right up until the night before said “rain”.  But Lake Placid being what it is… it didn’t rain.  It was hot.  REALLY hot… and humid.  33C or so.  And no one was expecting that.

So off we went.

Naturally I liked the swim.  Partially because I like swimming and partially because by comparison it is much, much more enjoyable than what was to come on the bike and the run!

They had a “rolling start”, which I’ve never done before, but worked pretty well.  It just means it is essentially like a mass start, but through a narrow starting arch.  Which essentially limits the number of people that can start at one time.  Your time doesn’t start until you cross the starting line anyway, so it doesn’t matter.  And they used “self-seeding”, which is really smart.  Like in a running marathon, they had guys in the crowd of swimmers standing there with estimated finish times, so you seed yourself where you want to be.  If you are slow and want to be at the front… go ahead.  But you are going to get trampled… and generally most people tend to want to avoid that.

Rob, Joanne and Dylan... of course everyone is all smiles... before the race!

Rob, Joanne and Dylan… of course everyone is all smiles… before the race!

Dylan and I were literally in the front row of about 15 swimmers across.  Which was kind of cool.  And scary.  Like everyone, I was wondering if I was overestimating my speed a little.  I really hadn’t done much swimming at all, but the bit I had done felt pretty good… so what the hell… I was at the front.  Actually, with about 10 seconds to go I grabbed Dylan by the shoulders and pushed him in front of me.  Second guessing myself.  And giving me someone to draft off of!

Dylan dropped me immediately.  A couple dozen swimmers blew by me in the first 150 meters or so.  So naturally I thought I seeded myself wrong.  But by 300 meters I had reeled them all back in.  Cool.

I swam right on the rowing cable for the first lap, shoulder to shoulder with the 2nd and 3rd place women… well girls.  They looked about 25 years younger than me!  We finished the first lap and you run out on the beach for about 30 feet and back through the starting arch for the second loop.  The second loop was fine until the second half.  Then I got to see what it was like to get punched and kicked.  In a mass start, as a strong swimmer, you usually get clear water, but with the 2 loop course and the “rolling start”, it delayed people to thin things out… but it meant we started lapping the pack.  In fact, as we started running up out of the water, I thought “hey, that looks like Eileen?!”.  It was.  Boy, was she surprised to see me finishing my second lap!  (in fairness to Eileen though, she did start quite a ways back!)

Hi Eileen!

Hi Eileen!

note that Dylan is turning  left... and everyone else is turning right... for their second lap!  Nice swim!

note that Dylan is turning left… and everyone else is turning right… for their second lap! Nice swim!

I didn’t know how I was placed or anything… top 50 or 75 maybe?  Not bad for an old guy in a crowd of 2400 or so.  I ran into the change tent, seeing only 3 other people in there is kind of an ego boost.  And one yelled over “hey, DAD!”  Dylan was just changing into his bike gear too, so I climbed over the row of chairs and he and I sat there and visited while getting changed.  We had all the time in the world now… our race was over.  Now we had an Ironman to do.  We knew our moment of glory was gone and we had a ton of time and big mountains ahead of us, so we weren’t in a hurry anymore.  Pretty cool to be racing with your son.

Dylan, second from the left... getting his "first out of the water award"... and $100!

Dylan, second from the left… getting his “first out of the water award”… and $100!

Dylan won the 18-24 age group in 56 minutes, 17th overall… I was 57 minutes, 24th overall… and 3rd in my age group!  A bit of rip off there… some small consolation, one of the guys that beat me out of the water didn’t finish, so officially I was second.  Briefly.

That was the highlight of Dylan and my races.  The fact that I’m not going to go into nearly as much detail about the bike and run tells you something.

I actually had a good bike.  Caught in no time by Brett… then David… then Al (screaming “on your LEFT!!!… to try and make me fill my pants!)… then Darren and I had a nice visit as he rolled by.  I won’t bore you with the story of how hard the mountains are… but they are really hard.  And you know that fast downhill, well, as Joanne says “what goes down, must go up”.  A fair bit slower though.  For me, a 7:00 hour 180 km ride on the bike is fine.

Then came the run.  And the heat.

My goal was to finish.  And to only walk during the aid stations… and the 2 big hills coming back into town.  And I did… so I’ll call a 5:12 marathon a good run too, almost 2 hours slower than my best marathon time… but hey, that’s Ironman Lake Placid for you.

Brett anxiously waiting to hear "Lambrina... YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

Brett anxiously waiting to hear “Lambrina… YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

... and he heard it... judging by the grin, Id say Lamb heard Mike Riley too!

… and he heard it… judging by the grin, Id say Lamb heard Mike Riley too!


The nice thing about the double, out and back course is that you get to see all your buddies… a few times!  I saw Eileen (she looked really strong, and was, she got some

David... smoked the run... and the whole race for that matter!

David… smoked the run… and the whole race for that matter!

revenge for me lapping her on the swim… she beat me by a few minutes on the run!)… I saw Lambrina a few times on the run, she looked strong too.  She was a rookie, but she’s a very experienced marathoner and knew enough to do the training… and she did.  I saw Brett when I started the run and he was coming back into town, I only had about 4 km on him and I knew he’d be lapping me soon!  He didn’t.  The poor bugger blew up.  No injuries or anything, just the heat got to him.  When you are “red-lining” it like that the extra heat can do you in.  And it did.  But he was smart, he shut it down and walked it in with a smile on his face.  A sub-3 hour marathoner, who has never

James Bond... with the Bond Women... Julia and Lamb!

James Bond… with the Bond Women… Julia and Lamb!

walked in a marathon… and he walked the whole second half… and got ‘er done.  Pretty cool (oh, and even walking the second lap he beat most of us!).  I chatted with Alan a few times, he was just doing his thing… and got it done.  And I saw Al coming in on the last lap… he looked like he was going to explode!  I don’t think I saw anyone in the whole race trying harder than he was!  Holy crap that guy races hard.  But like he said “that’s how I race”.  Speaking of how one races… then you have Darren… played 18 holes of golf the day before the race… and bowled (but that’s another story in itself?!)… and still kicked ass.  He’s not inexperienced or stupid… he just can’t sit still!  I saw Dylan several times and I would always cross the road and yell and cheer and give him a high five… I thought he must have been in the zone or something because he never said anything.  He later told me he couldn’t.  That’s how hard you work in an Ironman sometimes… that talking, even

Ron... pretty happy guy too!

Ron… pretty happy guy too!

briefly is hard and a waste of energy.  I also saw Joanne.  She didn’t have a good day.  The heat got to her too.  She’s completed 4 other Ironmen… but 2 of them she ended up in the medical tent with an IV because of dehydration (actually just 1 she ended up in the medical tent… IM Cda she ended up passed out on a park bench with me, Brett, Lamb, Maisey, Jill and Julia trying to take care of her!)… so given that she had been down this road before and knew how the story ended… she pulled the plug after walking most of the first loop and not being able to eat or drink due to the heat.  It sucks to have to pack it in… we all know that… but it is still a very hard thing to do.  But it was a good call.

Dylan and Lambrina... Ironman rookies no more!

Dylan and Lambrina… Ironman rookies no more!

I finished.  Felt pretty good.  Not my fastest IM, but maybe my best race… and I did kick my 38 year old butt… I beat my time from 12 years earlier by 11 minutes!  Joanne was already out of the medical tent by then and met me at the finish, it is always nice to see a familiar face at the finish.  But the best part of my race was waiting a half an hour to see Dylan finish (okay partly because I beat him… after he beat me by half an hour in his first 1/2 Ironman!), but mostly because of how heart warming it was to see him finish.  I’ve done a lot of endurance races and sometimes I forget what it’s like to do that first one.  He came across the finish sobbing.  I was a bit scared at first, but then realized he was just that emotional.  If you haven’t done a race as hard as this, and most people haven’t, it is hard to adequately express how much the physical exertion effects you emotionally.  Strips you to the core.  Congrats Dylan… you are an IRONMAN!

... it really strips you down to your emotional core... especially when you finish!

… it really strips you down to your emotional core… especially when you finish!

Congrats Dylan... you are an IRONMAN!

Congrats Dylan… you are an IRONMAN!

Congrats to all my LOST buddies, you are all IRONMEN!  (yes, Joanne, that includes you!  The previous 4 still count… they can’t take that away from you!).

Now 3 Ironmen in the Kent family!

Now 3 Ironmen in the Kent family!

Also thanks to all the LOST supporters too… it was really nice to see your smilin’ faces out there!… Celine, Angela, Jazlyn, Ethan, Mark, Matthew, Georgie, Joe (great hat!) and Rick… well, maybe not Rick… but everyone else!  ;-p

The athletes... and all the "athletic supporters"!

The athletes… and all the “athletic supporters”!

Another great adventure.

So as Darren, David and Al were saying the next morning… “what’s next?!”

... about 1 minute after Darren, Al and David said "so... whats next?".  And yes, they meant it...

the next morning buying all the Ironman loot… and about 1 minute after Darren, Al and David said: “so… whats next?”…and yes, they meant it…

… oh, and here are the results… for those that are into stuff like that! haha!

Results IMLP 2015



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LOST Triathletes at Ironman Lake Placid!!!


Hi from lovely Lake Placid!  Just laying on the bed relaxing the afternoon away… before the Ironman tomorrow!

The weather has been hit and miss… sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy… and that’s every half hour!  We have no idea what it will be like tomorrow… but I think we would all prefer to not have the rain!  Especially since this is one of the toughest bike courses of all Ironman!  Yikes.

One of my all time favorite race pics... Maisey, me and Dylan... IMLP 2003!

One of my all time favorite race pics… Maisey, me and Dylan… IMLP 2003!

Actually this was my first Ironman… 12 years ago in 2003!  Peter, Alex, Deanna and I all did it.  And that was back before any of us had ever even heard of anyone ever doing an Ironman, let alone met someone that had done one!  Amazing how things have changed.  But the one thing that doesn’t change, even if Ironman triathlons become popular… how hard they are… and they are all hard.

Alex, Deanna, me and Peter... "How hard could it be?!"

Alex, Deanna, me and Peter… “How hard could it be?!”

One thing that has changed though, is that when I did my first Ironman 12 years ago, my son (Dylan) was 12 years old… now he’s twice that old… and will be racing me!  Also, 12 years ago, my wife (Joanne) was dragging around a 5, 8 and 12 year old in the pouring rain to watch daddy struggle to a 13:39 Ironman.  This time she will be completing her 5th Ironman!  And I will be trying not to get “chick’d”!P1010066

We will also be doing it with a bunch of our LOST buddies, who’s names and bib numbers are below… in case you are really bored for the whole day tomorrow and you want to track us! haha.P1010056

Thanks for all the good wishes.  Should be “fun” (?!)

... remember don't listen to the doubters!  (including yourself!)  Thanks for the inspiration, 6 year old Jillian!

… remember don’t listen to the doubters! (including yourself!) Thanks for the inspiration, 5 year old Jillian!


Alan, Lambrina, Brett, Julia, Joanne, Rob, Al, Dylan, David, Eileen, Ron, Darren... LOST in Lake Placid!

Alan, Lambrina, Brett, Julia, Joanne, Rob, Al, Dylan, David, Eileen, Ron, Darren… LOST in Lake Placid at the pre-race dinner!

164 Eileen Luxton

1249 Joanne Kent
1266 Lambrina Nikolaou
1275 Julia Rutledge

M 18-24
1356 Dylan Kent

2016 Ron Marek

2347 Darren Osborne
2456 Allan Wiggins

2477 David Brezer
2563 Rob Kent

2663 Roger Storer
673 Bret Titus


2770 Alan Swankie

Rob, Joanne and Dylan... fast forward 12 years!

Rob, Joanne and Dylan… fast forward 12 years!

The athletes... and all the "athletic supporters"!

The athletes… and all the “athletic supporters”!  😉



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Here comes the 8th Annual LOST Race!!!

LOST Trophy and CNE pics

LOST Trophy and CNE pics (2014)

Okay, for those of you that haven’t registered yet, here are the need-to-know facts:

  • Saturday, Aug 8
  • 8:00 am start (check in starts at 6:30)
  • 3.8 km, point-to-point, Ironman distance!
  • wetsuit or naked divisions
  • around 100 swimmers… the largest-longest open water race in Canada!
  • member of the Global Swim Series!  (you will automatically be ranked in the world! Global-SS-Banner Visit GlobalSwimSeries.com)
  • cost $55 (if you are registering now or on race day… looks like you missed early registration of $45, oh well, you’ll know for next year!)SWAG
  • SWAG for the first 100 people to check in on race day:
    • LOST Race & Global Swim Series silicone swim cap!
    • LOST Race drawstring bag!
    • LOST Swimming pen!
    • LOST Swimming coffee mug!
    • LOST Swimming ear phones!  (big thanks on the swag to John Stibrany!)
    • snacks after the race!
    • … and most of all, a fun and friendly swim along one of the most beautiful and scenic open water swim courses in the world!  (… probably the most expensive real estate you’ll ever swim by too… maybe Malibu or Dubai… but I doubt it!)
    • also… we will be raffling off a free Xterra wetsuit for all competitors AND volunteers! Xterra and LOST poster


  • this one is for Lynn (trying to decide to go wetsuit or naked… it’s always a nice temp!)

LOST Race day weather


See all the details and pics under the LOST Race tab!

See you all there!!!







For more info and lots of cool pics, see the LOST Race tab or click here!

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Krista Ten Brinke becomes 21st person to complete a Lake Erie Crossing!!!

Krista Ten Brinke completed this summer’s first Lake crossing on Lake Erie!

The Start... in the US!

The Start… in the US!

Krista is a regular young lady who had grown up around and in water her entire life. She was a lifeguard and a Waterfront Director for Camp Crossroads.  She has been thinking about crossing a Great Lake for a long time.  This past year was the perfect time to finally make an attempt.

... putting in the time...

… putting in the time…

She joined 2 Masters programs in Niagara and then found Christine Arsenault who walked her through a training plan and stroke correction for endurance swimmers.  Christine knows a thing or two about marathon swimming.  You may recall that Christine swam Lake O a few years ago… and then her daughter, Trinity, also completed the same task!  Amazing mother and daughter combination!

... coming into the finish!

… coming into the finish!

Krista is 23 and a teacher in St. Catharines.  She is incredibly thankful for the Great Lakes Crossing Organization (GLCO) for making this opportunity available for her and sanctioning the swim!  GLCO is a part of LOST Swimming and Miguel Vadillo was her swim-master and he worked with Christine to put together a swim plan that kept her safe and accounted for any possible issues that may have come up. It involved a 3:30 AM wake up call on the day of my swim, but to avoid any challenging weather, this was the best time to get started.

... what a beautiful finish!

… what a beautiful finish!

Krista left Sturgeon Point, NY at 6:00 AM and landed in Crystal Beach, Fort Erie at 12:52 PM.  The first 3 hours were a bit tough because waves were between 1 and two feet.  Although they were predominantly from the south, she had to work hard to hold her stroke.  The wind and the waves diminished by 10 am and she had a very pleasant swim the rest of the day.  Finishing her 19.2 km swim and becoming the 21st person to cross Lake Erie!

Now that's how you finish!  Upright, charging for the beach... with a big ol' grin on your face!  Well done, Krista!

Now that’s how you finish! Upright, charging for the beach… with a big ol’ grin on your face! Well done, Krista!

A big congrats from all the LOSTies!  Way to go Krista!

Hugs from Pacer Trinity too!

Hugs from Pacer Trinity too!

Krista and a happy Coach Christine!

Krista and a happy Coach Christine!













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Pan Am Games… Open Water Swimming was awesome!

Pan Am Games Opening Ceremonies!

Pan Am Games Opening Ceremonies!

So I had tried to get tickets to Open Water Swimming at the Pan Am Games… but they were sold out?!  Kinda sucked.  I especially wanted to see Canadian, Richard Weinberger swim.  He was the defending Pan Am Games champ and bronze medalist at the last Olympics!

The very cool Pine Cone Torch at the base of the CN Tower!

The very cool Pine Cone Torch at the base of the CN Tower!

David, Al, Mike, Ron, Joanne, Dylan and I went out for a 100k ride in the morning.  David did a good sales job on me, he said he went with his daughter to see rugby and it was great.  Just a really cool experience.  “Doesn’t matter what you see, but you really should do yourself a favor and make the effort and go see SOMETHING”.  So I thought I’d check the computer to see if they had released more tickets.  It was 2:00 and the race started at 3:30, so it seemed unlikely.  They hadn’t.  But Joanne walked by the computer a couple minutes later and they just released a bunch!  So we did something I love doing… we were spontaneous!  We bought them online, jumped in the car and flew downtown (and yes, traffic was fine!  And no, I was not like Rob Ford and went in the carpool lane!… we had to take 2 cars).  In no time we were at the CNE wandering through the grounds of the Pan Am Games.  As I said at the time “I know I’m probably biased because love this kind of thing, and I love open water swimming, but this whole thing is pretty exciting”.  The place was packed.  And the excitement was palpable.  Cool.

Pan Am fever was real at the CNE!

Pan Am fever was real at the CNE!

As for the race. It was great.

So it is 10k (or 6 miles)… so they did 6 x 1 mile loops.  Which means the course was a half mile long.  Which means you could see virtually the whole race.

Odd thing for the start is they count down from 10... they don't want false starts... because if there is a false start they don't notify the swimmer until AFTER the race!

Odd thing for the start is they count down from 10… they don’t want false starts… because if there is a false start they don’t notify the swimmer until AFTER the race!

As I think is the case with a lot of events, there are some of the best in the world, but the depth isn’t the same as the Olympics.  But still the top guys were really freakin’ fast.  The first mile was just over 19 minutes.  Fast.  The second was faster, 18 minutes and change.  And guess what, like any really good endurance athlete, these guys know how to pace themselves.  The next 2 laps were within seconds of the previous lap.  And yes, they negative split the whole race.

And they're off!

And they’re off!

I believe there was 18 swimmers in the race.  And like any endurance race it’s all about pacing… and then pushing the pace and seeing who can hang on… and then, because drafting is so important, it comes down to who has any gas left in the final pack that was able to hang on!  Oh, and with regards to drafting, Richard pulled the whole last 3 miles… but hindsight is always 20/20.  Lots of strategy in this race!  Not only is this race probably the hardest swimming race out there… it is also a “thinking man’s race”!

Before the pack started to thin out...

Before the pack started to thin out…

Well, the race didn’t disappoint.  Kevin McKinnon and Barrie Shepley did an awesome job commentating, which only added to the excitement.  First they were a pack.  Then the perfect “V”, like a flock of birds.  Then single file.  Then a shorter single file as guys got dropped.  Then the final sprint was Canadian Richard Weinberger, 2 great Americans and a Brazilian.  Well, you win some and you lose some… Richard got squeezed out for 4th.

A tough finish for Richard... but he'll be ready for the next big race... at World Championships!

A tough finish for Richard… but he’ll be ready for the next big race… at World Championships!

I saw his interview after and he said he wasn’t fully tapered as he also has Aquatic World Championships in 2 weeks… but that “he could take those guys”.  I like it.  It might sound a little cocky, but I like guys that talk big… and then live up to it.  And he has.  I’m not the biggest fan of the overly polite stereo typical Canadian type… I guess I still miss guys like Victor Davis.  I like a guy who isn’t afraid to put it all out there and not apologize for it.  I like unabashed competitors.  Guys who hate to lose.  Really hate to lose.  I’ll cheer for guys like that ’til the cows come home.  Go get ’em at Worlds, Richard.  The LOSTies will be pulling for you!

yup... I had fun!

yup… I had fun!



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Crazy Lake O…

So last Saturday was an awesome swim.  We had 66 swimmers out… and the water was 63F… so we beat the “swimmer to temperature ratio” again!  Very impressive!

Look how flat that water is!  66 swimmers, 63F.  What a great swim!

Look how flat that water is! 66 swimmers, 63F. What a great swim!

After a few weeks of quite rough water, and me having to explain to people that the norm was to have flat water, we actually had flat water.  Flat as a pool.  I wouldn’t want it flat all the time, the waves make it fun, but don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want big waves all the time either!  This was some nice swimming.

Pascals first LOST swim... and hes now a die-hard LOSTie!

Pascals first LOST swim… and hes now a die-hard LOSTie!

Mike laid out the 500m loop course.  And we swam.  Just beautiful.  I went for 3 loops and was lovin’ it.  In fact, I had to laugh, on the last lap I was swimming to the second buoy and my sighting was way off.  I would look up and swim towards it and take a dozen strokes (there were no waves, so I didn’t think I needed to sight often!?)… but then I was way off again?!  Weird.  Until I noticed that Mike was pulling the buoy!  He was taking the course down and I was in the zone so I didn’t even notice that the time had slipped away.  You know you are enjoying your swim when you lose track of time.  That happens once in the while for me in the pool, but it’s usually because my brain has gone numb.  This was just nice and relaxing, in a real endless pool.P7100013

And the “Crazy Lake O” part of the story?

Well, that was when a few of us decided to get a little “scramming” in.  What’s “scramming” you ask?  Well it is a term I coined this week.  It is a verb.  It is the combination of swimming and cramming.  As in “wow, we have Ironman Lake Placid in 2 weeks and I haven’t done nearly enough swimming… I guess I better start scramming.  said Rob”.

So we decide to get a Wednesday morning 6:30 dip in.  If you recall there was a huge windstorm on Tuesday night.  I just new that with the wind we would get a “roll-over” and everyone was going to give me a hard time when we showed up at 6:30 am the next day and the water had rolled over to 50F or something.P7100009

And I was right.  Well half right.

We got down there the next morning and the waves were HUGE!  And the water HAD rolled over!  But the thing that surprised me was that it had rolled in our favor!  It had jumped from 63F on Saturday to 73F on Wednesday!!!  That never happens!  About as rare as getting the wind behind you on the bike… in both directions!

A bit of a change from 3 days earlier!!!  Wavy as hell and warmer?!  73F!

A bit of a change from 3 days earlier!!! Wavy as hell and warmer?! 73F!

Well the waves were crazy, but with no cold water to worry about one could just get out there and roll around.  So Darren, Eileen, Alan and I went for a couple km’s!  The hardest part was getting in and out… Eileen got smoked a couple of times getting in and I got tossed up on the beach getting out!  It was pretty comical!

But hey, that’s open water swimming… and that’s Lake O!

regardless of the size of the waves... coffee at Bean There on a nice sunny summer morning is a nice way to start the day!

regardless of the size of the waves… coffee at Bean There after a swim on a nice, sunny summer morning is a pretty nice way to start the day!

See you tomorrow.




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LOST Swimming: July 4… just about the perfect swim!

57 swimmers, 62F... and flat as a board!  Perfect.

57 swimmers, 62F… and flat as a board! Perfect.

It really was pretty close to perfect.  The water was 62F/16C… which nobody complained about… even the ‘naked’ swimmers!  (although I’ll give you that there was a bit of shivering from some of them!  It was also flat as pool water and the air temp was even nice.  It is amazing how getting out after a swim in 62F water is a whole lot more comfortable when the sun is shining and warm (sorry, that wasn’t a dig at our friends in Dover, England that get this, haha!).

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!

By my count we had 57 swimmers… everyone had fun.  We probably went for between 45-60 minutes and Mike and Gary in the kayaks and Remi on the SUP had the course set up in a 500m loop.  It really was just nice to stretch it out and glide along.

Let's just say the group pic above the water turned out better than the one below!

Let’s just say the group pic above the water turned out better than the one below!

P7030062 Unlike last week when we had all the visitors from Boston and Virginia, and Adventure TV stars, there was nothing special about this swim… except how nice it was.

Also, for those who don’t usually come for coffee after at Bean There, I must say you are missing part of the LOST Swimming experience!  Make a point of coming, even if you don’t know anyone… especially if you don’t know anyone!  That’s where you get to meet all kinds of very interesting people!  Where else could you have coffee with people who have swum across Lake Ontario, or the English Channel, or around Manhattan and Key West and hundred other cool things!  Besides, what good are the cool experiences if you can’t share them with people!

Good thing Adrian was injured... he made a much better photographer than me!

Good thing Adrian was injured… he made a much better photographer than me!

Oh wait, after I just said there were no people from far away… I remembered we got Gabriel from Colombia this week!  He had heard of LOST Swimming and moved to Hamilton… and took a bus and train and a walk just so swim with us!  Now that’s commitment!P7030026 P7030041

See you next week!

Oh, one more thing… if you haven’t already, check out the Global Swim Series website and please “Like” us on the Facebook page!  (if you haven’t already!)  There are a couple of good write ups about the recent races in Lake Erie, Kelso and Ireland!  (they swam around a castle in Ireland!)



Who ever said I can't keep my mouth shut...

Who ever said I can’t keep my mouth shut…

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A good day not to sleep in!!!

So if you were like most of the millions of people in the GTA you probably looked at the weather this morning… rolled over and went back to sleep.  Bad call.

This was an unexpectedly great swim.

28 swimmers and 61F/15C... and some HUGE waves!!!  Nice.

28 swimmers and 61F/15C… and some HUGE waves!!! Nice.

I couldn’t blame you if you did go back to bed, but there was two good reasons this was a cool swim… the weather and the people.

I’ll start with the people.  We always have some really interesting LOSTies.  I’m sure a lot of clubs say that, but we really do.  And aside from the normal bunch of abnormal people that call themselves LOSTies, check out the cast of characters we got to swim with this morning:Patrick McKnight

Patrick McKnight – I got an email from him a while ago as he wanted to come and join us and do his qualifying swim for the English Channel!  To do that he has to swim for 6 hours in water no warmer than 60F/15C.  Without a wetsuit.  Obviously.  Oh and did I mention that he drove all the way from Fairfax, Virginia to do the swim with

Patrick... 6 hour swim in 60F... English Channel here he comes!

Patrick… 6 hour swim in 60F… English Channel here he comes!

us!!!  He found out about LOST through this very website… and you know how I’m always BS’ing you about what a great place this is to swim and what a great group this is to swim with… well, would someone drive all the way here from Fairfax, Virginia to swim with us if we didn’t have something special going on!  Oh, and did I mention, Patrick just got back from his second attempt to climb Mt Everest, both of which got cancelled by the weather.  Very cool guy.  And a big thanks to Madhu, Loren, Mark and Mike for swimming and kayaking with Patrick yesterday (he swam his test swim yesterday instead of today… good call!  Would have been a tough 6 hour swim today!)… and he made it!  He will be joining our own local LOSTie, Steve Faulkner, in Dover later this summer… to attempt to complete the Mt Everest of marathon swimming… swimming across the English Channel!!!  Good luck boys!

rick born

Harvard Professor Rick Born... wins the award for the best dressed LOSTie!

Harvard Professor Rick Born… wins the award for the best dressed LOSTie!… and the most pumped!

Rick Born – another “International LOSTie”!  He too found us online and took a bus, subway and GO train from York University to the Oakville GO, where I picked him up this morning!  That’s another dedicated open water swimmer, that wanted to be a LOSTie!  Rick made the trip from Boston!  He swims with “Boston Open Water Swimming” (see them on FB).  He was at York U for a conference, you see he’s a professor at the Harvard Medical School… in brain chemistry, no less!  How’s that for an interesting guy to have swim and a coffee with?!paul trebilcock

Paul “Turbo” Trebilcock – now this is a very cool guy.  In fact, I’m envious.  He makes a living at doing things like we LOSTies love to do!  He goes on adventures and races all over the world and makes them into the TV show “Boundless” (on Esquire Network)!!!  I actually had this idea about 10 years ago, but I never did anything with it… and much like the swim today or all the races and events that we do, you don’t get any credit for thinking about things, you are the sum of the ACTIONS you take!  So hats off to Turbo!  Oh and he had so much fun out there today he came over to me after the swim to tell me about it and I thought he was going to kiss me he was so excited!  😉  He’s in.  And to show that he is a true LOSTie, he’s doing the O Til O with two awesome swimmers and big LOSTies, Christine and Ross!  (PS. Ross won the LOST Race last year!).  Check out O Til O, a crazy swim-run race in Sweden… that LOSTies Lisa, Art and Nick have done too!

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

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

Darren “Ozzy” Osborne – he’s baaack!  He was just in Australia for work for the past couple of weeks and like the true LOSTie he is, he finds adventure anywhere and everywhere!  I won’t spoil his story because I got him to write it up for me to post later.  He’s also a great writer, so stay tuned for that!

The New Couple – everyone knows I’m notoriously bad with names, so I’m going to say “Beth and Chris”(?!).  There were quite a few new LOSTies today, like there often are, and guess what?  They didn’t have their own TV show, nor were planning on swimming the English Channel or a crazy swim-run race in Sweden or swim in Australia… they were from Toronto… and had just done their first tri.  And it didn’t go that well.  So they joined LOST to get more experience.  And got a helluva day for their first time out.  They confided that much to me after the swim.  But they were still smilin’!  So I think they’ll be back.  I think they had fun too!

And the second part that made this a fun day… the WAVES!!!

I’m not sure if those were the biggest waves I’ve swum in, in Lake O… but they were up there!  The water was 61F/15C, which was cool, but fine.  The air was about the same temp… and windy as hell!  But it was fun.  It was too rough even for veteran kayaker, Mike Morton, to get out there!  So he, Mark and Elizabeth were our lifeguards along the beach… thx guys!  And you know why it was fun… because we got to surf the waves!

Good times!

Congrats to those that swam at the Global Swim Series race in Kelso today, “Mine over Matter”… and I hope to see a ton of LOSTies join me out at the “North Shore Challenge” tomorrow… it’ll be fun and “challenging”!

PS.  the lesson to be learned today:  “have fun and see you next week!”

PPS.  Sorry I couldn’t make coffee… had to get a 180k ride in with Jo and Dylan… it didn’t go well…

a couple of drown rats... yes, we cut it a bit short... the swim was much more fun than the bike!

a couple of cold “drown rats”… yes, we cut it a bit short… the swim was much more fun than the bike!




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The LOST Tri-wear is here… The LOST Tri wear is here!!!

LOST Triathletes at IM Louisville in 2009! (back: Carla, Patty, Cathy, Alexis, Jenn, John, Joanne, Peter, Tim, Paul... front: Bill, Nicole, Melanie, Eileen, Rob, John, Maisey) (click to enlarge)

LOST Triathletes at IM Louisville in 2009! (back: Carla, Patty, Cathy, Alexis, Jenn, John, Joanne, Peter, Tim, Paul… front: Bill, Nicole, Melanie, Eileen, Rob, John, Maisey) (click to enlarge)

Well, technically you will be able to find it in the LOST Store (later tonight)!  Given that there are so many triathletes in the group, including 15 or so of us that are doing Ironman Lake Placid, and lots doing other races like Muskoka, Tremblant, Wisconsin and lots of other shorter distance tri’s, we figured we were due for a new LOST Tri look!

IMC post carbo load Aug. 2011

We did the same thing a few years ago and they were a big hit at Ironman Canada and Ironman Louisville!

But we thought we’d change it up a bit, so here are the new ones!

Now there is one catch for those people (like myself) that want the new tri wear in time for IM Lake Placid… and the catch is that you need to place your order in the LOST Store by the end of the day on Wednesday, June 17!!!

CLICK HERE to view the new LOST Tri Wear!!!          (but order it in the LOST Store)

If you don’t need it before IMLP (July 26), then you can place your order anytime!

I know, I know… we should have given you more time… and I know how everyone would prefer to try it on, but we didn’t have time for them to send a full sizing kit.  I would recommend that you use any current tri gear that you like and measure it and just print out the sizing chart and match it up… or just use your measurements!  Funny how life gets in the way sometimes!  Sorry, but that’s the best we can do!

The good news is they look awesome!  Thanks to Miguel!

Trust me… they’ll be great!



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The 3rd LOST swim of the summer… and we beat “the ratio”!

Well that was a nice weekend.  We got a good swim in at LOST on Saturday morning… and then a fun race in the Caledon Quarry on Sunday (more on that in the other post!)

I can't seem to locate the group shot of the 54 swimmers that showed up on Saturday... but this still gives you an idea of what it was like... well except that it was 52F!  These were the "LOST Sun-Risers!"

I can’t seem to locate the group shot of the 54 swimmers that showed up on Saturday… but this still gives you an idea of what it was like… well except that it was 52F! These were the “LOST Sun-Risers!”

For the 3rd LOST Swim of the year we had another amazing turnout… 54 swimmers!!!  So we beat the “swimmer to temp ratio” for the second time this year!  Because the water temp was still a chilly 52F!  And if you think that is no big deal, well it kind of is… it wasn’t that many years ago when beating the “swimmer to temperature ratio” was a big deal… if it was in Celsius! (11C)… haha.

But, amazingly, everyone was fine with the water temp!  Don’t get me wrong… it was cold.  But it was still swim-able.  In fact, there was a hearty bunch that went out for a half an hour before the swim… naked.  That’s tough.  But it also shows how one can acclimatize to cold water.  If you are tough enough, that is!

For the rest of us mere mortals, 52F in a wetsuit was “challenging” enough.  But you know what, people still did multiple laps of the course we had set up, which was a short 300 m, given the temp.  But lots, if not most, people were still in for 20-30 minutes… without any problem.

Everyone still came out smilin’!  So I’ll call that another LOST success.

Having said that… don’t get impatient… it will warm up.  The Lake actually is right on schedule, which I wasn’t so sure it would be after how cold this winter was and how much ice there was on it!  I had never seen that much ice on Lake O in 18 years!  But my prediction is that we will be in the low 60’s by the end of June!

And in the low 60’s… well that really is totally fine.  All the warm water swimmers are safe to come out then!  It’s reasonably cool without a wetsuit… and perfect in a wetsuit!

So keep it up… and we’ll see you next Saturday!



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The Caledon Quarry Swim 1!

The start of the Caledon Quarry Swim, 2k!

The start of the Caledon Quarry Swim, 2k!

So for those of you who stayed in bed, because it was a gloomy morning… well you missed a good one!

The Caledon Quarry Swim was a fun race!  Yes, it rained… but hey, we’re swimmers!  You’re in your bathing suit or wetsuit anyway… let’s just say that I’d much rather do a swim in the rain than a bike ride in the rain!

Miguel took his life in his hands... taking these pictures!  Good shots though!

Miguel took his life in his hands… taking these pictures! Good shots though!

The long and short of it was: it was good value… $30 for a fun swim in a great swimming facility and free BBQ after!  They had about 85 swimmers in the 3 races, 1k, 2k & 4k.  Oh, and the question everyone wants to know this time of year… yes, it was warm!  67F/19C… and flat as a pancake!  A great practice race for all the upcoming tri’s.

So Dylan and I decided to do it (along with a whole lot of other LOSTies!) together.  We’re doing Ironman Lake Placid at the end of July, so we figured this should be a good test.  But we both wimped out of doing the 4k… we decided to ease into it and just do the 2k.  We’re saving that for the 3.8k race in 2 weeks (the RE7 North Shore Challenge in Lake Erie)… or at least that was our justification for just doing 2k!

I know its probably not the way most people feel... but I love swim starts!  They really are exciting!

I know its probably not the way most people feel… but I love swim starts! They really are exciting!

Oddly, given the amount of swim training I’ve been doing, I felt pretty good.  Hey, once in a while you get better than you deserve… but I’ll take it!  I wasn’t able to keep up with the boy, but at least he didn’t embarrass me!  He cruised to a 29:03 and I was 29:54.  I wouldn’t say I cruised it, but I was able to keep my lungs in my chest, so that was good.  Dylan got 2nd and some good points for the Global Swim Series and I should do okay with a 4th.  At least the 3 kids that beat me were less than half my age… hey when you start getting old you take solace where you can!

Anyway, it was a fun race.

The next GSS races are:

1) Mine over Matter – Saturday, June 27, in Milton (Kelso)

mine over matter, 2014



2) RE7 North Shore Challenge – Sunday, June 28, in Lake ErieNS-Challenge-logo

… they both are going to be great!  See you there!



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Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour!

This is why I had to miss the LOST swim last weekend… we rode the Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour!  (RLCT).

Ian, Andy, Mark, Rick, Eileen, Joanne, Lambrina, Scott, Rob, David, Mike, Peter, Al, Kirsti, Alan.

Ian, Andy, Mark, Rick, Eileen, Joanne, Lambrina, Scott, Rob, David, Mike, Peter, Al, Kirsti, Alan… leaving from Queen’s University!

And it was hard.

We drove from Oakville, past Kingston to Ottawa on Friday.  Then got up Saturday morning and rode 175 km back to Kingston.  Then got up Sunday and rode 175 km back to Ottawa.  Then drove from Ottawa, past Kingston (yet again), back to Oakville.  Let’s just say I’m getting to know the route from Ottawa to Kingston pretty well!

I’m (quite) a bit of an excel geek.  And I have an excel log book going back every day for the last 12 years, logging my workouts and races… for no particular reason, I just like to keep track of the shape I’m in and what I was training for and stuff like that.  But mostly because I’m an excel geek.  Anyway, I also have a list on this spreadsheet of all the major races I’ve done over the years… marathons, ultra-marathons, marathon swims, Ironman tri’s… but noticeably absent from the list is a major cycling race.  I’ve always wanted to do one but the opportunity has never arisen.  Or at least I never really moved it up the priority list so it could arise.  However, when LOSTie, David Brezer, told us that he (and a few other LOSTies) needed to do the RLCT to earn the “Rudy Award” (google it…) and suggested we join them, well it seemed like it would be a good training ride for Ironman Lake Placid!  And I’d be able to check off that “major ride” I’ve always wanted to do!

Beers before the ride... to get psyched up!

Beers before the ride… to get psyched up!

So 15 of us signed up for it.

The weirdest thing I found about this race… was that it wasn’t a race.  It was a “tour”, the 44th year of this “tour”, I believe!  I didn’t quite get it until we got there.  There was no starting line… no starting time… and no finish line… no disqualifications… just a really, really large group ride.  Thousands.

So the 15 of us decided to meet at Algonquin College in Ottawa, the “starting spot” at 7 am on Saturday (except for Andy, who started 45 minutes later… but still caught us!  He’s fast.)  Now the idea was that we were all going to just ride conservatively, especially for the first day, since no one other than David had done 175 k back-to-back before!

... in Perth... 75k into it... no beer yet...

… in Perth… 75k into it… no beer yet…

Naturally, we didn’t.  Everyone put on their best casual, non-competitive face… and proceeded to hammer it.  You’re all outdoorsy people, so I can tell you this… I know how fast our little peleton was moving because each of the 4 times I had to stop to pee… I had to blow my brains out trying to catch the group a km ahead!  Not a great way to preserve the legs for a double long ride!  (or at least that’s my excuse for getting chick’d by the girls in the group!).  Oh yeah… but it wasn’t a race.

Well, let’s just say the ol’ peleton was smokin’ along pretty fast… holding 40+ kph in some long stretches!  Which seemed super-human to me… until we got to Queen’s University in Kingston, the finishing spot, and Peter pointed out that we had a huge tail wind all the way!  Our speed made more sense to me now.

... we made it!  Now we get beer!... um, but we only made it half way... now we have to ride back!

… we made it! Now we get beer!… um, but we only made it half way… now we have to ride back!

Speaking of the weather, man, did we luck out.  It poured rain on the way up to Ottawa… and on the way home from Ottawa.  It was a very chilly +8C when we started on Saturday, but not a cloud in the sky for the whole day, nor Sunday and ended up being a very comfortable mid-20’s C, both days.  Oh, and that tail wind we got the first day… well the wind switched over night… and we got a tail wind AGAIN the second day.  That NEVER happens in cycling.  I liked it.

I was quite happy to have the break while they let a boat through the Rideau Canal Locks!  Beautiful country!

I was quite happy to have the break while they let a boat through the Rideau Canal Locks! Beautiful country!

A long story short… it was an epic ride.  Despite the excellent conditions… it was hard.  350 km in 2 days is tough.  But, like so many of our LOST adventures… it was still awesome.  And pretty much all due the the great group of fun, positive people.  Thanks everyone!

I would really recommend this “tour” to anyone (there are shorter distances too!)… but I think I’ll be a “one and done” guy, thanks.

Some notable events from the ride:

  • Al rode, actually he, David and Andy were the “really fast guys” out there… in spite of Al having had a bad crash the weekend before!  He couldn’t walk… but, boy, could ride!
  • Scott’s line, which became a running joke: “I’m not staying there… it’s a dump!”  Upon walking in and surveying his dorm room at Queen’s for the night. (we didn’t either!)
  • Mike had never ridden more than 40k in one ride before.  But in his defense, he’s 61… and an amazing athlete.  He’s also about the most stoic and deadpan person you could meet… he wiped out and got a good dose of road-rash with 1 KM TO GO!!!  No biggee.
  • Lambrina and Kirsti were nervous (ya, like the rest of us weren’t!) because they are both just getting into triathlon.  Let’s just say they needn’t worry… they crushed it.
  • Alan’s best quote of the weekend: “I can honestly say that I’ve never had so much fun cycling 350k on a weekend!”
  • more from Mike, who wore his backpack with all his overnight stuff all the way to Kingston!:Mike Riley, bandaged

“Well, that was a voyage of discovery … in my case, that cycling jerseys have those deep pocket thingys at the back, making back packs unnecessary.  Who knew?

Thanks for all your great advice and support, which allowed my extreme undertraining plan to pay off big time. All the best at Lake Placid … you guys are going to just kill it!

And thanks to David, our “not the organizer”.  From the baked goods in Kingston, to the perfect weather (now that‘s influence in the central agencies!) it was memorable.

… could get into this cycling thing… just have to work on staying out of the gravel and cutting down on those face-plants…”

  • But I think Andy said it best:  

Great cycling, great company, excellent weather, good food, cold beer….not a bad weekend! Special thanks to Dave for being the catalyst that gets us all going!

We made it... all the way back to Ottawa!  Then we jumped in the car and drove home!... after a quick stop at McDonald's (where we bumped into the Luxton's!).

We made it… all the way back to Ottawa! Then we jumped in the car and drove home!… after a quick stop at McDonald’s (where we bumped into the Luxton’s!).

Yup, lots of fun and adventure… thanks everyone for livin’ life large with us!




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Caledon Quarry Swim 1… this Sunday!!!

Hi LOSTies,

Caledon start, 2014

I just wanted to give the Caledon Quarry Swim this Saturday a bit of a push!  It is a great first race of the season, and great value… a smart test swim for those with triathlons coming up soon too!

It is also the first race of the season in the Global Swim Series, so you can start collecting points in the GSS to build your ranking against swimmers from all across the province, the country and even around the world!  There are 8 races in Ontario… 11 races in Canada… and over 20 from around the world (and more being added all the time!)… including: Ireland, Brazil, Barbados, Mexico, Vermont!!!P7060041

So come on out for a great swim… various distances, clean, clear and calm water, prizes and even a BBQ… great value for only $30!!!

Race description, click here

To Register, click here

I’m doing it… so I hope to see you there!!!

PS. Caron Shepley also has free Stand up Paddle Board lessons for 30min on Sunday at the quarry. So post-BBQ people can be trying a free, 30min Stand up lesson with Caron. They do need to RSVP as she has limited boards, so they can be assured.  Classes at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3pm.   You reserve to caron@personalbest.ca






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The second LOST Swim of 2015!

Well, it’s coming along… the water is slowly getting warmer!  Slowly.  Okay, only a degree or two for now… but at least it’s not getting colder!  I missed the swim on Saturday (more about that in the post below!), but Dylan, Miguel, Katie and Caroline did a great job taking care of the shop for me!

33 swimmers... 51F/11C... don't pay any attention to the 2 people in parka's... the air temp was warmer than that, they just went "naked"!!!

33 swimmers… 51F/11C… don’t pay any attention to the 2 people in parka’s… the air temp was warmer than that, they just went “naked”!!!

It is still early in the season and a few less people than last week, but still a great turn out… 40 people showed up for a swim in 51F/11C water!  And much like last week, people are learning that you really can swim in water that cold, especially if you are in a wetsuit… although there were still a brave handful that proved you can also do it “naked” too!  All you need is the courage to get yourself in… and a group of like-minded LOSTies to motivate you!  Of course, your hands, feet and face are cold to start, but as your body adjusts and gets going the warm blood in your body core that is being kept warm by your wetsuit eventually realizes that it is okay to continue circulating warm blood out to your extremities… which is why your hands, feet and face actually start warming up!  It is a bit more of trick to do this when you don’t have a wetsuit on, but with enough acclimatization the same thing can happen then too.

Well, it looks like the Lake is warming up, and with the warm weather we’ve had this week we will almost for sure see a nice increase in temperature this Saturday!  I’ll see you down there on Saturday!

The Caledon Quarry Swim, 2014

The Caledon Quarry Swim, 2014

PS.  I’ll be doing the first race of the Global Swim Series in Caledon on Sunday… hope you all can join me!  It’s warm, clean and cheap!  Check out the details here!  Start collecting your points in the Series and see how you rank compared to swimmers from all over the world… like: Ireland, Brazil, Barbados, Vermont and several others here in Ontario!

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11th Annual Healing Cycle Ride… for LOSTie Denise Short!!!

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

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

As many of you know, one of the original LOSTies, Denise Short, lost her battle with cancer last year.  She was a really close friend of mine.  She was a really close friend of a lot of people.  Even her doctor, who is doing this ride for her.

Feel free to donate in support of Palliative Care, via Ian Anderson House… and to remember Denise.

Dr Lynne Benjamin was Denise’s end of life physician.   Lynne and her palliative team worked with Denise to make her last months all that they could be.  Lynne will be remember Denise as she does the ride this year.

Ian Anderson House

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

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

Thanks to Barb Holland, one of Denise’s best friends, for sending this to me to share with the LOSTies!



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2XU Sale is on this weekend!!!

Thanks to LOSTie, Stuart Hayes, for passing this one along for all the local LOSTies, as the sale is in Mississauga (unlike the Xterra sale, which anyone can use!).

This is another product I can testify to, I have 2 pairs of their compression shorts, 1 pair of their full length compression tights, 1 pair of tri shorts and 1 pair of the calf compression sleeves!  I like their stuff.  And I’ll be at the sale picking up more!

Also… if you buy their stuff I’m sure you’ll end up looking like the people in this flyer!!!

PS.  tell’em your a LOSTie!



2XU sale2XU sale, location

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The latest Xterra deals!!!

So here is the latest deal from Xterra… a great deal on their entry level wetsuit!  All 3 of my kids have this one and they love it!  Great value (for dad)!

You can’t go too far wrong for $99!

If you want to order this one or any other Xterra Wetsuit, click on the Xterra logo on the right hand side of this page and just email me and I’ll give you the code!



Xterra wetsuits 2015, volt

Xterra SUP





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Sorry, no swimming lessons from Maisey this summer…

Last summer my daughter, Maisey, taught swimming lessons to a lot of the LOST gang, because believe it or not, not everyone starts as an amazing swimmer… and she knows a thing or two about swimming!

Maisey, 2014 NEC Championships at MIT.

Maisey, 2014 NEC Championships at MIT.


Lifeguarding at Hilton Head beach, 2015... nice office.

Lifeguarding at Hilton Head beach, 2015… nice office.

And although she said she had a lot of fun coaching and instructing everyone last summer, it sadly didn’t work out for her this year.  She’s going into 3rd year university (or Junior year, as they call it in the US) and had to get a summer job.  She got an office job this year.

She just sent these pics from her office… ocean lifeguarding at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Check out the office at: shorebeach.com

“Hi”, from Maisey!Hilton Head, 2015

PS. looks like it is over to Dylan and the video clinic!



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Global Swim Series… season preview!!!

Hey LOSTies,

So The LOST Race is part of the new 20 race (and growing!), Global Swim Series!  Here is all the info about GSS…. but please do me a favor and “like” it on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for the emails at GlobalSwimSeries, you’ll want to see what is happening… and where you rank in the world!!!  This is going to be amazing and it hasn’t even started yet!

GSS brazil

June is finally upon us and with the water warming up the start of the 1st annual Global Swim Series season is finally here.  We’ve had a busy past couple months of scheduling and preparing but now it’s time to get down to the fun part – racing!  In two weeks on June 14th the series will officially kick off at the Caledon Quarry Swim Race.

The 2015 season will feature 20 races across the globe and will run from June to December.  There are plenty of different distances and each race offers it’s own unique experience and style.  From beginners new to the sport, to seasoned open water veterans, GSS Races offer good fun and great competition for everyone!

More information on all the individual GSS Races can be found on their respective Race Profiles under the Races tab in the main menu.


1433127697_Canada-Flag Canada – 11 – Caledon Quarry I, EPIC Swim, Mine over Matter, North Shore Challenge, Bring on the Bay, LOST Race, Toronto Island Lake Swim, Sea Dogs Swim, Nanaimo Ocean Swim, Variety Village OWS, Caledon Quarry II

1433127710_United-States-Flag United States – 3 – Willoughby Swim, Kingdom Swim, In Search of Memphre

1433127843_Barbados-Flag Barbados – 1 – Barbados Open Water Swim Festival

1433127791_Ireland-Flag Ireland – 3 Lough Key Castle Island Swim, Hodson Mile, Glendalough National Park Swim

1433127807_Brazil-Flag Brazil – 2 – King & Queen of the Sea Stage II, King & Queen of the Sea Stage III


We encourage all swimmers to get familiar with the GSS rules, which can be read in full on the GSS Rules tab.  The basics are for each GSS race a swimmer does they will be given a point score from 50-100 based on your percentile you finish in (you get 50 points just for coming out and completing the race).  These points are cumulative so the more races you do during the season, the more points you get.  As soon as you complete 1 GSS race you will be ranked against all GSS swimmers around the world!


All GSS Race results will be posted on the site under the Results section after the completion of the race.  We will also update the Global Rankings at the start of each week.  In addition to results and rankings stay tuned to the site for exclusive race reports and event previews.


The 2015 GSS season will feature thousands of swimmers worldwide competing for the ultimate title of Global Champion!  After the conclusion of the last race we will award the 4 Global Champions (one for each division: Male Wetsuit, Female Wetsuit, Male Non-Wetsuit & Female Non-Wetsuit).  These 4 winners will have their names added to the Global Swim Series trophy!


We will also announce age group winners as well (Age groups are by 10 year groups, see the Rules tab for a full breakdown) and the top swimmer in each category for GSS North America, GSS Europe and GSS Latin America.  We will also make recognize swimmer in each division with the highest point average.  This is calculated by averaging the swimmer’s points for their top 2 races.

With plenty of awards and great races all over the world, we are very excited to get the season going and look forward to seeing you out at a race this season!

Be sure to follow us on Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest GSS news throughout the season!

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7 amazing LOSTies!!!

Yes, LOST is the Lake Ontario Swim Team… but it is really more about the amazing people in the group than just the swimming… although it is about the swimming too… well the adventure really.  And here are some examples of 7 very adventurous LOSTies!

1) John Gayford – Crazy guy on a bike.  Well, that doesn’t really tell the whole story.  You see Johnny is one of our local LOST Aussies, which helps explain a bit of the story.  He’s an Aussie.  But he’s not even a normal crazy Aussie, he’s an exceptional crazy Aussie.  He’s sailed from here to Australia, the hard way, across the Indian Ocean.  If you know anything about sailing, that is one of the toughest sailing routes in the world.  wow.

And he’s done all kinds of other things too, but his latest is his cycling adventure… from Nova Scotia to Toronto!!!

About as close as John gets to a "selfie"!

About as close as John gets to a “selfie”!

Not that it matters, because these trips are incredible regardless of your age, but let’s just say he’s got a couple of years on the rest of us!   To use one of his lines he used to describe the LOSTies to me when we first met, “he’s got a bit of spark to him!”

Check out his blog and pics here

John and Mark... all smiles after the 2014 LOST Race!

John and Mark… all smiles after the 2014 LOST Race!


2) Darren Miller – Darren and I met at the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.  We were both just regular marathon swimmers then.   He’s also stopped by for a dip in Lake O with me… naturally it was ridiculously cold.  But he has gone on to do a few other amazing things!  He is one of only a small handful of people who have completed “The 7 Oceans” swim, which is completing 7 of the toughest crossings in the world.  Now he is looking to complete the “Sub-3 Squared” challenge.  It’s a new “thing”, only a couple of people have done it, more by accident, but also because it would be very hard to do.  To complete it you need to complete a running marathon in under 3 hours… AND complete a swimming marathon in under 3 hours!!!  (a “marathon swim” in the swimming world is considered anything 10k or longer, kind of like how an “ultra-marathon” in running isn’t a specific distance).

Darren Miller after just swimming the Strait of Gibraltar... an honorary LOSTie! (2012)

Darren Miller after just swimming the Strait of Gibraltar… an honorary LOSTie! (2012)

Of course, putting the 2 events together is the trick.  I could easily do a 10k swim in under 3 hours, but my fastest marathon is 3:20.  Most people are like that, one may be easy or at least do-able, but both… that’s tough.  And in what time frame?  Well, nobody has really established how close the 2 have to be done together… if you could do both in your lifetime that would be a hulluva accomplishment.  Darren is setting the bar pretty high.  About as high as you could.  He’s going to try and do both in 6 hours.  Wow.

Here are the details of when and where his attempt will be:  Sub-3 Squared

Darren Miller and Rob... April 28, 2012... 46F / 7C!

Darren Miller and Rob… April 28, 2012… 46F / 7C!


3) Clara Northcott – one of my oldest running buddies and now a Canadian record holder in the W60-64, 5K… and 11th in the world in the 3K (13:27).  In fact, she has qualified for World Masters Track and Field championships in Turin, Italy… Sacramento, California and now Lyon, France in August of this year!  She wasn’t able to attend Turin or Sacramento so she’s trying to raise money to attend the Championships in Lyon this year!  Check out her Indiegogo page if you’d like to help Clara get there!Clara


4, 5, 6 & 7) France, Pascale, Ted & Bruce – 4 good buddies from our Connor’s Runner’s group.  And they just completed the 50 mile/80 K Cayuga Ultra Marathon in the Finger Lakes… with over 10,000 feet of elevation change!  Sounds amazing!

Pascale, Bruce, Ted, France, Cayuga 2015

If you know France, it’s hard to get a word in edge-wise, so I’ll let her tell you all about it:  (just kidding France, we love ya! 😉  )

“So this is my version of the event…
Pascal had a great experience and his legs didn’t hurt like mine.
He says it is the race where he had the most fun and felt the best….he was talking nonsense with Ted eating diner after the race.
Whatever, I said I’ll come and support and even pace you but anything above 50km is called an ultra for a reason, it’s ULTRA CRAZY!!!
Absolutely incredible scenery, experience and humbling lesson.
Ted crushed it the man is on fire!
Pascal felt great, Bruce did well but had some issues with his stomach and I did really well on the first 40km loop I was only 5 minutes behind the boys but I crashed between 45 and 60km. Me head was fine, I was still smilling but my legs were trashed!
I wanted to drop out at 60km but the volunteer said:”No way, No one drops out at my aid station if you’re still smiling you’re still going”
And Anita offered to get me started again at 60km and run a bit of the uphill with me. She was so supportive and awesome.
Our garmin battery died at 60km so I went without and actually tought :”I tested my legs for a while alternating running and walking. I couldn’t figure out which one hurt most so I decided to run and finish faster cause I could not bare the thought of 4 more hours of this”. I was also really sad to stop at 60km and miss the best part of the scenery. Running without a watch was much better for me. At that point, looking at my Garmin when I walked and calculating how many hours I would have left at this pace was not good for my head. Time kind of stops when you don’t know. I didn’t even wear my regular watch. I had no idea how fast I was going or I far I was, all I knew is I had to make it to the next aid station. Between 40 and 60 km I got passed by maybe 8 people but after 60km I decided that no one was getting by. I passed 4 guys and then 2 more on the stairs to heaven (or hell) at 75km. I kept looking behind making sure no one was catching up. One guy caught up to me and passed me on the downhill (which hurt the most and forced me to slowly walk when steep) but then the first uphill I passed him with a smile. The end is a grassy road of 2km with a slow downhill I started running fast thinking let me out of these woods and my 2km push of course, I was amazed with myself, I didn’t think I could still have energy to do that after 79KM. When I came out there is still 1km of grass to run and Anita and Bruce were waiting for me and ran me in screaming that I was awesome.
This is the kind of experience that bonds friends beyond words. I am delighted to have shared this experience with amazing people like Ted & Karen, Bruce & Anita and my love Pascal. Karen & Anita were great supporters who hugged me and helped me putting on dry socks but most of all seeing their smiling faces at the aid stations made the world of difference for me.Ted crushed it 9:49
Pascal 10:29
Bruce 10:48
France 12:40 OUCHCayuga ultra 2015Amazing volunteers that ran to us asking what do you need, what do you want.
Food was amazing.

Things I learned:

1-You cannot train for an Ultra, water running in the pool for 3 weeks
2- Uphills I am good at even the stone stairs at 75km didn’t hurt I passed 4 guys

3- I need to work my downhill technique. I brake going downhill engaging my quads and knees and I could barely walk the downhills at the end but I smiled at the uphills!!!! After 55kms of trails it’s not the uphill that scared me it’s the downhill.
4-The volunteers are amazing. It was cold and raining and they stand there for hours…I had lots of time to think of something funny to say everytime I came out of the woods. By the end the volunteers got and addition of all the jokes that worked before and people were laughing and I was having fun.
5-If you’re wondering about God….. There is a God I was talking to him and I am pretty sure he was answering
6-The woods are Ithica are magical… After 50km when you close your eyes and open them there are stars that sparkle everywhere!
7-You need a lot of caffeine in an ultra and tons of gels I ran out of caffeinated gels at 30Km!!!!
8- You must eat all the time and A LOT… A lot more then I did. At 50 km at girl with a USATF (a regular at Ultras) passed me and asked how I was doing: I said good but as we are going down the stairs she asked if I was hurting and I said that my quads were killing me. She said: “You are not eating enough, your quads are the largest muscle in your body, they need a LOT of food. Do you have food on you?” I said that I had said datte balls and a granola bar and one gel left. She said: “I want you to eat it all, you’ll feel better in 20 minutes!” I did and she was right, you need to eat a lot……
9-The people that race ultras are AMAZING nothing like road races, the camaderie, mutual support, smiles everywhere. Yes there is a lot of beards and moustaches, a couple guys running in kilts and leather sandals but everyone is so nice and makes you feel awesome.
10-running on the road sucks, my foot did not hurt on the soft part of the trail but the 50meters we did on road inbetween hurt a lot.
11-I can always encourage myself in the tough spots thinking about how hard childbirth was and running hills is easier….. Well, at 70km I was ready to give birth again it seemed a whole lot easier then the 12 hour nonsense. LolPascal LOVED it.
I said I would NEVER do an Ultra and I did……This is far from an advice, but again a crazy long distance seems to have resolved my plantar issue. It’s not 100% good but it’s better then before the race ?!?!?! now I just need to gain control of my quads so I can make it up&down the stairs without pulling and holding myself on the bannister!!!!
I wish we had a bungalow, my bed seems to far from my seat.

Pascale, Bruce, Ted, France... Cayuga 50 Mile Ultra, 2015

Pascale, Bruce, Ted, France… Cayuga 50 Mile Ultra, 2015



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