COMPETITORS VIEW: Great North Swim

Joining Barry Jones and Campbell Watt in the 10km Great North Swim on 12th June 2016, Kirstine Gerhold also completed the race in great time.  We caught up with Kirstine following the event, to get her thoughts on the race.

“Campbell asked me if I would like to do the one way swim windermere in September back in March.  So I googled it, and came up with the Great North Swim 10km at Windemere by accident.  I rang him to say have you got the dates right, as the swim is in June and a shorter distance!!!!

So we decided to do the one in June. Before doing the September event, I also wanted to make sure I completed the 10km in June, as it is very long way and want to be certain I can do it.  With the added factor that it’s for charity.  

I started doing longer distance at the pool before the lakes opened, and when they did, I then started training at Hatfield lake on a Saturday.  Once Allerthorpe opened, I increased the training and went there on Mondays to do a long distance swim once a week.  I built it up but the max distance was 6400 metres as the lakes are not open long enough.

We had a few training sessions at Windermere with Tom Noblett, a truly inspirational guy, who gave us all confidence, just like our coach Naiomi does week after week.  I was having a few issues while training with the cold and my breathing at the start of my swim, so took my wetsuit off to try to acclimatise quicker, which I think helped.

On the day I felt tired, having had about 4 hours sleep the night before, which was not really beneficial before the event. The plus side to that was that because I was tired, the nerves did not kick in until the start of the swim.  I had to tread water at the start as I could not exhale in the water, but I kept talking to myself to say come on you have to do this!  I tried again and again, and the boats were getting closer to me as if they were thinking they were going to pull me out.  Talking again to myself I thought of all the training I put in, and thought I can not come out, you can do this, and I was off in my way.

It was perfect conditions, warm and still, so the breathing issues must have been down to the nerves of the unknown.  It was great, I stopped off three times at the jelly baby bar on the way round!  It was hard don’t get me wrong, but I loved the swim and sense of achievement.  I personally think mind over matter, think strong, be determined you can put your mind to do most things.

The guys Campbell and Barry have been great so supportive in training, great company, and Naiomi you’re a star on my Christmas tree! Thank you”

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