Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Swim and Run Cologne - the very beginning

As I told you in the "Swim and Run 2016" article 
my first swim event ever was the Swim and Run Cologne back then in in 2006....
Wow, that is 10 years ago... I didn't realize that until I wrote it down. 

I don't really know, how I knew about the event. I read some advertising perhaps and thought, 1k swimming and 7 k running - ok I could do that. 

I have always been a confident swimmer and 1k was something I could do without training. The Fühlinger See, the event side, was the lake where my school rowing team trained once a week. As member of that (for fun only!) rowing team I knew the lake from rowing and from jumping into it after training. 
My first wetsuit had to be cheap and I didn't really know about that stuff and didn't really care for something fancy. That NPX was a wetsuit for surfing with normal 3mm neoprene and some kind of rubber on the front. It was very strechty and comfortable. And it was only 70 EU. 
My sister Annika came along for moral support. Never ever did she think about swimming herself - in 2006. 
In 2016 she joined me as part of her charity swimming campaign . 
I was very nervous finding my way to the start area. It was only one 1k wave and I listened carefully in the swimmers briefing. 
The Cologne event has a starting line in the water. So you make your way down to a very small jetty, get into the water and move towards that line. 
It was very nice to meet some first timers and fun swimmers already on that jetty. We chatted and laughed and slowly swam together to the starting line. There was a countdown, but I was not prepared that with the signal all people who were treading water before would now lie down on the water and so needing more than double of their space. 
I moved along the splashing beside me, got hit and felt sorry when I hit other swimmers. 
Soon the crowd spread into a wild field and I could concentrate on my swimming. The Fühlinger See has a 2k rowing course and therefore 6 lanes with straight lines of buoys. For a first timer it is a good help to swim along the buoys. The water was very clear so you could even see the cable which holds all the small buys. It runs about 1,5 meter deep through the whole lake. It is like your personal lane guide. 

The first 500 meters felt long, but the way back was great and when I reached the end, I thought dreadfully about leaving the nice and easy water for a 7k run. Leaving the water I gratefully accepted the helping hand of some volunteers as I hadn't expected to feel so dizzy while standing up. The changing was quick as I only had to take off the wetsuit and shoes and a shirt on. Running in my swim suit, which I wore below the wetsuit was good for changing, but the weather was not that warm. Even running was indeed very exhausting I was still cold when I reach the finish.

My sister Annika was waiting there with a jumper and I enjoyed a alcohol free beer. 
You never regret a swim!

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