Great East Swim – 21 June 2014

By Dave Clarke

The Great East Swim marked my second swim event of the year, and the second of my life.  I had at least got one out the way with the Great North and so I presumed that none of the others could be any worse.  And luckily I was right as I really enjoyed this one.

Mark joined again for this one, as did my mate Pete and his girlfriend Hannah so we went in force.  Mark drove us all there in Diego the Picanto, and it was a beautiful sunny day meaning we were all quite looking forward to the swim.

We only took one wrong turn ending up in a garden centre so it was a pretty accurate journey all in all. We stopped off for a quick toilet break next to a field as we were desperate for a wee, and we went round the back of these trees only to find a portaloo.  Firstly we thought this was ideal until we looked closer and it appeared as though it had just been on the set of a zombie apocalypse Halloween film – battered, aged and covered in cobwebs and spiders.  Pass.

When we entered the area around Alton Water we started seeing a lot of signs of “Say No To The Holiday Park”.  When we saw this we were slightly worried we were going to drive into a massive protest and see people chaining themselves to fences campaigning, but luckily it was a peaceful effort just involving the signs we saw on the way in.

Hannah had only been knocked off her bicycle the week before the swim and was quite badly injured but still decided to do the swim.  She’s either very determined or a complete fruitcake.  Either way she still beat me.  No surprise there.

The swim itself wasn’t half as eventful as the Great North, I got a bit of cramp again but not half as much as at the North and I felt alright when I finished so that was progress.  I actually enjoyed this one quite a lot.

As soon as we finished and got changed we went and checked out the on-site food market and had tasters of all sorts of pickles, chutneys and jams on offer – absolutely superb.  I also had the best ice cream I’ve ever had, gooseberry and elderflower it was.

After chilling in the sun for a bit we hopped back in the car for the journey back to Reigate, where on arrival, we again very quickly found ourselves in the pub having a well earned beer and watching the World Cup match of Argentina v Algeria – what a dull game that was.

Again, another Great event and another Great experience.  A big thanks to all three for joining me and massive well done to Hannah for actually doing it despite her injuries. Nutter.

That’s 7 events down now and a first is that I had no learning’s from this one, it all went smoothly!