My office mate Paul had accidentally drawn my attention to a triathlon. It sounded like fun! So I suggested we'd participate in one, which he thought was spiffing. I looked up if there were more such events. And there were! Late June had one in Llandudno. There were two options: swim 750m, bike 19km and run 5km, or do roughly twice that. I am a very slow swimmer and my best bike weighs 20kg, but hey, it could be fun. At least running 5 or 10 km is something I can do without thinking too much about it.
I later found out Paul hadn't been serious. He mentioned he can barely swim and bike, and has a gammy leg. Doesn't sound like a winning configuration for a triathlon! And I had no idea how much 750m/1500m swimming really is. I rarely swim large distances! And if I do, I have no idea how large the distance's been. So I decided to look for a 750m lake. An excellent way of getting an idea of what one's expected to do in Llandudno!
I decided to go back to Cwm Idwal; it's close to the road but far enough to feel nicely remote; it's beautiful, and it's about 800m long. Good! I made sure to also pack my neoprene socks, shoes and gloves. It could be cold!
I found a parking spot a bit further along the road (it's a very popular spot!) and walked up the hill. At the shore I changed into my wetsuit. I felt the water; maybe gloves weren't necessary. I left a note on my bag (modern society is positively paranoid about left bags) and stepped in. And out again; let's have these gloves after all! Then I set off.
After a few tens of metres I figured 750m was probably a bit ambitious. I can keep swimming for quite a while, but I'm just dead slow! I figured the finish would be closed before I'd be out of the water. So at least I know. No triathlon for me! Even though one can do it in a relay team. I'll do the running, then! Is undoubtedly what I'm least bad at, although I could imagine I wouldn't be too bad on the bike either, were I to have a road bike. But where would I find a team mate to do the swimming?
Perched like a mermaid on the little island, in my rejuvenated wetsuit
A great view on the Cwm Idwal syncline from the water
I swam to a little island that had looked rather enticing on our field day a while back. I happily sat on it, and swam on. I decided to swim to the place where the lake narrows considerably, and then go back. It's probably some 1200m total, and it took me some 50 minutes! I checked a random other race with a 750m swim; the person who came last had only needed 21 minutes for the swim. Although I did lose some time pretending to be a mermaid on a rock, taking pictures of the beautiful syncline, and of local vegetation. Still, a bit too long... but the wetsuit had been properly tested, and it was clearly fine. And it was a beautiful spot to do it! Next time, though, I hope the swim will be underground again; that just is special. Rhosydd?