Keyvan’s 14k swim for Alzheimers – Update 25

At last! I have been working towards the 6th August since early January. Counting the weeks down fast, one after another. And then we get to the final week. How long is a week? Well blooming long time when you are tapering off the swimming mileage AND eating plenty of carbs to mess you up completely. So as weeks go, it was slow.

Saturday…the day the nerves hit me. You might ask why? Been doing all the training. Have completed several 10+K swims in the lake. Why the worry? Well, perhaps because despite my CEO calling this event “Sink or Swim” (charming!), I knew I would finish the distance. What I wanted most of all was to go under the 4 hour mark. And that meant I had to think through the pace, approach, technique, the river flow and of course all this thinking adds more anticipation and naturally the nerves come to the surface.

My coach, Jason sent me a message saying, “Just swim” ….I think what he wanted to Iron.jpgsay was, “Just swim you damn fool!“. Nicola the Mermaid-come-Torpedo told me “you have done all the training…just do your thing“…I think she meant “DBS…Don’t Be Rubbish!” Paul Newsome, Swim Smooth founder and head coach telling me I can go faster and beat Jason the coach!

The swashbuckling Jason A. sent me a photo of his Fusion sponsored T-Shirt being ironed! In the end the thing that calmed me down was watching live feed of 2 sets of relay teams swimming the channel overnight in very choppy seas. I am just swimming in easy flowing water. I am not fighting the tide. I am not fighting the waves. I will not be seasick. So, pull it together.

The Swim

Lets’ cut to the chase. It was a beautiful day. The swim was very hard. The hardest thing I have ever done. People were telling me it is such a beautiful route. Well, I had my head down most of the time and was hurting on the last 3K. My only aim was ….DBS, DBS, DBS and get under 4 hours….whatever happens. In the end, I finished in 3 hours 53 mins. BOOM!

The story of the day in photos

Paul, Torpedo’s partner, who is an amazingly fast runner took these wonderful photos. I am grateful he let me share them in this blog with you.

All calm before the first wave


Super fast swimmers start off. Winning time of 2 hour 41 mins!


Deep concentration…or praying!


Nicola the Torpedo. Beautiful  smile, deadly in water…Approach with caution!


Nervous smiles all round for the South West Swim team. The only people to wear yellow caps!


My two swim buddies. I owe a huge amount to their patience in swimming with me!


The guided Torpedo has been launched.


The yellow and green caps coming through.



For a long period of the first 4K I found myself all on my own. Just listening to the beep on the tempo trainer and thinking what I will have for lunch.


We are all struggling and then come across this! She swam the butterfly all the way.


Thinking why did I listen to Jason and sign up for this.


The Torpedo hits the target 14K down stream in 3 hours 31 mins.


Incredible swim by the swashbuckling Jason and his ironed shirt to match Torpedo’s time.


Are we there, yet? I can see the finish line but then have a massive cramp all the way up my leg with only 20 meters to go.


From Dave the Iceman: “I for one have loved today , my person best skins distance, and a lot quicker than my Windermere swim , great SWS team spirit , some real fast times up the front too well done everyone , and really chuffed with my medal, but that’s shadowed by my new fab fusion robe”

Fusion Sponsorship

I cannot finish this blog without a mention of all the support I have had from friends, family, colleagues, customers, partners and Fusion.  It is incredibly rare for a relatively small company to support its staff carrying out charitable events. I am not the only one at Fusion that has been sponsored. We have marathon runners, tough mudders, cyclists, taking time off to help kids with their education in India…you name it….all being sponsored by Fusion. In my case, Fusion donated £1,000 to sponsor me for the Alzheimer’s Society charity fund and then topped that up by teaming with South West Swim’s Jason to provide T-Shirts and robes for the Thames Marathon Team.

John (CEO) – if you are reading this…the feedback from the team has been amazing! Thank you.

Thank goodness that’s over!

Dart 10K in September

What’s next? Well, the second part of my sponsored  event is in 4 weeks. Dart 10K swim marathon on September 9th. And compared to today, it will be a breeze! Will continue reporting back on a regular basis.

I am swimming for Alzheimer’s Society!

Alzheimer’s is set to become the single biggest killer this century. If you wish to be part of a programme that helps to research into the disease and provide care for those affected, please donate via:


I am grateful for all your support and thanks very much for reading.

Keyvan Shirnia

By Daniel Swann