Keyvan’s 14k swim for Alzheimers – Update 8

Saturday 8th April. 7:30. Air temperature1.5°c. Water temperature…it’s cold! It’s actually quite cold! Dense fog is hovering over the silky-smooth water. Two other swimmers in the water. I step in. Splash face to get used to the feel of the water. Brrr… Let’s go….

200 meters in and I am acclimatising. Look up. where the heck are the buoys? Where is the shoreline? Can’t see a thing. Tempted to get my compass and map out for a spot of orienteering! I can’t see a sole. Well, I might as well carry on in the same direction; after all it is a lake and I will eventually hit land; of course, there is always the possibility of going round in a circle! 7 Strokes further and look up. Nothing. 10 more strokes, still nothing. 10 more….the big yellow buoy is right in my face! 2 feet away! I might be blind as a bat, but at least I managed to swim in what I think it is a straight line.


Now in the middle of the lake, I hope. Look up. A beautiful Great Crested Grebe is right next to me. Three feet away. It stays with me for a good while before one of us changes direction. I can’t tell as there is no background to use as perspective. Just one big thick fog. A few more strokes and I spot two large fish swimming along with me. At that point, I feel isolated from the world. All I can hear is the sound of bubbles as I breath out under the water and the beeper under my swimming cap, both of which I find very hypnotic.



Two more 400m laps, and sun is coming through gently burning off the fog. Two more laps and…..hold on, the fog is setting back in again. There are more swimmers in the water now and everyone is confused. Everyone zigzagging away, some heading off perpendicular to the course, some cutting corners.

I finish up with 7 consecutive laps as the cold water is beginning to sip through. 7 laps = 2,800m, while my watch tells me I have done an extra 200m due to all the off-course meandering!


Fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society

I am training for the Henley-on-Thames 14K swim marathon and the Dart 10K this year, while attempting to raise £5,000 for Alzheimer’s Society. You can donate toward this amazing charity via JustGiving:

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

Keyvan Shirnia

By Daniel Swann