Swimming for Alzheimer’s – The Last Challenge! Part 1

So you thought it was all over. All those nonsensical blogs about swimming, mermaids, power balls and Beethoven’s 8th! Well, the mission to raise £5,000 by swimming to marathon distances in 1 month is nearly over. A look at the diary and we have just a few hours left to the Dart 10K. I look at the JustGiving website and it says £6,270. And fortunately for you, this means the blogs are nearly at an end.

From River Thames to Isle of Skye

The Thames 14K swim came and went leaving me empty, but I managed to occupy some of that void temporarily by swimming in a most gorgeous sea loch on Isle of Skye a few times through August.

What I had not catered for was the 13°c sea temperature (a full 8° below Lake 32), nor the sheer saltiness of the water  when you have your head in it for over an hour! Worse still, were the occasional Lion’s Mane jellyfish that would pop up right in the face or the shallow underworld dropping to a dark chasm.

And here we are now….4 weeks later, feeling far less prepared than I did for the Thames. Anxious, nervous, fat and slow; you name it. That’s despite the fact that I surprised myself 10 days ago when I improved my 1 mile and 2 mile personal best times by 2 mins.

With all these doubts going on in my head, I open an email from the Dart event organisers earlier today warning of poor weather, choppy waters, gusty winds and poor water quality at the start of the race in Totnes for both Saturday and Sunday. Having read the email I suddenly felt oddly at ease with myself, as I no longer have to worry about the pace.  All I have to do is to survive the dirty water, the big waves and the wind gusts. I am aiming for sub 2 hours 30 mins, but I can always blame the conditions!

And now beginning to pack up bags, wetsuit, food, power balls, drinks, clothes….you name it. Two of everything. Just in case. Born and bred that way, because you will never know what can go wrong!

So I am going to leave you with that thought and report back on Saturday after the event. Wish me and the thousand (somewhere I read 3,200 swimmers) other swimmers luck!

Donations so far

Just one word before I go…I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored me and donated so generously towards Alzheimer’s Society. With your help I have I have raised £5,385 + a further Government Gift Aid of £885, which means I have raised over £6,270!


Keyvan Shirnia.

By Daniel Swann