Checking in with the English Channel Lake Monsters

It’s been a busy fall for the English Channel team. In addition to our weekly lake training, in September, team member Paul Duffield challenged himself to swim in 10 local lakes in 1 day to raise money for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. Not only did he complete his challenge (which took over 15 hours: from before sunrise to after sunset!), but he also swam over 11kms in the process! (Photo by Angelique Duffield)

You can read about his experience on his blog. Speaking of his blog, it was nominated for the Best Canadian Sports Blog and you can vote for his blog to win until Nov. 1 by going here and clicking “Best Sports Blog” and then clicking “Nothing Great is Easy!”

On Thanksgiving weekend, Mike, Denise, Phred, and myself were in Kalamalka lake. Back in June, everyone except Mike completed a 2 hr swim in 12 degree water to qualify to swim the English Channel. Mike couldn’t take part in that swim due to a shoulder injury so he still needed to qualify. On the Saturday of Thanksgiving the lake was finally cold enough (it had to be 15 degrees or colder), so Mike went in for his qualification and Phred, Denise, and I swam along with him for support. Check out our synchronized swimming:

Last time we had a windy, rainy, cold day but this time it was a nice sunny day and Mike had no trouble completing his two hour swim so the whole team has now officially qualified to swim the channel next summer!

Lake training will continue for the team until the water dips below 10 degrees (brrrr), meanwhile we’re all putting time in at the pool with the Okanagan Masters Swim Club to build up our endurance and speed over the winter to get in top shape for the Channel. And, like Paul, the whole team is raising money for the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign. So far we’ve raised about 1/3 of our overall goal.

This summer has been a learning experience for the team. Six people, with six different personalities and ideas about how training, qualifying, and swimming the Georgia Strait should go has led to some disagreements along the way. We’re learning how to compromise and support each other while taking care of our own needs as well. It’s kind of like a perverted six-person marriage. But I trust these people with my life. In fact, in the Channel next summer we will literally be putting our lives in each other’s hands. What an adventure! (Below: Denise, Paul, Tracey, Mike, Leora, and Phred. Photo by Angelique Duffield)

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