Even before we attempted the marathon, about which I posted last week, there was this notice about ‘Swimathon Goa 2015’ on the notice board of the Ponda pool. I had been looking forward to this ‘Swimathon’ for quite sometime. After a lot of ‘should I’ and ‘shouldn’t I’ last year, I had decided not to go for it, repented my decision and had resolved to participate this year. Again, nothing big. Just the 250 meters ‘Dream swim’. I Usually swim about 500-700 mts in the pool everyday and have done 1000mts a few times. But the open sea is a different ball game and I decided to test the waters with 250 mts. I registered for ‘Swimathon Goa 2015’.
When I mentioned about the event to our group, the response was tepid. Most of our members routinely swim about 1 km in the pool. But at the first instance, no one was keen to try the open sea. Then I let it out that I had already registered. I am the oldest and the slowest member of the group and my decision to take part in the event pushed others forward. By the end of the week five more registrations were in. We had three for the 1 km race and three for the 250 mts dream swim.
So, there we were, the six of us at the Colva beach on the morning last Sunday in an attempt to confirm ourselves that we haven't been swimming all these years for nothing. As it turned out it was an enjoyable event except for the wait in the hot sun for our race. Swimming in the sea was certainly lot more difficult even though it was easier to keep ourselves afloat, because of the higher density of water.You do not have the security of the four walls that you are used to in the pool. A wave is always there waiting to hit your face when you lift your head to breathe. And since there are no lane markers in the sea, you need to repeatedly lift your head up to see where you are going. The salt water irritates the eyes, skin, nose and throat - because you invariably swallow some of it, and since the visibility under water is zero you do not know what is around you. Of course there were no sharks or snakes around but there were a number of jelly fish with a sting that could be irritating for hours. But once you got the hang of it, going was easy.
One of our members who went for the 1 km swim was heading for Mumbai and had to be guided back on to his path, but in the end all of them finished the distance in time and were back in one piece.
The rest of us could swim the 250 mts with ease but another of my friends complained that the waves bothered him a lot. In fact they were bent up on bothering him and swelled up to their full potential especially when he lifted his head.
|Colva Beach - the venue of Swimathon 2015|
|The life guards - on the ready|
|The stating pointg|
|The compulsory but cursory medical check|
|Parents and relatives trying to spot their wards amongst the orange dots bobbing at a distance|
|Two girls from our pool who finished the five km swim|
|A group of under 14 boys wait for the 1km race.|
|Our friends finish 1km|
|Another gentleman after the 1 km race. Three cheers to his spirits|
|We do our bit. After the 250 mts 'Dream swim'.|
|A scene at the venue|
|A scene at the venue|
|Happy that we went there. Ready to get back.|