In 24 hours I'll be swimming 19km from Fiji mainland to Beachcomber Island again. I am excited: warmth, sunshine, beach weather, plus a course I am familiar with, should make for a great race. Although considering last year I saw no land for the first 4 hours of the race, it seems a little weird to say "a course I am familiar with". There's a lot of dark blue water and light blue sky, that's for sure!
This year, Vlad Swim has 8 solo swimmers participating in the 19km alone! It is a great testament to Vlad's hard work in building up a long distance squad, and is so exciting to have a whole bunch of fellow lane buddies who'll be taking on the kilometers together.
On top of this, one of our squad, Louise Stevenson, is doing a double crossing today raise money for her hometown Christchurch, that was devastated by earthquakes in Februray 2011. She kicked of her swim a couple of hours ago and you can track the 38km's here.
This should be an challenging race for me personally for a number of reasons:
(i) I have been focussing on acclimatising my body for the English Channel: long, cold water swims for the past 2 months, training at Balmoral Beach in water temps between 13.9 and 15 degrees Celsius for up to 6 hours - Fiji in comparison should be 25 degree Celsius water temps!
(ii) I got hit by a full blown head cold 24 hours ago
(iii) I have a new support crew, my sister Bel, paddling for me
However, I am really excited about taking on this challenge again and seeing what I can do with my body in a less than ideal scenario. I am also really excited to be sharing this challenge with my sister, Bel. She the most supportive and fantastic sister, and when she suggested she might like to come to Fiji for a summer holiday to escape the Sydney winter, I was excited. I was blown away when she agreed to sit in a plastic dinky kayak and paddle for 5-6 hours continuously! There will be a bar tab awaiting her arrival on Beachcomber Island!
So we are off to the airport and arrive in Fiji in time to welcome Louise in from her 38km swim. What an incredible goal.
The next morning, Thursday, the rest of us will take on the 19kms the following morning followed by a 2.7km race on Saturday.
Thanks for everyone's support so far. You'll be able to track me live on Thursday here.