Balaton Swim 2012
After doing my first Balaton Swim with Kevin Jackson 3 years ago for charity (raising money for the Hungarian Fair Trade Campaign), I have impatiently been waiting to do a second. Two years ago, after many weather postponements, the event was cancelled. Last year I had to pull out with 3 slipped disks. In what must be a first, the event this year went off without a hitch the first try, thus saving over 10000 of us many a summer weekend. The water was 28 degrees, with the outside air temperature hovering around 38-40. The event is very well organised with one exception, the medical check. Participants had to wait out in the blazing sun for over an hour for a blood pressure check. 10000 swimmers and roughly 15 medical staff. I had high hopes for a good time this year, having been swimming 4.8km twice a week and cycling 40-100km a week. However, I have had a bad stomach for the last 4 weeks, got cramps in my legs, and was not able to keep to a straight line (at one point a police boat blocked me and kindly pointed me in the right direction), so I was not expecting a very good time. Amazingly, I did it in a new personal best of 1hr53min! Not bad at all considering my difficulties. Thanks to Martin Curtis for partnering me in training, Evi Faiola for a fantastic massage the day before and putting my shoulder right, David Trayford for the ride down, Akos Hollosi for helping me get to Decathlon for a new bathing suit and goggles, and Jon Gifford for coming down and holding my stuff and rooting for me at the finish line even after going a night without sleep. I think for the next few weeks I will just be biking and hiking, then back to the pool to start training for next year.