Different strokes

Great Scottish Swim 2013

Scotland Outdoors editor Don Currie took to the waters of Loch Lomond along with 2,000 others to participate in the 2013 Great Scottish Swim – an experience he’d happily repeat

What a superb adventure doing the Great Scottish Swim at Loch Lomond proved to be. The sun was shining, the water was verging on warm (at 16.2 degrees, it was 3 degrees up on what the swimmers at the Manchester event experienced) and the atmosphere very friendly.

Like in a big half-marathon or marathon, it’s nice for us mere mortals to be able to take part in the same event as international athletes. There were a good number of the latter there on Saturday, including pool swimmers such as Hannah Miley and Robbie Renwick who, like many of the rest of us, were really just trying the outdoor swimming lark out of curiosity.

It was surreal to see 2,000 swimmers of all shapes and sizes padding about in their wetsuits among the shoppers at Loch Lomond Shores, and fun to get a pep talk from bubbly Bryan Burnett off the telly before entering the water to the stirring strains of Runrig.

As a breaststroker with limited outdoor water experience, I was well back in my wave of 300 or so swimmers, but that mattered not in the slightest. The views of the hills, birds and boats were great and I felt a lot of satisfaction as I stumbled out of the water at the end of my mile.

Congratulations to the two winners, Kerri-Anne Payne and Alex Studzinski, but also to the organisers and everyone else who took part. If you haven’t tried this kind of swimming, why not have a go at the next event?


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