Rigging the Solo Marathon Water Stop


One of the more ambitious of the many virtual open water events I have signed up for in the midst of these locked-down pandemic times is Shannon Keegan's Intrepid Water Build to a Marathon Virtual Swim Series. With the 2.5K and 5K handily accomplished over the last months, both in "skins" and in a wetsuit, the challenge for this month is the 10K. I am heading out tomorrow morning for my first attempt.

With the shorter distances, I was easily able to accomplish them without worrying about feeding or drinking during the swims, but as the 10K will take me somewhere between 2.5 and 3 hours, I need a fuel plan. As I'm going out to Orr Lake (picture to the right taken on today's swim) early tomorrow morning by myself and as I'm not allowed to touch the ground at any point during the swim, I needed a plan for an 'in-water' watering station. I'll be able to carry sports gels for 'food' in my suit, but don't want to be dragging a water bottle around the lake.

Last night, I had a flash of brilliance - enter the humble driveway marker. In the winter, when the snow piles up here in Snow Valley, Ontario, I need to put markers at the end of the driveway to avoid backing out of the driveway and into the ditch. This morning, as a practice swim, I took out my marker, a rope from my camping equipment and a couple of water bottles (one with water, one with food) and set up my "in-water" water station:

This will be positioned just off the edge of where I enter the water. I'll likely just do two 5K loops, grabbing water at the halfway point, but, if I'm feeling particularly thirsty after the first 2500 meters, I'll orient myself back to the shore and do 3 loops to create the 10K.

Plus, as an added bonus, if I don't make it back alive, at least there'll be a marker for where I made my last stand...

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