Last week was Sandycove Cork Distance camp. Organised and run by Ned Dennison, it’s a 10 day series of swims designed for long distance swimmers wanting to get some really serious training done.
It started as the Champion Of Champions swim in 2008, based on the UK Dover race of the same format; a 5 mile swim a 2 hour break, then 3 miles, then another break, then a one mile sprint, with results based on cumulative times.
2008 was notorious due to the cold and changing adverse weather as the day progressed, such that only 12 of us finished the whole 9 miles.
2009 included a swim up the coast from the Speckled Door. Still a bit cold but with better conditions. At that stage the Distance Camp also started.
Given it’s not local for me, I skipped the mid-week early morning swims and just stuck to my own program. The guys were swimming 2 hours at 6am and 2 in the evening most week-days, with the big swims last weekend, 4 and half to 5 and a half hours on Saturday (depending on which group you were in) and 6 or 8 hours on Sunday.
We started the first weekend ourselves with a 5 hour swim in Ballycroneen when the rest were doing 1 or 2 hours, but the total for the camp, if you did everything, was 150,000 metres!
I had a car problem for 2 days so my total was about 110,00 metres. Rob & Gabor each did 90k in a week, (compared to my 70k)!