Swimmers had come from all parts of India mainly - 20 states. Majority from Chennai and Bengaluru.
It is actually a quarry located near Sholinganallur / Medavakkam area in Chennai. It is a hidden jewel and a place to visit for nature lovers. The depth is approx 150 ft deep and length 300 meters. Can be easily accessible by road.
|Ottiabakam lake - view from Top|
Since i had registered for the 5k, i had to do a good amount of practice to stay fit and cover the distance within the stipulated time of 3 hours. Thanks to Rahul for his help as i was able to use the Club Swimming Pool in Begur area - SNN Raj Serenity. My training was from Monday to Friday during the office hours early morning to avoid crowd. I was the lucky one only to be in the pool and could practice for long hours. Practice sessions would vary from a 1km to 2kms swim. February month - i increased my distance to a 2km swim everyday within a time frame of 1:15 minutes.
The Final Day
Drove to Chennai, met a couple of friends in Jain Abhishek in East Tambaram area. Slept early to avoid any exhaustion on the final day. Woke at 3:45 am, got ready and drove to the venue. The event was to start at 6 am so had to stick to the time. We were using torches to fill out the risk form as it was still dark. Got the Bib Nos:603 on my left shoulder. A quick briefing was done by the volunteers for the 5k, 10k and 15k Swimmers. A quick thank you session followed by a warm up exercise.
The 5km calculation
In order to complete the 5km swim, i had to do 16 loops. One side - length was 150 meters, so to complete a loop - it was 300 mtrs. and last lap was of 200 mtrs to the finish line. The 5km swim had to be completed in a 3 hours slot in order to get the Finisher medal and T Shirt.
The 1st 8 loop (distance 2.4 kms)
3 batches had already left for the Swim - comprised of the 10 and 15k categories. It was finally the 5km batch to start of - off i was in the lake for the grand finale. Gosh - it was cold in the wee hours,,
a few pushes to the start and was off to the other end of the lake. By the time i finished the 1st loop - it looked a herculean task to complete 16 loops. I planned to finish the 8 loops with a mininal break and less consumption of any type of fluids. Freestyle with more support from back kicks and arms movement to glide through the water. At the 3rd loop - i was more comfortable as there were less swimmers to bump into and was very calm and patient with my freestyle movement. I wanted to finish the 8 loops with a short span of time before the Sun was out. Took a break at 5th and 7th loop for bananas, chocolate and cup of water. I did panic in between as my left foot started to ache with cramps - i stopped my movement to avoid any further cramps and put more effort to the right foot. By the time i finished my 8 loops - i was confident to finish the 5km with the stipulated time of 3 hours.
9 to 16th Loop (distance 2.4kms)
The time taken to cover the loops now were more longer with breaks in between. I switched over to breaststroke for 2 loops to relax my leg movement. I had to peep out quite often to correct my course of direction. Improved on my breathing technique. The last 4 loops looked a distance to cover - exhausted and wanted to finish the race in a sprint. But i had to be calm as i had the biggest fear of getting cramps in my legs. I cooled down breaks, couple of chats with Ashish Tiwari- my old buddy from Flex who was a volunteer at the event. I was now close to finish the 16th loop, my timings were good and i knew had enough time to spare.
The last loop (distance 200 meters)
When i took the final turn to complete the 200 meters - it was sheer excitement and exhilaration that i had never imagined - it was a moment of achievement and all the hard work put for past 2 months.
Thankfully - my lungs , legs and arms supported all the way to the finish line. I finally called my Bib Nos. 603 to the volunteers just to confirm that i had finished all the 16.5 loops. -and i did.
Start : 6:15 AM
Finish : 8:43 AM
Rank : 10th
Total Swimmers in 5k category : 99
|Finisher - 5km|
|with Peter (CTC)|
|moment to joy|
A big thanks to all Volunteers of CTC and sponsors. CTC has always been inspirational for the variety of events. Chennai - an amazing city and my family- 2 beautiful ladies - Soma and Siya who are always there to support for all the crazy stuff i keep doing ,,,,
"The Miracle isn't that i finished, it's that i had the courage to start." - John Bingham