So tomorrow is the big day! Along with my new friends taking part in the “This Girl Can Swim” challenge, I will be swimming in the Henley Mile, supported by my new grand daughter and her parents.
This will be the first sporting event I have taken part in since my ignominious departure in the first round of the compulsory All School Tennis Tournament in 1972, when I failed to win a single point on my serve, so no pressure.
I am actually looking forward to the swimming part, but the logistics of actually getting myself to the river seem a bit daunting. Having entered the Suits V Skins class I am swimming twice, so have a huge pile of stuff to take for my long day at Henley.
For me, it is never just a matter of throwing a few things in the car and hitting the road early on Sunday morning. I don’t plan to leave anything to chance, and will be prepared for anything!
Packing for Henley
Full tank of petrol
Instructions for finding car park
Money for car park
Instructions for finding Registration (be careful not to lose the 2 coloured hats)
Reading glasses for Registration forms
Photo ID for Registration
Copy of timetable (so I don’t forget which hat to wear or which safety briefing to attend)
2 Swimsuits (in case the first one isn’t dry by second race)
2 pairs Goggles, just in case
Bodyglide (for chafing, don’t ask)
Rucksack (to safely stow hats acquired on registration)
2 Bags for wet kit
2 pairs of Flip flops, in case the first set get lost
Rubber bands to secure flip flops together in bucket at start, and make it easier to find them at the finish (Although, as I am likely to be last, mine will be the only ones left in the bucket)
Fully charged phone for getting in touch with other team members and supporters
Huge helium balloons for identifying our team ‘base’ so I can find it after each swim (psychological scars from being frequently lost on a beach as a child here)
2 or 3 Towels
Antibacterial hand wash and mouthwash against possible pathogens in river water (the organisers’ phrase, not mine)
Plasters to cover the odd little scratch on my hands after a hard week working at the University of Surrey Library
Warm clothes for after first swim
Cooler clothes for once I have thawed out after first swim
Sunscreen, waterproofs, sunhat, woolly hat (July in England, best to be prepared)
Bananas, granola bars and other healthy snacks
Water, for drinking and for rinsing goggles
“This Girl Can Swim” hat for team interview
Camera for taking pictures when phone dies
T shirt for walk to second swim to protect against sunburn/extreme cold/being seen or photographed in my swimsuit
Carrier bag marked with my name for said T shirt and flip flops to be left in at start of second race – for easy identifying and collecting at finish
Even warmer clothes for after second swim without wetsuit
Notebook for writing down ideas for next swimming challenge! (after phone has died)
I think that is everything
Who, me, nervous?