What is Head Above Water? What is a 24 Hour Swimathon? Do we need to swim for 24 hours? Where do we sign up?
The Head Above Water 24 Hour Swimathon was a simple concept, register for $30 and swim as many times as you want within the 24 hours, 9am Saturday 16th until 9am Sunday 17th. Online you could book in a time, and this is how they made sure there was someone swimming in the pool for the entire 24 hours, or if you just rocked up on the day like me you could swim whenever you wanted. All of this was done in the name of Mental Health with all funds going to Gotcha 4 Life.
After stumbling across the event I immediately registered and saw an old school friend of mine, he had just knocked out a bit over 3km in the hour. We were old swimming buddies and I'd be lying if I said we weren't competitive with each other back in the day. He set the challenge of 66 laps to beat and I agreed to do at least that many in the hour.
I was set for an hour session 11am-12pm while my family agreed to enter as a team for the same time. I found my Catfish Designs sluggos and borrowed a pair of goggles of my Dad and I was ready to go. Both my family as a team and I knocked out 82 Laps, myself solo and them laps added up together relay style. While I was pretty chuffed I had managed to beat my mate Pierce, I was kind of curious about the night shift during this 24 hour Swimathon.
I had a friends 30th in town so my girlfriend and I went to the party, Pierce was there and I tried to encourage him to join me for a few extra laps but I think he'd had a few too many beers. At 11pm my girlfriend and I left the party and drove back to the pool for another crack at the 24 Hour Swimathon. I managed a far slower kilometre, 20 laps, in the dark and dried off and went home to bed feeling pretty good about myself, cracking the 100 lap mark after a party.
I had a Private SUP Surf Lesson in the morning at Collaroy at 8am so didn't think I'd have that much time to get any more laps in. Luckily my client was running 15 minutes late. This was a perfect opportunity to see how many more laps I could squeeze in. I jumped in and managed another 20 laps bringing my total to 122 laps, 6.1km, just in time to surf Collaroy Point. I could hear and see the countdown from my SUP lesson. The community had successfully completed a 24 Hour Swimathon with over 19,000 Laps completed by over 500 swimmers with $82,000 raised for Mental Health, Gotcha 4 Life. If you want to donate more to the cause click here.
I definitely didn't get the most laps in but maybe the most without knowing the event was on. Next year I want to try and do more laps, I think I could comfortably double my efforts, maybe even take it to 250 laps. Even better would be getting a team together to swim the entire thing, 24 hours worth of laps, relay style. A team of four would do the trick. Who's in?