Category Archives: charity

Burgh Island Swim Report

So in my quest to become a triathlete i found out that Ashfords Law were organising a charity swim around Burgh Island.  Now i had a vague idea where it was but i had never been there.  Burgh Island is a small island off the south Devon coast just outside Bantham near Kingsbridge, south Devon.

The Swim seemed a great solution to a few of my fears.

  1. Can i swim a mile in Open Water?
  2. How long will it take me?
  3. How will it feel racing in Open Water with other people?
  4. Ho will my Zone 3 Aspire suit fare in a longer swim?

I have my first Sprint Triathlon on the 7th August so i was really keen to try swimming n a group in open water.  Finally the opportunity to raise money for 3 great charities, Parkinsons, Exeter City Football in the Community and The Surf Lifesaving Society.  Another great reason to do it was to swim in what looks like a great venue, so it  was hard to turn down so i signed up 2 weeks ago.

Preparation was not as i wanted as with my last blog and my chest cold was still hanging on so i was still not feeling 100%.  To add to this i had rushed about all day as it was the first day of the school holidays.  Finally i got the kit in the van and headed off for the hour journey to the swim.

As you come over the headland and start to be able to see Burgh Island i realised how great this swim was going to be.  Conditions were great, a few clouds but very little wind and the sea was lovely and calm.

Zone 3 suit and BI

I had heard that Ashfords Law firm put on good events and this was no different.  Huge car park, friendly staff and organised.  Within minutes i had my swim cap and race pack and was heading back to the van to get kitted up.   Cassie Patten Bejing 10km Bronze Medalist was also there and gave us all some advice and was joining us for the swim.  So with my Zone3 Aspire suit on i made my way down to the beach to get wet and ready for the swim.

As this was a more social event than a race the organisers set the more leisurely swimmers off first and then 5 minutes later the rest of us headed off.  I noticed 2 things right from the start of the swim. 1. How clear the sea was. 2. How flexible the Aspire suit is.   I was quite worried about sighting and swimming into the setting sun made this even harder and i ended up getting a little too close to the island which made the swim a little longer and harder.

The swim felt tough but as i got further into the swim the buoyancy in the legs and body of the Aspire really helped.  It’s flexibility is amazing and you hardly notice you are wearing it as you swim.  I got better at sighting and controlling my breathing.  This was a great way of learning how to swim in race conditions in Open Water.

We were heading around the island in an anti-clockwise direction to get a bit of a push from the tide on the back leg.  As you headed around the back of the island the viability was still great and sighting was easier now the sun was behind me.  I suddenly realised i had a swimmer beside me so i tried to stick on their feet but they were quicker than me but i kept with them as we rounded the island and started the home leg back to the beach.

So i started my final push to the beach, i was completely unaware of how i had done, how long it had taken but as i reached the shallows i was happy to stop my Garmin 755XT (Review to follow soon) and lay back in the sea, happy that i had done it.

Swim detail BI

A few moments later i heard a shout telling me to get moving as the finish was up the beach! so i got off my backside and jogged up the beach to the finish line.  The atmosphere at the finish was great, i was given some water before clapping in the remaining swimmers.  i had done the swim in about 38 minutes, i was a little disappointed but i’m happy to write this off due illness and lack of experience.

Heading back to the car park i threw my Zone 3 Parka on and went to enjoy a beer and a Pasty that was laid on for the swimmers by Ashfords.  I have o say the organisation and atmosphere was great.  The swim was fantastic and you even got a great goodie bag and pasty at the end.

Will i be doing it again? Of course not only was it a great swim i need to beat that time!

Zone 3 Cloak BI




Fancy taking part in a 26.2 mile trail event in Brighton?

In my injured state of being banned from running or cycling for 6 weeks the parcel from @AquaSphereUk really lifted my mood and frustration as they have sent me a pair of MP Xceed goggles to test.  I’m a keen swimmer and aim to swim twice a week and with my injuries this has become 4 times.  I try and do a mix of speed, interval and long swims and due to a decision to take on a few Triathlons and Aquathons this season I have upped my swim training.

I have never bought cheap goggles but would not normal go as far as the £24.99 that the MP Xceed goggles retail at but after trying them for a month and completely agree with the saying “you get what you pay for!”.  Just getting them out of the packaging you noticed how low profile they are.  I know from the blurb they have been developed with Michael Phelps’s input and are designed for the competitive swimmer.

The packaging is designed to be a storage box which I love because it keeps them safe with all my other stuff in my kit bag.  Also in the box are three other sizes of nose bridges.  This really allows for easy fitting and was easy to swap if needed.  Lucky for me they fit first time with no need to change them (I did try the other bridges just to check though!)

When I put them on I noticed how easy they were to adjust as they had a central toggle adjustment on the strap.  They were very comfy on the eyes and were tight but I didn’t feel like my eyes were bulging!  Looking at them in the mirror I couldn’t believe how low profile they were.  I knew they had been designed with hydrodynamic properties but I never thought they would be this low profile.  The curved lenses made 180 degree vision easy, the boast of seeing the lanes either side clearly are very true.

So the real proof was in the swimming.  I decided my first session would be a straight forward 2km swim.  I decided to see how they fared without taking them off at all in the session.  I noticed straight away the clarity under the water.  I was amazed on how clear the vision was with these on.  The gasket around the goggles are very soft and never let 1 bit of water in!  Unlike the other goggles I wear they did not fog up at all through the session and never felt or needed removing.

Since this session I have done further sessions including a very tough pyramid sprint session and still find these goggles impeccable.  The MP Xceed come in clear, mirror and titanium mirror lenses which would make them perfect for competitive swimmers as well as triathletes as the mirror and titanium options would be perfect for both high glare pools and outdoor swims.

So do you get what you pay for? With these goggles, no you get a bargain! These are great low profile, good fitting goggles that would suit a keen regular swimmer and/or Triathlete.