RUTLAND NIGHT SWIM 2018
Are you scared of the dark?
This is the question dotted all around the event village & the lead up to the swim. If you are – then this is probably the best way to conquer that fear, by swimming in a lake at night! This fun, friendly and well run event is definitely a one for all levels of swimming. If you want to relax and take your time or if you want to get a time (on your own watch), but do it all in the dark, then sign up.
Entry fee: £36
Start time: 8:00pm
Cut Off Time: 9:30pm
Swim floats are compulsory but were included in your entry fee.
With this event, you had a choice of 2 different length routes. A 250m or 650m route, you could swim as many times as you wanted within the allotted time.
Both big squares, marked out by buoys/glow sticks, it was definitely fun to watch all of the swimmers swimming their way around the lake, only visible by the yellow light on their swim caps.
We chose to do 2 big loops and 1 smaller loop to get some distance in before our time was up. As we weren’t racing, this was enough distance for us, if you were racing or faster, you probably could have managed 3/4 large laps.
Turning up to the registration table, you are met by fairy lights, smiling faces & glitter paint. You are asked for your name and they collect the race pack for you.
Now, having worked in registration before, it seemed a bit complicated. There was one person trying to get a shirt, another getting a bag, another a floaty and another giving you your number – I think I was asked several times by the same person if I had got what they needed to give me and I had, I was just waiting for the other items. There probably was a more efficient way of doing it.
We collected our gear and set up camp on the side. The glow in the dark paint came out (eco friendly!) and our warm up was painting fun patterns on everyones faces! We were called to the start by the marshalls, by the time that we had finished the face paint, it was a bit of a rush to get the wetsuits, hats and booties on.
The crowd of 250 swimmers gathered as our instructions were given & the sound for the start went off. A flood of bright yellow glow sticks slowly made their way into the water – it was still light by this time, but we were given a beautiful sunset. The water was a perfect temperature for swimming in.
By the second lap, it was completely dark & I felt pretty confident swimming by this stage. We had a chat with some of the water safety kayakers, very friendly – unfortunately could not coax them in for a swim. We practised some swimming under the water, trying to see if the glow sticks could be seen from above the water. We figured out pretty fast that you can only see them when the person is literally right underneath you.
Heading in to the final stretch, you swim up to the bright light shining over the finish, almost blinding. There was very lovely marshals waiting to congratulate you after you come under the inflatable arch. We took our photo’s and went to get changed.
Now, I’ve done a few races, but the snacks at this finish were by far the best. In the little room there was a choice of:
-Teas, coffee, juice/squash.
-Soup (chicken, vegetable & tomato)
-buiscuits (custard creams, bourbons & digestives)
-DONUTS (iced, chocolate & sugar coated).
So many options, at one stage I was stuck behind a lady who finished one donut and then kept eating a few more. We relaxed and chilled on the water side for a bit, and the marshal came back saying there was so much food left that we should go up for more – of course I didn’t hesitate!
I was pleasantly surprised by this event. I really enjoyed swimming in the lake & the dark. It felt safe, secure & it was a lot of fun. The event is definitely beginner friendly.
I would love to do this event next year, try and get a few more laps in on the next event. You get so much with your entry & have a great time. Here is to conquering the fears & swimming in the dark!
For more information – check out the website here.