March Mini Challenge and some wild swimming

So there has been a bit of a break on the blog as I was away for a week in Kent and took the time to let my finger heal a bit, along with some of the other scrapes. 

But now I’m back and the training starts again with something new to report, I have made it into the water at last!  Just over 6 months to go and I found a local group of swimmers who meet to do open water wild swimming.  So a few messages back and forth and I found myself by Sparth reservoir for an early morning start yesterday at 7 am to meet one of the guys involved with it all. 

Luckily this time I was a bit better prepared and the water temperature was a little better than it was at the end of last year in Gaddings, still in single figures but the ones nearer 10 rather than zero this time.  So dressed in borrowed wetsuit boots, swimming shorts, a swimming top, wet suit gloves and goggles I headed in for a dip. 


Although the water was pretty cold it wasn’t that bad at all and with the boots my feet were fine which was a relief after last times total numbness.  We did a circuit around the edge with me doing breast stroke and getting used to the feeling of the cold water while my companion kindly stayed only a few strokes ahead of me and snapped a few pics with his go-pro camera.


By the time we were back round to where we started  was ready to get out but still feeling pretty good, I didn’t even suffer any shakes after drying off which is a reasonable indication that my core temperature didn’t drop too much.


So all good news on the swimming?  Well not quite!  The circumference of Sparth is about 350 meters or so, which means for the 1.2 miles I have to do it equates to about 5 and a half laps.  By the iron man rules there is a 1 hour 30 min cut off for the swim section.  My one, albeit fairly leisurely lap took me about 30 mins so that would put my time for the full distance at 2 hours 45 mins!  Well at least I have an idea of my starting point now and an aim to at least double my speed at a bare minimum! 


So knowing I have a long way to go in the water I am planning to try and get along for a swim as often as I can and because the rules stipulate you have to wear a full wet suit I have just bought one so that I can train in that, hopefully the extra buoyancy and much more training will help with things.


Besides all of that I have now bought myself some new bike brakes to replace the bent ones that were damaged in the crash and as soon as they are on the bike I’ll be up and about on that as well so looking forward to getting some hilly miles done when the clocks change and I can take it to work and back more often.


On the non physical side of things I have also now written to a number of local businesses in the area in the hopes that some of them may look kindly on the event and possibly help or sponsor me for it.  It would be great to raise local awareness of what the welcome centre does and to see if I can get some local ground swell and support for it all.


So what’s next?


Well this month’s mini challenge is now getting very close, walking 40 miles of the Calderdale way in a day.  That’s up hill and down dale for what I expect will be about 10-12 hours.  I’m going to be doing it with an experienced long distance walker (he is using it as a training run for a 100 mile walk he is doing later in the year!) and an equally daft friend who I did the 3 Yorkshire peaks with.  However even with a decent level of fitness, a good guide and plenty of food and drink along the way I am still fully expecting my legs to be shot by the end of it and possibly have to deal with blisters as well.  But I think the Iron Man event is as much about the will to just keep going as it is about the fitness required to do it so the walk will put both to the test to see how I fare.  


Added to the walk there is still the Zombie dash (or hobble as it may end up for me!) that I signed up for the day after.  I had originally thought of this as just a bit of fun but with 40 miles done the day before it may be a lot harder than I expected. 



So down to the nitty gritty of cold hard cash!


I said that I’d like to get to a £98 running total for my sponsorship by the end of this month which would be £1 for each mile of the mini challenges, that still stands and I’d really like to get there if folk would be happy donating.  However as an added incentive if folk can double that before the Zombie run then no matter the condition of my legs I’ll do the run in some form of armour (I need to check with the organisers that they are ok with this)  I realise that makes the running total £196 which is quite high but I am setting it there on purpose as I think doing the Zombie run in armour is going to be really really hard after the walk!  So if you want me to do it you’re going to have to really earn it!


So there it is my update for this month and my physical challenge set against your financial one J


As ever the details of everything can be found on these links.

Donation page

The Welcome Centre

Facebook page

Search “Jack’s iron challenge


Thanks for reading and hopefully donating!





2 thoughts on “March Mini Challenge and some wild swimming

  1. Dear Jack,
    firstly good luck with your IM if you have not done so yet! I admire the challenge you are putting your mind and body through.
    I am sorry for the random contact however I am up in Marsden for the weekend and do not know the area at all and need to find my weekly fix of open water swimming and saw that Sparth resevoir was very nearby – however all the google feeds for this suggest that I may not be able to swim there. Please could you clarify for me?
    I really appreciate your help,
    Kind Regards

    • Hi jodie. There is a facebook group based around the sparth site for wild swimming if you have a quick search buti have swum there most times of the day, most days of the week, alone and with company and never had a problem so id say you’ll be fine 🙂

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