Last night I was at Tooting Bec Lido for the annual Midsummer Relay organised by the South London Swimming Club.
In contrast to the 10,000 swimmers we saw at the Great North Swim at the weekend, this was a much more intimate affair: 34 teams competing in a 4x4x100 yards relay. Clubs taking part included Out to Swim, Spencer, Otter, Barnes SC, the Metropolitan Police, the Serpentine and Crystal Palace Triathletes, as well as teams from South London Swimming Club.
Despite the 18 degrees Celsius water temperature there were still questions of: “We can wear wetsuits, can’t we?” Errr, no. This is Tooting Bec Lido, neoprene is frowned upon. And to the question of whether there are heats? “No, we just set off all 34 teams together.”
The resulting carnage was a lot of fun. True, the race did end in a few bruises but no one let that spoil their enjoyment. The fastest team was Amazeballs, who completed the 16 lengths in 19 minutes. Je t’Aime took the prize for slowest team, finishing slightly north of 40 minutes.