Start Location: Worcester
End Location: Upton-upon-Severn
Distance travelled: 19km
Exercise Duration: 6hr:30mins
GPS Track: //connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/RossSwims
The rain was pelting it down the night before. Caitriona attempted to pitch the tent herself last night on her own, and I was praying it was done correctly. Thankfully the tent stayed dry, but it was bucketing down this morning. It was so heavy, we all had to migrate to our tents to leave it pass. The clouds on the other hand didn’t look like they were going to let up so quickly. We made a decision at 8am to wade out the storm for a couple of hours.
I used this window as an opportunity to go for the longest shower of my life. I had to walk about 5-minutes to get to the showers in the pouring rain. There was a small window in the shower cubicle, which I opened. I could see and hear the rain hammering it down outside, all whilst I was in here having a lovely hot shower. I knew though, that in a few hours, I would be in the River Severn freezing my bollucks off, so I was enjoying this.
At about 12am, the skies got a bit brighter and off we went to Worcester town to start the swim. We set off at bout 1pm and it was raining again. When I jumped into the water and started swimming for about 5-minutes, something was different. I wasn’t enjoying the process. This was the first time on this trip that I wasn’t enjoying swimming. It was freezing cold and there was zero flow, because the lock ahead was damming the water. I was in a very dark place at this point, but just had to keep going.
We approached our first lock of the day and went around. After the lock there was a tributary coming into the River Severn, which was creating a very cold flow in the river. I was just so cold at this stage and had to get out and run around. I promised myself I wouldn’t mention this, but hey ho. When I got out I lay down on the tracks of a farmers field. My legs were in the air and I had to urinate in my wetsuit, in an effort to get some heat on my body. People may say that this is mank, or why did he mention this. But the reality is, this was my best way of getting instant heat onto my body and I knew it would work. It had been my central heating system for my days on the river. As terrible as it sounds, but in an environment like this, you got to do whatever it takes to get from A to B safely.
On the second hour of the swim, my body temperature was dropping again, and I was shivering once again. We had to get out about 40-minutes later again for another break and more tea. I was running around like a lunatic across farmers fields in a desperate effort to get warm.
Once we got over these first two hours, there was this strong flow with us on the river. Deceptively fast, and I only got a full appreciation for it, when I had to swim against it, in order to scramble out the riverbank for another break. The River Severn was truly in full swing now, and the flow was very consistent.
We were pushing on at about 4.5km/hr, which was our fastest pace on the whole adventure. I had finally got over the cold and was now swimming freely and enjoying the process once again. We had reached the 10km mark in no time, and we knew we had only about another 10km to Upton-upon-Severn, where Caitriona was currently trying to organise us accommodation.
Patch and I had the bridge at Upton-upon-Severn in sight. This was the best feeling of the entire day. Seeing your finish point a few hundred meters away. We saw Caitirona on the riverbank and she said that she had gotten us free accommodation and free food. This day had turned out to be one of the better ones. I found out later that Kev Brady had organised us free accommodation with The Kings Head. Kev had stayed at that same place, last year when he was in the process of swimming the River Severn. Dani from The Kings Head was very kind to us, and left us stay in the backroom, where there were currently musicians practicing.
Caitriona had organised us to eat at Pundits Fusion, which was a Bangladesh cuisine restaurant. They very kindly provided Caitriona, Patch and myself free food. The grub was insanely good and the owner Sultan was one of the nicest guy you’d come across. He stayed talking to us for about 15 minutes whilst we were looking at the menus. I then asked what would be good for someone that is swimming down the River Severn, and he basically told me what to have. He actually picked all of our dinners. We all went off his recommendation. After the fantastic food, our bellies were full, and we were all wrecked and looking forward to getting some much needed rest.
We went back to The Kings Head where we were sleeping there backroom. All wrecked and tired and drifted off to lula by land very quickly.
I have travelled 248km in twelve days and we are really making a run to the finish line now. If people would like to donate, you can do so by visiting my Just Giving page, it’s really simple to do. All monies will go directly to Motor Neurone Disease Association.
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