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I am going to swim from Asia to Europe on July 23

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Nearly nearly ...

S. Thelwall

Wow, lots of wows ... wow and thankyou to all those who have donated; wow and blimey re the course; wow and yippee nearly there and wow and ouch that twinge needs a massage pronto. 

So this morning Elena (my Ukranian swimming buddy who suggested this epic idea in the first place) and I met up and went down to the park to do the admin - rfidtag acquired and activated, swim hat number 544 acquired but not yet being worn, athletes badge proudly being worn. Simples as the meerkat would say. 

We also took the boat trip up 6.5km up to the start line. This meant a commentary from the organisers on the return journey which included gems like 'go right a bit at the bridge, left a bit when you pass the castle and then head straight for the high voltage power lines.' Not a hint of comedy. Also 'don't worry about all the big shipping containers as we close the lanes tomorrow for two hours' and also 'don't go off to hard because you'll need to save your energy to get through the back eddy at the finish.'

I oscillate between huge excitement and considerable trepidation and the advice of 'if you get into trouble take your swim hat off and wave at one of the 40 safety boats who will come immediately to your rescue but remember not to panic as this puts you and those around you at risk' is not as comforting as you might think when you see the sheer size of the river and know that there are in fact 2338 approved competitors in this the 29th race. 

I think I shall retreat to the comfort and calm of my luxy hotel room for a bit and soothe the twinge in my back in the steam room.