"I was nervous I wouldn’t make the 10 km in the time allotment of 4 hours but after meeting the other swimmers and openly sharing those fears I felt much more relaxed. It was less about finishing the 10 K, and more about enjoying the open water."
Despite all the above, those little doubt gremlins were present in the first 2 km. I focused hard, yet still struggled to connect it all.
My coach, Katie, came upon me at one point and dolphin tailed a hello of encouragement, volunteers on paddleboards and boats shouted and the feeding boat peeps entertained with smiles and quick conversations. My #1 fan Elaine trailed the beach waving and shouting. Other swimmers passed by with way to go’s and check-ins. I was even able to hear Cameron Bellamy’s send off as he started his 96K swim around the island. I studied the ocean floor. I enjoyed the starfish, sea urchins, fish, turtles and stingrays. I envisioned the future while I enjoyed the present in the warm ocean water.
BOWF: Well done Jen. Your story defines what the Barbados Open Water Festival is all about. We are thrilled to hear that since the Festival you have joined a Master's program in Canada and plan to swim all year! See you in November 2019 at the 8th annual Festival.
Many thanks also to our volunteer kayaker Darren Treasure (Open Water Swimmer & President of the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT) for going the extra mile and staying in the water until the last swimmer finished!
Barbados Open Water Festival: Nov 6-10, 2019. Entry is open online now.