2015 Dublin SC Sprint Gala
The second annual 2015 Dublin SC Sprint Gala took place at Balrothery on Sept 27.Things got underway at 3.30 (warm-up at 3pm) and we had proceedings completed by 5.30 or so - so it was a sprint gala in every sense of the word. Among the highlights were the national relay records by the men's teams from St Vincents and NAC, a host of Connaught records from the SwimWest Masters team from Galway and in the men's 25m dash three competitors broke 13 seconds with Simon Murray fastest at 12.37 secs. Alison Buckley was fastest lady at 13.72 secs. Deirdre Morris retained the Fergus Barron memorial trophy for fastest breaststroke result closest to a world record. The full results are here
Mary Rose Keegan - Memories of my Liffey Swims and Her Victory in the 2002 Liffey Swim
Will I enter...will I not? I really don’t want to do it.......or do I?
Sure I may as well....nothing to lose....or have I?
Molly kindly collects my cap the night before...number 60 is a lucky number... first step out of the way.
Mary Rose (right winning another trophy in 2013.
I park the car at Heuston Station and, as I walk down the quays to the start at Watling Street my heart is pounding. What am I doing here...I really don’t want to be here. Now is my chance to turn around and go home. But a voice is saying ‘no’....I’ve had this feeling so many times before, and experience tells me to keep going....everyone else is feeling the same way.
I inspect the river en route... is the tide coming in or out... is the current weak or strong... what way is the wind blowing...so hard to know. At least no jelly fish, I assure myself. Am I really going to swim over all those shopping trolleys, bicycles, traffic cones, and God know what else? Sure, keep going, we’re all in the same boat. Past the Guinness Gate....nearly there now.
Lining up along the quays in warm autumn sunshine (more often than not). Meeting fellow swimmers, some familiar...some not...but we’re all here for the same reason. Numbered, colourful caps....not yet in order. What a sight for the passing hooting traffic....male and female swimmers, all ages, all sizes all shapes!
The fun and nervous laughter as we sing Molly Malone. The cheers go up as ‘Go’ is called and the race is underway.
Waiting for your turn to come, and the dread of diving off the barge (pontoon in more recent years) into that cold murky water (where has all the buoyancy gone) Goggles stay put...a little fogged up but could be worse.
Splashes, strokes, lapping waters... a different smell and taste to the sea. A fish-eye view of our Dublin buildings old and new. They look so different from down here. I say to myself it’s a privilege to be doing this...enjoy it while you can.
The feel of swimming through floating leaves and flotsam, and the taste of diesel and fumes from the rescue boats...not so nice but an essential part of it.
Under one, two, three bridges....I’ve lost count... but now the Halfpenny....familiar territory. Crowds on the bridges saying to themselves...’are they mad?’! We are the target for the odd coke can... but on we go.
Here comes the dreaded O’Connell Bridge...dark and scary...but no rats to be seen... or maybe they’re scared of us.
The muffled sound of the tannoy...I pass the leading swimmer, Sandra (Dublin SC), under Butt Bridge and kick for home (sorry Sandra...but you did get your revenge the following year!)
Interviews, photographs, t.v., Dublin fire brigade showers, presentation, Lord Mayor, Yeats’ beautiful painting, and worst of all having to say the cupla focal.
In my Liffey swims I’ve had good days and not so good, I’ve swum with the flow and against, in dirty water and not so dirty, I’ve swallowed water, plenty of it, have been sick the following day and have survived, I’ve had favourable handicaps (thanks Joe) and not so favourable, but it’s all this that makes The Liffey the race that it is.
Let us remember and thank all those who work so hard to make this swim the Swim of all Swims. What an honour it is to be able to swim through Dublin our capital city.....where else would you get it!
Good luck to all the swimmers in the 2015 Liffey Swim.....and enjoy!
Dublin Sprint Gala Sept 27
Expect fireworks at the Dublin Sprint gala. Who will get the fastest 25fc? Who will retain the Fergus Barron memorial trophy for closest breaststroke time to a world record. The events are:
4 x 100 Medley Relay
4 x 50 Mens Medley Relay
4 x 50 Ladies Medley Relay
4 x 50 Mens Freestyle Relay
4 x 50 Ladies Freestyle Relay
More info here