Last Saturday, 15 members of the Gold Squad met at Homebush to compete in the MS 24 Hour Megaswim. The swim is dedicated towards raising money for Multiple Sclerosis, an inflammatory disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, and effects four people every working day in Australia.
The Megaswim started at midday on Saturday, and finished at midday on Sunday. The rules of the Megaswim include that there had to be one person at a time from each team in the water for the entire 24 hours, except for the 5 minute time slot when the 100m Freestyle Race was conducted.
We started off swimming in 1km blocks, and as time progressed, we dropped down to 500 metres. There were three to four teams in each lane, and there were people of every age competing. At 7pm the pool was cleared, and three heats of the 100m Freestyle were run. After an extremely fast swim, Luke Bibby ended up winning not only the Sydney 100m race, but also beat everyone in the Melbourne and Canberra Megaswims!
We hit our first goal of 50kms at 10.30pm, and at 11.30pm we split into two groups of five. The first group alternated between themselves for four hours while the other group rested, and at 3.30am we swapped over. It was a very strange feeling having a sleep over (or ‘giant slumber party’ as Lili called it) at Homebush, but it was extremely fun. Once it reach 5.00am, it seemed almost normal to be swimming at that time as we were accustomed to doing so, but it felt really strange to have been at the pool for sixteen hours previously. At 7.30am, the two groups joined back up, and we gained another two swimmers for the remainder of the swim.
For the last three hours, we stopped doing distance swims, and started sprinting. We had been competing with a team two lanes down from us for 21 hours, and they had always been just in front, and we wanted to overhaul them. We were also aiming for our second goal of 100kms and achieved that at 9.45am. These three hours went by quite quickly with everyone swimming max 100s and 200s and before we knew it we were in the last minute. As the countdown ended and people started yelling, we looked up at our tally. Over 24 hours and between 15 swimmers, we had swum 111.4 km! That was the furthest distance swum (50m pool) at the Sydney event. It was a phenomenal feeling to have swum that far, and an even better one to have finished!
As tiring as it was, we’re already planning to swim it again next year! It was a fantastic experience, and we collected more than $3500 to help those living with MS!
–Carlile MegaSwim Team
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