My First Open Water Swimming Event


I visited the southern UK with my parents last March. We visited the coast where I took a photo of the English Channel and posted it on Facebook with the caption, “I’m looking across the English Channel now wondering if I have what it takes to swim across to France. It’s 21 miles across at its narrowest point and the fastest swimmer made it across in a little over seven hours and the slowest one was 27 hours. Average water temperatures in the summer are 14-18 degrees Celsius.”

My high school swim coach Jen saw it and said, “If you are seriously considering, let me know — I have many friends who have done this swim (yes I hang out with weirdos)!”. Let’s start with something a bit more realistic I said. Jen encouraged me to participate in the annual Wayland Three Mile Swim which she organizes. The race takes place in Lake Cochituate, a small body of water in Wayland, Massachusetts which borders my hometown of Wellesley.

So I trained religiously for three months. A couple of days before June 19, I took a bus from New York City back to Wellesley for the open water swim that would start at 7:30AM.

My parents were very supportive of my endeavor and even woke up with me at 5AM to come watch. We drove fifteen minutes to Wayland Town Beach. I met and hugged Jen and my other high school coach Sandy both of whom I haven’t seen in many years. We waited for a boat to setup the large neon-colored, inflatable buoys in the lake.

There were twenty swimmers registered for the three mile race. I didn’t have any expectations for myself. I never swam continuously for such a long distance before (I was a sprinter in high school), so my base goal was to simply finish within two hours, the maximum time allowed.


  1. I did better than I thought I would. 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  2. I had my ass handed to me by 50-year-old men and teenage girls. (Jeff Naylor, age 57, came in second place with a time of 1:05:21. Jeff, what are you on? #lifegoals)
  3. I’d definitely do it again. The water and weather were perfect. The lake tasted great. I know because I drank half of it.

Here are some photos.

I pose for a photo after finishing the swim. Everything is sore.
Moments before the race begins. Jeff Naylor is on my left and Sandy Smith on my right.
That’s me and my kayak escort Spencer, Jen’s son. I’m lucky he volunteered. I don’t know who I would’ve had escort me otherwise.
Another photo of right before the start.
Three mile race results.