If you haven't read one of our Zoggs Swim Diaries series before, it focuses on people who are taking on a personal challenge whether it be learning to swim, working towards a specific goal or doing something extraordinary. Many of you have a story to tell, and that's what we love about the Zoggs Swim Diaries.
This edition of Swim Diaries is from one of our own, Zoe Keep, our European Sales Co-Ordinator. She has always been known as a water baby, with swimming being her first love from a very young age, but it wasn’t until she moved to Germany in 1997 that she discovered a love of lake swimming. The cold water and being out in nature became her happy place. Nothing restores her internal equilibrium the same way that swimming in nature does. Her role at Zoggs combines her love of water and the German language and often feels more like a vacation than work! Take it away, Zoe...
My second year at this event and it is a real highlight in the calendar. The setting could hardly be more beautiful. A turquoise lake in the Austrian Alps, in an area known as Salzkammergut, just outside Salzburg.
This year I decided to do the so-called Fuschlsee Woman Light. So on Saturday, I swam the half distance of the lake (2.1km) and Sunday, ran (hiked) the 12km around the lake.
The Fuschlsee Crossing / Run are organised by Hotel Mohrenwirt in Fuschl am See. We have been a sponsor of both the hotel, which is set up as a triathlon friendly hotel, and the professional triathlon team at the hotel for several years now and as such we also support the Fuschlsee Crossing. The last two years, this event (now in its 9th year) has been part of the Austrian Cup and so also supported by Arena. However, aside from the race caps and a single buoy on the water, all swim branding at the event is Zoggs.
The swim is kept to an exclusive feeling number of participants, 300 swimmers over two point to point distances, as such it was a pleasure to meet up with one of our good-for-age athletes, Sue Elsel, also swimming the half distance. Half the length of the lake (2.1km) or the full length (4.2km). We were transported to the swim start on the water safety boats. Bouncing across the turquoise water gave a unique chance to drink in the surroundings from the water without having to concentrate on stroke. At 13.15 the race started and the limited number of participants meant that the usual mass start “washing machine” dissipated quickly as everyone found their preferred route. There are no buoys marking the course for this event, Jakob (organiser) says that half of the adventure is finding your way. The sighting guide is the gap between the mountains – well until you are within sight of the water slide at the lakeside lido and the Red Bull finish arch.
The water temperature was 20.5°C and wetsuits mandatory. My trusty Zoggs FX1 ensured good buoyancy in the water and allows me good shoulder freedom to enjoy the 2km front crawl. I am certainly not the fastest swimmer, I simply adore the water and everything around it, so I was very pleased to be out of the water in under 52 minutes. A far cry from the fastest finish time of 24.18 (new course record), but very much within my goal for the day.
The full distance started at 13:45 with the first swimmer posting a time of 48 minutes, just after 15:30 with 4 swimmers still in the water the water authority sounded the storm alarm. There had been rumblings of thunder for around 20 minutes already, but the storm was apparently getting closer. After a quick evaluation, it was decided to let the swimmers finish as they were mere minutes from the bank anyway. By 15:38 the last swimmer was clear of the water and receiving a hero’s welcome by all at the Fuschlseebad.
All podium placed swimmers received a Zoggs Predator Flex alongside their bespoke glass trophy, all that was left to do was for the organisers to present a cheque for €2,000 to Red Bull Wings for Life for donations raised by participants and supporters at the event.
Being able to swim at events like these makes me realise just how fortunate I am to be able to combine work with something I love. In two weeks’ time, I will be supporting the Openwater Swimathon in Worcester – a shorter distance for me of 1.5km, but a new-to-me venue.