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Marie in Hong Kong

Marie in Hong Kong

Discovery of Hong Kong

The 40th Tolo Harbour race - Part 2

Publié par Marie sur 29 Octobre 2012, 18:02pm

Catégories : #My life in HK

10.20 am -> While making good progress to the starting point of the race, I finally spot our official photographer on the right side.

It is a very hot day and the swim cap under a heavy sun is not a nice feeling, I start to have a headache or am I trying to find excuses at the last minute to forfeit this race??


10.40 am -> The first wave starts the race. They are only few of them (around 200) and they all wear a yellow swim cap. It seems it is the competition group.

Some of them are very young but seems fitter than me so let’s not judge a book by its cover and wish them good luck!

I can feel this well-known feeling of fear and adrenaline rushing into my blood… I am there and ready to compete even if it is for fun it reminds me of my old swimming competition days!




Tolo Harbour (11)


Tolo Harbour (12)


10.45 am->It is time to get into the water…


Tolo Harbour (13)


10.45.10 am -> It is cold, I am wondering what I am doing here and why did I register for this bloody race…

I am thinking of my bed, a warm blanket and a piece of my Oreo Cheesecake waiting for my return in the fridge!



Tolo Harbour (14)



10.45.20 am -> No doubt, it is very cold

 Tolo Harbour (15)


10.45.30 am -> I have no choice, let’s be brave I can do it!

  Tolo Harbour (16)


10.45.40 am -> Of course I will do it, in fact… it is not that cold!


 Tolo Harbour (17)


10.47 am -> I have a good place on the third row from the starting line. Only 3 persons on my left so I should manage to escape quickly from the crowd… Behind me, some participants are still on the sand talking to each other – relaxed - and I am ready not far from the first line! I can almost touch the starting rope…

Best position ever, thanks to Marine for our deep analysis during our holidays in Thailand! I suddenly realize that I am a very competitive person and I love this adrenaline feeling in my blood! I have been missing it for too long, it is time to get back on track!

I also have the time to see that hundreds of flip flops are now floating around us… is it from our swimming race? Seriously? So is anyone picking them up once everyone is in the water?


10.51 am -> The signal is given but I have no idea by who… Too many people around, one more reason to stay focus.

  Tolo Harbour (18)


10.51.05 am -> Time to start the real challenge… time to swim for real! The finish line is 2600 meters away


10.51.15 am -> I fight with someone else feet… someone else is trying to swim on top of me… new way to finish the race quicker? Two seconds later after a heavy blow in my stomach, I decide to go further away from other people.



From this point, I have no idea of the time anymore… I don’t have a watch so I am only racing on feelings and buoys I can see while swimming… Past the first 50 meters, the water is not cold anymore so I am happy I didn’t came with a huge wetsuit

Each buoy is 500 meters far from each other and I can’t see the finish line from here but I am confident I can do it!

   Tolo Harbour (19)


Buoy 0 -> The first two minutes to get out of the crowd were exhausting… My heart is pulsing in my head and I am praying not to have a heart attack during the race. Strange thought but I am really afraid I won’t be able to handle this physical challenge until the end… Open water is a different story than swimming laps in a pool.

First there is the quality of the water; not dirty but murky… all I could see in my goggles is yellowish sand all around me! When I bump into someone else, I will feel it before I can see him/her… At least I am not worry anymore to end up in front of a shark!

Secondly, the water is very choppy. As the race is happening in a bay next to a reservoir, I was not expected so much waves and current… It is not going to be that easy I guess! I am not able to do front crawl all the time as the waves are coming on my right side. I decide to alternate between front crawl, backstroke (the easiest one I found later) and breaststroke.

  Tolo Harbour (20)

 Tolo Harbour (21)

 Tolo Harbour (22)


Buoy 1 -> Whaaaaat???? It is only the first buoy…. Seriously??? Thanks to this stupid thought, I end up swallowing half of the sea and I start coughing as if my life depends on it… This is disgusting, believe me… I want to be in my bed again…


Buoy 2 -> I am getting closer to the Island. On the map, she is located in the middle of the race. Already 1000 meters done, it is still not easy but not hard either. I guess open water training could have been very helpful!

I find another woman who is swimming at a relative same pace than mine so I try to stay close to her.

  Tolo Harbour (23)


Buoy 3 -> I am still swimming next to this Island… Is that me who is not moving forward anymore or this island is f*cking big?


Buoy 4 -> I got you stupid infinite Island… you are behind me and I can see the finish lane. I am soon swimming with the yellow swim cap so I am motivated again. I overtake one, then two, three of them and more and more! I am so proud!

Two seconds later, an orange cap is swimming past me as fast as a shark… Sh*t, the guys are just behind me… no reason to be proud anymore…

I try to swim faster and then come my second full sea glass… Same as before in one word… DISGUSTING! But the finish line can be seen so let’s go quickly and get a real glass of water because I start to feel thirsty with all this water around.

  Tolo Harbour (24)


Buoy 5 -> I can clearly see the people waiting for us at the finish point. They are still so small… but I am nearly there.

I am still close to this girl I swan with the whole time… I am telling myself I can do it before her (again the competitive spirit) but she is better than me and make it two seconds before me only! Arghhhh!

 Tolo Harbour (25)



Finish line -> I am tired but not exhausted. This was not an easy swimming race but it was still very enjoyable. Xavier is in the middle of the crowd waiting for the return of the two heroes.


 Tolo Harbour (26)


It took me 58 minutes to complete the race and I will do better next year!

And the best part about it, you too will register to do it with me!

Tolo Harbour (27)

Commenter cet article

christo 19/11/2012 21:46

Moi aussi, je vais pas en laisser deux se noyer en asie!

Non mais, que me diront les parents apres ;-)


Marie 22/11/2012 13:33

Hehe... moi je vais pas me noyer je sais ce que c'est maintenant!!

Par contre faudra que je vous surveille alors...

Et puis ils font quoi les autres fragins, ils viennent pas?



jef 12/11/2012 19:49

Bravo !!!

La prochaine fois je m'inscris... ^^

Marie 15/11/2012 03:40

Je retiens...

DUBEAU 29/10/2012 13:04

MARIE? t'y es folle et y avait quasi que des hommes !!!Bravo

Marie 30/10/2012 06:14

Coucou Nathalie,

Merci pour les encouragements... On etait environ 1800 participants (dont 214 femmes exactement) donc la photo est pas exactement la realite! Par contre oui j'etais la seule femme non chinoise


Nous sommes sociaux !

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