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2016 Challenge 2 - 5hr Swim Session - DONE!

Hello Everyone,

A quick debrief after another challenge completed!

If you didn't know, yesterday I completed the 2nd challenge of my 2016 season by successfully completing a 5hr swim session. The session was 100m efforts off 2mins (swim and recovery) continuously for 5hrs.
Firstly I would like to thank everyone that came down to Surrey Sports Park to either just show their support or whose who got in with me for a few 100m efforts. I would also like to make a special mention to my amazing Mrs Marsha El-Hage (who herself swum a new furthest distance of 6.5km during the 5hrs) and Simon Kibble & my Mum Carole Brame. these three were there at the beginning and still there after 5+ hrs on a very hot poolside providing motivation, nutrition, support and assistance, I couldn't have done it without you.

Anyway, how did it go?

I started at 11:50am and had decided that I would break the challenge up into blocks of 10 x 100m and I would allow people to join me at the start of each 10 but not in the middle, this would allow me a routine. Once I got going I settled down into a steady 1:25min pace per 100m so getting 35secs rest and until about block 5 I was feeling good. I never had any idea of time until Simon told me I was half way, so it was just a case of managing each block of 10 x 100m. Through blocks 6-8 I struggled, my shoulders started to feel tight and my times dropped to 1:30-1:34mins per 100m but I knew if I could get to the 100 x 100m point I was going to happy..... even if I didn't make the full 5hrs.

I did the whole 100 x 100m with no toys, no pull buoy or paddles and was genuinely proud of myself, I had had my doubts and after a Thursday and Friday or driving and lifting/moving heavy office furniture and a Saturday or more driving and 100+km hilly ride, I did wonder whether I would have even got to this point!
After the 100th 100m it was tough, and I did really have a wobble (literally) about 12km into the session, but as I got nearer the end people kept arriving to show their support and I just kept checking off each 100m effort.

I finished the session hurting in places I have never hurt before, my back, arms, lats and triceps were pounding, but I was super happy and feel I am another step closer to my World Record attempt at The Blenheim Palace Triathlon in a few weeks!

Challenge totals:

Total swim time: 05:03:12hrs
Total swim distance: 14.5km or 14,500m
Total lengths (of a 50m pool): 290 lengths
Total toilet stops: 3 breaks of 2-3mins

If you don't know these crazy 'challenges' are all in aid of the Bloodwise‪#‎Charity‬ and I am hoping to raise as much money for them as possible in 2016. I have at least 6 more challenges planned and any amount you can spare to support me, to support this amazing charity is greatly appreciated. The link is below.....

My Virgin Money Giving page: My page:

My VERY disappointing experience with Guinness World Records so far..... (Part One)

I wanted to ask the question....

"When did the Guinness World Records become only about making money and not about celebrating the amazing achievements of people and raising money for charity?"

My journey with GWR started back in October/November 2015 when I had the idea to attempt to set a World Record as a personal challenge to raise money for charity.

I have never raised money for charity before because I had never felt people would want to sponsor me for something unless it was something special and something that people would consider a real test of my mental and physical ability based on my background in sport.

I went away and did my research and after seeing some of the very odd and very silly records that currently stand, I thought my plan for the 'Most Sprint Triathlons in 12hrs and 24hrs' would definitely be something that people would be keen to support me and I never thought  passing it with GWR would be an issue.

The application process with GWR was quite simple, all automated through their website. The first thing that amazed me was the application wait time of 3 months but that just shows how many applications they must receive. I was however surprised that you could opt for a fast track option which costs £450 +VAT. This was my first disappointment, although I am on a deadline and fast tracking my application would allow me more time to plan and more time to fundraise, how could I justify spending this money if 1) it comes out of money that could go to charity or 2) out of my own pocket when the answer from GWR could be 'no' and I've just wasted £450 +VAT!! The fact that they state prices '+VAT' suggests that their target audience for fast tracking applications is corporates who £450 is a small fee and they can claim the VAT back. They don't seem to have considered individuals, like myself, taking time to attempt these records, who are not doing it for financial gain, to raise money for charity and are dictated by a specific event deadline and could genuinely use a fast track service to make the most of their precious time!

Anyway, I waited and waited and it was a long 10-12 weeks but I got my response.....

"Your application has been rejected"

I was gutted and considering the record I was applying for didn't exist, I couldn't see they had just rejected it? I didn't give up, I started communication, via their website as you talk to a human being at GWR, and sent an email asking why. Like with the application process they ask for up to 2 weeks to reply to any correspondence!!!!! This is going to be a looooonnnngggg process!

I have added a few images of current GWR certificates that I have found on the internet. It makes me wonder if I should have looked at slightly different challenges. 

I think I could have been quite good at eating Ferrero Rocher chocolates, I don't think training for Wii Fit Hula Hooping would be a lot easier, and warmer than what I am currently doing! 

I don't want to demean the challenges of the people that earned these certificates, but I wonder if they went through so much to get their record accepted????

I hate writing posts like this as I sound so negative, and that is not me.

All I want to do is challenge myself to do something(s) special and in doing that raise money for worthy causes and charities. If I can help those brands, and businesses that sponsor and support me by offering them a little coverage for my efforts that is great, but Guinness don't get that and I would like to know why?

The next part gets even more ridiculous so come back soon for the second instalment of this frustrating episode.