The Macquarie Big Swim 2013 – It Was Big!

Big Swim wave  

So the health and fitness goal that has seen me through summer has been ocean swimming. I’ve been training with Can Too with my goal swim being The Big Swim, from Palm Beach to Whale Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

And yes, it was big, and bloody hell, the surf was big.

Big Swim route

The swim was on Sunday 27th Jan and I’ve been mulling on what to write about it for this blog.

Then I realised that I’d poured my heart into this letter to the kind people who joined me in raising nearly $2000 for Cure Cancer Australia. So I thought I’d share that here too.  here’s what I wrote:

Hello kind, generous friends and family,

Seana here, I wanted to let you know that I survived the savage sea with no shark bites and only a few zillion sea lice stings.

The sea conditions for The Big Swim yesterday were quite ferocious. There were massive dumping waves at both Palm Beach and Whale Beach which I would never have got through intact without assistance.

But I asked for help and got it, and the swimming conditions around the headland were good. It was rainy and a bit misty with a big rolling swell, I loved that part.

Thank you so much for donating to Cure Cancer Australia. 

Can Too has raised over $500,000 from their programs so far this year and almost $11 million dollars overall.

Can Too does all the organising of sports training and all the money raised by participants goes directly to Cure Cancer Australia, funding dozens of young Australian researchers.

The ocean training I have done has been fantastic, and I can’t recommend it to you highly enough.  And yes, it is addictive.

When we were being briefed before the swim, Annie Crawford, who founded Can Too and who lost her dad to cancer when he was in his 50’s, reminded us why we were there.

Talking in rain

“We’re all here because we have someone in our lives who is having treatment or who has died of cancer. We all know who we are swimming for.  When you’re out there and you have to dig deep, remember that what you are going through is NOTHING compared to what that person went through or  is going through.”

I actually loved the swim itself, only the dangerous surf conditions scared me. And I did think of the family and friends who have died of cancer, or who have survived with treatment.

Nothing makes me feel so alive as swimming in the ocean, nothing.  I am grateful to be here when others aren’t, glad my kids have me here on the planet when kids we love very much have lost their Dad.

And so I will definitely be doing this again.  Both the swim and donating money I earn to Cure Cancer Australia, whilst pestering others to donate too.

Thank you so much for being part of this salty sea water journey.

This last picture of me with one of our ocean swim trainers. He wasn’t the guy who got me in safely this time, but he had done before during our Saturday morning training.

Seana Hayden

If you ever think of doing a swim, run or triathlon, think of Can Too.

Before I completely dissolve into floods of tears here at the computer, I’d like to say a big thank you again.

And see you soon,


Seana xxxxx

PS  Just a wee note on swimming not racing. It took me 1 hour 25 mins to do the 2.7km course.  1058 people finished the whole course and I was 9th last/slowest. Which is fine by me!!

The fastest racer did it in 29 minutes – crivens!

PPS Please don’t even think about doing ocean swimming without some surf and safety training, it’s SO different to swimming in a pool.

PPPS I’ve moved this post over to this blog, it was first on The Mum’s Diet, a blog I wrote in 2012 and early 2013 to motivate me. That blog is closing down, but I wanted to keep this post, and it’s new home is right here.

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