On Friday, Madhu emailed the team:
"Sorry to bug you all. Tomorrow(Dec/27th) is a warm day 7C and not sure about the water temperature. However, We (pending loren's confirmation) are thinking of jumping early to give our best shot to attempt an icemile.
We need help on the beach. We also need people to observe + witness and document our swim. If you are available to help us out - send me a reply confirming your availability.
We are thinking of jumping at 7:30 am in the morning.
Thanks in advance for your support."
What could we say but - YES! Below is his report of this incredible attempt:
"Great Day, Great People, Great Lake and a Great Swim.
At times (in the middle of the night, in my cozy bed) I wonder, what was I thinking when I sent that email about a 7:15 am jump, Why do we commit/push/challenge ourselves that require to get out of bed before sunrise in a Canadian winter. This is the hardest part of this venture. Once I get out of the bed, everything else is magical. I’ll recount things that happened this morning (you are welcome to delete the message now)
- My Suunto Ambit alarm goes off at 6:30 am
- I manage to get out of bed at 6:42 am
- Get ready, make sure my gear(goggle, macks earplugs, red parka, cap, gloves etc) are in place.
- I check my email/Facebook to make sure, I don’t have any last minutes notes from team. Loren is stuck with family commitments (very important).
- Get down to Coronation park and I’m wondering who’s on the beach - I see Mark and It can’t be Julia - she is getting married today.
- It was Julia, She wanted to wish us well before her own big day (she gives me a big hug, a kiss on my cheek and takes off). Julia, would it be OK if we crash your wedding tonight!!
- Mike, Marty, Mark, Brett, Brian, Dave, Alan, (and Alan’s big self parking gadget), Rob, Dylan, Maisey, and (a phone call from Miguel) are all on the beach and getting ready for the respective positions.
- Kayaks and Gopros are launched.
- Rob gives me a highlight of the important rules for this swim. (Note: I believe in barebones and also my mantra has always been that training is harder than the real swim).
- I missed point 6.1 - Mark launches the tent and makes sure it is secure.
- We get dressed: Speedo drag suit CHECK, earplugs CHECK, A.S.S swim cap CHECK, goggles CHECK.
- We walk into the water and the water is painful 1C. My feet hurt right away. Mark (like Loren) can dash into the water and till to date, I cannot do that.
- Brett,Mike and Brian on Kayaks with GOPROs are positioned to keep me safe. BTW, The Great lake is great with long rolling small waves. The lake was filled with birds (CanadaGeese, ducks, swans and other small birds).
- I take a couple of strokes and stop - I always do this (very hard to break bad habits).
- I made sure that Maisey doesn’t laugh at me when I get out of the water (as I’m usually in a bad shape) she assured me that she would give me a warm smile instead. It was great to see Maisey and Dylan (I have seen them as little kids - they are still kids to us, but not little anymore).
- We swam together and I was told that Mark got out after 500mts. Did not notice as he was on my port side. I was focused on Brett on the kayak. (MIKE, BRETT, BRIAN PLEASE COMMENT IF ANY OF THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE OR BS).
- I for know that I’m the weakest link in this team - All crazy strong athletes and great people who are here to take care of me.
- Walking into the lake, I have no idea as to how far I can push this swim. We swim westwards towards rock patches - I’m focused on Brian’s kayak, I was wondering if they wanted me to go around Brian’s kayak as a buoy. I kind of felt that was a moving target, I guess it did help me to push further. I did make a U turn, not sure if it was around Brian’s kayak or before the kayak.
- I was thinking about suman, vivek, meghna, friends in mysore, my high school friends, SteveE, julia, joe, eileen, loren, lynn, shelley, my parents, Bryan, vicki, Connor's running group, my uncle who passed away last week, my cousins and several of my friends from all walks of life and so many people that I have worked with in the past.(Hey, this was long cold swim - I’ll let Rob/Brett/Brian/Mike publish the official distance and time in the water).
- I thought about ROB HALL, who died just below the summit of everest in 1996. I’m actually inspired by several of these alpinist who are great people, leaders etc. I always think about his courage to go back to retrieve one of his clients, courage to call his pregnant wife in NZ and comfort her (check HALL AND BALL by Colin Monteath and Into Thin Air etc).
- Well, it was a great swim, I watched Rob(Rob’s blu jacket) walk on the shore with me.
- Well, When I came back to the first rock pads (on the west side of the park). I was stuck on the shallow end - I was trying to move into the deeper part of the lake and I must’ve ingested some water, Not sure what happened, I lost focus and I realized, I was struggling and I had stopped swimming.
- Real teams kick in when things are not working - The team just jumped to take control, I noticed Alan bringing the card closer to the westside of the park, Mike jump out of the kayak, Brett and Brian huddled close to me - Marty, Dave grabbed me took care of me - I was on a warm car seat, I was huddled between Marty and Dave for a while and then Alan came in. I was back to normal and we were at Brett’s having coffee.
Wow This was an awesome swim. We’ll go back and complete this after we get back from Straits of Magellan. I’ll let Rob/Mike/Brett/Brian/Dave/Marty/Alan comment on the details of the swim. [Mikes Edit: 29:39/1.22m/1C Water - unbelievable swim!]
Yes, Today is a GREAT DAY.
Yes, I hang out with GREAT PEOPLE
Yes, It is a GREAT LAKE (we need to take care of it)
Yes, It was a GREAT SWIM
Julia and Joe, rest well before your big ceremony
Thanks everybody :-)"
It takes a team - and it truly took a team on Saturday - all to support this one amazing person - Madhu Nagaraja. Thanks everyone who was there, and thanks to Madhu for pushing US to be our best!