Adventurers and dreamers are distinguished from ordinary people by the ease with which they make decisions, subscribe to adventures, or create them themselves.
Such creators of adventures include a team of like-minded people from Kyiv. One master of sports in swimming, one chef studying IT, two more - a lawyer and sales manager, for the third year developing Ukrainian sports tourism and promoting swimming, organizing a series of swims Legendary Swim.
Every year the geography of starts expands, the number of participants increases, routes become longer and more complex, the organization improves.
In the fall of 2020, the start schedule for 2021 already looked fantastic, when Slava Babakov - one of the team's friends, came up with the idea of a mass swim in Svyatogorsk on the Seversky Donets River.
According to Slava, he has been floating on this river for almost 10 years, he has swum many parts of it: in the north, in the center and in the south. This happened for the first time in 2003. Then, together with their friend Lesha Tarasov, the boys celebrated 30 years of friendship with a distance of 4.5 km. That is, instead of sitting in a restaurant with alcohol, they swam a beautiful stretch of river from the village. Dronivka.
The city of Svyatogorsk destroys stereotypes about Donetsk region as a land of harsh miners and heaps, if at least once you pass through the fabulous forest of the Holy Mountains, see the splendor of the Lavra, feel the stern gaze of Artem. But the main one here - Seversky Donets - a river with a fast flow and strange curves - the perfect location for new adventures!
So, based on the experience of Glory and their own impressions after the reconnaissance trip, the team adds to the list of starts a swim in Svyatogorsk at a distance of 4.7 km and 16 km. The distances were chosen simply: if you look at the map of the river Donets on a large scale, it is clear that despite all the beauty, the main limitation here is logistics. For example, a group of 3-5 participants in a jeep can choose any place to start, and for a mass swim, only two locations are suitable: c. Bogorodichne - 4.7 km from the central city beach, and the village. Studenok / Yaremivka - 10 miles
Adventurers are distinguished from idiots by a sense of responsibility and an objective assessment of their capabilities.
Organizing a swim for 200 people on such a difficult and dangerous distance is not for you to gather friends for barbecue. You need to think about a lot of nuances. The main thing is the safety of the participants, and there are no compromises on this issue. Arguments from Slava such as "... but I've swum here a hundred times ..." were not enough. Therefore, in February (!), Slava together with Dima Polupan and Viktor Zahumyonny dived into the icy water in front of the Lavra and tested the route. Thus took place the first mass swim on the Seversky Donets.
Warning! All the tricks are performed by professionals - do not reproduce it in everyday life!
At this time, a team of eight girls in Kharkiv traditionally makes all important and crazy decisions over breakfast on Thursday. Vika, Olya, Natasha and Sasha decide to sign up for a 16 km long swim adventure. The rest of the girls support them because they know it is useless to refuse.
We had half of OceanMan behind us, a few half-distance distances and a stable schedule of three workouts a week in the pool. So we decided to slightly expand the boundaries of our capabilities - 10 kilometers. For the intermediate stage, we chose a sea swim from the island of Dzharilgach for 8 km. Bought slots, started cooking. We were sure that everyone would reach the finish line, but did not take into account that not everyone will start.
I am Natasha. My preparation began with the registration of a long season ticket to the pool - for six months. That's the end of it. Because we live in 2021, and here in a day lockdown and to close pools for quarantine - normal practice. So I take out an expander, cling to the tree - pull, diligently, but not for long. Because we are still in 2021, and here - today you are an athlete in the best shape, and the next day - a unit of covid statistics in the daily report of the Ministry of Health. So COVID-19 disabled me, from the training and starting season, and transferred me from the group of participants to the support group.
Vika was very pleased with the swim with Fr. Dzharilgach, but at the sixth of the eight kilometers she mentioned that she did not like to swim. A month and a half later, Vika got on her favorite highway and came to Svyatogorsk to support the swimmers. 180 km on a bicycle on the Vikusina route, her conscience counted as 16 km on the water and allowed her to swim nothing.
Olya also rode a bicycle to Sviatohirsk, but a little slower than Vika, probably because Olya's conscience gave her only 11.3 km on the water, that is, Olya still had to swim the remaining 4.7 km.
So only Sanya came to the start of the 16-km swim. On the eve of Sanya in test mode, swam a couple of kilometers on the Donets, starting from the city of Snakes in Kharkiv region. I noted that in places there is no current, water is cold, and seaweed are wound on an elbow. But, as our Zhenya says, if you are in the hydric - just do not prevent him from swimming - Sanya calmed herself, put the hydric in a suitcase and came to Svyatogorsk.
On the day of the start, the water warmed up so much that wetsuits were banned. Sanya still got on the bus, got to the starting point, went into the water, took a deep breath and rowed 16 km to the finish line. Sana had no complaints about the river, the branches or the current. Only to the island of silt, through which all the finishing participants had to pass to look like they came out of a mine, not a freshwater river.
The race has been going on for more than four hours, during which time tourists and casual spectators watch from the bridge as pink and yellow balls easily slide on the water. These are the participants of the swims with signal buoys, yellow - 16 km, and pink - 4.7 km approaching the finish line. It is not clear from the bridge how much effort and internal struggle is invested in these movements.
Never before has the waters of the Donets been filled with so much happiness from people who finally saw the Lavra. Even pilgrims did not feel such sincere joy and grace. Except that they also traveled to the Shrine for more than three hours by swimming, having before their eyes only muddy water, algae and other people's feet. And certainly these waters have never been filled with such despair, from the fact that the Lavra is visible, but it is approaching very slowly, or not approaching at all. At this moment you feel small, powerless and dependent either on the current or on God.
According to one of the heroes and participants (my beloved husband!), It does not matter with what intentions you come to the start - to swim fast or just in high spirits. In two or three hours you dream of one thing - just to get to the finish line. Because time is infinite, and this river, damn, is also infinite, only strength and patience run out.
But the finish is not far off - the finish is over the bridge! Here it is already visible, audible, it is very soon. So you're a good man, a winner, a legend! You have the right to any emotions and words, as well as a swimmer and compote! Then, on the shore, with pilaf, with friends, with a medal, you can assess how fast or high it was and summarize: "never again!" or "I want more!".
For each hero the race ends differently. For swimmers - at the finish line, for the strongest swimmers - on the pedestal at the award ceremony. For the organizers, the event ends when the last box is packed and loaded and the door of the minibus is closed. Then you can wash your hands, sit down together, drink something cold and feel the tension gradually subside.
To be the organizer of such a swim is:
- Thoroughly prepare the route for the week, mark all dangerous places and areas, issue instructions to volunteers and support;
- Feel the incredible excitement and responsibility from the start to the finish of the last participant;
- Trust the team;
- Witness unusual events;
- Set up with the site the day before the swim, almost fail the reward;
- To apologize;
- To draw conclusions;
- Move on.
To be in the support team of your friends - participants is:
- Share with them the morning excitement before swimming;
- Wait together for the transfer before the start;
- Accompany, take photos, smile, do not forget to take their things to the car;
- Go to the hotel three times to evict everyone, pick up things, pack bikes in the car;
- Finally drink coffee;
- And do not have time to walk to the Lavra;
- Standing in the water in front of the finish arch, staring at the horizon, looking pink and yellow buoys;
- Recognize your glasses and hats;
- Shoot their finish on video so they have something to post on Instagram;
- To envy that you are not in their place, in a minute - to thank God that you are not in their place;
- Rejoice and worry for everyone who runs into the finish line victoriously, or enters slowly and confused, or crawls convulsed.
To be a participant in the swim in Svyatogorsk is:
- just cool!
New adventures and starts are ahead - a swim in Bukovel and an ultra in Bakota. How will it be? Hard, fun or unreal? Let's swim - let's see!
Take care of yourself and train, we will meet at the start in Bakota!