WWF Blue Mile

I recently took part in the Blue mile, an event organized by the WWF to increase the awareness of the importance to protect rivers and seas. Although I am sure we all know that without water we could not live, I don’t know how many of us are aware that the global freshwater ecosystems, rivers, aquifers and wetlands from which we obtain much of our water, are in rapid decline because of over-use, pollution and the effects of climate change

The planet’s Oceans are teeming with life. They are home to amazing species such as whales, dolphins and turtles, just to name a few. They provide food for billions of people. Once again though, we are abusing the planet resources – the seas are being over-fished and polluted. According to WWF data, only 1% is currently protected. People at WWF work to restore wildlife habitats, help local communities and farmers switch to sustainable irrigation methods, influence governments and businesses to improve water efficiency and create legislation for better management of water resources, including also the fishing industry to improve marine management.. the list is long.

The idea of the event which takes place every year is to swim for a mile or paddle on a kayak or an SUP for the same distance. This year’s venue was the reservoir in Stoke Newington in East London. Guess what equipment I chose to do my blue mile? I went with my good friends Kim and Kevin (aka Master Kevin). He is a professional, very talented photographer (check some of his brilliant work on: http://www.kevinleighton.com/)  so Kim and I didn’t even have to ask him to take photos of us. Kevin was already with his camera in his hands and these are some of the shots of Kim and me he took on the day

Kim was there to swim the mile but while we were waiting for my SUP race to start, I got her so excited about the whole SUP experience that after her swim she decided to join the SUP race too! It was Kim’s very first time on a SUP board so we had a little chat before going into the water about how to use the paddle and how to keep the balance on the board, being the success of both tasks not guaranteed the frst time you step on a board!

The chat about the paddle went really well, the one about the balance..well, I suppose it’s better to try and do it rather than talking about it. She is getting there


Although I did promise to her I was going to keep an eye on her and give her few tips once in the water, as soon as the race started I found myself second right behind a semi-pro guy (whose arms were the size of my legs) who works for Naish (http://www.naishsurfing.com/2012/) and, to my big surprise, decided to take on the challenge. I finished in third place about a minute away from 2 semi pros. Not a bad result for a free spirit non-competitive person like me!

I did apologise to Kim but apparently she was very proud of my achievement and didn’t mind me leaving her behind playing with her big board and paddle all alone. She did really well in the end, I am pretty sure she didn’t even fall even once. So everyone was a winner!

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