3497 strokes between continents

Why it is good when the water is cold and what the bilateral breathing means, Why you have to shave your legs debofer a swiming competition, why you must want to throw up after competition, where have disappeared 300 hundred swimmers and how does the Bosphorus look in my eyes?


Distance  – 6.5 km.
Time – 0:57:48.
Participants – 1600
Place in the overall standings – 632
Place in the group of 35-39 years   — 105


Bosporus is the strait between Europe and Asia connecting the Black and Marmara Sea.
But in fact the Bosphorus is a gathering place of many swimmers. Every year, crowds of crazy people gather here to swim from Asia to Europe. It’s a kind of intercontinental swim. It is a mass start.
Distance of the swim – 6.5 km.
For those, who swim regularly it’s not a difficult distance. But the swim has its “demons”. In general, it was far from boring. And I’ll tell you all about it right now.


I am engaged in swimming third year in a row. First, I was “swimming” on my own, then with the coach, then again on my own. Then I crossed the Ganges –  vimeo.com/239479133 . Then I quit. Then I started working seriously with the coach. Then I read “Total Immersion” and have been retraining for a three month-period. Now I am off to a serious preparation.
In Kemer, I swam 4km www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn0EsjstJJs, Ghidighici back and forth with the wind and waves –  I swim under a regime, watch the swolf, improve the performance. My supergoals in swimming include the Bosphorus, Gibraltar and then, of course, Le Mans. Well, that’s a standard career of a crazy amateur swimmer.

Why do I need it

I continue going to my goal – the IronMan.
Bosphorus became the second stage after the 42 km marathon – https://voloshin.md/en/paris/
The further the more. In August, we are going with friends to conquer Mont Blanc, and on the first of September – half Ironman. I have ticked the running and swimming. But the bicycle puts me in a deep a…


A total of over 1,600 swimmers from 37 countries claimed on the participation in the race.
The day before the swim we were given clear instructions. We were put on a ship and taken along the Bosphorus to the start place, while receiving the explanations on the strategy and tactics of the swim, the complex currents map, landmarks, and water temperature.

It all seemed a funny tale, which has no relation to reality. Because you know that remembering all these nuances, and even more using them during the race is simply impossible. Well, I’m not talking about everyone, but for me it was a clear overload.

As it turned out, I was right. So, for myself, I have formulated two basic rules for those, who are going to cross the Bosphorus:

1.   Do not swim near the shore. I can’t boost your speed there. Right from the start, make a turn and swim to the middle of the strait, and then, when meeting the favorable current, row to the finish. At the finish “pocket” make the same turn – almost at the right angles to the shore.

2.   Cold water is good. If you are cold, then you’re in that very rapid passing current.

The rate of the fair flow is 5 to 8 km/h, while of the counter one is 1-2 km/h. If you look at my swim , you can see that the speed reached 11 km per hour. This is despite the fact that my cruising speed in still water is about 3.5 kilometers per hour.

By the way, we saw dolphins while sailing. That’s who freaks out each year because of the number of swimmers.  
Oh well, in the evening, after the “exploration” I had a carbohydrate loading with different Turkish sweets, shaved my legs like a real crazy swimmer  and went to bed.


Day of the swim. The weather is great, there is a huge crowd of people, we changed our clothes, and fastened chips to our feet.
At 10 am, we were loaded onto ships and taken to the start. Ships were unloading swimmers in several batches, and we were in the second “wave”.

And so it began …

When the ships arrived at the pontoon, and the doors opened, we rushed ahead. I was in the forefront. After running 10 meters on the pontoon, I dove. The first 50 meters I was beaten on the head with feet, I was also hitting, and the water was boiling. And then suddenly I was left alone with His Majesty the Bosphorus. My first thought was – everyone swam in the right direction, and where am I going?
Fortunately, I have more or less established bilateral breathing, so I could easily see both sides of the Bosporus and see caps on both my left and my right sides. So, I’m not off the course. Okay then, let’s get to work. It’s cold, and that is good.

The weather is nice, it’s really pleasant to swim. There’s no strain. It was a bit scary when I swam under the first bridge – it was dark, uncomfortable… lonely ☺ And then you jump out in the sun, and life gets its colors back again! You can even see your native colored caps… not alone ☺

After hearing horror stories about people, who missed the finish line, I was focusing on the pillar of the second bridge (which is the finish line), I began to stroke towards the shore in advance. Already there, on the shore, I realized that I fucked it up: I turned too early and got into the counter stream. It’s such an unpleasant feeling, when you realize that you are rowing, but keep standing on the same spot. And all the same endless 50 meters are left till the finish. Something like this –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALWYTrAlTFY

And all of a sudden there were lots of people again (where did they come from?). And they all want the same – to finish as soon as possible. Therefore, near the finish, we have another hack and slash for a small place under the sun (the ladder out of the water) ☺. After losing another 5 minutes because of this, I finally jumped on the pontoon.

Then there were chocolates, water, results, diploma, fashionable towel as a gift and a bag of goodies.


It feels as if I was swimming not more than 25-30 minutes, but I actually swam for nearly an hour. 6.5 km in 57 minutes.

One thing I would like to correct the next time: I should not be saving forces. Even if the forces run out, you can always drift to the finish line by the current. But if you do like me, go in an economic mode – long slide, paddle and rarely work your feet in a two-shock feet crawl, you can get out of the water as fresh as a May rose on a spring morning, at that losing 5-10 minutes.

Frankly speaking, I would prefer to crawl on the pontoon without any single force left, with circles under my eyes and puking, but with a better result by 5-7 minutes. Well, after all, it’s each other’s matter.

Therefore, my friends, you should not feel sorry for yourself when on the Bosphorus. Clash with your full force from the very beginning! And next year I will try to break 50 minutes.
By the way, here is the flypast over the strait – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0e2r7u9zwo
Thanks to Google Earth.


I‘ve noticed that each water body has its face, and they all are similar to people.The Bosphorus seemed to me a prankish boy, who is toying with you the way he wants.
But now I know some of his habits and hope on overplaying him next year.

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