Alec Richardson Before, During, After The Bristol Channel – Ask Me Why I’m Stood Here
Pete White says, “Alec Richardson’s book – Ask Me Why I’m Stood Here: A Bristol Channel Swim Tale – is genuinely an incredible book. The 182-page book is humorous, informative, and engaging. I read it in two days. It follows a completely normal man with completely normal problems on his journey across the Bristol Channel.
There is a real growing scene about the stretch of water that this book is based on. It is a read for everyone – I leant it to my mum who can’t swim and she loved it. For the more serious swimmer, there are examples of training plans.”
The book was published in 2018, 14 months after Richardson completed a crossing of Bristol Channel from Penarth to Clevedon in England on 16 August 2017 in 5 hours 58 minutes 3 seconds.
The book is described as follows: After 10 years of living with frequent discomfort and exhaustion from an unidentified condition, teamed with the struggles of balancing fatherhood and work alongside nagging doubts about his general place in the world, Alec Richardson found open water swimming. As a middle aged man, with three busy kids and a teaching job to fill his days, Alec returned to the sport that gave him so much pleasure as a youngster to try to re-find his sense of adventure, to give him a focus, and to give him an excuse to up his calorific intake (an extra layer helps with the cold apparently).
While gazing across the Bristol Channel from England to Wales one morning, he started to wonder if he was capable of swimming across this scarily difficult, yet enticingly challenging stretch of water.
This is the story of how Alec planned and completed the resulting swim from Penarth to Clevedon in a respectable time and recounts tales of sunrises, seaweed caresses, mermaids and mashed boiled eggs. A first-hand account of what goes into a journey like this, full of self-reflection and off-beat ponderings which are sure to strike a chord with anyone toiling through their own mid-life adventure, but also full of helpful tips and advice for anyone planning their own endeavours. Not just a book about swimming, a life affirming tale of frailty, endeavour and a man’s struggle to wear Speedos in public.
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