The Paynes Blog

A blog about our life

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Toby wins a silver medal at his first open water race

Toby swam for the Al Ain Club Swimming Team in December 2011 in open water next to the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club.

You can see Catherine in the centre of this photo, walking towards the first tent. Behind the tent is what looks like a palm tree – but it isn’t: it’s a mobile phone mast disguised as a palm tree! 🙂 …

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Here is Toby with his great friend Connor Morris from the States…

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Catherine with Connor’s mum, Julie…

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Felix chills, with the super expensive Emirates Palace Hotel behind him…

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Toby gets numbered up…

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He gives Connor’s arms a good shake to loosen them up for the race…

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Toby and colleagues…

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The beach…

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Toby is briefed by Captain Yahia from Iraq just before the race…

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From then on I shot video footage.

Felix sits around as Toby races in the distance…

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Here are some judges on a float, logging in the swimmers as they finish their 3-5km race which took each one about 1-2 hours to complete…

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Toby wraps himself up after his hour-long swim. “I will never do that again!”…

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He gets a massage from the Filipino team masseur who has been with the team for 16 years. He gets it in the shade of a big sign as it’s a blazing hot day, especially for the beginning of December…

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As we wait for ages for everyone to finish before the medals are handed out, we joke around. Here’s Captain Yahia with Felix…

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Me with Julie…

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Toby and Connor…

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Ashraf, Toby’s coach, wearing a fab T-shirt, saying “Chlorine: the breakfast of champions”!…

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Toby hoists a flag on the podium after he is given his Silver medal…

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