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Swimming Around London Marathon

  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

The London marathon is fabulous, but as always there is room for another variation amongst the running Rhino suits, Chicken men, backward walkers, etc

My proposal is for a swimmer to complete the route.

This would be achieved by using a truck, towing a large, elongated see through vessel filled with water which also of course contains a swimmer. The swimmer must simply keep swimming backwards and forwards as the truck trundles along the length of the route matching the speed of the stroke.

xenzag, Jun 08 2011

(?) Exhibitionism Exhibitionism_20f or_20the_20Shy
This could be another facet of the same idea. More fun, possibly, although a full marathon would be a truly, er, marathon session. [neuro, Jun 08 2011]

Example of a swimming machine. http://www.vasatrai...%20Swim%20Ergometer
[DrBob, Jun 08 2011]

The Thames Water Ring Main http://en.wikipedia...mes_Water_Ring_Main
A huge loop of water (luckily, not sewage) pipes 10-30m under London. It's 80km of pipes 2.54 metres in diameter. Swimming this, with scuba gear and lights would be a challenge. [hippo, Jun 08 2011]

London canals http://www.watersca...s/regents-canal/map
try unchecking "attractions" and then you can actually see the canals [not_morrison_rm, Jun 10 2011]


       Figure out how the swimmer propels the truck and there's a slightly soggy pastry in it for you.
FlyingToaster, Jun 08 2011

       I think they will have enough trouble just completing the route. Had thought of making them wear a barracuda suit, but that's a bit extreme. Maybe next year.
xenzag, Jun 08 2011

       I think the truck over-complicates this idea. Rather, I imagine this being implemented with two 10-metre long baths of water. These baths can be joined together, end-to-end, whereupon the end walls can be lifted out (akin to lock-gates) so that a swimmer can swim from one to the other. So, as the swimmer swims from one bath into the other, the end walls of the baths are slotted back into place behind them and the rear-most bath is picked up (by a large crane, or perhaps a Chinook) and moved ahead of the bath the swimmer is currently in. Then the end walls are opened up just in time for the swimmer to enter it. In this way, the swimmer will really swim the entire route of the London Marathon.

(Naturally one, or both, of these baths will have some flexibility or a hinged section to enable it to go around corners. Or maybe special curved sections could be dropped into place to deal with corners instead of the straight baths.)
hippo, Jun 08 2011

       Ludicrous. Quite, quite insane.   

       Do you think Boris Johnson could be persuaded to do it? Or David Blaine … ?   



       Take a standard 42-tonne flatbed artic. Mount a see-through tank that runs most of the length of the trailer. Install a pumping system to generate a fore-to-aft counter-current.   

       The swimmer swims against the current, which is set to match the forward speed of the truck. Thus the swimmer remains stationary with respect to the truck, but moves forward relative to the surroundings.   

       At traffic lights, the swimmer treads water.   

       As a bonus, banners explaining relativistic motion can be attached to the sides of the trailer, forming a skirt.
8th of 7, Jun 08 2011

       I had thought of that, but considered that no swimmer would be capable of sustaining the effort required.
xenzag, Jun 08 2011

       Hmm? [8/7]'s idea requires exactly the same effort as your idea. But both of these are just swimming in a tank on a truck whilst being driven around - to my mind they don't quite convey the same sense of actually swimming the London Marathon course as my variant of this idea (above).
hippo, Jun 08 2011

       Actually you don't need any water at all for this. Just have your swimmer using one of those swimming simulator machines (see link) on the back of a flatbed, and use the machine's performance monitor to set the speed of the truck.
DrBob, Jun 08 2011

       What about a huge tyre, with water pooling in the bottom?...Or a goldfish bowl?
zen_tom, Jun 08 2011

       There's the obvious solution; the rolling goldfish bowl...
RayfordSteele, Jun 08 2011

       [hippo]'s idea.
FlyingToaster, Jun 08 2011

       //swimming simulator machines// It would be more elegant to fit one of those with bicycle-type wheels, and have the swimmer power it. Land swimming.
spidermother, Jun 08 2011

       The lock-gate version would require a mechanism which would prohibit continuous motion on the part of the swimmer, and could never negotiate the route, for various reasons. All variations were considered, including a pre-constructed continuous tube, with breathing breaks along its route.   

       I settled on the truck towing the tank as this is a workable device, that really does enable a person to swim the London Marathon. I'm actually hoping that someone will do it, as it would be quite simply achieved. I suppose that makes it not that halfbaked.... (considers boning own idea)
xenzag, Jun 08 2011

       Don't sell yourself short, [xen]. Instead, why not go fishbone one of [zeno]'s ideas ? "Anal tattoo" would be best ...
8th of 7, Jun 08 2011

       How expensive to actually construct a continuous canal along the route and fill with water?
pocmloc, Jun 08 2011

       Very cheap, actually. Just leave the Greenwich Flood Barrier down at the right moment, et viola !
8th of 7, Jun 08 2011

       Are there no hills in the London marathon?
rcarty, Jun 09 2011

       No, there's not, I checked.
rcarty, Jun 09 2011

       Erm, am I going to be the one who points out that London does have rather a lot of canals already which interconnect (?), and a big river...
not_morrison_rm, Jun 10 2011

       Yes it does but this swimmer would be part of the actual race, "on the road" amongst the rest of the runners.
xenzag, Jun 10 2011

       OK you need one team of JCBs, one team of bulldosers and one team of tarmac layers and one team of line-painters. And a water bowser but only at the start.   

       The JCB team excavate a trench 5 feet deep and perhaps 20 feet long and 3 feet wide behind the start line. This is filled with water. Then, as the swimmer starts, the JCBs continuously excavate new trench ahead, while the dosers fill it in behind. The tarmac layers seal the road surface and the line painters make good any road markings that have been cut through.   

       If the subsoil is porous you might want to top up the water every mile or so.
pocmloc, Jun 10 2011

       Aha, I was just pretending to be completely stupid. ok, big hamster wheel with water at the bottom, then the wheel can be moved along with the runners. I suspect it would have to be powered?
not_morrison_rm, Jun 10 2011

       Haven't we discussed this before, whether a swimming being (i.e. goldfish) can, using only the force of its swimming, cause a spherical or wheelical vessel to roll along the ground?
pocmloc, Jun 10 2011

       Yes. Yes we have.   

       //whether a swimming being (i.e. goldfish) can, using only the force of its swimming, cause a spherical or wheelical vessel //   

       Are you suggesting the swimmer might cheat by smuggling in goldfish in some kind of ducted swimming trunks, to get extra propulsion? So anti-doping tests and concealed piscine searches as well, it's getting tough to be a pro-sportsperson these days...   

       and, if it's all about swimming along side the runners, get the canal towpath widened, and they can run there and it'd make a cool cycle path for after the event..
not_morrison_rm, Jun 11 2011

       I wonder if there is a way to use jets to propel the swimmer backward the way a tread mill does, that way this could be done in a smaller aquarium.
bob, Jun 11 2011

       Yes, there is: one company that markets it is called "Endless Pools."
mouseposture, Jun 11 2011


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