The open-water 10-kilometre swim competition being held on Southwest River near Clinton, P.E.I., today will be a first for the Canada Summer Games.
It also will be a first for Newfoundland and Labrador's Dayna Hogan, which is something that's extra noteworthy, since she's entered in the event.
'No, I've never gone that far before. The most I've ever done is 3K, so I'm sure this will be interesting," said the 18-year-old from Stephenville.
Hogan is one of four swimmers from Newfoundland and Labrador who will compete Saturday, but she won't be able to draw on any other of her ultra long-distance teammates for advice, because Sarah Tremblett of St. John's, Nicholas Hogan of Steady Brook and Ryan Adams of Mount Pearl have never gone that full distance either.
Hogan, a Memorial University student, has swum a couple of miles at Healey's Pond, but that's just a little more than each of four circuits she will attempt to swim this morning.
Besides what is sure to be draining physical experience, Hogan knows the event will be mentally taxing. During the open-water swims she has done, she found a diversion in music, as in a song that played over and over internally.
"I think the one that got stuck in my head (at Healey's Pond) was something by Rob Thomas," said Hogan. "Actually, that's one of the things I am interested in finding out ... actually maybe even a little concerned about ... because the 10K so long.
"I also do the 1,500-metres and in that one, I worry about what I'm going to think about as the race is going on, so I don't know what it will be like for the whole 10 K."
She figures it's helps that the event will be held outdoors, in a rustic summer setting.
"It certainly will be different than doing it in a pool, where it's so repetitive," said Hogan. "Outdoors, there are actually things to look at and think about."
One thing the Newfoundlanders know for certain is that the water they'll swim in today will be a lot warmer than what they're used to back home.
"We went for a practice swim, not actually where the race is going to be held, but close by, and it was a whole lot warmer, which was great" said Tremblett.
The four planned to eat a lot on Friday night and not too much today before the race.
Some long-distance swimmers arrange to have gel packs of food snacks passed to them as they make the turns, but the Newfoundlanders will probably just hydrate with water and Gatorade forwarded to them by their coaches on the docks at the end of each segment..
But there is still the matter of how to keep one's brain occupied. There is that music thing of course - some long-distance swimmers actually sing or hum to themselves as they go along, something that helps them keep rhythm - but Hogan figures she'll need more than one repeated tune to do the trick. In the absence of waterproof hearing-aid sized iPods - "That will be real nice," she said - Hogan may also want to dwell on the physics involved in propelling her body through the water since she's an engineering student concentrating on ocean and naval architecture at MUN.
That indicates intelligence, although Hogan laughing admits there are those who question her thinking when she tells them about the 10K race.
"Oh yeah, they'll say it's crazy. But I think it's crazy not to challenge yourself when you have the opportunity.
"And this will definitely be a challenge."