I made it back to the boat and Jacob and I paddled like crazy to catch up. Fortunately the underwater beach was still flat and they were now just barely up to their waist. There were some really tall guys in the group, John and Greg. I knew they were all ready to go and they had to start sometime. I had my loud lifeguard whistle with me and the timers were on shore, but they were ants on the horizon. I used my watch which I had synchronized with Josh the night before. We would start at 10:46 am exactly. We counted down all together from 15 and I sounded the whistle. Everyone was in and salt water for the first time in 70 years was being churned up by nearly a dozen swimmers heading south from Antelope Island!
I was really impressed with Rob's stroke. Looks so effortless and smooth! The wind and waves unfortunately were NOT like they were the day before. They were coming from the southwest and hitting the swimmers at 2 o'clock. After about 2 hours it shifted a little to the swimmers 4 o'clock. Will Reeves and John took off right from the start and they were off to our right a little. Joe and Jason were ahead of us a little and off to our left. I knew Will, Greg and Joe would be big contenders, but I was especially surprised by Jason. I knew he swam in High School and that he was a big time waterpolo dude. He admitted that he and Christine had never swam in open water before. I was like what? You two should have signed up for the one mile! But they both did very well! I was especially impressed that their first open water swim was this race. Jason might have won it had he trained. He told me after the race, he swam maybe 1000 yards total in preparation and training for this race. Unbelievable!
With the wind hitting me from my right and really pushing me into Rob I ended up just paddling on my left and doing a J stroke to keep centered on my landmark right above Black Rock. Rob took his feedings every 25 minutes and I was focused on getting those timed just the way he wanted. Near the end one of the sail boats was motoring its way to the marina and passed right in front of us. I don't mind when the boaters pass a few hundred yards away, but this guy wasn't budging from his course and passed about 30 yards in front of us. Geez guy. Thanks! Not a dangerous situation, but a little too close for comfort.
I got a call on my cell phone several times during the race and I was notified when Will finished first, then Greg, and then from Stephy who headed up the lifeguards for the one mile. Also from Cathi who was just coming back from her own race. She ran the Utah Valley Marathon this morning and was coming out to cheer for the finishers. When Rob and I stopped for the last feeding I told him he was very close to beating Joe and Jason. He picked it up, but their line was right .along the shore and I think the current is stronger there in pushing them towards Black Rock. We ended up coming in just a couple minutes after them.
Goody was right behind us for the first couple miles, but Rob pulled away and ended up taking 5th with a time of 4:23:54 With the water level being this high the point to point distance from where we actually started to swim and the water's edge at Black Rock according to the GPS waypoints came in at 8.34 miles. A little longer than my swim last year. Here are the official results:
|Photo Courtesy of Great Salt Lake Photos|
Clean up was time consuming but finally got it. My Brother in law Brendon was gracious in helping us get the buoys out with his canoes. I still have a few last things to follow up on, but its nearly 100% done.
I am SO grateful that it turned out this well. There were alot of volunteers who really made the race a success! I was so grateful that the weather turned out the way it did. The entire field of 11 finished and that itself is a small miracle. In the old days people were pulled out of this race left and right! I was so happy to have met the swimmers and get to know them a little bit. I'm already excited for next year's event!