Friday, June 10, 2011

Pre-race day

Little did I know that the day before the race would probably be even more busy than the actual race day.  Here's what we did:

5:00 am - woke up Jacob, got all the stuff in the Van, ate breakfast, crossed off TODO list items and packing lists.

7:00 am - left the house.  Stopped at Walmart for last minute items that were needed (rope, snacks and Gatorade for the paddling).

8:00 am - picked up a kayak from my friend

9:00 am - drop off the van and the trailer (3 kayaks being transported) at my Mom's and meet Cathi with the VW Beetle to pick up Rob.

10:30 am - picked up Rob from the airport

11:00 am - quick "drive by" tour of downtown SLC

12:00 pm - lunch at Redrock.  I went with the cannot fail Sausage Grinder.  Love it.

1:00 pm - picked up the trailer from my parents house that I had left there earlier in the day.

1:30 pm - meet Josh and Brendon at the Marina.
Jacob and I starting to get the kayaks loaded.
2:00 pm - Start to put the buoys in.  Brendon had two canoes which we loaded up.  I went out with them and tried to help where I could, but my boat didn't have any buoys and was used as more of a line of sight checker.  Putting in buoys in a straight line is time consuming and difficult!  I ended up heading back because I knew swimmers and kayakers would start to show up to drop off their kayaks
Ideal conditions - breeze from the north and no storms.

3:00 pm - Goody and Rob went out for a pre-race swim.  I love watching people get in for the first time and observing their reactions to the salt and it's extreme float characteristics.

4:00 pm - Met Joe Wolf, Suzie Dods and Sylvia Marino, John DaPrato, Jason Richards, Christine Sloan, Will Reeves and Scott Kunz.  Unfortunately Jill Minter was unable to attend the event.  She emailed me, but I was offline and unable to receive it.  So our field of 11 swimmers were here and ready to go!  Many of them also got in for a preview of the lake.  The wind was coming almost directly from the island and there were some pretty good waves.  I was very hopeful that it would be a preview of tomorrow.

5:00pm - Josh, Jacob and I loaded up the kayaks on the two Utah State Park boats.  It was very cool how we were able to get them all on there.  Those a huge boats!  We left at 5:30 for the island.  With the waves we really took a beating on the way over there.  But the huge metal boat that Dave Shearer has is awesome!  It's built like a submarine.  We finally got as close as we could get to the island, but I was disappointed that we had about a mile and a half journey in the waist deep water to get the boats to the waters edge.  I jumped in and the water felt great.  It wasn't cold.  It was comfortable swimming water.  I measured it at the marina at 70 degrees.    I tied the boats together like a train and handed six of them off to Josh to get started walking to the island.  A while back Dave asked me for an estimate of how long we would take to get the boats to the island and back.  I knew it depended entirely on how close we got the the island.  But I threw some absurd number out since he asked, "15 minutes".  Ha!  It ended up being like 10 times that.

6:00 pm - By the time we got to waist deep water we still had about a mile to go.  With the waves and wind coming from the north it slowed us down.  Josh was towing 6 boat and I was towing 5.  It was slow going!

7:00 pm - Finally I arrived at the water's edge.  I quickly pounded in the two sand anchors and started roping the cable through each boat's hand holds.  I was extremely annoyed that it was only 50 M from the edge of the dirt road.  Last year when we planned this out with the State Parks, the water was 4 feet lower, and the waters edge was about 1/2 mile -3/4 mile from the end of the road.  But the water had risen so much it would have been WAY better to take them via land.  Oh well, next year.  If the water remains at 4197' we'll do that instead.

8:00 pm - after anchoring the boats and locking them together, Josh and I headed back.  This time having no boats and with the wind helping us head back it was a little faster,  but just a little.  Neither of us had brought our goggles and I took my GPS to get a waypoint.  But on the way back it started beeping like crazy and it wouldn't respond to my button presses.  Oh Crap.  It got water in it.  So much for being waterproof.  I quickly turned it off and from that point on tried to keep it totally out of the water.  The rest of the weekend I had to rely on Brendon's GPS which I was going to let Jacob use.

9:00 pm - arrived back at the marina.  All the swimmers were gone, and then realized that I had locked the van (It had all the event shirts, and camping gear in it and lots of personal items which I didn't want to get stolen).  Rob was nowhere to be found.  I was hoping he was just chatting it up with some locals or maybe doing some SUP'ing with the club that was here.  Jacob and I took showers and setup camp.  Still no Rob.  I was getting a little worried, I figured he was with someone.  I checked my cell and didn't see any missed calls.  The Sailfest group was eating, but I didn't see a booth for taking money for dinner so we hoped in the van for a quick trip to Stansbury for dinner.

10:00 pm - We ate Del Taco.  Jacob is a loyal customer thanks to Cathi's running friend Dan who took him there once.  Hey at least it's cheap.  On the way back I got a call from Joe Wolf.  Rob had gone of with him and Suzie and Silvia.  I drove to his hotel to pick up Rob.  I felt like a turd locking him out from his stuff.  I should have slowed down and thought about it.  Giving Rob the key would have been a way better plan.  Fail #1 and the race hasn't even started.  I apologized but felt like a complete retard the rest of the night.

11:00 pm - After the Sailfest dinner there was a makeshift outdoor theatre setup along the south side of the Marina office.  Right next to where our tent was setup. When we arrive the movie Captain Ron was playing with humongous amps blasting it towards the crowd.  I wanted to stay up and watch it, but I knew I had an early morning the next day.  I tried sleeping instead.  Fail #2.

12:00 am - after the movie instead of the party ending, it was time for the Bonfire!  People were laughing, chatting up, and having a grand time.  Jacob was already in deep sleep, but I was tossing and turning.  The noise, the guilt from locking Rob out, the anticipation of the morning, and then to my surprise.... heavy winds and rain.  Even a few flashes of lightning?  Where did this come from?  The weather report was supposed to be awesome for today and tomorrow.  Hey at least it might scatter the drunken pirates around the bonfire.  Yeah right.  They kept on partying.  I was totally fine with it.  I was worried about being a terrible host for Rob.  Tomorrows a big day for him.  Among the noise of the fire, the loud laughter and the rain, I finally heard the most welcomed sound in the world, Rob snoring.  Whew!  At least he was asleep and I could quit worrying about him not getting any sleep the night before a marathon swim.

3:30 am - last time I checked my watch before finally being able to sleep was just before 3:30am.

5:15 am - my cell phone alarm went off.  I got up, got changed and started to tear down the tent.

It's official!  Race day is here.......
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