Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Annual Great Salt Lake New Years Day Open Water Swim

This morning I got up at 6am and starting going through my To do list, and got everything packed in the van. Met up with Dave at 10am and went over the safety plan and reviewed some procedures and were good to go.   We got there in time to not only get everything setup in time, but it was stress free and I was able to hang a little bit with everyone.  We had the perfect number of shirts and were able to give the volunteers a shirt too.

It was thrilling to have so many people
 there to support
the swimmers!
I was very surprised to see that Kim and Annie were there to swim.  That was great, cause we had a couple swimmers drop out, so we ended up with eight swimmers which is what I had planned for.

I had Jonas take my watch and leave it in the shallow water for about 10 minutes.  When I pulled it out it read 31.4°F (-0.33°C).  Chad told me his air temp read 19°F.  It was a little overcast and even had a couple of flakes floating down now and then.

The crowd of onlookers.
First wave was: Rick Edge and Jim Hubbard.
Second wave: Sue Frehse and Nathan Nelson
Third wave: Annie Stanish and Kim Patterson
I was surprised at how fast Annie was cruising right along.  
My hands down favorite pic of the
event.  Nathan celebrating victory with
Josh cheering in the background.
Fourth and final wave:  Josh and I were up and at that point I was so pumped at how everything had turned out from the race, and the spectators, and having the media there.  Everything had fallen just perfectly into place.  Everyone was safe, and the heated van right at the waters edge really helped everyone.  So when it was my time to go, I was hardly phased at all.  I swam strong and fast.  I wanted to beat my 5:36 PR for the course. When I got back I tried to get out of the water as fast as I could to get my finish time under 5:30.  I ended up with 5:20 and was pleased with that.  That's a 1:20 pace for a 100 yards.  Not bad considering that you are so numb at the end that you can't really feel your stroke and are going on muscle memory, and visual cues from watching your arms that you're doing what you're supposed to.
Check out the "tan line" on my forehead.
Yes, it's painful at start, but you go numb.
And that's a good thing.  

I was so happy with the level of camaraderie that we all have and genuinely want each swimmer to have a good experience despite the less than peachy conditions.  Since I ended up with the fastest time, I got to keep the kayak.  However, I plan on doing a free raffle drawing in February for anyone who is a member of SLOW.

Hoping that boosts our numbers and involvement with getting masters swimmers involved with Open Water. Especially when it starts to warm up.  Cause sure, the cold water isn't for everyone.  Just the masochists.  And I actually have a history with that.

Very pleased with the volunteers and safety crew that helped out.  I also can't imagine a better Harbormaster than Dave Shearer.  He's such a cool guy.  And very on the ball with water safety.  Everyone was able to do the full course without incident.  Perfect way to bring in 2013.

Here's a Deseret News article on the event.  Thanks to Emily Morgan for coming out, and for Ben Brewer sharing the pics.

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