The 7th Annual LOST Race Pier Pic! woohoo!!!
So this year’s race planning started early with the LOST Board and myself getting things underway a while ago. As most of you know, I like to gradually try and add new and better things to the race, as funds allow. (which, by the way, ALL the money we make from LOST swimming and the LOST Race gets reinvested into LOST). Well we’ve saved up for a few years and this year we blew the bank!
This year we added electronic timing (excellent job by Enfield timing, btw!)… we got some great prizes donated by our sponsor, Xterra Wetsuits (thanks Xterra)… Miguel did a bunch of leg-work and got a great deal on silicone caps and bags from China (and came up with a cool new logo too!… he’s a great graphic artist too!)… having Olympic triathlon coach and professional TV race commentator, Barrie Shepley, as the race announcer was awesome!!!
You can by one of Sharon Donnelly’s “My Float” swim bags in the LOST Store!
… except that he made my public speaking look bad! … also a big thanks to our newest sponsor, Sharon Donnelly… she’s an Olympic triathlete and new LOSTie (she was going to volunteer to help at the race, but we had it all covered and when she saw how perfect the
Maisey Kent, Josh Reid, Sharon Donnelly, Dylan Kent (and me… just photo bombing!)
water was she wanted to swim anyway!… she came second to her old buddy, Beth Primrose, the 30 year professional triathlete!… Sharon also donated a couple of prizes from her new company “My Float” (a water tight bag that you can put your clothes in and inflate and pull behind you while you swim!)… but my favorite part of the new contribution was the trophy!
LOST Trophy and CNE pics
While Miguel was off sourcing stuff in China on the internet, I was sourcing out a trophy. But instead of new and inexpensive stuff from China, I found an old and expensive(!) trophy in England! I had never bid for anything on Ebay before and had no idea how to do it… in fact, I was livid (with myself) when I missed a great deal on 2 trophies, I didn’t know you could automate the bidding and was beat out by the computer! Good thing though, because all the trophies I had seen to that point were old and beautiful, but they were all engraved. I wasn’t too keen about getting a trophy that had “The 1928 Ipswich Farmers Festival” on it, but it didn’t seem like there was much choice. But I stumbled across 2 that were not engraved, a real rarity. I bid on one for the Canadian Open Water Swim Series… and got it with no competition. Easy-peasy. Then I bid on another un-engraved one for the LOST Race… but some @#$%^& ! sod in the UK wanted it too. This one came down to the wire… but ultimately I won it! (Joanne laughed when I yelled “I won it”… clarifying that I had just “bought” it… not “won” it! Whatever… I like to think I “won” it!
Then I got a bit carried away. My buddy, Ron Collins, who runs the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim (which I swam in 2012… great race, btw!), posted a really cool picture from a race at the CNE in the 1930’s! I figured I was on a roll, so what the hell… they would be a great addition to the LOST Race and club and would be great on display. Being the wiley ol’ Ebay vet now, I contacted the owner in LA and got a good deal on all 4! They are “Press pictures” and are awesome… but read the captions on the back, that’s what really makes them! Despite what many people think, swimming races in Lake Ontario didn’t start in 1954, with Marilyn Bell’s historic crossing… Lake O races go back way before that… as these pictures from the 1930’s show!!!
CNE Race, #1, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)
CNE Race, #2, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)
CNE Race, #3, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)
CNE Race, #4, see original captions below, (click to enlarge)
CNE race captions. I told you Lake O has always been a great place to swim! PS. call me cheap, but I didn’t put up the $7500 in prize money… let alone the inflation adjusted equivalent of $119,000! Amazing!!! (click to enlarge)
Colleen’s Crossing, 2014… way to go, Colleen, third successful Crossing!
Anyway… on to the race. As I said earlier this was going to be the best LOST Race ever. And it was. Partially because of all the reasons stated above… but also because Lake O was in a really good mood and decided to be nice to us… so we ended up with the best swimming day so far this year! (congrats to LOSTie, Colleen Sheilds who was also a beneficiary of the perfect swimming conditions… as I pointed out to everyone at the pre-race meeting… she was enroute to her 3rd successful Lake O Crossing of 52 km… while we were swimming a mere 3.8 km! Way to go Col!)
Absolutely perfect conditions… flat as glass… perfect sunny day… no current… and water temp was 67F/20C… and note that wasn’t a “Rob temp” (I wasn’t allowed to take the temp, so it was real!). What an awesome day.
Oh yeah… then there was the swimming part. A bit smaller crowd than usual, but that was expected because a lot of our masters swimming buddies were in Montreal for the World Aquatic Championships (congrats to Oakville Masters, Burlington Masters, Etobicoke Masters and Toronto Masters too!!!). Everything started out perfectly, although there was one swimmer who had a bit of a panic at the beginning and wanted to stop in the first 100 meters. However, one of our very capable kayakers helped him… he collected himself and went on to finish the race!
And speaking of the finish… this was the best/worst/most exciting finish ever!!! One second separating first and second!
William Leonard (a fast and experienced open water swimmer who made the trip from Ottawa for the race… and won the Welland 10k race the next day) and Ross Shepard (McMaster Varsity Swimming alum) battled it out. Ross went out hard and was 100 m ahead of Bill at one point. But Bill reeled him in later in the race.
Some days you are the fisherman… and some days you are the fish.
It’s never pretty getting out at LOST beach! Julie Moss has nothing on this crawl to the finish! (google Julie Moss’s crawl!)
But by the time they got to within 100m of the finish they were swimming elbow to elbow. A barn real burner! And as I told everyone at the meeting, this year we would have a “land finish” and swimmers would have to run about 15m up the beach and across the electronic timing mats. As everyone knows, getting out of the water at LOST swimming is never easy… or pretty… but they both knew this and made it look easy… Bill got a step ahead of Ross and headed up the mat… and promptly fell!!!
To borrow the ol’ line from ABC Wide World of Sports, for those who remember the days “the joy of victory… and the agony of defeat!”
Bill jumped back up, but Ross stepped ahead and won the 7th Annual LOST Race!!!
The good news is… they are both deserving winners… and because Ross was wetsuit and Bill was naked… they were in different divisions and will both get their names inscribed on the LOST Race trophy!
Along side the former professional triathlete (for 30 years!!!) Beth Primrose… and Annaleise Carr, first in the women’s naked division! You might remember Annaleise from 2 summers ago when she, Madhu and myself all swam across Lake O… she also just completed a 42.2 km swim across Lake Erie, that Miguel and I were swim-masters for… and will be again when she completes a second 30 km later this month!
The 4 Champions: Ross Shepherd (1st overall & 1st male/wetsuit)… Beth Primrose (1st female/wetsuit)… William Leonard (1st male/naked)… Annaleise Carr (1st female/naked)
4 worthy winners… big Congrats to Ross, Bill, Beth and Annaleise! And to everyone who came out for a whole lot of fun in big ol’ Lake O!
In the end… a good time was had by all!!!
John and Mark… all smiles after the race!
Smiles before the race too!
Time to put our feet up and celebrate with a beer… and the LOST Trophy!
Welcome to the finish! Thanks Enfield Timing!
Lots more pics on the LOST Swimming Facebook Page too!!!
Kayaker Kim… and Charterability!!! (thanks Stephen Cull!)
PS. Thanks to all the volunteers… the kayakers(!!!), Barry Shepley, Alex (and his boat and crew… Rick!), Stephen Cull and his boat Charterability and crew, the registration crew (Joanne, Katie, Stacey, Shirley, Lisa, Maisey & Jill), Mike Morton, Darren Osborne, Miguel, Bob and Dot, Matthew, Elizabeth and Dan, our LOST photograher Branko and all the other photographers that sent me pics,… and everyone else that made this event happen!!!… and of course, all the swimmers!!!
Alex and Rick on the “martini boat”!… with Jackie and Pete seeing if they really serve Martini’s!
Still several weeks of good swimming left before we have to go back to the pool… see you soon!!!
… PS. If there is a more beautiful 3.8 km swim course in the world, I don’t know where it is!!! I pity the poor swimmers who only breath to the left!!!