So my old childhood buddy, who I’ve only seen once in the past 29 years, Scott Parker and his family went from North Battleford, Saskatchewan (where he and I grew up… population 10,000!) to Barbados, for my new friends, Zary and Kristina’s Barbados Open Water Swim Festival… here’s what he had to say…I guess I’ll be going next year!
Hey Rob, you missed a fun time.
The race was ok too! Yes, that was our family your fellow LOSTie referenced. It was very nice of Zary and Kristina to recognize our participation. The only unfortunate part was that our oldest Matthew could not come due to first year university mid terms.
I attached a couple of pictures. Glad we didn’t have a video of me trying to carry my scrawny butt over the finish line. Yes it was exhausting. But I guess most people are like me thinking that a 5 km race will be a breeze if you do a dozen or so practices after not training for 25 years. (Well I am getting older, just not wiser) YET!!!
Considering that, the family and our group did do well for a bunch of flatlanders who most have not ever swam in open water. Oh, I did forget, it wasn’t a 5 km race, I am positive I swam 6 km or more because for some strange reason I could not find the black lines tiled into the bottom. Strange? Might need to speak to Zary about fixing that for next year.
The competition site and the sites for the pre-competition guided swims were beautiful. How much better can it be swimming/competing while having sea turtles swim under you, and finishing up on silky white beaches? The only complaint was the water temp was warmer than our indoor pool in North Battleford. (I didn’t think I would ever complain of warm water, and I must mention it was not to warm in North Battleford today at 6 this am. Brrrr ). Brings back childhood memories of you honking in front of my house each morning wondering if I’ll come to practice while I curled up on the sofa.
Oh, one more thing about my race. I just wanted to thank you (my friend), being what most would consider an open water specialist, for giving me advice (not!) on how to sight while swimming and the importance of practicing this skill before going. I think it was at the 2 km mark (if I remember I’m sure I was ahead of the field including that world champ guy… ok maybe it was the hypoxia kicking in) when after zig-zaging around the course I began cramping every time I would sight. Trying to cut back on my salt intake (I dont have a sore throat after all the gargling), I would kick harder to lift this thick head of mine out of the water which of course would also make the cramp harder. The good thing was there was only 3 km left. I can now look back at it as a character building exercise. Did I mention it was fun though?
As for results, Sheila finished 3rd in the 45-54 1.5km with time of 26.49, Jenna(15yrs) and Tara (9yrs) finished the 1.5 km fun swim, Taylor (13yrs) was the youngest in the 5 km finishing with a time of 1.27:43, and I FINISHED 5th with a time of 1.26:40 in the 45-54 yr old 5 km. Our teammates also did extremely well with Bjorn Prollius (14 yrs in 5km) swimming a 1.13.32, his dad Almereau Prollius swimming the 1.5 km in 27.29. Audrey Harder came 3rd in the 5km 35-44 yr age group with 1:39.43. As well, two of our 45-54 yr old ladies in the 1.5 km race, Leanne Cunningham completed in 32.44, Ang completing the 1.5 fun swim and Toby Gillen swam a 27.31.
Got to meet some interesting swimmers from around the world, had some good food, drinks and created great memories with family and friends. To bad you couldn’t have been there.
The other great thing that happened is before we even left, we all started talking about making plans for the next swim trip (sorry kids, no more Disney). It looks like it won’t take another 25 years; in fact, Sheila just sent away my registration for a master’s meet this month in Regina that was added to the age group meet which I was taking Taylor to. I think for this I’ll stick to the 50m and 100m races.
Anyways good to hear from you. Hope your family has a great holiday season if I don’t speak to you before.
Scott, Sheila and family