Okay, first let me apologize for not getting at this sooner.  But it’s been a bit crazy around here lately.

See all 94 of those little yellow dots… yup, those are LOST swimmers!

On page 350 of the book I wrote entitled “It Seemed like a Good Idea at the Time” is a chapter about hosting the largest swimming race ever held in Lake Ontario (The LOST Race, with 94 swimmers, beating last year’s record by 9 swimmers!), as well as the inaugural Masters Swimming Canada 10K National Championship… and swimming across Lake Ontario the next day.  Let’s say it was a pretty busy weekend.  On top of that, many of the same friends that were key to the LOST Race were also key to my Crossing… so it wasn’t just busy for me… the whole LOST family was crazy busy!  Thanks guys.

It didn’t look good for the start of the 10K… but we actually lucked out with a window of decent weather just long enough to squeeze the race in!

And it didn’t start well.  The weather was crap.  We arrived at the foot of Maple Grove and the water was flat calm and toasty warm (73F)… for a few minutes at least.  But then the winds came up… huge thunder storms… pouring rain… not exactly ideal.  But at 6:30 I gave the pre-race run down to all the 10K swimmers that were to start in 15 minutes, while the rain and lightning came down all around us… not good.  So we delayed the start.  And after a half hour wait, the weather miraculously cleared and we got all 19 of the swimmers in the first ever MSC 10K National Championship off and swimming!

And the white caps are the 10k swimmers ready to go!

And no rest for the wicked.  The swimmers for the LOST Race were already showing up.  Frankly, I was worried sick that we’d have to cancel the race when I was looking at the weather the days before, but the one think I know with this type of event is that you really have to wait until the last minute before you can make that call.  I also thought that nobody would show up… it really wasn’t nice out.  I felt like the high school kid who was throwing a party and hoping someone would show up so I wouldn’t look like an idiot.  I’m not convinced that I would have come… so imagine my surprise when 94 people showed up in that kind of weather!  Despite the conditions… I was pretty happy.

Olga, Maria and Alex… manning the 10K feeding station boat!

So we got the 5th annual 3.8K LOST Race off on time, at 8:00.  But almost the minute they left… it got rough.  Now the thing you have to appreciate here is that it was really rough for the swimmers… but it was also really rough for the kayakers too!  There were 10 kayakers and 2 zodiacs out there patrolling their section between the buoys… and they were out there longer than the 10K or LOST swimmers, because they got there first and were last off… and that wasn’t just floating there in the sun catching a few waves… they were workin!

Maisey, one of our 10 kayakers on the course… keeping a watchful eye!

To wit, I must say that there was a handful of swimmers who realized the conditions were too rough for them on that day… and they were smart enough to do exactly what they were told to do.  They swam to shore, let the kayakers know, who let the ground crew know, who came and picked them up.  As much as it sucks when you have to retire from a race, when you are doing a swimming race, in rough conditions… well, it’s all a judgement call and we absolutely have to err on the side of safety.  It was reassuring that when people either retired or were asked to retire from the race, the safety precautions worked.  Because that really is my main concern.  In fact, I’ve been in 2 triathlons where people have drowned and I found out later that someone drowned in the NYC Ironman on the same day, I believe, who knows the situation, but I just don’t want anything like that happening here.  The long and short of it is… I’m glad Joe and all our kayakers did such a great job!

Jenn, Rob and the winner of the LOST Race… Dylan Kent!

Anyway, by the time I got things wrapped up at the start… and made my way to the finish… the winners had already finished!  And no family favoritism was shown, but my son Dylan, got his title back again!  He had won the first three LOST Races and didn’t swim last year and Andrew Taylor won… but this year he was able to beat out Andrew, who came in second!

Shows you how tough the swim was because his time was way off his record time for the same course, but that’s open water swimming!

In fact, as Cousin Al and Madhu (our recent Lake O Crossing star, 24 hours and 26 minutes, the week before!) were handing out the medals to the finishers, I have to say there were a few green faces!  A few people said they had a bit of sea-sickness from the waves, but felt a bit better after they helped themselves to the cookies and treats after… however, I also saw a few people who were giving their cookies back… if you know what I mean!

Hey, I make no apologies for the rough water… that was good ol’ school open water swimming!  It was tough as hell… but it made the victory of completing it that much sweeter!  The times don’t matter very much in open water races, it’s all about finishing, because the conditions change so much from year to year… that was a legendary LOST Race, one they will talk about for years… “were you here in 2012, now THAT was open water swimming!”

Hey you should all be proud of that swim… it was tough, by any standard.

The much sought after Finishing Buoy!

And the 10K swimmers… well… that was awesome.  Remember, of course, in the 10k there is no wetsuit division… they were in there a lot longer and a lot of them were pretty cold and tired after finishing up… and not everyone made it.  But that’s okay.  It only adds credibility as to how tough it is to swim that race… especially under those conditions!  And the winner of the first MSC 10K was Samer Yaghmour in 2:24:16!  Very impressive, I can’t say I even know Samer, but boy, what a swimmer!  Alex noticed him and said he just cut right through the waves, like they weren’t there… whereas the winner of the women’s 10K was Lynn Marshall, who Alex described as “attacking the waves!”… like they’d better get out of her way!  She was also second overall with a time of 2:29.22.  I know a bit more about Lynn, like that she made the trip down from Ottawa for the race… and that she holds 41 Masters World Records… as well as the Canadian Women’s 10K National Champion now too!  Speaking of which it was pretty cool to see that there were several NCAA Division 1 swimmers in the LOST Race and a few others from the US, Australia and the UK!  Word is certainly getting out about LOST Swimming and the LOST Race!

Oh and for those of you who saw the 10K race in the Olympics, keep in mind they swam in conditions that were 100 times easier than that!  Albeit, I will give them that they were pretty quick though! haha.

PS.  Congrats to Canadian Olympic Bronze medalist Richard Weinberger!  He’s actually a member of LOST on Facebook, so maybe he’ll read this and join us for a dip next time he’s in town!… Richard, don’t worry, most LOST swims are more like the glass that you guys swam in in London than the roaring ocean we had on Saturday!  😉

Richard Weinberger, Canada’s first medal in 10K open water swimming! Congrats Richard, from all the LOSTies!

I do have to apologize for the results being delayed and in some cases incorrect… it’s a combination of two things… there was a bit of glitch with a few swimmers… and we’ve been really, really busy since the race!  But bare with us… we’ll fix it asap.  Sorry about that.

10K – MSC 10K National Championship results, 2012

3.8K – LOST Race results, (2012)

Well, that’s about it… thanks everyone for showing up to our little LOST party and having fun in the water, we had fun too… that’s what it’s all about… even if mother nature was a bit cranky this year!

Hope to see you all next year!

(actually, you’ve all paid your LOST membership fees now, by entering the race… so feel free to join us for any or all of the Saturday LOST swims left this year!  I promise the odds of getting water that rough again are very slim!)

Cheers,

Rob

 

 

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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great summary of the race! Just a quick Q: I noticed that #197 still shows up as a dns, but didn’t she win the 3.8k wetsuit div?

  2. Now that’s an open water swim race -yaahooo. Thanks everyone, Rob, family and support crew for creating a terrific event. Great day!

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