Here is something kinda fun and different… get a team together and swim a relay for an hour against other teams! Winner gets a turkey!
Looks like fun! Check out embraceopenwater.com for all the details!
Here is something kinda fun and different… get a team together and swim a relay for an hour against other teams! Winner gets a turkey!
Looks like fun! Check out embraceopenwater.com for all the details!
So one nice thing about LOST Swimming is there is an off season! That’s when I get a bit lazy and don’t put up as many posts (although there is still a ton of stuff on the LOST Swimming Facebook page, so join there if you haven’t!) and tend to take it a bit easy.
Actually… I haven’t really. I’ve joined EOMAC, (Etobicoke Olympium Masters Aquatic Club), which is great, I feel like I’m actually getting back into shape! Having placed very well at Ironman Lake Placid (in the swim ONLY!), a swimmer can fool themselves into thinking they are fast. That is a totally unfair comparison though. It is a real swimmer swimming against triathletes. It just makes you feel like you are fast. I’m sure its the same for good riders and runners who race against triathletes. But then I joined EOMAC. And started training and racing against swimmers. A bit of humble pie after feeling like a champ after IMLP. But the good news is it seems to be coming back. Slowly.
The other bigger news is the organization that Dylan and I are running. The Global Swim Series. It is going swimmingly. Pardon the lame pun.
You may recall that it started last summer as COWSS, the Canadian Open Water Swim Series. We were really happy with how it worked out, we had 12 races and over 2,000 participants across Canada! We were ecstatic, we had no idea it would be that popular.
So as you have probably seen, this year we decided to open it up to the whole world and call it the Global Swim Series. It is a ton of work, but you know what? It is an even bigger success. And again we are ecstatic, and had no idea that it would be this popular!
It has become the largest swim series in the world. Over 18,000 swimmers in all the races. 31 races have joined. 10 countries; Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, Barbados, Brazil, Ireland, Russia and Australia… and Bermuda (as I was writing this post!). And there are a whole bunch more that I’m speaking with that plan on joining in the very near future. The cool thing is that we are starting to get some recognition outside of our immediate circles. People and organizations are starting to come to us, rather than us going to them. That’s pretty exciting.
So now with all these races and swimmers and interest we are in a position where we can start looking to the future and adding more “things”. Obviously I can’t get into the details, but we would like to continue adding more races and swimmers… and then even add a world championship race and several other surprises too. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves but things are coming together, maybe not by the end of this season, but we’re looking into it.
A big congrats, while I think of it, to all the LOSTies who participated in the Global Swim Series this summer! And a special “tip of the hat” to the LOSTies that went down to Barbados for the amazing Swim Festival there!
Anyway, the point of all this was to tell you why I haven’t been putting up many posts lately. It’s because I’ve been dogging it, it is because I’ve actually been swimming and promoting open water swimming around the world. Seems like a decent excuse.
PPS. while I was writing this another race joined the Global Swim Series… Bermuda is in!
She has done some amazing swims (including a Lake Ontario Crossing in 1974… see the record book, under the Lake O Crossings tab above), but she’s coming to talk about her new book which was written about her biggest swim… the Cuba to Key West swim! She’s been a controversial swimmer at times, but she has also pushed the barriers on a lot of fronts. Here is your chance to hear her story directly from her. Should be amazing!
Just got this pic from Lambrina of Helene and Brett in Kona, Hawaii… all set for the Ironman World Championships!!!
In fact, I’m sure they are more than ready… anxiously waiting for 5 more sleeps! Sleep tight, kids… its coming! And we’ll all be watching!
PS. Happy 53rd Birthday, Brett… have fun testing out your birthday suit in the swim!
Sometimes when I write these posts I have to be a little creative to try and convey the fun we had at a specific event or swim, because it man not seem immediately obvious that swimming in cold water, or rough water, or cold and rough water would be as much fun as it is. This event, however, was not one of those events.
It was just as much fun as it looks like it was.
This was the second year of the LOST/CR’s Beer Mile rivalry. Swimmers vs Runners. And we LOSTies held onto the title again!
Here are some interesting facts:
Ya, the pictures pretty much tell it all. It was fun. A lot of fun. And as I said at the time, I think the spectators had as much fun as the runners!
Special thanks to Mauro, Darren, Andrea for organizing!
See you all next year… have fun training over the next 364 days!
So I decided to make the call last weekend to wrap up LOST Swimming for the season. The waves were pretty crazy, but the weather was warm and the water was still warm too… but I had a hunch that would likely be it. Boy, was I right.
Hurricane Joachim hit Oakville this week. I’m sure the US east coast got it much worse, but it is so strong we were feeling it here too!
I went for a run down to the LOST Beach and across the creek to the West Harbour side too, on Saturday. HUGE waves… I even saw someone out there surfing! I thought it was Darren so I waited until he came in, but when he came in I realized it wasn’t him… it was a guy name Darius… who came all the way from Guelph to surf here! He was telling me that the Scarborough Bluffs and Ashbridges Bay were the best places to surf on Lake O… but that this was awesome too!
Funny thing is… it got even rougher on Sunday! LOSTie, Steve Ellis, got this shot on Sunday… wow! Biggest waves I’ve ever seen on Lake O!
But it does make me want to learn how to surf!
I think Darren said it first, but 3 or 4 other people came up to me after the swim yesterday and said “that was the best swim this year!”
It was kinda weird. The weather was nice. No real wind and the air temp was about 70F/20C… certainly didn’t seem like September 26. And it seemed like it should be a nice quiet and calm send off for the last LOST Swim of 2015… but it was anything but quiet and calm! This has been a bit of an odd ball year really. Colder and rougher than most other years. But, hey, that’s open water swimming! That’s what makes it a lot more interesting than swimming in the pool! And, boy, it was interesting.
Mike and I got there early to set up and oddly, before you even got to the water you could hear it! I pulled the kayak out of the jeep and headed down to the water and as soon as I saw the water I dropped it and Mike and I had a good laugh. There was no way we were going to be able to launch the kayaks from LOST Beach… the waves were huge! Biggest waves I’ve ever seen there. We stood there in awe and just watched for quite a while. We tried to guess how big the waves were, without the typical BS that usually accompanies peoples biased measurement of wave height… I put the waves at 6-8 feet! A few might have been higher!
The good news was that the waves had quite a nice long wave length… which made them very swim-able… if you could get in!
Clearly we couldn’t get in on LOST Beach, although Darren and Fanny did get an earlier swim in from there and after helping them get out over our rocky beach we confirmed that would probably not be the best thing to do! Even though the first words out of a “kelp” covered Darren was “That was awesome!”
So we tried something different. Something kinda fun and exciting. We all went down to the end of the pier and jumped into the creek side and then had a great swim back to our usual spot! It worked out well because we were able to get out on the ladders at the same spot on the creek side too.
The water was 63F, so temperature was not an issue… but the waves, well it was hilarious! I think it was Mark who summed it up after by saying: “It was crazy, I was swimming and looked UP and saw Miguel above me!” You could be 6 feet away from someone and in the trough of the wave and see someone 6 or 8 feet above you on the crest of the wave! May not be unusual in big waves in the ocean, but totally unusual for Lake O!
There was 28 LOSTies that were rewarded for their loyalty by coming out a few days before October with a very memorable swim! The Blue Jays aren’t the only ones that had a great September!
Well that’s it for 2015. Thanks to all the LOSTies that were able to get out and enjoy some fun swimming this summer… and to all the LOST supporters who followed along too! (special thanks to Mike, Richie and Stuart for getting such great shots of this amazing swim!… here are Stuart’s pics!)
Mike, Miguel, Dylan and myself, along with all our volunteer kayakers over the summer put in a lot of work every Saturday morning for no reason other than to have a little fun… and honestly, it wouldn’t be any fun or worth doing if we you weren’t there and if we didn’t have the support from all the LOSTies and friends of LOST Swimming. So my sincere thanks to you all!
Next official LOST Swim… Jan 1, 2016 at noon… for the Polar Bear Dip! (and good luck to all the LOSTies going to Barbados for one of the last races in the Global Swim Series this year!… more to come on that!)
See you then and thanks for a great season!
Well that was interesting!
Mike and I got down there early to set up (and Mauro was already there setting up… thanks guys!) and there was hardly a ripple on the water… but by the time we got in the water it was rockin’! Weird morning actually, because by the time we were packing up and most people had left the waves were dying down again?!
It actually made for an interesting swim. The kayaking was a bit more challenging though! I kinda felt bad for Mike and Dylan. We pumped up the 3 large buoys and they towed them out and put them in place. I gave my little speech. We all got in and started swimming. And then we noticed the buoys seemed to be in a bit bigger loop than when we started! They were blowing away! They still had weights on them, but they were still blowing away!
Well, always looking at the bright side of things… the water was toasty warm, 68F/19C … and there was no rain yet!
The long and short of it was it was still a fun swim, and with warm water it makes it fun to just surf around in the waves!
I ran into two other groups that seemed to be enjoying the wind and waves… a pair of beautiful swans that came over to check us out (not sure if those are the same two swans that were in the exact same place when they came out to greet me as I finished the last 50m of my Lake O Crossing 3 years ago, but I wouldn’t be surprised!)… and some kite boarders!
I went up and spoke to the kite boarders and they were getting 4 or 5 set up to kite board all the way in to Toronto! They said it would likely take them 2-3 hours to do it… I said the way the waves were rolling it felt like we could have raced them! (but I was a bit reluctant to put any money on that! haha) It looked really cool, I’ve always wanted to try it. I’m not sure who was more fascinated by what each other was doing… them or us! Just cool to see more people out enjoying the lake!
So far so good… we’ll see how the weather and water temp holds out, but if the season suddenly ends, as it often does, I’ll send out an email and let you all know… otherwise… see you next Saturday!
PS. for those analytically minded (like myself), I went back in my log book to see when we ended LOST Swimming in previous years, my log book goes back to 2003, but I only started LOST in 2006 and in the early years there was only a handful of us, so it just ended when we didn’t show up:
After what has been a pretty cold summer (at least water-wise!), with one week in the middle of the summer at 45F/7C (that we still swam in), and the LOST Race at 50F/10C (that we still had a good, but shortened race), we now are reaping the rewards… it warm. It was 73F/23C!!! The water was even warmer than the air. The air was only 62F/17C.
Funny thing was, I woke up like I do every Saturday morning in the summer at about 6:45 and rolled out of bed to get ready for LOST Swimming. But today I looked out the window and it look crappy out. I briefly considered going back to bed, because it was rainy and cold out. No one was going to show up for LOST Swimming. But I knew a couple of people still would, so I would too. Motivation in numbers. I got down to LOST Beach and no one was there yet. Then a couple people showed up to swim in the rain. Then, low and behold the rain stopped… and more people showed up. We ended up with 25 swimmers!
The water was actually quite wavy and didn’t look inviting at all with the overcast cloud cover too. But at that first moment when you dip your toe in, there was a sudden relief… it was really warm. And that changes everything. The menacing, rolling waves suddenly turn into nice rollicking waves to play around in! We didn’t bother setting up the buoys (partially because I didn’t think there would be many swimmers!), so we went old school and just did a 1 km out and back, for 2 km total. The water was so comfortable that about a dozen of us ended up bumping into each other about 1km down the shore and “sat” there and chatted for a while, I joked we should have had a floating coffee raft (like they have at the Tremblant Ironman!)… but I think it would have tipped in the waves!
Anyway, we had a great swim and the sky even cleared up by the time we went for coffee. Another nice swim.
Looks like this Saturday might be the best swim this summer… we are supposed to get some unseasonably warm weather and I’m sure the water will still be warm too!
PS. it was nice to meet Jenny (and Roger!) who joined us for a swim… who were in town visiting from Portsmouth, England! Always cool to have some international visitors come swim with us!!!
LOSTies and those after final Global Swim Series points made up a large proportion of those at the Caledon Quarry Swim II on Sunday, but there were also some really speedy young swimmers from coach Barrie Shepley’s C3 team. (check out the results on GSS!)
We had the unusual case on Saturday of having warm water in Lake O (73F/23C) and only 17C air… but it was nicer weather than we got on Sunday at the Quarry, where the air was only 12C and the water was 71F/21C… I think it was the only time this summer that Lake O was warmer than the Quarry!
But having said that… it was still fun. The Quarry is a nice place to swim and it’s always fun to race against a bunch of buddies and do your best. The water was very comfortable, but the wind really whipped up some significant chop in the far corner where the waves bounced off the walls! I was telling some other swimmers about my race and they took some comfort in knowing that even an old vet like me took in a few unexpected mouthfuls in that corner!
I was smoked by a few of Barrie’s very fast kids in the 2k, and much like the weekend before at the TCoB’s Pier to Pier swim I was beat by my son… just barely. I wasn’t sure if it was him ahead of me, but on the last half of the last lap I was determined to reel in the swimmer who was 20 meters ahead of me… and much to my surprise, I did! We came around the last turn with 150 m to go and I got a better line
on the finishing arch and was pulling ahead as he headed wide… I was bi-lateral breathing and by the time breathed to that side again he had noticed I was pulling ahead… so he simply cut over and boxed me out! After the race he said “I had nothing… but I still wasn’t going to let you pass me… so I just used some open water strategy and boxed you out!”. Oh well, good fun.
Here are some of Barrie’s highlights from the race too:
C3’S Andrew Yorke has swam in the C3 James Dick Quarry for nearly a decade as a junior athlete, under 23 athlete and pro. Andrew now lives in Guelph as he prepares for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Andrew was in Edmonton last weekend, where his 8th place World Cup Triathlon finish was the best male performance this year. He is in his final taper for next Saturday Sept 19th’s World Championship in Chicago. Andrew’s Guelph National Team-mate was Domi Jaminicky. Domi was just 15th in Edmonton and was featured on CBC just yesterday. Andrew’s CBC race will be this coming Sat 19th from 3-4pm on CBC Sports Weekend (tune in). Thanks to coach Taylor for bringing the top athletes to Caledon for the day.
While his son Andrew maybe big-stuff on the triathlon circuit, its dad Ward Yorke who today had the longest swim of anyone in the field going an amazing 11km straight. Ward and his C3 team-mate Geoff Sullivan both started swimming about 8:30am this morning and had amazing end of summer swims. Kudos to both C3 athletes for life-time longest swims.
When Bob Hayes heard that Greg Streppel was doing 10k, he got into his car early and drove to Caledon to have a chance to swim with the world-class athlete. Together the dynamic duo rocked just over 2hrs 20min for the 10km without a wetsuit. They basically swam 20min km for the entire 10km. Thanks for being a part of the day.
Twenty years ago, Toronto lawyer Stefan Timms was one of Canada’s top elite pro triathletes. He raced all over the world representing Canada. It was through triathlon that he met his wife Kate, who was also one of Canada best young triathletes. Two decades later, Stefan and Kate have two beautiful kids and today had the fastest 4km swim (Stefan) and fastest female 1km swim (Katie). With a busy life and kids, its fantastic to see how you can still stay in shape.
Four decades ago, Carolos Costa lost his legs at 2 years of age. Obviously he has learned to overcome any obstacles in his way. Today he swam the 4km, no-wetsuit in under 90minutes. It was an honour to have Carlos in the field today. Carlos also swam across Lake Ontario in 1993 in 32 hours and 42 minutes!!!
Clearly Dylan Kent has no respect for his elders. Today the man who takes care of the website for the Global Swim Series, took a bite out of his father by a few seconds in the 2km race. Rob and Dylan have been instrumental in creating and developing the Global Swim Series. Kudos to both hard working guys.
Five years ago, I had to argue with 66 year old Bob Knuckey to register for a mini-triathlon. He couldn’t swim and didn’t believe he ever would. Last year he won the World 70.3 World Triathlon Championships and was on the podium a few weeks later in Kona. Today he had one of the fastest swims in just over 35mintes. Incredible.
Not to be out done, 81 year old George Milne was just over 25 minutes for the 1km swim.
Here is a chance to get another swim in this year… and donate to a great cause… in the name of the greatest Canadian!
Last year we were asked to put on a Terry Fox “Swim” event instead of a run – and this year we are doing it again! We are looking for swimmers and supporters (kayak/SUP/boat) for Sunday, September 20 – swim, float, wade, whatever you like! We have not finalized the details – but it is likely to be a 1 – 1.5k course (water dependant) at Coronation Park.
You can join our team or sponsor us at: http://www.terryfox.ca/
This is an amazing event to be a part of, it was a lot of last year and will be again this year! If you can help with on-water support – message me directly, if you want to swim – sign up! We look forward to seeing a HUGE swimmer turnout!”
Mike Morton, mmorton
Here is the information to our fellow LOSTie, Frank Zamuner’s “Swim for Mental Health”! A great cause and a great guy! Take a look, donate and participate if you can too!
The Pier to Pier is always a nice (near) end of season swim. I was trying to figure out how many years this swim has been going on… I’m thinking around 10 years… I’ll have ask Greg. The funny thing is it isn’t really a “race”, or even an event, as Greg would say. It’s just a bunch of swimmers swimmin’!
TCoB started it as a nice swim for their triathletes quite a few years ago. And then as we got to know Greg, Margaret and the gang at TCoB, and with a bit of “cross-pollination” between the two groups (Joanne joined TCoB and Helene and several other TCoB’ers have been LOSTies), we were invited to the swim. And now there are a ton of LOSTies enjoying this fun swim too!
So the stats: chatting with Bobby, who was good enough to run the clipboard this morning, I believe there were 65 swimmers… and the water was around 70F/21C… pretty flat, but a bit of chop by the end, even perfect water quality (David!). A very nice swim, maybe the nicest of the summer!
As I mentioned, it’s not a race. Most people just enjoy a good solid swim across Lake Ontario. The shortest Lake Ontario Crossing, a 2.4 km crossing! haha. However, that didn’t prevent some of us from racing it anyway!
I love racing. Any kind of racing. I never win, but I still just love giving it and pushing myself. At my age, the speed goes away, but the competitive spirit doesn’t! So I was one of the first dozen to jump in off the pier and quickly caught the leader. And figured therefore I should be able to hold the lead easily. Then I felt someone drafting tapping my toes. Damn. So I picked it up a bit. And they were still drafting off me. Damn. Then my cap slipped off and took my goggles
with them. Damn. But I got to see who was drafting off me. My son… and someone else. Damn. Then I had to sprint and catch them again. I passed the second person, who stayed on my heels. But couldn’t catch Dylan with only 400m left. However, I saw that he was making the rookie mistake by not accounting for the current, which was pushing him wide. Being the wily ol’ vet, I knew about the current and held a better line… and was now even with him. And pulled ahead of the person on my heels (it was bugging me that I didn’t know who that was, because I thought I knew everyone my speed, but obviously I didn’t!). 100 meters left and we were all close… anyone’s race… um, or “non-race”, as it were… and the little brat pulled ahead for the victory and all the prize money! I rolled in for second with, what turned out to be, Chris Jocelyn, on my heels! I didn’t feel so bad having him on my heels, he’s a very good swimmer (and biker and runner!) and is joining Brett and Helene at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in a couple of months! Pier to Pier finish (click for video, thanks for the proof Steve!… and the warm welcome, Madhu!)
Anyway, it was a very fun “non-event”! Congrats to all for completing the swim and enjoying a beautiful swim in the Lake!
… and here are some more pics… just because everybody loves pics! Enjoy!
I often find that everyone is keen in the spring… but the water is cold… and then in the fall the water warms up… but interest is waning.
But I was proven wrong yesterday, or at least half-wrong! It did finally warm up… it was 69F/20C, (just like I knew it would be!)… but I was happy to be proven wrong about interest… we still had a great turn out… there was still 56 LOSTies out for one of the nicest swims of the year! Cool to see that there was even a half a dozen newbies who were just joining us for the first time!
The warm water gave us one less thing to worry about. But naturally, Lake O wasn’t going to let us off the hook entirely… it was still pretty rough. Not as rough as it was once or twice earlier this year, but still pretty choppy. And as I explained to everyone, this was an “opportunity” to practice swimming in fairly rough water. The wave lengths from crest to crest were probably around 30 feet, which is nice long wave lengths. As I always say, waves are fine to swim in… it’s the “chop” that sucks. And there was a bit of chop too.
Chop is all the little “garbage” waves that are not at all predictable and can hit you from either side at any time. Chop is what can make it hard to breath and interrupt your stroke too. And there was a bit of chop, as well as the decent sized waves.
But in the end, it doesn’t really matter. You get what you get, with open water swimming. So this was just a chance to swim in wavy, choppy and warm water. And it really was nice. And we probably had one of our biggest turn outs for LOST Coffee too!
For me this is a really nice way to start a Saturday and the weekend. Drag my butt out of bed, not always willingly, roll down to the Lake, have a nice dip with some friends and go for coffee and a few laughs after. And when there are 50 of us, so much the better!
See you all at the Pier to Pier Swim with the TCoB gang tomorrow!
And in case you were wondering when LOST Swimming ends… I don’t know… we aren’t on a schedule, we go as long as the Lake will let us… which, judging by this means we still have a few more weeks!
Okay, let me start by saying “yes, the water if finally warm!” So much so that we had a big of fog, making it look kid of spoooky… kind of like Scooby Doo Lake, as Darren coined it!
Remember back in June when everyone was paying their dues, with the rough waves… and swimming in 50-something degree water… and even endured a roll-over down to a mid-summer record of 45F?!… well, don’t lose your enthusiasm yet… the payoff is here! We get some gorgeous September swimming!
A few of us went for a nice little swim on Thursday and it was 67F… and rising! Should be toasty for tomorrow!
And on to other news… three upcoming races!!!
– our buddies at the Tri Club of Burlington (TCoB) are hosting their annual “Pier to Pier“swim on Labour Day Monday, Sep 7… pretty casual (& FREE), more just a large group swim than an actual race. 2.4 km…”The Shortest Lake Ontario Crossing!” Greg says they’d always like to have more kayakers too!
– then there is the Variety Village Open Water Swim in Haliburton the followingSaturday, Sept 12… beautiful swim and lake… and a chance to earn some more GSS points!
– and the last local GSS race, the day after the Variety Village race, Sunday, Sept 13… the Caledon Quarry race!!! Beautiful facility, they even trucked in new sand for it… and have included a 10k!!!
Okay, it was still a bit cool… but not bad. 58F/14C, chilly but not “stupid cold”. And the proof is in the pudding… we had 42 LOSTies out and we all went for a nice swim, probably a half hour or so.
I had to laugh because a bunch of people got there and saw that the water was as flat as a millpond and said “wow, it’s perfect, not a ripple!” Which it was, of course… but Lake O doesn’t hand out free passes easily. So unlike a few swims at the beginning of the summer where we had some pretty raucous waves, that wasn’t the issue today. It was that the Lake was still pretty cool.
However, in my typical manner of avoidance I just said it’s “a bit chilly”. Which, most LOSTies know how to interpret(!). Several said “How cold?!!”… and when I said 58F, they all went “Phew!… at least it’s not in the 40’s like a few weeks ago!”. Yup, it’s all about managing expectations.
The good news is that the Lake will likely stay this temp or warm up as we are apparently in for some hot weather. Now that it has rolled over several times this summer it has warmed up through and through and I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually got warmer. (But with the way this Lake has been behaving the past 2 summers… well, I wouldn’t bet the house on it getting warmer either!).
Truth is, you can blame the water temp on Ross, Christine and Paul. I actually kept the water at this temp just for them… they are off to Sweden to do the world famous swim-run race “O Till O”!!! And this is the perfect training temp for them.
O Till O is kind of the grand-daddy of the newest racing craze, swim-run races. This race is 75 km long… 65k running and 10k swimming… over an archipelago of small to tiny islands in Sweden!!! In fact, there are 35 times when you have to get in and out of the water! The terrain is quite rocky and looks a lot like Muskoka.
This is the toughest swim-run race in the world and one of the toughest endurances races in the world too!… and very hard to get in to. You either get in by lottery or “merit based” (which means you have an athletic resume that shows you are capable of that much
swimming and running!). Ross won the LOST Race last year and Christine is almost as fast, they both swam for my old buddy Andrew Cole at McMaster and happen to be good runners as well. So they got in on merit. Paul “Turbo” Trebilcock found another way to get in… have them produce a TV show about all the extreme races you do around the world… and they’ll let you in too! (although with all the amazing races he’s done, he’d get in on merit too!). Yes, he’s now in his third season of “Boundless“ on the Esquire channel. Very cool show.
Paul, Christine and Ross will actually be the 4th, 5th and 6th LOSTies to do O Till O… and it looks like there will be a few more going over for next year too! Dave and Al, quite coincidentally, were swimming in their running shoes this morning too (you do that in the race!) as they started training for next year! Nick and Art Chasovskykh also did the race a couple of summers ago… but the real trailblazer was the diminutive Lisa Neidrauer (& John Humenic)! (In case, you were wondering where she is this summer, don’t worry, she’s hasn’t given up adventures… she had a baby!… which should tide her over for a while!).
Anyway, last week we got to wish Steve Faulkner good luck on his third attempt at the English Channel… this week we got to send off Ross, Christine and Paul to O Till O… never a dull moment for LOSTies! Just the way I like it!
Good luck to Steve, Ross, Christine and Paul! See you all for a swim, coffee and stories when you get back!
First of all… I know the pics are from the Embrace SwimFest on Sunday, rather than the LOST Swim on Saturday… but I seem to have lost the pics from Saturday! Oh well, you get some pics anyway!
It’s funny, I see it every year, at the beginning of the year we have a ton of people out even though it’s still pretty cold. Then it warms ups in July and it starts to peak… then we get a roll over… then the LOST Race. And for some reason people always ask me “is there still swimming after the LOST Race?”. “Hell ya.”
Ironically, often the best swimming is often in late August and early September, because the Lake is finally warmed up and it is less likely to have roll overs and even if we do get one they are less severe. Usually. Although the past two years have been odd years. Colder winters and more roll overs in the past 2 summers than usual.
Anyway, the point is that there is still lots of good swimming left.
This past Saturday we had 45 swimmers out and 60F/15C. Coolish to get into but actually a really comfortable temperature once you get going. It was also pancake flat. Really nice. And it was the clearest the Lake has been this summer. Crystal clear.
People laugh when I tell them it is just like the Caribbean when it is that clear. I think they laugh because the temperature isn’t quite the same… okay, I’ll give you that. But the clarity is like the Caribbean. We have a rocky beach… but if you go out 20m or so it is a beautiful white sandy bottom. And for some reason I always have this compulsion to go down foot first for the 10-12 feet and bury my feet in the sandy bottom. Weird, I know, but I just love it.
One of my other favorite things to do when it is that clear is to spot the fish. Lots of little 6″ fish (no idea what kind), the occasional rare salmon sighting and fairly common you can see carp. Which can be quite ugly fish if you get nose to nose, which I have down past Maple Grove, where they spawn… but the ones I see here are often a very bright luminescent blue. Just like in the Caribbean. Several people commented that they saw fish at the bottom, but I wasn’t lucky enough to see any. Some people still get the heeby-jeebies when they see fish… which I kinda get, I guess… but I just think its so cool. It’s like when you are out on a run and you see a rabbit or a deer or a fox… just kinda makes your day.
Anyway, nice swim. See you on Saturday.
PS. If you didn’t make it out to the Embrace SwimFest at Gulliver’s Lake, it was great!
Check out the newest race added to the Global Swim Series… great variety of distances, something for everyone!
Looks like fun… I think I’ll be doing the 5k!
So this year was shaping up to be a great year for the LOST Race. Two weeks out we were on pace for record registration (over 130 swimmers), Toronto was under a heat advisory, the Lake was over 70F/21C, I had just purchased some great new buoys for the course, Mike, Darren and Miguel had all the volunteers lined up (thanks to ALL the volunteers! Seriously.) and all the organizing under control. We even welcomed a couple of new groups to the on-water support, Derek Schrotter and his SUP crew from Port Credit and Wendy from the BurlOak Canoe Club were going to support us as well as Alex and his Martini Boat and Steven Cull and his Charterability Boat. Awesome.
But this is open water swimming… things don’t always go according to plan.
The regular LOSTies out there know that the Lake “rolled over” a week prior to the race. It went from around 70F to… 43F. Yikes. That is the biggest roll over I’ve ever seen in the 10 years I’ve been keeping records. But we still had a week to go. It could, and was forecast to roll back over, and be 60-65F by race day.
So we (me, Mike, Miguel, Darren, Alex, Dylan and few swimmers) quietly and patiently watched and waited.
But the Lake held touch. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… still 45F… Wednesday, Thursday… still 44F… Friday I checked it at 9 am and it was 46F.
But I checked it at 3 pm… and it was 52F!!! Woo hoo, the roll was finally coming! Still had overnight for it to get to 60F or so and we’d be set.
But the group of us were still a bit panicked. We must have exchange a couple hundred emails that day. What was Plan B going to be? Well if it was 43F, like last weekend, it would have to be cancelled. Period. But maybe we could shorten it if it was 50-55F? So that became Plan B. And we made all the preparations for that. Hoping that the roll would still come and we wouldn’t have to use it.
I checked it at 6 pm and it was still 52F. I woke up at 4 am and checked it again… it was 50F. Crap. Well Plan B it was. At least it wasn’t a borderline temperature, made my decision easier. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a soul there, even among the hard-core LOSTies, that could have swum 3.8 km in 50F (or would have wanted to). Not me, that’s for sure.
The good news is that the race actually went smoothly. And everyone had fun. Ultimately that’s all we really wanted.
We had Zack Chetrat, silver medalist from the Toronto Pan Am Games, Canadian Record holder in 200 fly and favorite for the Rio Olympics next year as our starter! We had Mayor Rob Burton come down and wish us luck… and tell us we’re crazy!
And we had a 500 m rectangular loop race and a double loop 1000 m race. Funny thing was, because we normally have volunteers and equipment at the start and the finish, but it was all at the finish this year, it actually made the race easier to conduct. And it was much better viewing too.
I know it sounds a bit like nepotism, but my son Dylan won the 500 m cleanly, although there were some fast swimmers in that race too! In the 1000 m, it was a great race. Former World Champion in the 25 km distance, Greg Streppel and Samer Yagmour, a seriously fast open water swimmer and former Varsity swimmer U of T put on a pretty good show. They both know how it’s done. Greg “let” Sam lead for the first loop and 1/4… then they switched… and Sam “let” Greg pull for a while… or did Greg just make his move? Around the last buoy and headed for home… Greg dropped him. Put about 20 m between them and came in for a very hard fought win. Well done everyone.
And the thing about cold water swimming is the perpetual question “is it easier to be fast and spend half the time in the water… or is it harder to be slower and be in the water a whole lot longer? Tough to say, but it is easy to say there were no easy swims on Saturday. Anyone who finished either of those distances in rough, 50F water did well. Very well. The Irish and the San Francisco swimmers have nothing on that race (nice to see San Francisco “Southender”, Jay Ligda, joined us for the race too!)
Oh and for the record… yes, there were still plenty of “bad ass” LOSTies out there who went “naked”.
So for better or for worse, this will go down as “the cold year”. I’ve done lots of races over the years in lots of different sports. In 2003 I did my first Ironman at Lake Placid, it was the “wet year” (although there have been a couple there since too!), and a bunch of us LOSTies did Ironman Canada in 2011, “the hot year”, when the temperature got to 39C/102F. My buddy, Madhu, did the Marathon des Sables (7 day ultra marathon across the Sahara Desert) the year after Jeff Hunt and I did it, it was up to 55C the year Jeff and I did it… Madhu got the “wet year”, it was cold and raining for the bulk of his race… across the Sahara. Weird. Usually adverse weather sucks. Period. But in some perverse way these tough conditions really do make it more memorable. You can say you did it in the “cold year”. Some serious street cred there.
Or maybe I’m just rationalizing. But it was pretty impressive to watch, that’s for sure.
But that’s the thing with Mother Nature and with open water swimming in particular. She plays a big role. Even more so in open water swimming than in running or triathlon or most other sports. If you get crappy weather during a marathon or triathlon it might effect your time, but you can always just “walk it in” and finish it, unless it’s a hurricane or something. But in open water swimming you are much more exposed to the whims of the weather AND the water.
This was our biggest registration year by far. We had 135 people registered to swim 3.8 km. That makes it the largest-longest open water swim race in Canada. Note, there are longer races, but none with more people than what we had. Having said that, lots of people bailed. And I don’t blame them. Again, open water swimming is not like a running race, safety is much more of an issue. And it is much harder to swim in cold water than warm water. A lot harder. Both mentally and physically. There is no one there that had signed up for a 3.8 km race who couldn’t have swum a measly 500m or 1000m swim in 70F/21C… but its all different in cold water. Drop that temperature by 20 degrees and its a whole other ball game!
I was told there were a few people standing in line a bit confused and saying something like “really? It’s only going to be 500m or 1000m?” I assure you, there wasn’t a soul there that was wishing it was still 3.8 km… especially after the swim! In fact, I doubt very much if there was anyone there wishing it was even 1100m!
Oh, and as the winner of the 500m said when he got out: “It was cold, but I got used to it… but it was a lot rougher out there than it looked!”.
It was a tough swim no matter how you cut it.
So even after having to resort to Plan B, I was pretty happy to hear that everyone seemed to have a good time and got a “challenging” swim too! To steal a line from the Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want… but if you try sometimes, you get what you need”…
All in all… I had a good time… hope you all did too… and I hope to see you all again next year too! Thanks.
PS. a few more pics below, just because it was hard to choose!
So this is pretty cool… Dylan asked his old Oakville Aquatic Club teammate, Zack Chetrat, to be our celebrity starter… and he said “yes”!
We’ve know Zack (and his mom!) for years. Back when he was just one of those little kids running around on deck. And then he got good. Just “kinda good” on the club, to start. And back then OAK was just “a pretty good” team (they are now ranked #1 in Canada). But he, along with Olympian, Tera van Beilen, were the two biggest stars to come out of the team… so far. But they rode the crest with a ton of other really talented and hard working kids that are now off to university across Canada and the US and took the Oakville Aquatic Club to new heights.
It really is kinda crazy that a town with only 180,000 people and no 50 meter pool is somehow the best team in Canada?! You can only attribute it to a good organization as whole… and good coaching. Depending on when and how you measure it OAK is #1 in the country though. But compare it to some of the other great swim teams in Canada: Pointe Claire (Montreal), Edmonton Keyano, Cascade (Calgary), Island Swimming (Victoria), Etobicoke Swim Club, Toronto Swim Club… and they all are much bigger cities and have good facilities, at least one 50m pool. But no matter how you cut it… OAK hits way above its weight class. And a lot of that has to do with Zack and Tera.
Okay, I have to tell you a little this story about Zack…
He’s a pool swimmer… but he does have some open water racing experience. A little. He made the Canadian Team one year, several years ago, to go to a major swim meet in Guam. Very cool. But I believe he had a crappy race in his main race, 200 fly. Most people find a way to deal with a bad race, it happens to everyone. Some people sulk, some get mad, some people blame themselves, some people blame other people. A few people learn from it and try and get better. Proof shows that Zack is the type that learned from it. But he is also one of the nicest and most modest guys you’d ever want to meet, and he sure wouldn’t blame anyone else. In fact, I guess he blamed himself. So he decided to punish himself. And he entered himself in the 10K Open Water race… at this major international meet. And it worked. He said it was the toughest race he’d ever done and came dead last (among some of the top 10k swimmers in the world, mind you). So let’s just say he knows how to work hard. And I don’t think he has especially good connotations with open water swimming! haha.
A few fun facts on Zack:
So come on out and meet one of the fastest Canadian swimmers of all time… and with him good luck on the road to the Rio Olympics… at the LOST Race!
…to borrow a line from Captain Matthew Webb, the first person to swim the English Channel in 1875… “nothing great is easy”. And IMLP was not easy. But it was great.
So to set the stage… 13 LOSTies signed up a year ago to do IMLP. Four were Ironman rookies (Julia, Dylan, Lambrina, Roger)… and one (Lambrina) could not swim… at all!… and the rest of us just needed a new challenge.
12 years ago, 3 years before I attempted the English Channel and started LOST Swimming as an afterthought, 4 of us did our first Ironman… Ironman Lake Placid. After one particular Wednesday night run out of the Running Room (which we still do to this day!)… and a few pints (several) after the run (which we also still do to this day), I told Alex that the bank I was working for could probably get us into IMLP for free and his response was that now famous LOST battle cry: “I’m in!”. Peter said he wasn’t though… as he couldn’t swim. Several beers later though, he could… and shouted with a little less exuberance: “umm… I guess I’m in too”. Followed by the other famous LOST battle cry: “How hard could it be?!”. We even got Deanna to join us a few days later… and then there were 4!
In 2003 few people had heard of Ironman. None of us had ever even met anyone who had done an Ironman, back then. In 2003 it was just the 5th annual Ironman in Lake Placid and the only other one in North America was IM Canada in Penticton, BC. Tells you how much the sport has taken off since then.
We really had no idea what we were getting into. But somehow all 4 of us completed it in the driving rain and hail. And my wife and 3 young kids (5, 9 & 12) were all there to cheer me in!
Skip ahead 12 years and this time I was competing against my wife and now 24 year old son. And tons of people have done an Ironman, but Ironman is one thing that isn’t diminished by the number of people that have done it. It never gets easier. And there is no “easy” Ironman. But there are some that are harder. And I would argue Lake Placid is among the very toughest… including Kona.
It didn’t disappoint this year either. And in case climbing 6800 feet on the bike and 4 large hills on the run wasn’t enough… weather again played a major role.
When we arrived on Thursday it was rainy and cold. Rain sucks. And it really sucks when it’s cold. And it sucks even more when you are going down the “Keene decent”. A windy, 10 km downhill. So steep that if you don’t touch your breaks you can easily get up over 70 kph! (I looked down VERY briefly on the bike on Sunday and saw 75 kph… before I hit the breaks)… I shudder to think what speed Brett and David got up to?! Pushing 100 kph? Let’s just say it’s a white knuckle ride.
Having said all that… the forecast changes constantly in Lake Placid, and we were all watching the forecast all week… all of which, right up until the night before said “rain”. But Lake Placid being what it is… it didn’t rain. It was hot. REALLY hot… and humid. 33C or so. And no one was expecting that.
So off we went.
Naturally I liked the swim. Partially because I like swimming and partially because by comparison it is much, much more enjoyable than what was to come on the bike and the run!
They had a “rolling start”, which I’ve never done before, but worked pretty well. It just means it is essentially like a mass start, but through a narrow starting arch. Which essentially limits the number of people that can start at one time. Your time doesn’t start until you cross the starting line anyway, so it doesn’t matter. And they used “self-seeding”, which is really smart. Like in a running marathon, they had guys in the crowd of swimmers standing there with estimated finish times, so you seed yourself where you want to be. If you are slow and want to be at the front… go ahead. But you are going to get trampled… and generally most people tend to want to avoid that.
Dylan and I were literally in the front row of about 15 swimmers across. Which was kind of cool. And scary. Like everyone, I was wondering if I was overestimating my speed a little. I really hadn’t done much swimming at all, but the bit I had done felt pretty good… so what the hell… I was at the front. Actually, with about 10 seconds to go I grabbed Dylan by the shoulders and pushed him in front of me. Second guessing myself. And giving me someone to draft off of!
Dylan dropped me immediately. A couple dozen swimmers blew by me in the first 150 meters or so. So naturally I thought I seeded myself wrong. But by 300 meters I had reeled them all back in. Cool.
I swam right on the rowing cable for the first lap, shoulder to shoulder with the 2nd and 3rd place women… well girls. They looked about 25 years younger than me! We finished the first lap and you run out on the beach for about 30 feet and back through the starting arch for the second loop. The second loop was fine until the second half. Then I got to see what it was like to get punched and kicked. In a mass start, as a strong swimmer, you usually get clear water, but with the 2 loop course and the “rolling start”, it delayed people to thin things out… but it meant we started lapping the pack. In fact, as we started running up out of the water, I thought “hey, that looks like Eileen?!”. It was. Boy, was she surprised to see me finishing my second lap! (in fairness to Eileen though, she did start quite a ways back!)
I didn’t know how I was placed or anything… top 50 or 75 maybe? Not bad for an old guy in a crowd of 2400 or so. I ran into the change tent, seeing only 3 other people in there is kind of an ego boost. And one yelled over “hey, DAD!” Dylan was just changing into his bike gear too, so I climbed over the row of chairs and he and I sat there and visited while getting changed. We had all the time in the world now… our race was over. Now we had an Ironman to do. We knew our moment of glory was gone and we had a ton of time and big mountains ahead of us, so we weren’t in a hurry anymore. Pretty cool to be racing with your son.
Dylan won the 18-24 age group in 56 minutes, 17th overall… I was 57 minutes, 24th overall… and 3rd in my age group! A bit of rip off there… some small consolation, one of the guys that beat me out of the water didn’t finish, so officially I was second. Briefly.
That was the highlight of Dylan and my races. The fact that I’m not going to go into nearly as much detail about the bike and run tells you something.
I actually had a good bike. Caught in no time by Brett… then David… then Al (screaming “on your LEFT!!!… to try and make me fill my pants!)… then Darren and I had a nice visit as he rolled by. I won’t bore you with the story of how hard the mountains are… but they are really hard. And you know that fast downhill, well, as Joanne says “what goes down, must go up”. A fair bit slower though. For me, a 7:00 hour 180 km ride on the bike is fine.
Then came the run. And the heat.
My goal was to finish. And to only walk during the aid stations… and the 2 big hills coming back into town. And I did… so I’ll call a 5:12 marathon a good run too, almost 2 hours slower than my best marathon time… but hey, that’s Ironman Lake Placid for you.
The nice thing about the double, out and back course is that you get to see all your buddies… a few times! I saw Eileen (she looked really strong, and was, she got some
revenge for me lapping her on the swim… she beat me by a few minutes on the run!)… I saw Lambrina a few times on the run, she looked strong too. She was a rookie, but she’s a very experienced marathoner and knew enough to do the training… and she did. I saw Brett when I started the run and he was coming back into town, I only had about 4 km on him and I knew he’d be lapping me soon! He didn’t. The poor bugger blew up. No injuries or anything, just the heat got to him. When you are “red-lining” it like that the extra heat can do you in. And it did. But he was smart, he shut it down and walked it in with a smile on his face. A sub-3 hour marathoner, who has never
walked in a marathon… and he walked the whole second half… and got ‘er done. Pretty cool (oh, and even walking the second lap he beat most of us!). I chatted with Alan a few times, he was just doing his thing… and got it done. And I saw Al coming in on the last lap… he looked like he was going to explode! I don’t think I saw anyone in the whole race trying harder than he was! Holy crap that guy races hard. But like he said “that’s how I race”. Speaking of how one races… then you have Darren… played 18 holes of golf the day before the race… and bowled (but that’s another story in itself?!)… and still kicked ass. He’s not inexperienced or stupid… he just can’t sit still! I saw Dylan several times and I would always cross the road and yell and cheer and give him a high five… I thought he must have been in the zone or something because he never said anything. He later told me he couldn’t. That’s how hard you work in an Ironman sometimes… that talking, even
briefly is hard and a waste of energy. I also saw Joanne. She didn’t have a good day. The heat got to her too. She’s completed 4 other Ironmen… but 2 of them she ended up in the medical tent with an IV because of dehydration (actually just 1 she ended up in the medical tent… IM Cda she ended up passed out on a park bench with me, Brett, Lamb, Maisey, Jill and Julia trying to take care of her!)… so given that she had been down this road before and knew how the story ended… she pulled the plug after walking most of the first loop and not being able to eat or drink due to the heat. It sucks to have to pack it in… we all know that… but it is still a very hard thing to do. But it was a good call.
I finished. Felt pretty good. Not my fastest IM, but maybe my best race… and I did kick my 38 year old butt… I beat my time from 12 years earlier by 11 minutes! Joanne was already out of the medical tent by then and met me at the finish, it is always nice to see a familiar face at the finish. But the best part of my race was waiting a half an hour to see Dylan finish (okay partly because I beat him… after he beat me by half an hour in his first 1/2 Ironman!), but mostly because of how heart warming it was to see him finish. I’ve done a lot of endurance races and sometimes I forget what it’s like to do that first one. He came across the finish sobbing. I was a bit scared at first, but then realized he was just that emotional. If you haven’t done a race as hard as this, and most people haven’t, it is hard to adequately express how much the physical exertion effects you emotionally. Strips you to the core. Congrats Dylan… you are an IRONMAN!
Congrats to all my LOST buddies, you are all IRONMEN! (yes, Joanne, that includes you! The previous 4 still count… they can’t take that away from you!).
Also thanks to all the LOST supporters too… it was really nice to see your smilin’ faces out there!… Celine, Angela, Jazlyn, Ethan, Mark, Matthew, Georgie, Joe (great hat!) and Rick… well, maybe not Rick… but everyone else! ;-p
Another great adventure.
So as Darren, David and Al were saying the next morning… “what’s next?!”
… oh, and here are the results… for those that are into stuff like that! haha!
Hi from lovely Lake Placid! Just laying on the bed relaxing the afternoon away… before the Ironman tomorrow!
The weather has been hit and miss… sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy… and that’s every half hour! We have no idea what it will be like tomorrow… but I think we would all prefer to not have the rain! Especially since this is one of the toughest bike courses of all Ironman! Yikes.
Actually this was my first Ironman… 12 years ago in 2003! Peter, Alex, Deanna and I all did it. And that was back before any of us had ever even heard of anyone ever doing an Ironman, let alone met someone that had done one! Amazing how things have changed. But the one thing that doesn’t change, even if Ironman triathlons become popular… how hard they are… and they are all hard.
One thing that has changed though, is that when I did my first Ironman 12 years ago, my son (Dylan) was 12 years old… now he’s twice that old… and will be racing me! Also, 12 years ago, my wife (Joanne) was dragging around a 5, 8 and 12 year old in the pouring rain to watch daddy struggle to a 13:39 Ironman. This time she will be completing her 5th Ironman! And I will be trying not to get “chick’d”!
Thanks for all the good wishes. Should be “fun” (?!)
164 Eileen Luxton
1249 Joanne Kent
1266 Lambrina Nikolaou
1275 Julia Rutledge
1356 Dylan Kent
2016 Ron Marek
2347 Darren Osborne
2456 Allan Wiggins
2477 David Brezer
2563 Rob Kent
2663 Roger Storer
673 Bret Titus
2770 Alan Swankie
Okay, for those of you that haven’t registered yet, here are the need-to-know facts:
See all the details and pics under the LOST Race tab!
See you all there!!!
For more info and lots of cool pics, see the LOST Race tab or click here!
Krista Ten Brinke completed this summer’s first Lake crossing on Lake Erie!
Krista is a regular young lady who had grown up around and in water her entire life. She was a lifeguard and a Waterfront Director for Camp Crossroads. She has been thinking about crossing a Great Lake for a long time. This past year was the perfect time to finally make an attempt.
She joined 2 Masters programs in Niagara and then found Christine Arsenault who walked her through a training plan and stroke correction for endurance swimmers. Christine knows a thing or two about marathon swimming. You may recall that Christine swam Lake O a few years ago… and then her daughter, Trinity, also completed the same task! Amazing mother and daughter combination!
Krista is 23 and a teacher in St. Catharines. She is incredibly thankful for the Great Lakes Crossing Organization (GLCO) for making this opportunity available for her and sanctioning the swim! GLCO is a part of LOST Swimming and Miguel Vadillo was her swim-master and he worked with Christine to put together a swim plan that kept her safe and accounted for any possible issues that may have come up. It involved a 3:30 AM wake up call on the day of my swim, but to avoid any challenging weather, this was the best time to get started.
Krista left Sturgeon Point, NY at 6:00 AM and landed in Crystal Beach, Fort Erie at 12:52 PM. The first 3 hours were a bit tough because waves were between 1 and two feet. Although they were predominantly from the south, she had to work hard to hold her stroke. The wind and the waves diminished by 10 am and she had a very pleasant swim the rest of the day. Finishing her 19.2 km swim and becoming the 21st person to cross Lake Erie!
A big congrats from all the LOSTies! Way to go Krista!
So I had tried to get tickets to Open Water Swimming at the Pan Am Games… but they were sold out?! Kinda sucked. I especially wanted to see Canadian, Richard Weinberger swim. He was the defending Pan Am Games champ and bronze medalist at the last Olympics!
David, Al, Mike, Ron, Joanne, Dylan and I went out for a 100k ride in the morning. David did a good sales job on me, he said he went with his daughter to see rugby and it was great. Just a really cool experience. “Doesn’t matter what you see, but you really should do yourself a favor and make the effort and go see SOMETHING”. So I thought I’d check the computer to see if they had released more tickets. It was 2:00 and the race started at 3:30, so it seemed unlikely. They hadn’t. But Joanne walked by the computer a couple minutes later and they just released a bunch! So we did something I love doing… we were spontaneous! We bought them online, jumped in the car and flew downtown (and yes, traffic was fine! And no, I was not like Rob Ford and went in the carpool lane!… we had to take 2 cars). In no time we were at the CNE wandering through the grounds of the Pan Am Games. As I said at the time “I know I’m probably biased because love this kind of thing, and I love open water swimming, but this whole thing is pretty exciting”. The place was packed. And the excitement was palpable. Cool.
As for the race. It was great.
So it is 10k (or 6 miles)… so they did 6 x 1 mile loops. Which means the course was a half mile long. Which means you could see virtually the whole race.
As I think is the case with a lot of events, there are some of the best in the world, but the depth isn’t the same as the Olympics. But still the top guys were really freakin’ fast. The first mile was just over 19 minutes. Fast. The second was faster, 18 minutes and change. And guess what, like any really good endurance athlete, these guys know how to pace themselves. The next 2 laps were within seconds of the previous lap. And yes, they negative split the whole race.
I believe there was 18 swimmers in the race. And like any endurance race it’s all about pacing… and then pushing the pace and seeing who can hang on… and then, because drafting is so important, it comes down to who has any gas left in the final pack that was able to hang on! Oh, and with regards to drafting, Richard pulled the whole last 3 miles… but hindsight is always 20/20. Lots of strategy in this race! Not only is this race probably the hardest swimming race out there… it is also a “thinking man’s race”!
Well, the race didn’t disappoint. Kevin McKinnon and Barrie Shepley did an awesome job commentating, which only added to the excitement. First they were a pack. Then the perfect “V”, like a flock of birds. Then single file. Then a shorter single file as guys got dropped. Then the final sprint was Canadian Richard Weinberger, 2 great Americans and a Brazilian. Well, you win some and you lose some… Richard got squeezed out for 4th.
I saw his interview after and he said he wasn’t fully tapered as he also has Aquatic World Championships in 2 weeks… but that “he could take those guys”. I like it. It might sound a little cocky, but I like guys that talk big… and then live up to it. And he has. I’m not the biggest fan of the overly polite stereo typical Canadian type… I guess I still miss guys like Victor Davis. I like a guy who isn’t afraid to put it all out there and not apologize for it. I like unabashed competitors. Guys who hate to lose. Really hate to lose. I’ll cheer for guys like that ’til the cows come home. Go get ’em at Worlds, Richard. The LOSTies will be pulling for you!