Saturday, July 25, 2009
Peaks to Portland Race Report 2009
244 swimmers. Water temp 60 degrees (according to the NOAA buoy). Air temp 64. Tide dead low at race start.
It all seemed to go so fast. Literally.
With all the extra people it seemed more chaotic, but the Y people did a pretty good job handling the logistics. As it was low tide there was no current to pull or push us. Thus we all knew the times would be slower.
Mike, awesome kayaker, had it all figured out though. I did not need to worry. He talked about "cheating" this buoy, cutting this line and all other kinds of marine talk I didn't understand. I told him "I'll just follow you". But it was crazy right from the start! Not at all like last year
First of all there was no warning for the start. Just all of a sudden a horn to go! Luckily I had my goggles on. Not even 5 seconds into the race a woman next to me reached over and pushed my head under! Unbelieveable. Then after I gave her a shove back I found myself arm and arm, nice and cozy with another woman. It took me about 10 strokes to realize who was next to me.... (the amazing Cheryl)... and I just took it down a notch. Definitely no sense in burning myself out this early.
The whole rest of the race, right up to the finish I was neck and neck with various swimmers and kayaks. No breathing room. A few times kayaks tried to cut me off, and in one instance did. I had to yell "Excuse me" to one kayaker who didn't understand this was a swimming race.
It finally cleared out a bit at the end for me, probably because I laid on a bit of my good old sprinting mojo. Honestly I was pooped though. About 300 yards from the beach I got a massive leg cramp, just like last year, but heck I was too close to care. I could taste that murky low tide scum drifting up from the bottom. Oh yummy East End Beach.
I stood up a bit too early and tried to run and then realizing it was too shallow to swim but yet too deep to really run. I dove back down and tried to swim. However, I still managed to edge out unknown 2 women with my last minute sprint.
In the end I finished:
31st OA / 244
5th woman OA -- stinks but 30-39 is a stacked AG
This is 2 minutes slower than last year but I moved up in the rankings so I am pleased, especially given the increase in the field by more than 100 swimmers.
Congrats to all my Lighthouse Masters Teammates who also completed the swim, some for the first time!
Working out with them is what makes this all so fun.
Special congrats to Kathy (1st AG), Jim (1st AG), Deb (3rd AG) and Roxy (1st AG).
More pictures to follow. Thanks to Mike for these great photos from his iPhone.