This morning I made may way out to Lake Millerton at the top of a dam in Friant, CA just outside of Fresno. I was honestly surprised at how pretty the race location was. The lake itself was excellent! 72 degree water with decent visibility, for a lake anyways. No weeds or any junk like that to swim through. From what I’ve heard there were upwards of 200 swimmers out there today, I’m still waiting to see some official results posted though.
After a race briefing explaining the course and procedures for starts and emergencies, I hopped in the lake and swam a real short loop just to get wet and used to the water. I was in the first wave of swimmers so I didn’t have much time to get acclimated. I wore my B70 for this race and it felt a lot better than it did during my 100 fly. Oddly it didn’t feel that buoyant in open water.
Since I’m still kind of new at open water I held back a little in the start so that I could swim my own race without getting punched in the head. Plus a lot of guys fizzled out between the start and the half way point so I overtook a few of them by just swimming strong and steady. I kept a much straighter line than I would have thought I was capable of. They had these giant yellow buoys that kept me on track. Midway through the swim I did have a minor accident with another swimmer. One dude was apparently way off course and managed to t-bone me! Neither of us was hurt, but it was a bit of a surprise. At about 3/4 of the way to the finish I was caught by a few guys in green caps. The green caps were the wave behind me of guys 45 and older. The 45+ group had some ridiculously fast guys in it.
I hit the finish at about 24 minutes which made me 4th in my age group. I don’t know where that puts me overall though, I’ll find out later when they post overall results. I’m happy with my swim. My first open water swim was 1.25 miles and it took me like 40 minutes so this is a huge improvement.
Lake Millerton race course
Waiting for the race to get going
Finally hitting the finish line
finishing on crutches? that’s hard core dude!
Ahelee at the finish line
All the swimmers in my age group
My coach from Conejo Simi Masters was there to watch me and she got to be my official photographer for the day. So most of my pictures were taken by Nancy. She also caught a picture of a super close finish that turned into a minor controversy. Two guys in the same age group hit the finish very close together. Even though one was ahead, his first step on the pad (we had chip timing) was with the foot that didn’t have the chip. The guy right on his tail stepped on the pad with his chipped foot first. Originally the guy that was behind was recorded as .2 seconds ahead, but after reviewing the photo the officials decided to make it a tie. You can see the picture that changed the race down below.
Photo finish… this picture changed the results of the race!
This swim was so much fun for me! I can’t wait to do some more open water events this summer!