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Great Chesapeake Bay Swim - Swim

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Annapolis, Maryland
United States
90F / 32C
Total Time = 2h 32m 34s
Overall Rank = 390/602
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 49/74
Pre-race routine:

Bowl of oatmeal at the hotel, and met a few past finishers who offered insight of the course. Met and talked to some other finishers on the bus ride to the starting line. Everyone was incredibly friendly -- as usual -- and I got some great tips.
Event warmup:

I don't warm-up for long distance events. I'll have plenty of time out on the course to get the muscles going. I arrived early, had a seat on the beach looking out at the bridges, and just enjoyed the morning.
  • 2h 32m 24s
  • 7744 yards
  • 01m 58s / 100 yards

I got stuck in the current at Mile 2, and stayed in it throughout the rest of the course. Essentially, every time I drifted near the north bridge, I'd turn into the current, get into the middle of the lane, and straighten out. That was my mistake, as I'd then drift back. Once I realized that the current wasn't going to let up, I essentially positioned myself as if I was swimming between the 1 and 2 of a clock face, and just focused on the southern bridge.

I met one of my early morning advisors after the race, who said he had the same experience. And that he adopted the same plan. And he confirmed that his time was about 15 minutes slower than it was last year. That statement made me feel better about my mile 2 split, which was about 15 minutes off my first mile.

The view up, looking at the bridges, or ahead and behind me, was incredible. I love the fact that I'm seeing sights that not many people have ever seen.

Just past Mile 2, I ran into the food boat. Literally. I saw it when I sighted, and noted how far to the right I was of it, and kept swimming. Suddenly, I found myself swimming onto the anchor line. I looked up and there was the boat, looming over my head. "Vanilla wafer, or a cracker?", asked the smiling attendant. Had I not caught the rope, I would have hit it head first.

What would you do differently?:

Adjust for the current early, and stay in that position. And contemplate going without a wetsuit.
Post race
Warm down:

Out of the water, and I felt beat. Totally worn, and a little light-headed. Took a sip of water, and when it just reacted with my stomach, I realized I was too dehydrated. Peeled the wetuit completely off, cooled down in the shower by the fire trucks, and felt much better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The current. I've swam longer distances in a pool, but there just is no substitute for the real experience.

Event comments:

For me, it was a life experience race. I'd love to do it again. As of now, when I look at a map and see the Chesapeake, I know I've swam across it.

Last updated: 2007-12-17 12:00 AM
02:32:24 | 7744 yards | 01m 58s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/74
Overall: 0/602
Performance: Good
Mile 1: 26:27.11 Mile 2: 42:23.14 -- I got caught in the current Mile 3: 30:25.25 Mile 4: 35:21.86 Finish: 17:47.11
Suit: Full
Course: Between the Bay Bridges from the western shore at Sandy Point Beach to the eastern shore at the marina on Kent Island.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-06-09 5:55 AM

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, District of Columbia
Subject: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

2008-06-09 6:10 AM
in reply to: #1453253

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Subject: RE: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim
Awesome race!! i finished just a bit after you, and I had the same problem with the current- I was swimming diagonally most of the race. Nice job!!
2008-06-09 6:44 AM
in reply to: #1453253

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Subject: RE: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim
Great job with the race.. Good thing you were smart enough to figure out the current.. I don't think I ever did.

Hope to see you out there next year!

2008-06-09 4:08 PM
in reply to: #1453253

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Subject: RE: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim
Great job!

I get what you're saying about the sights.

I always tell people to stop swimming somewhere around 2 miles and look around at least once during this race. To be 2 miles from either shore, looking up at the high span of the bridge, in 2 foot high swells - it's such an awesome experience and so few people can say they've been there.
2008-06-12 3:38 PM
in reply to: #1453253

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Owings, MD
Subject: RE: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

Great race!  Check off that swim on your lifetime list of things to do. 


2008-06-19 1:59 PM
in reply to: #1453253

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Extreme Veteran
West Chicago
Subject: RE: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim
way cool ....and an inspiration to an ows wannabe

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