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Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005 - Swim


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Annapolis, MD
United States
http://www.bayswim.com/
90F / 32C
Sunny
Total Time = 2h 04m 58s
Overall Rank = 215/621
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 34/75
Pre-race routine:

Arrive at the Marina at 8 am and catch shuttle bus back to starting area. This gives 2 opportunities to cross the Bay Bridge and contemplate the swim you are about to attempt. The water looked fairly smooth and calm and no whitecaps were visible. At packet pickup I bought a new pair of goggles and decided to break the cardinal rule of racing and try a brand new piece of equipment for the first time on race day (luckily all went well and the goggles performed 'swimmingly'!). Drank 500 ml water and 500 ml gatorade between 8 and 10 am and was fully hydrated and ready to go (quite literally, in more ways than one).
Event warmup:

A few minutes light swimming just to feel the water temperature and test the brand new goggles out. Hmmm. They SEEM to work okay. What the heck, I'll swim with them.
Swim
  • 2h 04m 58s
  • 7744 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards
Comments:

Starting strategy this year was to line up far right and try to hold the shortest possible line to get in under the Bay Bridge spans. This worked well and I got out ahead of most of my wave before getting between the spans. Once between the bridges I held close to the souther (eastbound) bridge to counter the flood tide that was attempting to push us northward. For me the tide never seemed to get very strong so I had very little need to continually correct my vector to stay in bounds. After the 1 mile marker the waves and chop got a little intense, coming straight at us and slapping us around a bit. Once we passed through the initial curve in the bridge, the waves came at more of an angle and had less of an effect. I kept waiting to get sea sick (last year it got pretty bad) but thankfully it never came. I hit mile 2 feeling absolutely wonderful. At this point last year I was struggling to continue, but now I felt great. I stopped at the food boat and drank a cup of water and ate a piece of bananna and set right off. Mile 3 came up quickly and I still felt good, but needed some refueling, so I ate a GU gel pack and drank a cup of water from the second food boat. Energized and ready to go I started mile 4 and found I was revitalized. I played a drafting game with the swimmers passing me from the later wave, trying to hang on to each one that passed me long as possible. Kind of reminded me of the old Frogger video game. This occupied me so much that before I knew it I had passed mile 4 and was out from under the bridges and only had about 500 meters to go. I had enough in me for a full sprint and finished strong, holding off a few yellow caps who were trying to pass me. When I crossed the finish line I saw the clock read 2:05, 15 minutes faster than last year. Very cool.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Except more training couldn't hurt.
Post race
Warm down:

Food and a change of clothes. 500 ml Endurox R4 for recovery. Bought 2 t-shirts from last year's swim, hung out with my parents, and stopped at Starbuck's on the way home still feeling good. What a great swim.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training training training. Always can use more training. Specifically long set interval work (e.g. 10 x 300s or 400s at 75% effort).

Event comments:

This race takes over 700 volunteers to enable only 600 swimmers to complete the event safely. It is incredibly well run and is a unique event unlike no other. You MUST try this race at least once in your life, just make sure you sign up AFTER me so I don't get closed out of it. :-)




Last updated: 2005-05-03 12:00 AM
Swimming
02:04:58 | 7744 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 34/75
Overall: 215/621
Performance: Good
Only split I took was from Mile 2 to Mile 3 (25:26). Otherwise I just kept forgetting to hit the split marker on my watch.
Suit: XTerra Vortex Sleeveless
Course: A 4.4 mile open water swim across the Chesapeake Bay. Starts on the western shore at Sandy Point State Park (near Annapolis, MD) and crosses over to Kent Island. The 'Swim Lane' is the north and south spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, about 100 yards apart. During the swim you must stay between the bridges. If you let the current push you out of the swim lane, you are disqualified, pulled from the water, and taken to the DNF pier. The conditions: The Chesapeake is strongly tidal with daily ebb (north to south) and flood (south to north) tidal cycles. Depending on wind speed and direction it can get fairly rough with lots of chop and rolling waves. Every year is different, depending on meteorological and oceanographic conditions. The starting time of the swim is determined by figuring out the point of 'slack' tide, the time between a flood and ebb tide, and starting the race about 45 minutes to an hour before the expected slack tide. This hopefully means that most swimmers hit mid-bay just as the slack tide is peaked, and thus the tidal influence is at its lowest point for the day.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2005-06-13 10:57 PM

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Expert
803
500100100100
MD
Subject: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005


2005-06-14 5:28 AM
in reply to: #174370

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Champion
19812
50005000500020002000500100100100
MA
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Wow...what a race....you did great!! You improved 15 minutes in a year...I think your swimming practiced paid off.

Keep up the good work...you're swimming will be a big plus in your Tris this year!
2005-06-14 8:19 AM
in reply to: #174370

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Extreme Veteran
562
5002525
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Great job! Almost double the Ironman distance..I have no idea what it would take to swim that far. I'm going to look up your logs and see what a typical swim workout looks like!
2005-06-14 8:46 AM
in reply to: #174370

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Extreme Veteran
404
100100100100
Chicago, Il
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Impressive swim, man! Not only distance but pace. Great job!
2005-06-14 8:57 AM
in reply to: #174370

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Veteran
540
50025
Philadelphia, PA
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Great Race Eric ....one of these years I got to get down to watch it ....and maybe someday do the 1 mile swim but the 4.4 is NUTS
2005-06-14 10:44 AM
in reply to: #174370

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Veteran
147
10025
Pittsburgh, PA
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Great time man....that swim seems crazy. I think you just set a lifetime goal for me.....awesome work.


2005-06-14 11:41 AM
in reply to: #174370

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Master
2233
200010010025
Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Awesome pace for that distance Eric! Woohoo - 15 minutes down from last year too! Killer job.

-Frank
2005-06-14 12:07 PM
in reply to: #174370

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Master
2345
200010010010025
Ellsworth, WI
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Wow, 4.4 miles! Amazing! Great job!
2005-06-14 2:40 PM
in reply to: #174370

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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005

Great report!! Some day I'd like to do this swim (and have it feel as easy as you make it sound! )

Chris

2005-06-14 8:06 PM
in reply to: #174370

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Extreme Veteran
439
10010010010025
Germantown, MD
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Great job man. Just doing the 1 mile swim I couldn't imagine swimming over four times that distance in the chop.

Not sure if I'm up for the 4.4 swim yet. Probably give it another couple of years, 1 mile is pretty darn close to my OW limit.
2005-06-14 9:13 PM
in reply to: #174804

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Expert
803
500100100100
MD
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005

Thanks for the kind words.

It's not always so easy. Read my race report from last year...

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...

I'm not sure why it felt so easy (well, it felt easiER, not easy) this year. I think mentally I knew I had done it before, so the 'first timer' syndrome was no longer present. And for some reason I did not get seasick, that made a huge difference. Plus another year of training and conditioning under my belt didn't hurt.


2005-06-15 7:10 PM
in reply to: #174370

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Regular
92
252525
Washington, DC
Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim 2005
Awesome job!  Congratulations!  Are you in for next year? 
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