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Tiki Swim - 2.4 Mile - SwimOther

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Oceanside, California
United States
A Dolphin Safe Event, LLC.
65F / 18C
Total Time = 1h 27m 28s
Overall Rank = 83/127
Age Group = M50-59
Age Group Rank = 9/14
Pre-race routine:

The usual for a SoCal race, I woke up early, ate cookies and drank mochas. I drove the 2 hours to O'side and got checked in. They had a good, simple system of numbering a bag you could check your junk in to meet you at the finish.
Event warmup:

I did get wet and check the water. There was clearly a current from South to North toward the pier. I got in to the left of the big surf and the surfers, but after a couple of 50s, I was in the larger surf, close to the pier.

You know how everyone looks badass in transition before a tri? You should have seen this gang of real swimmers!
  • 1h 27m 28s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards

I survived my very first 2.4 mile open water race. Total fun!!! The time was a little slow, but the swim was a blast.

This was my very first ows with full SoCal surf. Avila Beach where I ows is South facing and the surf doesn't go on forever like Oceanside. I've done tris in Oxnard, Laguna, and Encinitas where the surf is much easier to dive under and get past. At O'side, it took a few hundred yards, and it wasn't all that easy to duck since the sand was too deep to stand on but is a shallow slope that creates surf.

The most excitement was that the current blew the field apart on the way to the first buoy at the end of the pier. Most people didn't warm up, and most people misjudged the current. It didn't feel like a group swim until everybody got together after that first buoy. In a tri, there's usually a "washing machine" of people at the start, but this time, we didn't find each other for a while.

And that buoy! The optical illusion from it being extra big made it seem like it never got closer, like it was being pulled away by a motor boat. That and the surf made the first leg slow and tons of work. Although I'm comfortable in the Pacific, I didn't calm down and find my stroke until after that first buoy. This surf was an excellent learning experience, and will be a lot easier next time.

The long leg to the mouth of the harbor was just fine. It was easy to maintain the right line, and easy enough to sight. It's nice that I reliably maintain my direction. With the swell keeping the buoys and the swimmers from having direct sight most of the time, it took about four "looks" to see the next buoy. This was more of a challenge than usual, but I kept to my path and eventually got good looks at the buoys and the swimmers ahead.

I did get to draft some. About half way through, I was with people who were a little stronger than I am, but every time, after a couple of hundred yards, they'd lose their confidence and slow down to look for the next buoy. I'd pass them and look for another swimmer to draft. I might have been able to get a good draft 1/4 of the time.

The last half mile in Oceanside Harbor felt super fast and short. I had enough power to have a strong stroke all the way to the end. I'd pick targets and chase them down unless I lost track of them. It was nice practice for next Spring's 70.3, and nice to know that I'm a better swimmer than last time. Heck, it's a huge step to have done 2.4, thinking about my very first tri in Mission Bay 2 1/2 years ago when I thought 500 yards might have drown me!
What would you do differently?:

The surf was a great learning experience, and I'll be more confident and faster next time.
Post race
Event comments:

This is a great even especially since it's only a year old.


Last updated: 2012-09-25 12:00 AM
01:27:28 | 4224 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/127
Performance: Good
Suit: 19
Course: From the South, off the beach, around the pier, in to the harbor and all the way down to the boat ramp.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
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] 4

2012-10-01 5:58 PM

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Palm Springs, California
Subject: Tiki Swim - 2.4 Mile
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