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Waikiki Rough Water Swim - Swim

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Honolulu, Hawaii
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 28m 30s
Overall Rank = 414/920
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 12/32
Pre-race routine:

Got dropped off at the race start. Body marked and sat around for about an hour just mingling with friends. I thought the race started at 8, but it was 8:30 and I ate the last of my shot bloks at 7:40 thinking so. So whole nutrition plan went down the tubes. Kidding.

I was just here to swim, so no real butterflies or anything. Just wanted to get a feel for what a 2.4 mile ocean swim might take out of me at a moderate pace in prep for Kona.
Event warmup:

Some arm swings.
  • 1h 28m 30s
  • 4198 yards
  • 02m 07s / 100 yards

I was in the B wave, which I probably shouldn't have been in. A wave were elites. Gun goes off and I just walk into the water and dive in when there's some room. The wind sock and first buoy were easy to sight, but I was told that if you could find a pipe running on the bottom you could follow it straight out to the first buoy without sighting. Just by dumb luck, I found it in the first 150 meters and better yet there was a guy in front of me swimming a perfect pace. Everyone else went out wide to the left. So off to a great start. Perfect line, minimal contact, and a draft.

Got to the first buoy and it wasn't congested, but enough so that I lost my feet. Latched onto a lady's feet and she was swimming a good pace and a good line. Saw three dolphins swim about 10 feet below us. That was cool, but other than that there really wasn't much to see. Water was clear, but it was pretty much just sand and rocks about 40 feet deep and a few small fish here and there.

It wasn't "rough", but there was no mistaking we were in the open ocean. There would be times where 2 strokes would not get you anywhere, then you get a swell and you move 6-7 yards on your next 2 strokes. The swells got bigger as the swim went on.

I peeked at my watch to see 38 minutes and 1.11 miles. Hmmm...not as quick as I was hoping, but certainly not a "epic" day that I have been told about where 1:15 swimmers suddenly swim 2:15 because of the current. I was hoping to be in the 1:20 range and that wasn't looking too good at the time. But I was comfortable.

Shortly thereafter, after I tapped the lady's feet in front of me for maybe the 15th time in 15 minutes, she finally had enough, stopped swimming and turned around. Ok...whatever. I just kept swimming. "Sorry" I guess. Found another lady's feet, and after 10 minutes she had the same reaction. Kind of caught me off guard, but I just kept swimming. So I was pretty much on my own now and I kind of enjoyed it.

The last turn buoy seemed to take forever to come up. As the swells got bigger it became harder and harder to sight as you had to time it when you were at the top of the swell. Currents weren't that bad though as far as pushing you off line.

Found another guys feet. He wasn't kicking much at all so it was much easier to see his feet so I wouldn't touch them. He was a pretty big guy and gawd forbid he freak out like the previous two ladies. Followed him to the turn buoy and pretty much just swam on my own on the way in.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Maybe not piss off a couple ladies. Finishing times were slow. Winners were in the mid 48 range where the course record is in the low 42's. 47 swimmers broke 1 hour where in fast years as many as 162 swimmers broke an hour. Comparing myself to other swimmers I know, I finished right around where I expected.

My 910xt recorded 2.6 miles, and judging by the path I swam on Garmin Connect, I was going fairly straight.

So considering a 2.6 mile swim, I was just under 2:00 per 100y. Not great, but not bad either considering it's point to point swim with current, swell, and waves.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Current I suppose? I have nothing to compare against and for this year the conditions can vary greatly.

Last updated: 2013-06-22 12:00 AM
01:28:30 | 4198 yards | 02m 07s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/32
Overall: 414/920
Performance: Good
2.385 mile swim
Course: 2.385 mile swim from Kaimanas out towards the wind sock and maybe 300m further, then right turn swimming parallel to shore before turning in towards the Hilton.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-09-02 8:04 PM

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Subject: Waikiki Rough Water Swim

2013-09-02 8:28 PM
in reply to: #4845017

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
not a bad day's work in the water.  Nice job
2013-09-02 8:42 PM
in reply to: bzgl40

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
Excellent prep day for Kona.  Nicely done. ( I think I would have to stop to watch the dolphins though.)
2013-09-02 8:49 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
Cool race Jason, and it seems like a brilliant thing to do for your Kona prep.  Strong training day :)
2013-09-02 9:06 PM
in reply to: #4845017

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Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
Any OWS race with "rough" in the name just sounds bad azz. Sounds like you could have used some faster feet or slowed down to watch the dolphins. Nice job!
2013-09-03 5:40 AM
in reply to: kcarroll

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.

2013-09-03 8:11 AM
in reply to: #4845017

Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
Nice swim, Jason -- perfect prep for Kona!  I guess swimmers don't appreciate having their feet tickled as much as triathletes do, huh?
2013-09-03 8:56 AM
in reply to: #4845017

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
Nice going Jason!
2013-09-03 9:48 AM
in reply to: Fred D

Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim

Originally posted by Fred D Nice job. Stop touching those poor ladies feet! ;-)

Yeah, what Fred said.

Sounds like great prep for Kona.

2013-09-03 11:11 AM
in reply to: cdban66

Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim

Excellent way to know what to expect at the start of Kona, as has been said, and a very nice swim!

You'd think they'd make the official distance just 15/1,000 of a mile longer though and give everyone a 2.4 mile route.  Wink

I guess with the waves and current, though, you get more than that anyway!

Nice effort out there.  Sounds like a great venue for a training swim, too (love swimming with dolphins, if always a bit freaky to me).


2013-09-03 12:23 PM
in reply to: #4845017

San Luis Obispo, CA
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim

Nice job on the swim Jason!  

One thing to be aware of in Kona is the current.  Last year I swam the course the two days before the race and there was a significant head current coming back into the harbor.  There was also a good amount of surge near the pier.  The water is so clear that you can see your position relative to the coral on the bottom.  Don't get discouraged if you're looking down at the same rock for a couple strokes.  

You'll be ready!

2013-09-04 6:23 PM
in reply to: #4845017

Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
good swim dude!
2017-07-31 11:46 PM
in reply to: #4845017


Subject: RE: Waikiki Rough Water Swim
What year's race is this latest post regarding, please? Good write up. Have swam WRR several times and it's always great and different. Highly recommended race for experienced open water swimmers; don't have to be elite; just comfortable in ocean. Swim is further off shore than most ows.
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