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Across the Lake Swim - Swim


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Kelowna, British Columbia
Canada
Fres Aie Experience
22C / 72F
Overcast
Total Time = 1h 14m 13s
Overall Rank = 264/904
Age Group = M60-69
Age Group Rank = 19/56
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:30am and had a quick breakfast then drive an hour to Kelowna. Got a great parking spot and found a couple people from Penticton that I swim with.
Event warmup:

No real warm-up. We were told the water temp was 21C/70F but when we stepped in it was considerably colder. Many of the swimmers were going in without wetsuits.

Swim
  • 1h 14m 13s
  • 2100 meters
  • 03m 32s / 100 meters
Comments:

We were boarded onto buses and driven over to the opposite side of the lake where we grouped into our waves and waited for the start. Just before 8:00am they started walking us to the water entry area in our groups and as the group ahead of us started we swam to the start line (worked out to be a decent warm-up) and waited our turn. Each wave took off at 2 minute intervals.

I found myself near the front of our 100 swimmer wave at the start and got a really good start. I felt like I was moving quite well and soon thought I'd be done fairly quickly. As I was swimming I was thinking there isn't too much to write a race report about.

The lake was quite calm at the start and I seemed to be sighting well aiming for a notch in the mountain behind our finish line. As I got further out into the middle of the lake the waves and chop really picked up and my sighting really got difficult. I couldn't seem to make progress toward the finish and one minute I was swimming hard to the left in the wrong direction or suddenly I was swimming way off to the right towards the bridge.

I just kept swimming and for a long time I felt like I was in the middle of the lake alone. Over 900 swimmers and I didn't see anyone in the water anywhere near to me. No kayakers or other volunteers either. I wasn't passing anyone nor was I being passed by anyone.

By now I could see the finish line on the far lakeshore but I didn't seem to be making much progress. My swimming still seemed off and I was having real trouble maintaining a straight line. The waves were pretty rough and I was looking forward to reaching the lee of the far shore so it would calm down.

About halfway across I started thinking I was taking a lot of time and getting nowhere while my friend must have passed me and be somewhere ahead of me so I decided to push harder and I picked up my stroke rate and worked harder. I kept on like this right to the finish line.

As I reached a point that I guessed to be 650 to 750m to the finish I started seeing other swimmers and I started trying to catch up, pass them or stay ahead of them.

My sighting still seemed awkward so I increased my rate of sighting and I did finally seem to be making progress toward the finish. It still seemed slow progress but gradually the distance shrank until I was seeing the bottom of the lake and I was racing several people to be the first of our little race to the finish.

I swam until my hand touched the bottom then I stood up and walked/ran out of the water and heard them announce my finish.

After they got my chip I hit the food tent and had some chocolate milk, apple juice and cookies. I wanted to eat some real food and change out of my wetsuit but I was waiting to see my friends finish.

As I was at the shoreline watching for my friends the announcer said there was a considerable current and it was picking up and blowing the swimmers all over the lake.

Over the next two hours people were trickling in and there was no sign of my friends. The time limit for the swim was 90 minutes but at 2 hours there were still over 200 swimmers well out from the finish and many were struggling.

My time for the swim was 1:14:13 which was a lot slower than I had expected but in retrospect it was a good time for today. The 2013 average time for the race was :46:31 and this year it was 1:29:18. Over 200 people were pulled out of the water (including my friend who found he was just swimming in place and not moving forward) and the last finishers were just over 3 hours (3:05) for a 2100m swim.

At 3hours an older fellow swam to within 25m of the finish and stopped swimming in only 3 feet of water and couldn't move so I waded out to him and a volunteer also came out and we hooked his elbows and lifted him up and helped him across the finish line. His legs had suddenly cramped up and he couldn't finish that last little bit.
What would you do differently?:

For me it was a pretty good day. If I had been further back in my wave I might have been caught by the current and I might also not have finished.
Post race
Warm down:

Chocolate milk and cookies. Later I had a plate of pancakes which went down quite nicely. I did meet a few of the people I had chatted with before the race including a woman with only one leg who actually managed to finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The strong current and rough conditions slowed me down but I feel I coped fairly well.

The race was really well run and this was it's 65th year.

Event comments:

I would do this one again.




Last updated: 2014-07-19 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:14:13 | 2100 meters | 03m 32s / 100meters
Age Group: 19/56
Overall: 264/904
Performance: Good
Suit:
Course: From the west side of Okanagan Lake to the east side.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 21C / 70F Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding:
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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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2014-07-20 12:18 AM

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Extreme Veteran
1704
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Penticton, BC
Subject: Across the Lake Swim


2014-07-20 3:58 AM
in reply to: #5028011

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Member
451
1001001001002525
Gold Coast, Australia
Subject: RE: Across the Lake Swim

Sounds like a pretty tough swim! Open water can be so deceptive.

2014-07-20 1:52 PM
in reply to: Taringa

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Master
2484
2000100100100100252525
St. Louis
Subject: RE: Across the Lake Swim
Awesome swim in really tough conditions. Congrats!
2014-07-21 8:17 AM
in reply to: #5028011

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1232
100010010025
Baltimore, Maryland
Subject: RE: Across the Lake Swim
Wow, great race report. Glad you got finished before the current really picked up!
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