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Tiki Swim 6 - 2.4 mile - Swim


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Oceanside, California
United States
65F / 18C
Sunny
Total Time = 1h 37m 36s
Overall Rank = 69/130
Age Group = M50-59
Age Group Rank = 18/32
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4, rolling at 4:30. A mocha in the car with Lauri. Fig bars after check in.
Event warmup:

A quick short swim though the breakers to see the conditions.
Swim
  • 1h 37m 36s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 32s / 100 meters
Comments:

The beach was beat up from a recent storm, and the entry was rocky. The current toward the pier was stronger than usual, and the surf was running in sets from almost flat to about 6'.

I got wet just before the gun and saw that the entry was tougher than usual, so at the gun, I took it slow getting into the surf. This created a problem ;) The starter tried to time the start between big sets, and when we went in, the waves were okay, even though they were breaking in shallow water with a rocky bottom. I got through that okay. Then a set of rogue wave came from nowhere. The first one sent me tumbling, under for a long time. When I came up, I was looking at a wall ready to break and had to place faith in diving under and dolphin kicking until it was past. I remembered as a kid in SoCal that big raves run in sets of three. Wave three was big, and so were a couple more.

Talking with spectators after the swim who were there for their super star kids, what they saw was that the lead swimmers were okay, and that everyone else got nailed as that big rogue set washed them back to the beach, and a few more sets made everyone work to get away from the beach. The spectators said a few dozen people quit when they got nailed. The conditions were way too much for rookie open water swimmers.

That first rogue wave was more than I've seen in years of ocean swimming. When I finally got out of it, only to see another wall crashing at me, I wasn't really swimming, but trying to catch my breath. My buddy Lauri described the same thing, that the waves were so tough, she couldn't catch her breath - we didn't know if we could make it, but we both did.

The waves stopped breaking two or three hundred yards off shore, and the rest of the swim was merely challenging, with just a little chop, and swells that made it hard to see the buoys.

The swim felt good, and I knew I was a lot faster than ever. I kept hoping to draft, but I guess I needed a faster start to be with swimmers to draft - I kept passing everyone I tried to draft, so I probably needed more adrenaline at the gun to be with faster swimmers.

Most of the swim was like previous years. It was a little long at 2.55-2.6 miles depending on the Garmin, but it was slow.

My only real goal was to be faster than in Tiki Swim 4 when I was 70% back at 1:31. Since this time I was 53% back at 1:37, the race was a lot slower than my last one. But I crushed my goal of finishing better in the field!

The one trick I planned, mostly for fun, was to do the fly at the finish. My coach in Palm Springs who started me on the butterfly goes to this race, and said three people did the fly at the finish last year. I knew he was on deck at the finish this time, and I did the butterfly up to the turn and up the boat ramp for the final 50 yards. I did a few strokes of fly at Oceanside 70.3 this year for fun, and looked around to make sure no one was near, but this time, since I knew my fly was almost as fast as my freestyle, and I can easily stay out of the way when we circle swim at masters, I just did it with other swimmers nearby.

Mission accomplished. A solid challenge, a lot of fun, and fun with great friends.

After the race a bunch of us from the desert got to chat and enjoy the stuff after then event. We got some great pictures.

I went with my Neosport sleeveless this time, but would probably have preferred my 19 sleeveless. I got a little bit of wet suit burn with the Neosport. The water was just warm enough for a sleeveless - at about 67 and below, a sleeved suit would be better. One cap was perfect.
What would you do differently?:

If I could have seen into the future, I would have run hard into the water like in a tri to beat that rogue set that came from nowhere. It also would make sense to pace off of faster swimmers for the first few hundred yards to have someone to draft.

But I can't complain. I'm totally happy finishing half way back in an awesome SoCal field like this.
Post race
Event comments:

The Tiki Swin is a great event. There aren't a lot of open water events in SoCal, and this one sets a high standard.

This year in particular, I was impressed at how well organized and convenient it was to recover our gear bags at the finish.

Here are the race results.



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Last updated: 2016-09-25 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:37:36 | 3862 meters | 02m 32s / 100meters
Age Group: 18/32
Overall: 69/130
Performance: Good
Suit: Neosport sleeveless
Course: Out, past the pier, up along the beach, back into the harbor.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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