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Steelman Racing Open Water Classic - Swim

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Downingtown, Pennsylvania
United States
Steelman Racing
59F / 15C
Total Time = 43m 1s
Overall Rank = 49/60
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 11/12
Pre-race routine:

Got to the race site nice and early since it was unfamiliar to me (only there one time before) and was able to park in the closer of the lots available to racers. Walked around a bit, got some pics, saw Mike then Ginny and chatted with them a bit, sat in the truck until my time slot to do packet pickup.

Packet pickup was a temperature check, COVID sheet drop-off (saying I was symptom-free, etc), then getting my goodies: shirt, mask, disposable mask for race start, Hammer products, swim cap and timing chip.

Headed back to the truck to organize myself and struggle with the wetsuit donning. Tri Slide helped! We waited until my time to go into the bag drop area then headed down to the race site.

EFP came along because he wanted to and planned to run during the race (spectators, per say, were not allowed but the RD himself said they can't help if people come there to enjoy the park (wink, wink), he just doesn't want a hoarde of people around the race area per regulations.
Event warmup:

None, really, other than some arm windmills, etc. in the bag drop area. No pre-swimming allowed.
  • 43m 1s
  • 1600 meters
  • 02m 41s / 100 meters

I was not thrilled with the cold water start with no time to acclimate, but there was no other choice. I waded until I was probably mid thigh, then I went for it and 'dove' in. The cold hitting my face wasn't as bad as expected but the cold water trickling into my suit was woooo! And once it was in, it seemed like it took a long time to warm up but in reality it probably wasn't that long.

I liked the TT start because it kept people apart, mostly, at least for a while. There was a little bunching at the turn buoys, but not terrible. Lap 1 went by fairly uneventfully. Lap 2, however...

Lap 2 was more crowded. I was hitting and getting hit more frequently than lap 1. I accidently swam over a woman and profusely apologized. Not much later, I got rammed by someone else, then kicked in the goggles. Karma, I suppose. Things were decidedly more crowded at the turn buoys and I somehow got the farthest off track going across the short end from turn buoy to turn buoy.

The final stretch back in was triathlon-like, so much jostling and bodies, especially the last half of the backstretch. Once I finally made it to shallow water I stood and attempted to run/move quickly to get to the bank. When I hit solid ground, I was a bit wobbly and was trying to get my legs working to cross the timing mat but I was going sideways. The timing guy so helpfully said, "You need to get over the mat." Yeah, thanks, I'm trying as I started to stumble sideways, almost hitting the timing box. Of course they had no one to help or assist athletes because of COVID, so I was left to try to regain my footing and not actually fall on my own. I lost a few seconds doing that to be sure.

Walked up the chute and took off my chip and turned in the number tag under my hat (so they knew they had all athletes accounted for) and went into bag drop for my towel and clothes.

49/60 OA
24/32 F
11/12 AG, the largest AG of the females, I think!
What would you do differently?:

I guess swim harder and try a little harder to stay on course, although the times I strayed weren't terribly far or wide. I honestly thought I gave a better effort than the results indicate.
Post race
Warm down:

Dried off, dressed, caught up with Ginny a bit, then got food and walked to the truck. Saw Mike as I was at the cars and he said how cold he was during the swim. I looked at the results later and I think he didn't finish officially. I wonder if the boat had to bring him in, EFP said he saw it bringing someone in at least once and I thought I saw it on the move once, too.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

If only I knew!

Event comments:

First off, credit where credit is due. The RD took great steps to make this a safe and enjoyable race for all. He secured US Masters Certification which helps with both insurance as well as guidelines with regard to water temp/safety. He offered a Facebook Live athlete briefing a few days before the race and did a fabulous job on race day staggering packet pickup times, bag drop times, and race start times.

Thank you!!!

Last updated: 2021-04-30 12:00 AM
00:43:01 | 1600 meters | 02m 41s / 100meters
Age Group: 11/12
Overall: 49/60
Performance: Average
Suit: Roka Maverick
Course: 1/4 mile out, 1/4 mile back, rinse and repeat until you reach your distance. I did the 1 mile race. They shortened the course for safety because of the cold water temps: able to have closer-spaced kayak support and also less distance for the rescue boat to have to travel to bring someone in. The water was nice and clean and clear.
Start type: Wade Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
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

2021-05-17 3:02 PM

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Subject: Steelman Racing Open Water Classic

2021-05-17 3:29 PM
in reply to: #5276103

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Subject: RE: Steelman Racing Open Water Classic

Congratulations on a great swim! Cold water and people swimming on me would not amuse me one bit, but you took that all in stride - amazing.

2021-05-18 8:31 AM
in reply to: amd723

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Steelman Racing Open Water Classic

Originally posted by amd723

Congratulations on a great swim! Cold water and people swimming on me would not amuse me one bit, but you took that all in stride - amazing.

Congratulations! Great job getting 'er done in the cold water.  No time to acclimate -- eek!

2021-05-18 8:36 AM
in reply to: #5276103

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Atlanta, Georgia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Steelman Racing Open Water Classic
Well done! I get lightheaded/dizzy coming out the water, too..
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