Open water with the big fish!

So after anricat  's earlier recommendation, I showed up for the finale swim in the Rogue Open Water swim series. I wasn't expecting much as my training lately has been, err, racing. I'd never been up to Mansfield Dam, and the lake looked fantastic when I parked and walked down to the start area. However, the swim was being held in a small cove, 3-laps. Sigh.

There were a bunch of people crowded around a few benches, I'd picked up my packet the night before but still headed to the table to collect my chip. Turns out it wasn't going to be chip timed afterall. Numbers on hands, arms, legs and age on calf. WTF - its a swim race... oh well I guess its a "tip of the hat" to all the novices to give them the triathlon experience.

It was a much larger crowd than I expected, but it soon became apparent most of them were there for the swim clinic and the 800m open water swim. I soon spotted a few people that confirmed that I wouldn't be winning! First up I spotted Desiree Ficker getting ready, followed by a really cute moment. Madison Prado a local superstar junior triathlete lost it when she was introduced to Desiree, in a way that only young girls can. She welled up, went red and couldn't get her words out, she was great! She couldn't believe she was going to be in the same race as Desiree.

Given it was such a small field, I couldn't believe it either, but am way too cool to go have my picture taken and go red ;-)
I wandered over to the boat ramp where something was going on, turns out that a certain Richie Cunningham, who'd been second at the St Croix 70.3 overall last month, was giving an open water swim clinic.  I walked back over to the start area and spotted another familiar face, David Sing. I've heard David talking on the Saturday ATC rides and new he was fast and had been in the 2006 USAT Age group team, sadly he's in my age group. Still, I never expected much...

The start was right on time, I had a few quick words with anricat , and stood about 10ft behind the a-list competitors. We were in the water for the start and it was pretty straightforward. Becuase it was a small field, probably less than 50-peeps, it was a pretty clear swim to the first bouy, and in fact around the whole course. Towards the end I chased one of the guys, and we swapped places a few times, he just beat me in. I finished in 28:45, 19th overall.

Anricat did 24:something and was the womens series winner! The results have not shown-up on the run-far or rogue websites. There were many more women than men, so I guess I might have come in the top-10 for the men, and no I wasn't last man by someway.

Afterwards I met up with a small group that had done the swim and were going biking, including another ex-pat "mark". It was a steady ride out along 620 to 71, onto Bee Caves and pretty much all the way to 360. We waited and regrouped and set off back the same way. The noise from all the Harleys was unbearable and some of them were way to close to us. Share the road my ass.

I stopped at the gas station on the corner of 71/620 and the others pushed on. I decided not to chase them when I came out. After about 2-miles I looked back down the hill and saw another cyclist coming, I slowed down and waited until he caught me and we then road together. It was Michael Harris from TexasIron, we were fairly evenly paced and talked most of the way back to the dam. Mike was on a bigger loop and continued across the other side.

After the bike, I tried a short run, my first since the ankle problems of last week. Everything worked out fine ;-)

Stats for today:
Swim: 1-mile, 28:45
Bike: 37-miles, 2:12:04
Run: 1.5-miles, happy it didn't hurt
  • Current Location: Austin, Texas
  • Current Mood: Tired
  • Current Music: Waiting - The Devlins
It was great to see you out there. I'm glad you had a good series of workouts (your own private triathlon even)!