Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Race Report: Western North Carolina Open Water Challenge 3K

Date of the race: 9/17/2011

50m 24s -  1:32 mins/ 100 yards

1/1 Women's Open (official results state: age group 19-99 - haha)
41/41 Overall


Compared to previous years, I continued to put some serious work into my swim even after the swim classes ended in April. That's what's working with a coach does for you, it makes slacking off harder even or probably especially in the areas that you feel pretty good about. Only because you are good swimmer, doesn't mean you can't be a better swimmer right?

After completing the 3K open water distance in June in Clemson in a time of a little under 1h 10m, I was ready for a redo and I wanted to break an hour for the distance. I knew, I needed at least an 1:50m per 100 yards to do that and my paces in the pool lately were promising.

Being cold before the start.

The race was in North Carolina, maybe 1.5 hours away from the house. I have never even heard of Moss Lake, but it was a very pretty lake and surprisingly clear, especially compared to Lake Hartwell and such. We got there with plenty of time to spare for registration and I spend a lot of time standing around and getting colder and colder. It was the first cooler day in months and I was wearing flip flops... what a grant idea.

While I was standing around, I noticed the absence of adult competitors and triathletes and somehow, I knew I was skrewed.

Oh and did I mentioned that I was cold? I was one grumpy mess by the time I got in the water. Grumpy with icy stumps in the place where usually my feet are.

The race was wetsuit legal, but the water temps were actually much nicer than the air temps and I am glad that I decided last minute against the wetsuit, because I would have been pretty warm.

About to get started.

I started out in the back... And I stayed in the back for the whole race. Who am I kidding. I am a pretty good swimmer compared to the regular triathlete, but in a field with highschool and college team swimmers, the back is right were I belong. Have I mentioned already, that I was the oldest competitor in the 3K by 15 (!) years??

The course was a triangle that we had to swim 3 times. The way out to the first turn buoy was into the wind and sucked each and every time, because we had to fight the chop and it felt like I wasn't moving at all. The other lengths of the triangles were good in terms of chop. The first 500 meters felt pretty crappy, because I was just so cold, but after I warmed up, things were much better. I

I felt like I had a pretty good rhythm and sighting went well. There were just two instances, where the kayakers where right between me and the next turn buoy, so I wasn't able to see the buoy, which got me completely confused thinking that I swim off the course.

And while it's not a great feeling to get out of the water with the annoucer saying: "Give a hand to the last swimmer out of the water!"... There are worse things. I was really hoping, that a couple of those youngsters would fizzle out and I would catch one or two, but I just ran out of race distance to accomplish that.

Speaking of race distance: According to my Garmin (in the swim cap), the race was 500 yards short, but with the pace that I was going (1:51/100 yards), I should have still been come close to break an hour even if it were a full 3K... So while dead last out of the water isn't fun, I reached my goal and that's all I can ask for.

And medals are nice, even when you are the only one in your age group. ;-)


  1. Oh wow - a 3k swim?! Rock on girl! I think it's awesome that you were out there - and just because you were the only one in your age group, the 1st place is still just as awesome!

  2. LOL at the age group gap. but hey, you still won and that counts in my book! i probably would have seen all the high schoolers and told terry that we will just go eat a big brunch somewhere instead, so kudos to you for swimming it out :) they're just-swimmers, not triathletes and you pretty much accomplished your goal (had it not been short)! so congrats!