Thursday, October 11, 2007

Personal Race Report: Zulu's (Two Mile) Sea Swim (October 6, 2007)

Update approx. 09:05EST October 16, 2007
Updated names, time, and number of entries; thanks to Kim for forwarding results

We had a good day for the swim: no chop and cloudy. Sighting was relatively easy. Thanks to construction projects, there was a crane suitably placed for swimming south, and another suitably placed for swimming north! A bit of rain on the return leg made for an interesting feeling on one's back.

From the start I was able to draft for maybe five minutes before losing feet - certainly less than ten minutes. Then it was just me and the occasional tropical fish below.

After the event I heard about two sea creatures others had encountered. First, a few folks saw an eagle ray. Second, one of the swimmers DNF'd (Zack Myrie - he's fine) - he had to exit the water because a remora attached itself and refused to let go!

I used the event to experiment a little with my stroke. Not being sure of pacing, I was conservative on the first leg. Unsurprisingly, without the a line on the bottom I tended to drift to the right when double breathing to my left. Before I reached the turn-around buoy I'd settled into a pretty good rhythm, bilateral breathing and sighting on the sixth or twelfth stroke (always rolling to my left to breath after sighting). The big deal though was hand entry. Bringing my recovering hand into the water sooner and commencing the opposite hand stroke as the recovering hand entered the water helped timing. Further, forcing a higher elbow on recovery meant a steeper angle for the recovering hand entering the water, and so the hand would position to be relatively deep prior to commencing to pull - useful for me.

As I approached the turn-around buoy I recognized the one swimmer in sighting distance ahead of me: Kim, who was swimming second in lane 3 at Masters when I was leading it. He'd done a good mile, but I may well have negative split the event; I passed him right after the buoy just after upping my pace for the return leg. I dropped him hard enough that he didn't have a chance to get onto my feet. ;-)

I finished 31st overall (from 59 individuals - two of whom DNF'd - and we also had 3 relay teams), and 3rd in my division (from 8). Number 30 (Anne) swims in lane 5, number 32 was Kim, and number 33 (Rich) swims in lane 5, so my performance was in keeping with my current level. Time was 1:04:10.

My thanks to the volunteers, organizers, and sponsors!


Blogger Bill said...

Well done, Brent.

Having spent a significant portion of my life around the ocean, I'd have to say that's the first time I've heard of a remora doing that. Even when we swam with the whale sharks and the water was teeming with remorae, it wasn't an issue.

Hell of a story for a DNF though.

10/11/2007 07:23:00 am  
Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

Thanks for a great report...

(Glad to hear they bothered to get those cranes up in time for racers' convenience!)

10/11/2007 07:31:00 am  
Blogger Wendy said...

Oooooh. Bling!

Sounds like stroke modifications were working for you.

I hope the poor remora didn't pay too big a price for hitching to the wrong wagon. (It was probably lookin' for that eagle ray!)

10/11/2007 08:03:00 am  
Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

No chop, no problems sighting, sounds wonderful!!

Good job on the swim. How nice to have such local events. Kona has them too and I can't wait to move there.

10/11/2007 11:03:00 am  
Blogger Iron Eric said...

What a cool medal.

10/11/2007 11:45:00 am  
Blogger Nancy Toby said...

Well done and great medal! But that remora thing gives me the willies!!!!

10/11/2007 12:11:00 pm  
Blogger TriFeist said...

Congratulations! It's nice to see that you can pace with the same athletes in the pool and open water.

Wild story about the remora, though. That guy must be an amazing swimmer to make a remora think he was a good ride. :)

Adding "remora attack" to the list of things I can't control for IMFL.

10/11/2007 01:48:00 pm  
Blogger Comm's said...

Wow thats a cool medal.

A remora eel. Ouch. Now you have to tell me where it attached itself. Please tell me he was wearing a wet suit and not a speedo.

10/11/2007 06:05:00 pm  
Blogger Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...


did anyone get a pic of that remora? lol

great job dusting that guy on the way in!

10/12/2007 06:25:00 am  
Blogger Andra Sue said...

Congrats on your finish!

I had an encounter with a remora while diving a couple years ago...scared the shiz-nit out of me until I realized he was harmless. They seem to like people wearing wetsuits and shiny dials and stuff. We stared calling them "Caribbean Bother Fish." :D

10/12/2007 01:00:00 pm  
Blogger Fe-lady said...

Congratulations! Nice medal! Now I need to go google that sea creature that attached itself to the swimmer....whew!

10/13/2007 05:11:00 pm  
Blogger Bigun said...

I'm doomed to the slow swim lane, since my thought process goes something like, "breath, stroke, breath, stroke"...all the rest of that is greek to me. Unfortunatly. Like the medal you got - great bling!

10/14/2007 08:14:00 am  
Blogger Dying Water Buffalo said...

What a cool event! Good job out there... and freaking remoras attaching themselves to people?! GAH. I would *die*

10/20/2007 05:27:00 pm  

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