Friday, June 06, 2008

Splashing Around

I did this really cool swim-only race last Saturday called the "Low Country Splash" in Charleston, SC. The swim was the Ironman distance of 2.4 miles. The course was amazing to say the least. We started in the city of Mount Pleasant which is separated from Charleston by this huge suspension bridge called the Arthur Ravenel bridge. The finish is in Charleston Harbor at a marina that is adjacent to the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier that is permanently docked there as a floating museum.

The race is advertised as a fast swim due to the 1-2 mph current that is pushing you the entire way. The race is a deep water start about 200 yards from shore so you have to tread water for a little bit until the gun goes off. The current kept pushing everyone into the front. I had to use my arms to keep pushing myself back so that I didn't end up near the "fishes" at the start. I'm a so-so swimmer so I didn't want to be up there and clog things up w/ the strong swimmers.

The gun finally went off and were swimming. At first I had some trepidation about swimming in the open water like that, especially w/o a wetsuit. The water temperature was ~78 so a wetsuit would have been too warm. But quickly I got over the fears and was into my stroke. During the race it was incredible to swim under the AR bridge and then alongside the USS Yorktown. There was even a freighter going in the opposite direction about a half mile to our right. Swimming alongside these large objects got my heartrate for sure.

I ended up w/ a 53:04 swim which is crazy for an IM distance. This placed me 302/390 overall and 22/26 in my age-group. To put things in perspective my swim at IMWI last year was 1:18. I finished near the back of the pack, but I was happy w/ the results and would do this race again. That current was right on time. In fact for the B2B race its supposed to be a point-to-point swim w/ a pushing current. I'm looking forward to that one.

After the race, Lisa and I took a the Black History & Sea Islands Tour of Charleston from my man Al Miller If you're in Charleston, you've got to sign up for that one. It seemed like Al knew everything about Charleston. We learned so much from that tour. Lately I've been reading a couple of books on black history and this brought a lot of that to life.

Well that all for now. I'm headed up to Wilkesboro tomorrow for the RAW ride (Ride Around Wilkesboro). Its billed as 4300 feet of climbing over 75 miles. The most scenic section is supposed to be the climb up Brushy Mountain. Should be interesting since we're in the middle of a heatwave. Today is 99.


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