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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Outlaw Swim

I learnt some lessons from Ironman Austria swim which I applied to this swim.

I used a pair of goggles (not a swim mask) as there is a lot of people swimming I would not need as much sighting or vision than in training. I will put on an extra swim cap, so the thicker neoprene swim cap was a base layer with the white outlaw swim cap on top, I was not the only person using this combination. I had also put on another tri top over my tri suit before putting on my wetsuit so I had an extra layer to retain a bit more heat, not sure if actual works but may be psychological which is half the battle for this distance event.

The start was from one end of the rowing lake to nearly the other end before returning, effectively a big U shape and the longest length I had swam.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

You could not see the far end from the start which was not helped by the sun also being low and reflecting on the water which would make spotting the few buoys harder.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

There were 4 bays at the end with the fastest going in the left lane and slower groups in each to the right. I went in the third out of the four bays starting near the back.  There was a nice graceful entry in to the lake as standing on the slope, as you slid down the slight ramp hoping it was just mud I was standing on.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

A few people did fall over but I managed to get in to the lake to shock of cold water. However I had timed it well so I did not have too long just to hang around in the water before swimming.

There was a few announcements that could be faintly heard in the 3rd and 4th bays, then there was a count down from 5 and then the horn started today’s it of exercise/sightseeing around Nottinghamshire.

At that moment there was arms and legs splashing, hitting and kicking all over the place. There was a buoy at about 500m which we had to get on our right side, the faster section was level with this but the other bays had a bit of an angle to swim to reach this.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

I get hit a few times reaching this first buoy with more hits as you got to the buoy. At the is point were where already a few 100m's in to the row lanes, which had smaller ball markers every 10m or so. I was surprised that I only hit one of the on the whole course, I was expecting to hit at least 10.

Then the weeds started which they said and also my brother (who works for a water company) that they only grow in clean water. It was good to know that water is clean but I wondered how well they had cleaned one of the lanes in each direction.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

I was not sure I was in the correct cleared lane as I had already gone past the lane numbers at the start of the lake so I decided to follow the bulk of the swimmers at my pace. At first weeds you would touch on the bottom of you stroke underwater with your hand. Then you would go for a while with clear water until hitting a patch of weeds that were floating which got on your face, goggles neck and even feet. In these sections I put a bit more effort in to get through it.

At least there were no swans or geese in the water near were we swam, they had some sense.

When reaching the far turn point I got a few my hits at the turn point despite having swam over a mile by this point. I think I swam this leg fairly straight perhaps the extra sighting for the weeds helped.

On the way back I think I went a bit more off course then the previous leg but I found clear water it was like the weeds parted to the side of me. Plus I was even starting to overtake people on the swim!!

The exit was in the far left corner of the lake with a big black speedo arch.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

I sighted a few more times in the last 100m after crossing the rowing finish line (could see the wire above me) to ensure I was heading in the right direction.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

For the last 200m you could hear the crowd and music but not as much as in Austria but it was good support.
I got helped out of the lake and walked up the ramp past the timing mat. My time for 2.4 miles (3.8 km) was 1:23:51 which is a PB for me and also got the family record back with both just set a few weeks earlier in Austria.

I then headed off to T1.

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