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F'ueco
September 19th, 2005, 02:44 AM
Anyone else doing this one next weekend?

That's Treasure Island to the Ebarcadero YMCA. Looks like it should be a fun one, as it parallels the west span of the Bay Bridge. :)

Maryyyyyy
September 19th, 2005, 04:07 AM
Is this a new race? Who's organizing it? DOES sound like fun.

That Alcatraz - San Francisco thing is getting old, and crowded...

F'ueco
September 19th, 2005, 01:45 PM
It's being organized by the YMCA, as a benefit for that one YMCA location.

http://www.ymcasf.org/Embarcadero/subpage_embarcadero_310011.html

This will be the first one, and it looks like it should be fun. Pedro Ordones has been helping them with the logistics of the swim, so I'd imagine that it will be well run. I have swum Alcatraz three times now, and this is the perfect way to do something different. Of course, I'm also doing a triathlon the following weekend in Santa Cruz, but that's another story.

Maryyyyyy
September 20th, 2005, 05:46 AM
Looks really nice! If I were in the area, I'd definitely do it. Darn - that start from Treasure Island is sooooooooo attractive!

Good thing they're limiting the number of participants to 400....

Have fun! And tell us all about it!!

Mary

The Berkeley Girl in Florence Italy

F'ueco
September 21st, 2005, 12:57 AM
I'll be the live reporter from the back of the pack! :)

F'ueco
September 25th, 2005, 08:46 PM
So... I'm back, and I have survived to tell my tale.

The race started in a cove off of Yerba Buena Island (apparently they couldn't get permission to start from the wharfs on Treasure Island, but the distance and the course stayed almost identical).

The beginning of the race went fairly well. The current was slack, and the waters were calm. The first half of the race seemed to fly by, and I seemed to be staying solidly in the rear of the middle of the pack. But at about halfway, several large container ships must have left port, as we were hammered by a lot of large waves. I kept losing my bearing, and sucking in mouthfuls of water. My pace slowed considerably, and then I noticed that I wasn't moving very quickly in relation to the towers of the Bay Bridge. The tide was beginning to ebb, and I had to fight to stay on my course towards the Hills Brothers Building. The fact that I was able to maintain the straight course suggests that the current wasn't very strong, but it was still tough going. Eventually I managed to find my rhythm, sadly too late to do any good as far as passing other swimmers. ;)

Finally, I could see the balloon arch marking the finish line. I stayed with the two swimmers that were just in front of me, passing one of them in the last 50 meters. As I climbed onto the steps, my leg (quite naturally) cramped up and I nearly fell. Thankfully they had people to guide our stagger up to the timing strip.

I finished the 1.5 miles with a time of 1:14, which is 22 minutes slower than my last race of the same distance. Everyone seems to have had much slower times, so it wasn't just me (not that it could have had anything to do with swimming .75 miles, riding 24 miles and running 4 miles on Saturday. And then not getting enough sleep after watching a movie and going to a bar with some of my friends :))...

Well, overall, the event was fun and well organized. Especially considering that this was the first Ti2Y swim. I'll probably do it again next year...

Maryyyyyy
September 28th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Hey F'ueco!

Thanks for telling us about your experience... great details on departure change, tide changes, etc... just the stuff that most open water swims are made of!

Congrats on finishing the swim... that's what it's all about in my book, much more than the actual time.

I did a swim on Saturday that was supposed to be 1 mile, but they reduced it at the last minute because there were so many jellyfish in the little port we were swimming around.

Anyway, I said to myself, ok, it's a short swim, I'll push hard.

BOY DOES THAT EVER HURT!! Came out with wooden arms! And jellyfish wounds too... but those will pass.

I actually did a pretty bad race, and in the end, wished I'd just taken my time and looked at all the pretty fishies instead of trying to go fast and bumping into jellyfish instead!!

Keep those stories coming and I will too. I'm attaching (I think) a photo of the port where we did the swim.

Mary

fatboy
September 28th, 2005, 12:39 PM
F'ueco,

Congrats on the swim. Nice race report! Sounds like it was a good race. Glad you had fun.


Mary, thanks for the photo - what a great spot!

Leonard Jansen
September 28th, 2005, 01:44 PM
Maryyyyyy -

Is there a list on the internet of open water races in Italy? I am toying with the idea of a vacation next summer somewhere in Europe and making it an open water swim vacation.

Thanks,
LBJ

Maryyyyyy
September 29th, 2005, 04:31 AM
Leonard,

The FIN OW calendar is posted on this siteNuoto Master Fondo (http://www.nuotomaster.it/FONDO/fondo.asp#Ca)

Of course, what you'll see now is the 2005 summer calendar. The 2006 calendar will be posted around April - May. You can always contact me too, and I'll help you out. lokken@nuoto.it

Another resource for OW swims in Europe will be the LEN site:
European Swimming League (http://www.lenweb.org/front.htm)

As you can see, this year there were about 50 races all around the boot of Italy, plus in Sicily, so you've got a lot of choices.

Just bring your USMS Masters card with you, and you can USUALLY sign up the day of the race (exceptions will be longer swims 10KM-25KM, or in difficult areas like the Strait of Messina where safety issues are critical). The price varies on the length and features of the race, from 10 euros to 25, up to 65 for one 10KM Race this year (in the Bay of Poets - the Byron Cup).

One thing to say for Italy - we've got a LOT of beautiful coastline!! :cool:

Ciao!
m

F'ueco
October 1st, 2005, 05:55 PM
Tomorrow morning I am doing my first triathlon (Santa Cruz Sentinel (1.6k, 40k, 10k). Before you get all bent out of shape about me posting this here, it starts with a one mile ocean swim. :)

And of course, I will be one of the few doing this one without a wetsuit. This will make my transition quicker, and I can't wait to see how fast I can ride my bike after swimming in 59 degree water (also given that the cycling is my strongest event relative to everyone else). And I fully expect the run to kill me. And I will still have fun at the Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco afterwards.

geochuck
October 2nd, 2005, 10:49 AM
You may find the swim would be much faster and easier if you did wear a wet suit and you will not feel the cold it may be false economy not towear it because it takes time to get it off..

F'ueco
October 2nd, 2005, 07:34 PM
I'm just morally opposed to wetsuits.

I find it somewhat hypocritcal for USAT to allow wetsuits but ban drafting in the bike leg.

As for the race report. The water temperature this morning was a balmy 61 degrees (those familiar with Santa Cruz will recognize that that is about as warm as it ever gets). The swim course was the standard 'around the pier' that everyone loves. It's almost exactly a mile, and for the right-side breathers it's nice because you don' t have to look forward to sight.

My swim time was my fastest open water mile yet, though I'm not sure exactly what my time was (somewhere between 28 and 30, not counting the 200 yard run to the transition area). The transition went well and I set out for my strongest leg. I managed an average speed of 34.1 KPH, for a time of 1:09. The bike course is beautiful, and fast.

The transition to the run turned out to be a bit rough. I took my gloves off after the last corner, and undid the velcro on my bike shoes, but when I tried to step out of my shoes, they came off too, so I was forced to take them off after I dismounted. And then, as soon as I started into T2, my right leg cramped up a bit. And then after I swapped my shoes, and ran out, my leg cramped up again and I had to stop and stretch. And then, of course, my left leg cramped up a few hundred yards further. Fortunately, this pattern didn't continue and I was able to suffer through the run in peace.

Given that I haven't run more than 4 miles in one go in well over 10 years, I was happy with the run (I still don't know exactly what the split was, but it was pathetic). My final time was 2:46:50, which I am happy with for now.

So anyway, the race was very fun, and I will certainly do this one again, and maybe some others as well. I need to suffer more, so I will probably go for a half-Ironman distance next. ;)

sdswimmer
October 3rd, 2005, 10:56 PM
sounds great! I am also opposed to wetsuits. I did a 1/2IM last year you might like to try-superfrog in San Diego. I stand out in all the pix because I'm in a yellow tri singlet and everyone else is in a black wetsuit.

Anyway the run is on the sand so no one gets to go all that fast-think about it for next year!

F'ueco
October 4th, 2005, 12:19 AM
I'm mainly stoked that I finished only 49 minutes behind the winner.

Considering that 25 minutes of that was the run, I did well.

Now I just need to run more, get my freestyle stroke down better, and get a time-trial bike; and I'll be able to be competitive. :)

F'ueco
October 5th, 2005, 01:05 AM
Now that the results are in, I can give a little more feedback.

Apparently I am much better on the bike than in the swim. My bike rank was 176th, and my swim rank was 531st (this is without a westuit, you must remember). I'm also pleased to report that I tied Pedro Ordones in the overall standings. For those who don't live in the area, Mr. Ordones is a legend in the local swimming community, having swum from Alcatraz well over 300 times. He's also a really fast runner! I hope I'm still kicking like that when I'm 59!

Back to training. I need to work on my open water stroke, and work on the run. The bike will sort itself out...