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Of Swimming Bondage

Polson Bay Water Daze

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by , August 2nd, 2009 at 11:33 AM (475 Views)
We checked out of our VRBO place Saturday morning and took the ~40 minute drive from the top end of Flathead Lake (Somers) to the nearly the bottom, ending at another lovely lakeside town of Polson. Polson was the site of the Polson Bay Water Daze, a 1 mile open water race followed by some kids' fun races, a barbeque and general family fun. The event was put on by Mission Valley Aquatics (, a non-profit organization that uses this event and others as a vehicle for fund-raising and awareness-raising as they try to build an indoor pool for their community. This was a class act from the start and exceptionally fun for the entire family.

To begin with, the finish line was at Boettcher Park, a beautiful spit of land that overlooked the Bay, had the mountains in the backdrop to one side and a view of the shorefront of Polson otherwise. While the "main event" was the OW mile race, the event was billed as a family affair. In addition to the park having the requisite playground equipment and a roped off swimming area, the organization brought in a blow-up wet slide to keep the kids even happier. It was a smaller race, probably around 80 to 90 people in total, but the park was full with volunteers and family members cheering on. Many of those volunteers were busy setting up and cooking what looked to be the best post-race spread I've ever seen.

As an added bonus for my family, since we arrived at 11am and didn't need to board the bus for the start until 12:30 ...
  • there was a golf course was next door, so my father-in-law could hit a bucket of balls, and
  • Three Dog Down (, a down outlet well known to my wife and mother-in-law, is in town,

so they also had something to do during while the girls and I played on the playground, did some light warmup swimming and chilled in the sun.

The race was a straight shot from the marina opposite the park at Kwa Taq Nuk resort ( to the park. The only glitch in the day was the fact that the busses didn't show, but that didn't seem to matter as the swimmers all formed a convoy in various trucks and vans over to the start. We entered the water down the boat ramp and lined up for the start at the edge of the buoys. The water was very nice, probably 76 or so. My only surprise of the day was how many wetsuits were being worn (no Jakeds, though!), but I gathered from the talk that many of the people were triathletes.

It was an open age swim, so my daughter and I lined up together at the start, pretty wide from the main pack. This was the second open water race we have done together, so it was fun again to chat with her before it started. The last time we swam together (her first 4K OW swim), though, I paced her; in this race, I told her she was on her own. I did this both because I wanted to race and because she'll be doing her first mile swim at La Jolla in September.

As we waited, one of the other participants told us that he had done some GPS coordinates of the swim and calculated the swim at 1.125 miles. I'm notoriously bad at sighting, so, while the race organizers had an impressive number of bright orange buoys set up in a pretty straight line, I think I swam even further than those GPS coordinates would suggest. My wife said that when she first could spot me, she told her parents that she knew it was me, both because she could recognize my stroke and because, "He's always the one who is way off course."

For the regular 2.3 readers of my blog, you'll know that I still haven't pushed much hard in workouts since, well, right before spring Nationals. This race was very fun, but also very tiring. I swam with a guy for probably 300 to 500 meters or so before I felt like I needed to take a lead. I did sprint for a bit (maybe 100/200 meters), but regretted it later as my kick died and I had to revert to a 2-beat kick. Still, I was able to hold on and win the race. My time was 22:30, but the time doesn't really matter ... until I do it again (hopefully!) next year. I still don't have my older daughter's time or place, but she easily came in the top half and maybe closer to the top quarter, placing 4th in the women's 12 to 19 age group and LOVING the O/W mile. She said it was much more fun than a pool mile.

After all of the milers finished, the party got going stronger. They had an impressive barbeque with burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, carrots, etc., etc. Prior to switching to the kids' fun swims, they had a water safety class for all of the kids and the parents. They then did a "short" and "long" kids' swims, probably 50 and 200 meters, respectively. My 6 and 12 year olds did those, respectively, so the Brundage swimmers were represented at every distance. Then, as the ultimate cap off to this great event, they passed out the awards for age/sex champions: a colander full of Flathead Valley cherries. We enjoyed them greatly on our 4.5 hour drive back to my wife's parents' home in lovely Lethbridge, Alberta.

As an FYI: unlike those nasty California "border guards," the Canadian border patrol couldn't care less about us bringing in cherries ... plus they gave each of our kids a lollypop.

Pools / Open Water since 2007

One OW added in blue bold below.

Pools I've trained in since 2007

  1. Cactus Aquatic Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
  2. Brophy Sports Campus (Phoenix, AZ)
  3. Lifetime Fitness (Scottsdale, AZ)
  4. Lifetime Fitness (Skokie, IL)
  5. Lifetime Fitness (Austin, TX)
  6. Somerville YMCA (Somerville, NJ)
  7. Raritan Valley Community College (Branchburg, NJ)
  8. IUPUI Natatorium (Indianapolis, IN)
  9. UT Swim Center (Austin, TX)
  10. U of Arizona Hillebrand Swim Center (Tucson, AZ)
  11. Talisman Sports Complex (Calgary, Alberta)
  12. U of Lethbridge Max Bell Swim Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
  13. Crystal Pool (Victoria, British Columbia)
  14. Oaks Christian School (Westlake Village, CA)
  15. Lifetime Fitness (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
  16. Jewish Community Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
  17. McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
  18. Desert Breeze Pool (Las Vegas, NV)
  19. The Olympic Club (San Francisco)
  20. Janet Evans Sports Complex (Fullerton, CA)
  21. Woollett Aquatic Center / Irvine High School (Irvine, CA)
  22. Bruce Hazard Pool @ Mission Valley YMCA (San Diego)
  23. UCSD Canyonview Pool (San Diego)

Pools I've competed in since 2007

  1. UT Swim Center (Austin, TX)
  2. ASU Mona Plummer (Tempe, AZ)
  3. Rutger's Sonny Werblin (Piscataway, NJ)
  4. Mission Viejo Nadadores (Mission Viejo, CA)
  5. U of Arizona Hillebrand Swim Center (Tucson, AZ)
  6. Rinconada Pool (Palo Alto, CA)
  7. BEST Swim Club (Phoenix, AZ)
  8. Clovis North High School (Fresno, CA)

Open Water courses competed in since 2007

  1. Tempe Town Lake (Tempe, AZ)
  2. Lake Pend Oreille (Sandpoint, ID)
  3. La Jolla Cove / Pacific Ocean (La Jolla, CA)
  4. Greenwich Cove (Greenwich, CT)
  5. Flathead Lake (Montana), both Somers Bay (trainining) & Polson Bay (competing)

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Updated August 10th, 2009 at 04:11 PM by pwb



  1. The Fortress's Avatar
    What a nice family outing! I think it's a great idea to expose kids to OW racing at an early age, especially if they have a distance proclivity.
  2. david.margrave's Avatar
    Somers, MT is an EPA superfund site.