Santa Cruz Roughwater Swim 2005

Today I competed in the Santa Cruz Roughwater Swim, a 1 mile open water swim around the Santa Cruz Munincipal Wharf. I’m pleased to say that this race went much better than the Wharf to Wharf race! I finished the race in 25:17, a very satisfying time for me.

The race itself is a good challenge – a one mile swim through the moderately choppy, 59 degree ocean – with no wetsuit! All you get is a speedo and a day-glo latex swim cap in case the guys on the wave runners need to rescue you. Oh, and a pair of goggles so your eyes don’t freeze. (Actually, you can choose to wear a wetsuit – but everyone knows *real* swimmers don’t wear wetsuits!) All in all though, once you get past the shock of the initial dive into the ocean, it’s amazing how a body can adapt to being in chilly temperatures. Your body basically shuts of a fair bit of circulation to your legs and feet – the main side effect being that when you try to jog out of the ocean at the end of the race, you will often be rather wobbly! Takes a bit of practice to get used to it. The race starts on the east side of the wharf, and you swim out and around it to the west, then straight back in to the finish – the photo on the left is the swim in from the pier to the finish.

One fun part of the race was actually encountering the sea lions that live at the end of the wharf. As you make the right turn around the wharf, there’s a relatively large colony of sea lions that live there who seem quite amused to see 250 people struggling to make their way through the water. With, no less, day-glo caps on their heads. Each breath you take as you move around the end of the pier you’re greeted with the “bark bark bark!” of the sea lions. I didn’t see any up close, but apparently they like to come out and actually swim with you!

I swam the race with Patrick White, a friend of mine and fellow swimmer with Mountain View Masters, my swim team. After the race, Patrick and I went for a 25 mile bike ride up Highway 1 to Davenport. Good training for a triathlon we’ll both be doing on August 20th – TriOne. That’s my next race, so stay tuned for the next race report.

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~ by Nathan on July 30, 2005.

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