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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ozark Open Water Swim Race Recap

Memorial Day began with a trip to Beaver Lake for the annual Ozark Open Water Swim.  This is an event with three different race distances - 1K, 2K, and 4K.  The morning dawned a little gray and dreary with a forecast for rain later in the day.  For most of the morning the sun stayed hidden behind the clouds which was okay with me since glaring sun can make sighting in an open water swim difficult.
Pre-race selfie!

I selected the 2K race distance which is the distance I've done at this event in the past.  The water temps were in the high 60's to mid 70's so it was wetsuit legal.  Yippee! With lots of TriSlide to protect my neck from chafing I got my wetsuit on and was ready to go.

The race started in 3 waves based on the event distance.  There was about 5 minutes between the waves which really helped spread the field out.  The races were chip timed with a running start and a run out to finish.  As is fairly typical for me, I had some pre-race confidence struggles and seeded myself to the middle/back of the pack.  Once I got into the water though I realized I was being silly and just needed to swim my race and see how well I could do.
This is the 2K group start so I'm somewhere in there to the left side!

The course was a straight out and back.  There were two triangle buoys at the .5K and 1K mark.  Between those buoys were smaller round buoys for sighting.  I tried to swim the buoy line as much as possible.  As I neared the 1K turn buoy, I managed to run into another swimmer on his way back.  It was a fairly uneventful collision and neither of us was really disrupted.  I caught up to some of the 4K swimmers as I neared the turn buoy and that really helped lift my confidence that I was having a good swim.

On the way back to shore, I managed to miscount the buoys....which meant that I began my finish kick a lot earlier than I would have normally.  I had my eye on a couple other 2K swimmers that were swimming to the far right of the course.  I was trying to race them into finish and trying to pick my pace up to stay in line with them.  I got a little discouraged when I spotted the extra buoy that I had forgotten about but told myself to just hold on the pace and finish strong.

For the finish, I tried to swim up to the shore line as far as possible but ended up standing a few feet earlier than I should have.  This meant I had a farther run out of the water but I just lifted those knees up high and raced the guy next to me.  I beat him by maybe 1-2 seconds but it was worth it to have a strong finish!

I ended up 9th of 44 overall in the 2K distance and 4th female.  My time was about 2 minutes faster than in 2012 and my swim distance was spot on for a 2K distance according to my Garmin.  My official time was 32:42 or 1:33 per 100yd.  I was pretty pumped with that pace and with my improvement over my last time at this event.
Celebrating with Triple Threat club members! 

It was fun catching up and cheering on all the other athletes.  The Triple Threat crew did pretty well with podium spots which was fun to celebrate.  There is something peaceful about swimming open water events so it was a great start to the day for me.

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