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Monday, June 04, 2012

Race report: Zoot 4K Open Water Swim

Photo by Mike Melansen / Runner's Life Peterborough. I'm the white capped wetsuit-less one 3rd from left

What: Runner's Life Zoot Open Water Swim
Where: Sandy Lake, Buckhorn, Ontario
When: June 3, 2012
Entry fee: $20 early bird, $30 race day
Distances: 1K, 2K, 4K (1K course, 100% accurate)
Water temperature: 18C
Air temperature: 15C

I have had my eye on this race for quite some time. However I was spending so much time running that I never got a chance to get in the pool. I had also promised to be a guide swimmer for @ramavery but unfortunately she was unable to swim and I was sad to no longer have a reason to swim 4K in a cold lake. Being woefully under trained for a swim (I hadn't been in open water since 2008 and in a pool in 6 months) it would be down right silly to jump into a cold lake and swim 1, 2 or 4K.

Photo by Mike Melansen / Runner's Life Peterborough

But I'm pretty silly.

Race morning came and I kept trying to come up with reasons to not swim. Under trained, cold, no wet suit, rainy weather - I had them all. I figured 1 or 2K would be all I should take on. Until I got to the registration table and said 2, but would it be OK if I attempted 4?

And they said sure, swim as far as you like and happily took my race day entry fee.

What's hilarious about this picture is that I was swimmer #116. Post race I took a picture of my number, time and 4 fingers to show that I swam 4K. Vanessa Run pointed out that her emergency contact number was 911 was well.

For 45 minutes I chatted with other swimmers and waged a battle in my head about the distance to cover. 2K was logical but 4K was silly. Only serious swimmers and athletes training for Ironman swim 4K on a freezing Sunday morning. 

Or endurance athletes with a few screws loose. 

After I swam 2K, the logical part of my brain said yup, you've swum 2000 meters, that's good. You can go home and see your family. Then the endurance athlete part said - "but you're only half done. And there's lots of people behind you which means you won't be DFL".

So I kept swimming and passed another 4 wetsuit wearing swimmers and finished in 1:29. I averaged 22 minutes per 1K lap and swimming was just like riding a bike - once I got in there and just kept swimming I was fine. 

Thanks to Runner's Life for organizing a great race!

About Jen Pinarski

Jen is a mother, freelance writer, runner and cyclist based in Ontario. She is a popular blogger with Today's Parent, where she shares the challenges and triumphs of being a stay-at-home mom. Find her on Twitter.


Alili said...

So crazy and so awesome! You're a natural fishy!

Michelle said...

Amazing!!! You are a fabulous swimmer!!!!!

Well done girl! A+ for making it happen!

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