I posted the below on IG and felt like it was a pretty good race summary. Overall I’m so happy with the way this year went. I trained nearly 200,000 yards for this race and made a huge improvement in my overall finish position (+273 out of 983 total swimmers).
Today’s race was insane! Good warmup, neutral conditions (cross swell) and family in town made everything feel calm as I took the line. Then it went sideways. I got out fast, with an aggressive position on the run-in start. Smashed a 57 second first 100 yards as I crashed through the surf and rounded the first buoy a little wider than I’d hoped. Rejoining the fray, as I neared the end of the first pier, I started heaving, my stomach attempting to reverse the flow of salt water that was flowing over my nose and into my mouth. Heaving meant that I couldn’t breath out properly so I sucked in even more water, all while 800 swimmers swarmed around.
I rolled, gasping for air, and just as I turned, my goggles popped. NOPE. I snatched them before they sunk to the ocean floor. Settle down and swim! I took a deep breath, refocused and shot ahead, swimmer by swimmer I pushed. Up ahead I could see a few swimmers with paddleboarders next to them. Stick with that group and go to the front. I caught the group and with the final turn about 400 yards away I pulled ahead surging with everything I had left.
As I prepared to exit the water, I saw a half dozen lifeguards in the surf waving to swimmers gesturing to the sand. Huge leg sucking inshore troughs. Swimmers fell to their knees swallowed to their hips and forced to crawl out. I did my best to recover from the the quicksand and sprinted past a few less fortunate swimmers across the line!
Finally on dry land, my body attempted to expel the remaining salt water from my stomach as I choked back the urge to puke. Phew. Done! Safe in the arms of my wife and family I dared to ask, “how’d I do?” 23 minutes shaved off of last year’s time! 57:07!
I couldn’t have done it without everyone along this journey. It felt so good knowing the support of this community would push me through any mental battle out in the water. Thank you, thank you!