Grand Columbian: The Swim


Here we are all lined up for the start (finally). Look how nice that lake looks! (T and I are at the far right… T has his hands on his hips.)

And we’re off!

The start was so crazy that I couldn’t even figure out where the buoy was that I was aiming for. It took me a little while to gather my wits and figure out where I was going, but eventually I was on my way. They had the same rope buoy line as last time and there was a solid line of swimmers on it. I was going faster than they were, so I started just passing them and not worrying about the line. I saw T in line as I passed him and saw him see me, which was funny. Eventually, I found an open spot on the line and settled in. The chop was pretty significant but I was able to deal with it, the real problem were these waves that would sweep through and just move me two feet over. It was hard to get a rhythm in such conditions, but I actually felt like I was swimming well. I was passing folks pretty regularly and staying pretty close to the buoy line (mostly because I could hardly see over the swells.)

When we reached the far buoy, the buoy line had blown over and we basically were swimming toward the people who were behind us, which was very disorienting. I knew that the buoy line was wrong, but had no choice but to follow it, given that I couldn’t even see the shore from where I was. When I could finally see the arch, I broke from the line and tried to swim as straight a line as I could toward it. M’s ability to spot me swimming is uncanny:

I knew the conditions were tough, but I was very disappointed to see 47 minutes on my watch when I stood up. (I thought a 40 minute swim was very doable for me this year… ) Oh well, time to shake it off and move on.

I was very grateful that T and I had done some run workouts after some of our swims in Green Lake. We’d done it to save time, but it was very handy in being able to run to transition as well. 🙂

T was only a minute or two behind me:

Transition was tough. I was still brooding over my rough swim and trying to fish my bike gear out of the giant trash bag they’d given us was tough. But I managed to stuff my wetsuit back into it and get myself out onto the bike. (All told T1 took about seven minutes… )


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