One more from our swim last Sunday. Thanks, Louise, for the wonderful photo.
In case you missed them on my Twitter feed, here are a couple videos I took at Sunday’s group swim at the Point. A few intrepid souls will continue swimming into November, but for many this was the last swim until spring. The air was chilly that morning – about 50F – and the water not much warmer at 58. But the main obstacles to swimming were the strong northerly swells, reaching up to 6 feet once you got away from the rocks.
Five of us (or so) got in for a short swim, but it was a little too wild for a trip to the pier. Ruth-Anne, the star of these videos, arrived later which allowed me to document her adventure from the comfort of warm clothes.
The schedule of 2011 USMS open-water national championships is now available. I did the “grand tour” this year – and it was fun – but I had no plans to replicate it next year. Unfortunately, this schedule makes it look as if USMS is trying to prevent people from doing them all:
- June 12 – 10K – Fort Myers, FL
- June 18 – 25K – Noblesville, IN
- June 25 – 5K – Coney Island, NY
- July 3 – 1 mile – Sweet Home, OR
- August 13 – 2-mile (cable) – Lake Placid, NY
- August 20 – 2.4-mile – Madison, WI
That’s right – 4 of the 6 national championships are on four consecutive weekends! Even better, the marathon, ultra-marathon, and half-marathon distances (10K, 25K, and 5K) are on three consecutive weekends.
Some other interesting co-incidences (in the literal sense), especially relevant to marathon swimmers:
- the Fort Myers 10K – June 12 – same day as the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim
- the Noblesville 25K – June 18 – same day as the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim
For open-water swimmers, it always seems like the days of summer are too few. This really takes that sentiment to an entirely new level!
In order to apply for a spot in the 25-person field of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, one must have recent, documented cold-water marathon swimming experience. In practice, that means either a channel crossing (English or Catalina) or a completion of one of NYC Swim’s two ultra-distance events (MIMS itself or the 17.5-mile Ederle Swim).
Otherwise, one can do an “observer documented qualifying swim” – which in the case of MIMS means a 4-hour continuous swim in water 62 degrees F or colder.
Was I ready for a 4-hour, 62-degree swim? Not really. The longest I’d swum continuously was the Miami 10K in April (2 hours, 34 minutes in 75-degree water). The coldest I’d swum was 58 degrees, a few weeks ago at the Point – but that was only for 25 minutes. The closest thing to a “long, cold swim” I’d done was this year’s Big Shoulders – 71 minutes at 63 degrees. Then, this past Monday morning, I swam for 53 minutes in 60-degree water (2 laps of the 57th Street Beach).
But I was as ready I was going to be, given my narrowing window of opportunity. Lake Michigan had already begun its Fall turnover. Any day, a strong west wind could blow in and drop the lake into the 50’s – from which it might not return until June!
Bottom line: The era of full-body tech suits (B70 Nero Comp & similar) in USMS-sanctioned open-water events is now over. I believe this is a good thing, but I present the following without further commentary.
Well, aside from saying: From now on, my friends, you’ll have to keep your man-boobs in check the old-fashioned way!
303.6 SWIMWEAR FOR OPEN WATER EVENTS
Swimwear allowed for open water events is defined below and is not impacted by decisions of FINA, USA-Swimming or part 1 of USMS rules. It is the swimmer’s responsibility to understand the appropriate swimwear allowed at a particular event.
303.6.2 Rules for Category I swimwear for open water events
A. Swimwear shall include only a swimsuit, cap or caps (which may include those made of neoprene), and goggles. Swim caps shall be defined as head gear conforming to a traditional swim cap design and shall not extend to protect the neck and shoulders.
B. The competitor shall wear only one swimsuit in one or two pieces. All swimsuits must shall be made from textile materials. For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knees, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knees.
303.6.3 Rules for Category II swimwear for open water events
A. Swimwear that does not meet the requirements for Category I swimwear shall be considered Category II swimwear. Swimwear may include a swimsuit or wetsuit, cap or caps, goggles, arm bands, and rash guards. Nose clips, ear plugs, wristwatches and grease are also allowed.
And now, for a belated report on the Diamond Lake Open Water Challenge, in which I partook two Saturdays ago, September 18. I had been waiting on the official photos from the day, but no such luck. The images below I either took myself or scavenged off Facebook.
I hadn’t planned to do this race, but late last month I had one of those “Oh, what the hell” moments, and that was that. Even as the official Olympic marathon swim distance, 10K’s are still pretty rare below the elite level. And this one was less than a 2 hour drive from Chicago. I saw it as an opportunity to see what I could do in a casual setting, where I probably wouldn’t be racing anyone, in water that wasn’t 84 degrees – in other words, everything the Noblesville 10K wasn’t.
Yesterday afternoon, NYC*SWIM announced that the Little Red Lighthouse Swim is moving up the Hudson. The 5.85-mile course has traditionally run between 56th and 172nd Streets (or vice versa, depending on the tide). Tomorrow, and possibly also in future years, the swim will begin at the 79th Street Boat Basin and finish near Inwood Park, all the way at the top of Manhattan Island.
The new course is a full 10K, and will pass climactically under the George Washington Bridge just over a mile from the finish. The Daily News of Open Water Swimming reports that it will be the largest 10K swim in the world, with 250 swimmers.