The weather forecast for today wasn't all that great. And in the end the weather was, well, pretty ordinary really. The King of the Bay's is a 2.8k open water ocean swim between Milford Beach on the North Shore of Auckland, and Takapuna Beach, meaning that land is to your right and ocean to your left as you swim. There was a 15 knot easterly blowing (meaning that the swell and chop was coming from the ocean, with the wind blowing over your left hand shoulder. This suited me fine as I prefer to breath on my right hand side which I was hoping would lower the amount of water I was going to swallow.
At the start with the kids
1000 people lined up for today's race with the race starting in 3 "waves". I was in the middle wave with an estimated finish time of just under 1 hour.
The race itself was rough, in every way possible. The start was a surprising free for all. Surprising as I figured being in the middle "wave" there wouldn't be so much hard core competition, but nevertheless there was a lot of jostling and people trying to swim over other people (and then stopping to have a look around!). The race from start to finish was probably rougher than Ironman! I had someone try to break my toes. Someone stop in front of me, just as someone else tried to swim over the top of me (and this at around 2k into the swim). And I got hit in the face three times! I loved it!!!
The sea was really rough with big swells and chop right from the start. At the pre race briefing they were encouraging people to pull out if they were having second thoughts. The rough seas made swimming difficult and sighting really hard. I found that quite a few times, as I was taking a stroke, my arm would only just break the water, meaning my hand was dragging through (this would generally happen was a wave was going over). The end result being that I was swimming with a much high chest and should position than normal (meaning a lower hip and leg position - not ideal.
There were no race records set today, by anyone! I ended up finishing in 1 hour 18 minutes for my slowest swim ever. Interestingly enough I felt really strong and comfortable for the whole swim, so I'll put the slow time squarely down to the weather. (As a comparison, my last 2.8k Ocean Swim was the Harbour Crossing in 2007, I swam that in 1 hour 7 minutes and it just about killed me!).
All done, have just spotted the kids as I'm down the finishing shoot, what's an extra 30 seconds really worth aye?? Not as much as their happy faces!
So all in all I'm pretty pleased with my race. My lead up was pretty poor (I've been quite sick all week, and haven't been swimming a lot at all since Ironman). I'm just so stoked that I can actually swim something like this (I only learnt how to swim in 2007).
Now back to the run training ....