Santa Cruz Rough Water Open Water Swim

July 30, 2011

This is a 1 mile swim that goes around the Santa Cruz Pier. I had planned for this to be the highpoint of my open water swimming in 2011. In 2009, I did the same swim without knowing what I had signed up for, and almost gave up right after the first couple of strokes in the frigid waters.

So this time, at least I knew it was gonna be cold, and it was. During the pre-race instructions the announcer told us the temperature was 58 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 14 Celcius. He made a bad joke about having turned the dial yesterday, but to no avail. HaHa.

I left the house around 8am, and got stuck in a major traffic jam on Highway 17, so the trip that would normally take around 45 min, instead took an hour and a half. Oh well, I still had plenty of time.

I had pre-registered and went and got myself signed up and got handed a bright green swim cap, indicating that I was in the 40-and-over category. They also gave out some really nice sweatshirts, which was a pleasant surprise.

Last time I had stayed out of the water until race start, resulting in a rather unpleasant and surprising experience when I hit the cold water, so this time I figured it would be a good idea to take a little warm-up (or cool down) swim beforehand. I swam around for a couple of minutes, and it was cold, but at least I knew exactly how cold.

The start went off in front of the Boardwalk fair ground in three waves. I was in the second wave, and after a mad dash to the water, I jumped in. Having already been in the water, it wasn't as bad as I recalled from two years ago.

The swim went pretty smooth, and I finished around 27 minutes, which was 3 minutes faster than last time! Yeah!