Santa Cruz Rough Water Open Water Swim

July 28, 2012

This is the third time I'm doing this annual swim, and the only open water ocean swim I've done. I've done many lake/reservoir swims but the ocean (Pacific) swims are different beasts, for one simple reason: the temperature. Today the water was a typical 58F, so I knew from past swims how that would feel. Last year I did a 5min practice swim just before race start to get used to the frigid waters, and that worked out a lot better. I didn't completely loose my breath and no thoughts about not completing the 1mile course entered my mind.

They had computer problems with the registration, so we stood in line for a good 45minutes. Not a big deal. I got to talk to Rob and his girlfriend from He's an avid blogger about his open water adventures, and I encourage you to check out his web-site. He told me about his close encounter with a group of not so friendly seals. Pretty exciting stuff.

I donned the neon green swim cap, indicating I was in the over-40 category, and joined the other 200 or so swimmers for the walk to the starting line at the other side of the pier. While waiting for the start signal, I noticed a guy suiting up in a full dress suit with shirt, tie, and nicely polished shoes. Definitely, a photo op, and I'm sure he'll end up on the front page of some newspaper article.

When stumbling into the water and suffering through the first 5 mins of coldness, things actually becomes fairly comfortable, when the numbness sets in.

I forgot to start my stopwatch, so I'll have to wait for the official results to see if I managed to beat my time from last year.