Race Report #1: Laurie Ellis
Rainy. Thunderstorms. Construction and detours to get on 93 North. Why were we going to NH to swim again? I wanted to swim the mile. But I didn’t really want to die in a fiery car crash on the way. Desire to race won out. …and the fact that my sister was driving and she wanted to race, too!
We made it – my sister, husband and I got to the off-site parking area, it stopped raining and we found ourselves waiting for the shuttle to take us to Camp Otter. While in line, I saw fellow TE member, Mona, and once on the bus, was greeted by Rachel and her husband, and Kelly and her boyfriend! And I knew that Amy was due to swim, too. Hurray for a strong TE showing.
We got to the pond, suited up, and went for a warm-up swim. The water wasn’t too horribly cold – somewhere around 70 is what we were told. Definitely cold enough for wetsuits, especially with the cool air temperature: mid 60’s? Maybe?
Suited up, warmed up, and waiting for the race to begin. Nerves. The start was delayed a bit to allow the final shuttle to make it to the pond.
The 1/3-mile swimmers were sent off in one large wave – there goes Amy -, then about 6 minutes later, the men milers started. Finally we (women milers) were instructed to swim out to the start point and tread water (?!) until the horn sounded. That was probably the hardest part. We were all trying not to hit the people around us while also trying to stay afloat! Just try treading water while keeping your arms and feet to yourself. In a pack of anxious women who just want to start SWIMMING!
HONK and we’re off. We swam out a short way to the first buoy where we turned left and then continued straight for quite a while. The course was a long rectangle that took up a good portion of the pond. The water was a little murky and the sky was gray, but sighting the big orange balls was the only thing I cared about as I zig-zagged my way through the crowd. I waved to my husband as I passed him, but he was busy trying not to drown and didn’t notice!
After I finished, it was fun to hang out at the finish line and cheer people in. 160 swimmers showed up. 5 of them from Team Envision. Way to go!
Race Report #2: Mona Miklosik
We were welcomed by the sounds of house music at the starting point for the Captain’s Pond Swim Race. The scene was wet, but thankfully the morning’s torrential downpour had ceased. After sliding into my wetsuit, I saw Rachel and Kelly after they finished their warm ups. Rachel graciously walked me out on the dock to give me a view of the large rectangular course; I swallowed hard quietly murmuring, “what have I gotten myself into?” One mile had never looked longer. Since our heat was last to go, I had time to calm my nerves and expunge counterproductive thoughts. I waited to be last in the line and didn’t regret it; I didn’t want to be caught in the excitement and go faster than my pace.
When the horn went off I forced myself into a “mental swim zone.” Note to self:focus is key, but next time balance the task with sighting. Though I was headed in the right direction, I swam directly into the first buoy. Thankfully, I’m a pro at laughing at myself; I’m also sharing this because Rachel witnessed the collision and insisted it be included in my race report;-)) I got off course a couple times but the kayaks bellowed at me with their microphones. Although I swam further than I needed to, I was calm and counted my strokes, and rotated my hips and shoulders; I practiced swimming with my head down in a neutral position and it was over before I knew it. I gave myself an extra push out of the water and ran past a woman heading towards the finish – Success! I completed a one mile swim in a racing environment!! Next time I’ll be running to the transition area for the Mass State Tri on July 17. Hooray for training, triathlons and TE!
Race Report #3: Rachel Vaughan
The morning thunderstorms cleared, but my nerves hadn’t. I had covered a mile before, but in a pool and with breaks so I was a bit nervous as I stood on the beach in my wetsuit Saturday morning contemplating the swim I was about to attempt. I had my teammates encouraging me, my husband cheering me on from the sidelines, and I kept reminding myself of my goals.
- To cover the distance without stopping.
- To have a smile on my face when I finish.
The horn went off and the mass of arms and legs did too! They don’t freak me out per se, but I still don’t feel super comfortable in them. I made it to the first buoy just fine, my nerves were still a bit jumpy, but then I saw my teammate Mona swim straight into the buoy!! We both got a good laugh, then put our heads down to keep on swimming. My nerves calmed down as I found my rhythm and by the time I turned the buoys at the far end of the lake I knew I was going to be ok. I knew that I was going to be finishing this distance without a problem. And yes, I had a smile on my face when I finished. My husband took the picture to prove it.