Race Review / A-
Now, I have to tell you all about the actual race, the Point to La Pointe 2 Mile Swim! This is a 2.1 mile, point-to-point, swim that starts in Bayfield, WI and ends on the shores of Madeline Island. This is the 5th year of the event and it continues to grow every year. The inaugural swim in 2006 included 24 participants. This year the race was capped at 300 and a total of 287 swimmers participated. It is a great event that has been done as a fundraiser for the local rec center and pool. Last year they made $15K and I'm sure they made even more this year! Participants come from as far away as New York, Florida and California. The race fee, $79, includes a hooded sweatshirt, a coupon for breakfast on Madeline Island and a ferry ticket for the ride back to Bayfield.
Sam and I flew into Duluth, Minnesota on Friday afternoon. My parents had left a car for us at the airport so we were able to get on the road quickly. Friday night turned into a family affair as both of my brothers and their families came to Bayfield for the evening! Sam, me and my dad went and picked up our race bags and then met everyone for dinner at the pasta benefit. After we filled up on spaghetti we headed down to the lake to check out the swim start.
It was a beautiful evening.
I got a good night of sleep and we woke up at about 5:30am. Our condo was just 2 blocks from the race start so we were able to easy into the morning and then walk right to the start :)
The swim was spilt into 3 waves. Men, women and community swimmers (they have their own escorts and can swim with flippers). I said goodbye to Sam and my dad and then jumped into the lake to get in a short warm up before the start.
|Men's Start at Bayfield|
|Women waiting to start|
After we rounded the first buoy we started to spread out further. Then, there were just a few swimmers around, and then I was alone. There were only five buoys for the entire 2 miles so it was recommended that we just sight on the opposite shore (this is the only reason I gave the race an A-. I think they need more than five buoys for a 2 mile swim). There was a natural "hump" in the skyline and we were ending just to the right of the hump. I felt good and strong. The water was cool, but not cold, and I just focused on trying to swim smooth and straight. I think I started passing some of the men's group after about 2/3 of a mile.
I stopped a few times to breast stroke and get my barrings. I looked to my right and saw that the buoys were VERY far to my right. Based on the the land and the "hump" I didn't think I was that far off course but I figured I better angle in that direction. This is where the green line below angles back towards the red.
|Red Line: Straight Shot; Green Line: My Course; Yellow Dots: Buoys|
Finally the house came into clear view and I could clearly see the house and the balloons every time I sighted. I started to pick up the pace, thinking I was almost here, but every 20 strokes I would look up and realize I wasn't getting any closer...
In the pre-race meeting they mentioned a current and it was at this point that I could feel the current was pulling at me a bit. I tried to correct for the current and stay the path but I actually ended up on the other side of my original line and had to veer back a bit.
After I overshot the exit a bit I corrected again and made a bee line for the finish. I could hear the person announcing the finishers and I knew I was finally close.
I ran out of the water and across the timing mat. Total time was 1:08:17. I looked up and saw my mom, sister-in-law and nieces cheering for me. It was lots of fun to finish and have your family there to support you!
Official Time: 1:08:17
Pace: 32:59 min/mile
Age Group Place (F20-29): 5 of 14
Female Place: 32 of 119
|Coming in for the finish.|
You might recall my goal was to go sub 1 hour. However, now that I've done the race I think that was probably a bit unrealistic. I did not take the current or the possible chop into consideration. Sighting was also a problem that I did not anticipate. I figured a point to point swim would be easier than doing circles, however the lack of buoys and the way the swimmers spread out made it more challenging.
Shortly after I finished Sam came in with a time of 1:23:25 and my dad was right behind at 1:26:19. My dad did great and took nearly 10 minutes off his time from last year!