Lake Saguaro – April 27th, 2016
Hollie, Taj and myself arrived at the Lake Saguaro marina around 6:50 am. Most of the swimmers and support crew had already arrived, but the speed boats were still being dropped into the water. Everyone was busy getting gear bags ready and discussing their feed plans for the day. As we approached the end of the parking lot, I smelled the unmistakable scent of the aerosol can sunscreen, there were quite a few people spraying it all around themselves. The sun was not quite hot yet, but we were all starting to feel the heat of the day.
Around 7:15 am Kent (the race director) started to call out the names of wave 1 swimmers. He asked them all to line up with their kayakers and head down to the dock where the speed boats would load them and their gear. This whole process was repeated until all 3 waves of swimmers, gear and kayakers were boated out to the beach near the end of the lake.
The beach was tucked back in the canyons of the lake, about six or seven miles from the marina. The kayaks had camped out overnight on the beach (with supervision of course!) and were already waiting for their occupants to arrive. This process went incredibly smooth! It seemed as if every detail had been thought of and before long, the first wave of swimmers boarded the pontoon boat assigned to them and were being shipped off to the REAL starting point, by the dam about a mile further down.
Another 45 minutes passed before wave 3 was on board the pontoon and heading toward Mormon Flat Dam. At 10:05 am wave 3 started. The water felt very cold at first, like, “take-your-breath-away” cold. But after about 30 minutes of trying to control my chaotic breathing, the water miraculously warmed up. The remainder of the swim was warm, with a few cold patches.
Taj found me right around the 30 minute mark, I had been drafting off of another swimmer until then, and was also spotting off of his kayaker to conserve a little energy. When I saw Taj beside me, I gladly broke away from the mystery man’s feet and bubbles to pursue my own path!
I was feeling really great; I was warm, I was hydrated, the water was calm, the sun was shining… I kept thinking the conditions would change but they never did. There was one section around mile six that had a strong headwind, but other than the 15 minutes we spent battling the wind, the conditions honestly couldn’t have been better.
There was one rather annoying lesson that I did pick up on today. If there is not something major bothering you, than all the dozens of minor things seem to be more bothersome than usual! For example, I expected to be cold. I didn’t expect to allow the pressure from my normally comfortable goggles to agitate me. I suddenly noticed all of this soreness and discomfort in my shoulders and hips… looking back on the day, I am thankful that these were the problems I had…
I finished the swim at 1:35 pm, my time for the day was around 3 hrs 30 min. I am having a hard time remembering my exact time from 2014, but I think it was almost exactly the same. Overall, the swim went very well and I am looking forward to successfully finishing the next THREE days of swimming!
As far as my fundraising goes, I am very thankful and humbled to say that I reached my goal of $5,000 today! There have been so many generous donors that I would like to personally thank, but for right now I am happy to have accomplished one of my goals… now to finish the other one – Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt!