Ohio River Open Water Swim Results

Saturday morning provided a good opportunity to get in 2.4 miles in the Ohio River prior to Ironman Louisville. The water temperature was actually warmer than the air temperature, which is a weird feeling. After getting more body marking than I thought was possible (both arms, both legs, top of my back and on my swim cap), all of us doing the 2.4 mile swim waded into the water an waited for the starting gun, horn, beep.
There was the normal kicking and pushing at the beginning that comes along with an open water swim. As we started, I knew that I was going to have a problem seeing the buoys. I couldn’t even find the first one. We were to following red buoys on the way out and yellow buoys on the way back. These red and yellow buoys were around 2 feet in diameter. They look easy to see until your eyes are only a few inches out of the water and there are people in front of you splashing around. I’m not the straightest swimmer in the world, and not being able to find the buoys until I was about 20 feet from them made for problems during the whole swim. At the start, turn-around and finish, there were larger orange buoys that were easier to see (shown in picture above). Good news is that IMLOU uses huge buoys, so I shouldn’t have this problem in two weeks.
Other than the zig-zagging route that I know I swam, the current made a huge difference.The two loop course meant that we had to swim upstream twice. Here’s what each of the two loops looked like for me:

Loop 1
Upstream – 25:26
Downstream – 15:59
Total for first 1.2 miles – 41:25

Loop 2
Upstream – 26:47
Downstream – 17:07
Total for second 1.2 miles – 43:54

Total for the 2.4 miles – 1:25:20 (official time was 1:25:16)

This translates to a pace of 2:12 per 100 meters. In a pool, where I swim straight with the aid of the lines painted on the bottom, my endurance pace is 2:00 per 100m. So if I would have been swimming straight, I could have done this 2.4 miles closer to 1:18:00.
I know that I said my goal was to finish somewhere between 1:30:00 and 1:35:00; so while I’m happy with my time, I know that if my sighting would have been better, I could have knocked around 5-7 minutes off of this time.
I finished 13th out of 28 males and 17th out of 47 triathlete’s that did the 2.4 mile swim. If you count all of the other swimmers (USA Swimming and Masters), I was 30th out of 63 total.
This picture shows me exiting the water, looking at my watch. I look really pale compared to everyone around me. I guess that Scape sunblock is working!!
After the swim, I hoped on Flash and did a quick ride. I rode 31.23 miles in 1:30:59 (20.6 mph) with an average HR of 137 bpm.

2 Responses to “Ohio River Open Water Swim Results”

  1. Matthew Smith August 15, 2011 at 5:41 PM #

    Nice work on the swim! I’d still be out there trying to swim upstream. You’re the man, and you’re going to rock this IM!

  2. Mike August 16, 2011 at 2:02 AM #

    Great swim! Nice confidence booster before IMLou!

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