Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pier to Pier race tomorrow - hoping to break an hour

The stage is set: 900+ swimmers will begin a two open-water mile race in a mass start by heading into Hermosa water and subsequently exiting out of Manhattan water. No wetsuits allowed but "fleshsuits" are. I'm a bit nervous tonight; not at the prospect of finishing badly for this is not Alcatraz and I just want to have fun, but rather the 900+ mass start.

I have a feeling it is going to be a mess; or mass, for at least 1000 yards.

My plan is to start out fast heading out to the pier, then slow to a safe pace once I pass it to collect my breath. Then I will push it on the last 500 yards. I will watch out for cramping too. It's amazing how people start open water races. Most sprint for the first 50-100 once they are past the waves, but that is not enough, you have to go 200 yards. That worked for me and Anthony at Alcatraz. he finished 2nd in his division and I think I was 14th?

Hoping to see a lot of SCAQ swimmers like Dan L., Bill K., Kathryn, Will C., and many more. Anthony will be there. I think he is going to finish in the top 100.


Wendy said...

Best of luck -- and enjoy it!

Tony Austin said...

thank you, that is very sweet of you.

Daniel Slosberg said...

>My plan is to start out fast heading
>out to the pier, then slow to a safe
>pace once I pass it....

Since that's the strategy Clay espouses, I tried it this year for the first time. I doubt that I'll do that again. Though able to stay in clear water even as I rounded the pier, I was so wiped out once I made the turn that I was tempted to hop onto the next paddleboard I could grab.

Usually, I line up pretty far south, taking it easy on the way out, keeping wide of the pier and away from the crowds. I did go seven minutes faster this year than last, but how much of that difference comes from the new strategy and how much from a nice strong south current only Neptune knows.

I agree that they ought to do something about the mass start, and electronic timing would be great. But they do an incredible job as is; last week's Naples Island swim had only a fraction of the competitors but a myriad more problems with the course, the timing, and the tabulation of results.

Tony Austin said...

That mass start was a strategy fiasco for me! It was like swimming through a pod of thrashing cows wearing assortment of colored swimsuits.

My time was 52:40 I think and I placed, according to the popsicle stick I was given 280th.

If I do it next year, I am lining up right towards the front and I will let 50-100 people pass me rather than swimming through 75 gazillion bodies like a spermazoa racing towards an egg.

I am going to find out what a RFID chip would cost each competitor and email it to the project manager of the race.

In my opinion it would really be worth the extra $10 to make take the race a great experience.

daniel slosberg said...

I agree, especially if it means that they can stagger the start by entry time and/or gender and/or age, and still get accurate times.

Tony Austin said...

I think by time as you suggest would be the best way using the time from the previous year to stager the start .