Today I would take part in the 1km outdoor swim, just like last year. My goal for today was simple: swim faster then last year. My indoor time was good, around 17.30. So that promised something. Here is how things went down.
Registration would be around 18.30, with the start sounding at 19.00. However, I was stuck in traffic, big time. By the time I got home it was around 18.15. So I quickly gathered all my stuff and rushed towards the starting area. Dinner would have to wait until after the race.
The starting area was a mere 5 minute drive, so I made it on time.
Registration was at the start line, well, on the bridge over it. You just had to say your name, retrieve a swim cap, and you’re set. After a swift change into my wetsuit, into the water it was. There wasn’t many time left for a warm up, so a quick up and down towards the start would have to suffice.
As I am not the fastest swimmer of the pack, I lined up in the 2nd or 3rd row, waiting for the horn to sound. Rules for this race are simple. Swim to the buoy, turn around, and swim back. Stick to the right side of the canal, no hitting, kicking, or pulling wetsuit zips.
A quick sound of the horn and we were off! As expected, the line in front of me blasted off, not to be seen again. A few were swimming my pace so I tried drafting of them.
About 2/3 towards the turnaround I had to let them go, to stick to my own pace. I was swimming in a nice gap, so I could focus on my technique. On the turnaround, I used a backstroke to quickly turn and swim in the other direction. Never did this before in a race, but worked well.
I pushed on, and while breathing to either side, I noticed a group started to gather behind me.
As we progressed, I kept monitoring their progress towards me. At the final 100 meters or so I sped up, ensuring they wouldn’t pass me.
With that, my race was over. The results were in. I ended up finishing 13th out of 25. In a time of 17.33. This is around a 1.5 minute improvement over last year.