Saturday, August 4, 2012

We survived the big lake!!

This morning we tackled Lake Superior. It was a very fun race- 2.1 Miles from Bayfield to Madeline Island complete with lots of big waves!! It was so awesome to have other Brainerd competitors there with Margie and I. They all swam well and so did Keith, our friend from Ashland who, along with his wife Judy, generously opened their home to us. Thanks Judy and Keith- we had a blast with you!

I should have gotten reports from others, but forgot in the excitement after the race. For now, I'll just give you mine. There were two waves for the start (450 competitors!) - a men's wave and a women's wave. Starting 8 minutes after the men, we had plenty of time to watch our fellow male friends take off. Sean, with his unique stroke was easy to pick out as he pulled away from the large group with the lead pack. After seeing them fade into the distance, it was our turn. The water temp was 72 - perfect for in a wetsuit. The course had buoys set out every third mile, but somehow I managed to miss all but the first and last. With the big waves, it was hard to sight - probably 80% of the time when I took a peek, all I could see was water. There were plenty of support kayaks, so I put my trust in them to steer me back on course if I strayed off too far (which they did!). I felt pretty alone most of the race with the exception of the person who tapped my feet every 300 yards or so. That was kind of annoying (after all, it is Lake Superior, there should be plenty of room for two to swim without hitting each other!), but I tried not to let it bother me. I only hoped they would not go flying past me in the last stretch to shore - thankfully, they did not. I felt very relaxed and comfortable in the water today and found a good rhythm that seemed to work okay in the waves. For a long time, I just keep swimming enjoying every moment before I really had any sense of where I was going. Suddenly, however, on a chance sighting, I saw the finish drawing near. The race was coming to an end already - I was almost disappointed because it was so much fun being tossed around in the rollers. At the finish, I learned I was the 2nd woman there and first in my age group - that was just the icing on the cake of a very fun swim! Soon Matt and Matt were there too and we cheered on the other Brainerd swimmers as they came in. Everyone swam well and seemed to have fun. Matt R. placed third in his age group - what a great way to celebrate his birthday! Happy 26th Matt!!

The first picture is Margie, me (don't I look great with bunny ears?- thanks, Margie!) and Laurie after our swims.
The next is of Keith, Margie, Matt R (with #43), me, Matt D and Amanda in the back; Sheila and Laurie in the front. The only Brainerd swimmer missing in the picture is Sean.

We will be slacking - or recovering :) until Tuesday when we plan on swimming Round and Farm Island both in Aitkin County.

Please keep those donations coming in - we are getting VERY CLOSE to the big goal for both the alligator and the lily pad crossing safety pads. THANK YOU to all those who have sponsored us so far. We are so blessed to have so many generous people helping us do something cool for the youth and others who use the aquatic facilities at our YMCA!

And...don't forget to have dinner at our local Taco Johns this coming Wednesday 5-9p. 20% of all sales will go to our endeavors!!

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