2013 Pensacola Bridge Swims

timsroottimsroot Member
edited February 2013 in Event Announcements
Is anyone else planning on doing this swim this year? The 25k is back for a second year, and moved to Saturday to make it easier to swim without burning an extra day of vacation. There is a new course for this year, although instead of an out and back course, there will be a 3 loop course. The 10km is back for the 4th or 5th year, and the 5k continues. This is a pretty well run swim, although I don't think it is very well publicized, as most publicity seems to spread by word of mouth. The 25k is, I think, $65 still, so it's a pretty reasonable swim, although you are required to find your own on water support.

http://gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5724728 Here is the new route for the 25k.

Registration is available at www.imathlete.com

Comments

  • I'm signed up, although a possible work conflict might prevent me from actually getting down there. I'd say chances are 60/40 that I'll be able to participate. I'll know for sure in mid-April.
    Lactate is for wimps.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I want to do this at one point. It just won't work for me this year.
  • IronMike said:

    I want to do this at one point. It just won't work for me this year.

    I understand. I do recommend the swim, though. And Pensacola is a good beach to visit, too.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Was stationed there in the past. Still have friends living there, including a SUP who I will use when I do this swim. Miss that area.
  • I'm interested in doing this. Any recommendations for finding a local support kayaker or SUP?
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • I just emailed the race director to see if he had some suggestions. Thanks for sharing this event, Tim. I wasn't aware of it and have been looking for a long open swim in prep for the Red River rampage in July.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • Signed up. Now all I need is a flight, hotel and a kayaker. Details, details.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • molly1205 said:

    Signed up. Now all I need is a flight, hotel and a kayaker. Details, details.

    Good deal. If you're looking for a hotel, I'd err toward either Pensacola Beach, or downtown Pensacola. The race hotel is not too terrible, but it's not the best hotel, either. That said, you can't beat the geography, even with the movement of the start location.
  • smithsmith Member
    Due to business conflicts, I am relegated to swims up here in the Rust Belt until September, and will not be able to make it down to Pensacola for this event. I'll shoot an e-mail to the race director tonight just in case someone wants to take my spot. Good luck to those on the forum who are participating!!!
    Lactate is for wimps.
  • Thanks to @timsroot, I now have a support kayaker and no excuses. I'm excited about giving this a go! I never would have even had the glimmer of a glint of an idea to do something like this if I hadn't stumbled across this forum. And now I find myself stoked about swimming hour after hour in the ocean just to see if I can do it. Well played, marathon forum, well played.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • The 25k is over. I had an 8:22. @molly1205 came in first female at 9:40. The water started out very calm. The race organization had some confusion about the course early in the race, and they had to adjust the course during the race, but it all ended working out all right. The wind built over the course of the day, and the chop built out of the south. Thankfully, this year we didn't have to go straight into it at all. I was very pleased with my time, and my husband and wife kayak team did a wonderful job.

    I did learn today that I can puke without breaking stroke. I'm probably prouder of that than I should be. My kayaker took some video of my finish. I should try to get it up on YouTube.

    I'll probably post a longer write up when I get some time to gather my thoughts.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited May 2013
    1st learn to walk
    2nd learn to swim
    3rd learn to puke while swimming

    #-o I wonder what the next step will be. :-?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Niek said:

    1st learn to walk
    2nd learn to swim
    3rd learn to puke while swimming

    #-o I wonder what the next step will be. :-?

    Not sure, but the next step sounds swimming. If I could learn to pee while swimming, that would be wonderful.

  • NiekNiek Member
    edited May 2013
    If you're able to pee while treading water you should start swimming again the moment it starts while you're are treading water.
    I bet it won't stop after it started. This way you'll get the feeling.
    Then the only thing to learn is to get it started without treading water first.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
  • Well done guys! @timsroot, you may be the first swimmer to learn to puke while swimming (yes be proud) BEFORE peeing while swimming!
  • Well done guys! @timsroot, you may be the first swimmer to learn to puke while swimming (yes be proud) BEFORE peeing while swimming!

    I can do it while treading, if I'm treading with my hands. I need to figure out that secret.
  • The longer version of my take on Saturday:

    We got to the hotel that serves as the start and finish line at about 6am. My kayakers, Julie and Joe had already unloaded their kayak. I gave them what I needed for them, my first mixed bottle, the rest of my bottles with powder but no liquid, gel to mix in the bottles, water, and applesauce packets. We stowed a couple gallons of water with the neutral kayak, and I headed to the start. Amanda, my wife, put sunscreen on my back, I lubed my shoulders and arm pits, and chatted with the race director and a few competitors for a few minutes before the race was staged.

    I was considerably less nervous than last year. The conditions were calling for winds to build to 10-15 mph out of the south, which would be less unfavorable than last year. Between that and having fought through last year, I think that have me a lot more peace about the swim this year.
    The race director briefed us about the course, checked everyone in, and at about 6:45, we got wet. 6 of us walked our into the water. I was the last to actually start swimming. We rounded the marina pier, and I took the inside line to the buoy that marked the turn under the bridge. I took that buoy first and was first under the bridge. I backstroke under the bridge, and set of on my first lap.

    The course consisted of three clockwise laps of about 8km. The first straightaway was about 2 miles long, so I couldn't see the buoy that marked the next turn. Unfortunately, the wave runner that was supposed to have set that buoy had electrical issues, and didn't get it set on time. As a result, almost all of us swam for the wrong buoy. Eventually, everyone figured it out, and we swam back out toward where the course would have been. Julie estimated that I had swum an extra mile. Julie told me about it, sounded a little frustrated, but told me they would probably adjust the course. I expressed my frustration, put my head down, and kept going. I had lost my lead and the order had been reshuffled, but it was what it was. We were maybe an hour into the race, no need to get worried yet.

    After the long stretch, the navigation got easier for the rest of the lap. I had to adjust my lines to account for the wind pushing the swimmers out into the bay, but after the windy 5k I swam 3 weeks ago, I apparently did this pretty well. I saw people near me, but based on what Joe told me a bit later, I opened a lead back up.

    I can't say enough about how great Joe and Julie were. Julie had me on a 20 minute timer, and like clockwork, every 20 minutes, Joe would throw me a bottle. Julie was encouraging, without being too over the top about it. They helped me navigate when I want sure which buoy was next, or if I couldn't see the buoy (which I couldn't see on the long stretch). When I wanted something other than the carbo pro (which meant applesauce or mouthwash) it was right there.
    I held myself back a lot the first lap, swimming steady with long, easy strokes. My stroke held together pretty well during the whole race, although I got continually more sore. Going into the last lap, I was feeling tired, but still okay. I had thrown up a little bit a few times (without breaking stroke!), but nothing as bad as last year. I was keeping my feeds down pretty well, and didn't dread stopping for them. The cool mouthwash was a lifesaver, and helped keep everything from tasting like salt.

    For the last lap, the course adjustment was to turn the long stretch into an out and back. This meant hard navigation on the way out, and the last sheltered part of the course twice. On the way out, it took what felt like forever to find the buoy. Unfortunately, with as tired as I was, I got lazy about sighting, so I veered a bit into the chop. But, I finally got there, and made the turn. I had similar problems on the way back, but not quite as badly. Backstroking under the bridge the second and last time, I went for home. My wrists, shoulders, and elbows all hurt, but my stroke was holding together quite well. I made the turn into the finish cove, and finally made it in 8 hours and 22 minutes.

    Amanda was on the beach to see me finish. I came up as overall winner, which was a cool feeling. I was very pleased with how the day turned out. Out of the 6 that started, one pulled out after 6 hours, and the other 5 finished the last person came in a touch after 10 hours (conditions were a lot less crappy than last year). It was a little weird with everyone who was there made me feel like a small time celebrity.

    Julie got a video of me finishing, I'll try to get it parsed together and put on YouTube.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Wow, only 6 people entered?

    Thanks for the write-up. These "after action reports" are integral to our community as it helps those of us planning our skeds to fully understand what the race is like. Appreciate it very much.
  • IronMike said:

    Wow, only 6 people entered?

    Only 6 people started. He had told me a couple weeks ago that 13 were registered. I think he called 8 or 9 names on Saturday morning for roll call, but only 6 were there. He knew of a couple people who had other stuff like business trips that apparently came up last minute. Last year, he said that 13 were registered, but only 6 started last year, also.
    IronMike said:

    Thanks for the write-up. These "after action reports" are integral to our community as it helps those of us planning our skeds to fully understand what the race is like. Appreciate it very much.

    No problem, I enjoy it. I'm an engineer by training, and currently work as a financial analyst, but I still enjoy writing. My hobbies give me a good outlet for that.

    By and large, I'd reccomend this swim. So far, the longer swims (10k which is 5 or 6 years old, and 25k, of which this is the second time) are pretty low key events. I like the race director who has had the race for 10 years or so, and I think that he does a pretty good job.

    That said, they did start moving some buoys before everyone was off the course, which I thought was poor form. I think that they were trying to get ready for the 5k/10k which are both run on Sunday, but they should have waited to do that. I stayed at the beach until the last swimmer finished, and heard some complaints about that.

    RD mentioned at some point after the swim that he might move the 5k and 10k to Memorial Day, possibly, and run the 25k a seperate weekend. While the local guy would complain about it (he complained about getting cold on the last lap in 75 degree water), I would much prefer to have this swim in Late April or earlier in May. This is the third year I've done these swims, and the first year that the water has been below 80. To be fair, the water hasn't been above 82, either, but on the Gulf in May, Open Water season most years is drawing to a close until September or October, because the water just starts to get way too warm.

    Not sure if the course will remain for next year, especially if the start venue changes (which there was mention of as a possibility). Personally, I think that the laps helped me out mentally, although, the conditions not being as shitty as last year probably helped that just as much. Depending on what he wanted to do, you could string together a few really cool swims in that area. That said, I don't know the patterns of boat traffic in that area to know how feasible any of them are.

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I lived in NW FL 98-2000 and then again 2005-07 (before I discovered OW swimming, unfortunately), and understand about the water temp.
  • @timsroot, in my post-race fog I missed that you won the race. Congratufreakinglations! That is awesome! I was relieved and thrilled to have made it back to the beach. My longform report is pending.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • molly1205 said:

    @timsroot, in my post-race fog I missed that you won the race. Congratufreakinglations! That is awesome! I was relieved and thrilled to have made it back to the beach. My longform report is pending.

    Thanks. It was a nice bonus, and I was pleased with it.

    While my left wrist is still really sore, I'm getting a massage this afternoon, an hopefully it helps my wrist and some other stuff. That said, I thought I swam a smart swim, holding back a LOT in the first lap or so. I never really swam all that hard, but I was tired and sore at the end of the race. Was a good sign for END-WET.
  • Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • Hope your wrist feels better, Tim. A massage makes everything better!
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • molly1205 said:

    Longform report here:

    Glad to hear you had a mostly enjoyable weekend. I was having digestion issues instead of shoulder pain last year, but I understand your feeling of wanting to stop, and just wanting to be out of the water. My kayaker then helped me through. I'd be willing to guess that most people, especially in some of their earlier long swims, have similar feelings.

    I hope your shoulder recovers quickly, although be careful not to rush back in too soon.

  • Heather was fantastic. She was an excellent guide and literally kept me going with her encouragement. I don't know how she managed to make feeds, keep me going in the right direction toward the next buoy and fetch the rest of the water in between loops. And somehow slip in and out of that kayak a few times to make a rest stop herself. This is definitely a team event with your support kayaker. I was very fortunate to have Heather.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • molly1205 said:

    Heather was fantastic. She was an excellent guide and literally kept me going with her encouragement. I don't know how she managed to make feeds, keep me going in the right direction toward the next buoy and fetch the rest of the water in between loops. And somehow slip in and out of that kayak a few times to make a rest stop herself. This is definitely a team event with your support kayaker. I was very fortunate to have Heather.


    I agree. Swims like that wouldn't be possible without decent support. I didn't mind not getting awards, but one thing Amanda pointed out, and I agree, is that the race organizations should do something for the paddlers. Based on the emails he's sending out, @Fil is doing a good job of that for his swim. I hope that practice spreads beyond his race.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtJ4HjI6eW0

    My finish of the 25k. The woman talking was the wife of my paddling team. She's telling her husband to stop near the end. The woman in the red dress at the finish is my wife, and the man in the hat is the race director.
  • What a powerful and swift swimmer - at the end of a 25 K!
  • Thanks. It hurt a lot more than my stroke makes it look. I was very pleased at how well my stroke held up
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    edited May 2013
    I like her comment at the end. "Just threw up a couple times, too."

    Congrats. Wonderful finish.
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