Sunday we got to sleep in a bit as it was an 11:30 start. We made it out to Sandy Point State Park without too much of an issue. Arin and I pick up our numbers (40 and 41) ran into Tammy and Dad set up ladder ball. ME found us, we relaxed and played some ladder ball as Mom and Dad took pictures. After listening to the pre race talk, we got into our wet suits, I greased up, and we all headed to the beach. They decided to start the swim 15 minutes early - and I should have known...
Mile 1 was pretty easy. I did pull way to the right (south), but had plenty of time to correct. Mile 1 was about 28 minutes.
Mile 2 wasn't too bad. I didn't want to go too quick, knowing I had 2.4 more to go. I stopped at the food boat, had a cracker, and went on my way.
Not exactly sure what happened next. I told Arin, Tammy and a few others - in all my experience, to stay to the left. Some how, I didn't and I started to fight the current and stay within the bridges. I threw up a few times and won't be having cran-raspberry clif blocks any more. It took me about an hour 10 minutes to get to mile 3.
Knowing I don't quit, I just kept saying to my self I am not a quitter, and to keep swimming. I adjusted my focus from swimming to the north bridge to angling the correct way to the south bridge. I went from breathing on my left to alternating to just my right. I counted pylons to know I was actually moving somewhere - even though the mile 4 buoy wasn't getting any closer. At one point I turned around behind me and saw a barge go by and I knew I was close to the end but I didn't look at my watch. I just kept swimming. The person in front of me grabbed a kayak. I saw the person behind me grab a kayak. I wasn't stopping until I had to.
What felt like forever, and the mile 4 buoy not getting closer - a kayak yell for my attention and it as over. 1 hour 16 minutes and I only made it another half mile. My day was over, about 3.5 miles, 3 hours and 22 minutes. I grabbed on to the kayak and were were shot out of the bridges like a cannon. I climbed onto one boat with 4 other swimmers. We were transferred to another boat with 4 others swimmers. 9 of us total.
Somethings I heard/learned on the boat and from others after the race
- Last year there were 20 people pulled, the year before 15. This race, over 100
- They misread the current by 2 hours
- One swimmer wouldn't stop and they sent the police after him.
- There were 2 other Ironmen on the boat
- There was 1 point where it looked like someone just turned on the current - straight south, and people looked like they were just swimming in place.
Unfortunately, I couldn't focus on that and just lost it. I was so mad, upset and shocked at not finishing. I wasn't even prepared to not finish - it wasn't even a thought. So my reaction wasn't my best when I saw Mom, Dad, Arin, ME, and Brooke. And Brooke brought cupcakes!!!
So now, a day later, I know it's not the end of the world. I did my best, and it just wasn't enough this time. All I can hope is that I do better, become stronger, and move on.