Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Amazingly, this race has already warranted a post detailing the situations that fall into the good, bad, and ugly categories.

In the good AND bad category, they have determined the current is likely to be too strong for the original swim course to be used. Heavy rainfall is predicted to increase water flow even further. So, there will be a few changes.

First, the "upstream" portion of the swim will be in a more protected portion of the stream. And the downstream portion will be a larger percentage of the total swim. It will, however, now be a counterclockwise swim. Bad news for those of us who breathe to the right.

Second, they have been measuring water temperatures, and current temps are about 87F. For those unfamiliar with USAT rules, wetsuits are prohibited in water temps over 84F. I've done 5000 yard swims without a wetsuit. It appears I may get to do my first Ironman the same way. The final determination will be made Sunday morning. Fun.

Finally, due to the nature of the area where the swim will start, we will be starting a bit differently than your normal Ironman. To minimize congestion, this race will be a time trial start. Each racer will cross a timing mat at the beginning, and they will start us in "expected time" order, going every couple seconds. More fun.

So, the good is that I'm here. It appears my worries over the mass swim start have been alleviated. The bad is that I'll be swimming the wrong way. The ugly is that we may not be able to wear our wetsuits.

The race hasn't even started and the bizarre stories are presenting themselves.


Brent Buckner said...

Interesting swim!

Sascha said...

We did a time trial start at my first Olympic a few weeks ago. It was awesome. You'll love it. I still got run over a bit by a few folks, but it was never as insanely congested as a mass start. A person into the water every 3 seconds. We swam clockwise. I still had to stop and look around for sighting. You'll be just fine. Sit back and enjoy it. The swim is the easy part of your day.

Sux about the wet suit though :(

Bill said...

It's good to see that the folks running the show are so responsive to the changing conditions, especially when it comes to racer safety.

For some real entertainment, browse over to the Slowtwitch forums and read the grousing about all of this. For folks that spend hundreds of hours a year in all sorts of weather and several dozen miles swimming, there sure is a lot of whining about the temperature and whether or not they'll be able to wear a wetsuit. Even the time-trial start.

One can only shake their head.

Good luck and have fun!

Vickie said...

I heard about the swim changes, and wasn't surprised about the no wetsuit possibility. That has been speculated for some time actually. Personally, I would welcome a non-mass start, so hopefully it will work for you. As for the changes, better to be safe than sorry, either from the athletes' perspective or the race officials. I'm sure they don't want any dark clouds hanging over future events.

stronger said...

So long as you don't swim backwards!

Hope the excitement is building! Have a great race!!

Wendy said...

IP, at that temperature you might poach yourself in a wetsuit! ;)

We'll be cheering and and checking IM live on a regular basis.

Listen for the virtual cowbell!

Taconite Boy said... head swimming. Get it...swimming...sorry

Have a great day. You worked all year for this day..its yours so enjoy it!