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Saturday, July 12, 2008

SWIMMING WITH KINGS

The King's Swim is a 1.2 mile out and back course that starts on the mauka (mountain or land) side of the pier and ends on the King Kamahameha hotel side of the pier which means you have to swim through a narrow, shallow channel just before the finish.

(This photo is the start of the race. Nobody wanted to be up front apparently, which is where I should have started. BE MORE CONFIDENT!!!)

Today I was the epitome of anti-confident. I meant to be confident, but I just had no confidence in my confidence (real or fake — sorry Bree). But fortunately, that only lasted a couple hundred yards. But by then the damage was done. I got in with a group of three other swimmers. One in front of me, and the other two just in front and on each side of me. That was fine for the first 200 or so yards but then they slowed way down when I wanted to speed up. I tried going between two of them but they moved closer together and blocked me. I moved to the other side and couldn't get around that swimmer either.

All three of them kept creeping off to the left as well (away from the pack) and taking us off course. Finally I had had enough. I stopped and let them swim on ahead then cut over to the right and aimed for the pack.
(Photo: Me passing the last buoy before the finish.)

For some strange reason though I kept veering off to the left all day. Normally I swim pretty straight — one of the few swimming things I can be proud of — so I was fighting that most of the day.

I was closing in on the pack (a true back of the packer, right?) as we approached the turn around boat. The turn was around the Body Glove catamaran boat and felt extremely slow.
(This video is me just coming through the narrow channel and into the beach area to the finish. Look at those long, relaxed strokes. I was really feeling good through here. Why can't I have that stroke all the time? Maybe I should warm up for 1.2 miles every day.)

Heading back the sun was smack in my eyes on every breath. I could have breathed on the left side but I swim much slower when I do and I just feel way more comfortable breathing on my right. I never really found anyone to draft off of through the whole race and I didn't want to take the chance of getting boxed in again so I pretty much swam on my own.

With the sun in my eyes on every breath, I lost sight of the pack or either it broke up coming around the turn so I just tried to catch whoever was in front of me. Even with that goal I got passed by a couple of swimmers that I could see as I took breaths.

I kept sighting on what I thought was the finishing buoys but it turned out to be the wrong buoys and I ended up a little too far to the left and had to take a hard right to get into the channel.

I know you shouldn't compare times from different courses, but I beat my Honu (at Hapuna)half Ironman time by 3 minutes. It wasn't a great time for most swimmers but for me it's a good start. I now have a time on a course that has a permanent buoy I can occasionally check to see if I am making improvements.

I ended up sixth out of my age group and I also won a cool door prize — a 4 hour raft and snorkel cruise for two with Captain Zodiak.

Also, check out Karen and Rebecca's blogs. They FINALLY posted something new ...

5 comments:

LeAnn said...

You swim so well. Nice stroke.

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I'll certainly need to warm up more than 1.2 miles every day over the next year to prepare for that swim. It is a great swim course and one we should all be familiar with. As you get faster you get to swim with better swimmers and they help you move along a lot more than those at the back. So it gets funner as you get faster, too. Did you wear the Speedo Lazer Razer or whatever it is to do the swim?

LeAnn said...

hahhahahaaha...you're funny. Hows all your toenails...are they intact?


I think bree got third overall. Do you know how many pro slots for Kona?

debbie said...

Randy, sounds you liked had a pretty good time. Sixth in your group is really good. I Love the video.

BreeWee said...

oh I love King swim so much, bummed I missed it!! Randy, you are still super, one swim and you learned something BUT next time, no more "back of the pack"

Glad your knee is on the mend.

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