I took these pictures before the swim began this morning. First, I must say that I was greatly relieved to see a MUCH calmer ocean than the ocean that I jumped in yesterday. It was mostly sunny, and the clouds moved in just after the swim ended, even sprinkling us with a few drops of rain. I saw two lightning bolts way out there about a half-hour before the swim began. The Oceanside Swim Club did a fantastic job! What a super-organized event! The City Lifeguards were great, and the ample safety support staff, jet skies, paddlers, and red boat were as professional as it gets.
The water temp was 62-64 degrees, with the inside water being noticeably cooler than the outside water. The waves were breaking big close to the pier but where we started, just north of tower #3, was calmer. Personally, I was concerned about getting out through a massive surf, but the surf zone at the starting line was probably 3-4 feet, with about 5 feet maximum on the big sets. The photo of the boy above was one that I took because he was the first person out of the water in the first heat. I think that the kids were doing two different distances-turnaround at the first orange, round circle buoy or the second buoy. I was in the green cap starting heat. I took my time going through the surf because this was my first official pier swim and I wanted to conserve my energy. I did 38 minutes and thought that a time like that would leave a bunch of people behind me but, to my surprise, I was the one toward the back of the field. I don't see any race results posted but I got a quick look at the papers on the desk in the amphitheater listing finish times. I'm sure that lots of us will be checking back later on the Oceanside Swim Club site. The swimmers around me were spread out and I only made contact with another body five times-just mild contact. I imagine that the body contact was up front with the good swimmers. I will say that I felt no shame being in my trunks in the 50-plus group. There were male stomachs larger than mine so I blended in just fine. It seemed to take a long time to reach the first big, orange buoy for me, even though I felt good. I hit it at 15 minutes. The second leg was much easier, and I hit that buoy at 27 minutes. The final swim in was nice, and I liked the movement of the water carrying me along toward the sand. I swam until my hand touched sand and it was a very easy water exit. I had planned and expected much more difficult conditions and was quite pleased with the day. The clean, crisp water felt great on the body, just the way I like it. I guess my final thoughts are that I just felt that I did worse than I expected. I really wish that after I finished I could have watched other swimmers exiting the water after me. I know there were some more, but I don't think there were that many. You people are GOOD ocean swimmers! I may be the guy who swims the pier frequently, but now I know that I must work myself to progress to a higher level. You fellow swimmers are a good example for me! Who knew so many old people were such good swimmers? I'm 54, so I figure that I have a few years to improve my times. See you in the water!
Oh, I forgot to mention that my goggles were washed off of my face when the first big wave washed over me coming in to the beach.