Already on my first weekend down in Islamorada with The Race Club, after a 4 weeks summer break (“tradition” in Switzerland after the Swiss National Championships held in July), and after only 3 easy workouts, I went to Miami for the Open Water Speedo Swim meet on Saturday, August 27, 2005, together with Anthony Irvin.
Anthony and I left our house in Islamorada the day before, as we both don’t like to get up early in the morning (meet started at 9.00 a.m.). So we drove down to Miami in the early evening of Friday, to spend the night at Gary’s house.
On Saturday, at exactly 9.00 a.m., without having done any warm-up and not really feeling ready to do this 1 mile Open Water Swimming as early in the morning as 9.00 a.m., the race started with an impressing number of participants. We had to swim one round of the circuit which had been set out. The first straight I just wanted to get out of the crowd without loosing too much energies already at the beginning (take it as a short warm-up).
After the first buoy (left turn), my plan seemed to work. I passed the crowd without losing too much energy (what didn’t mean that I felt comfortable in the water!). Now I decided to go all out, trying to get the best result for The Race Club and for me. There was only one thing that made me a bit upset in that moment. I couldn’t see anyone in front of me, I was just somewhere in the sea on my own, between the leading swimmers in front and the crowd behind me. On this second straight, I passed a couple of others swimmer but I never knew my position within the race or how many swimmers were in front of me. This question was answered when I came up to another swimmer after a certain time. As the information given about the circuit prior to the start didn’t help my orientation, I decided to stay with this swimmer for a while to be sure taking the right buoy for the next left turn. As soon as this last turn was done and we started the finish straight, I “freed” my last energies and left also this swimmer behind me. And then finally, after a long period without any orientation, I was able to see the finish line flag! Seeing this finish line and some swimmers in front of me gave me new motivation and helped me to suffer a bit longer. When I finally passed the finish line I got the 3rd place over all. Even if the time (25m39s) is not excellent, believe me I was really happy with the result!
This was a great day for me and I enjoyed every minute of it (even those when I went trough hell in the race!). For the first time in my life I swam a meet in the sea, for the first time in my life I started together with Gary Hall Jr., I met new and interesting people, swimmers of all ages and levels…….And I’m really thinking about being back next year for this wonderful meet!
This is a piece I wrote for the Race Club where you’ll find the original diary post “Speedo Swim Miami 2005” as well as many others.