Pleasant Swim June 6

A great crowd turned out for Event #2 of the Arizona Open Water Series yesterday and I was so happy to be there. I didn't get the final count, but I'm going to guess we had very close to 200 swimmers, mostly Masters, making it the largest Masters event in our state to date this year. There were an additional 180 triathletes there doing the Tribal sprint triathlon, so it was a very good overall showing at Lake Pleasant northwest of Phoenix.

The setting and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. We lit out of Tucson at 4:45 a.m. to arrive lakeside at 7:20 for the 8:00 start. It was overcast and about 80 degrees out. As we made our final approach to the lake, we passed the last of the cyclists riding at us, and the first of the runners heading our same direction back toward the lake. It was fun to watch the fastest triathletes cross the finish line as we were checking in for the swim.

We got in to warm up about 15 minutes before the start of the 4K. The water was PERFECT. Someone said about 77 degrees. Not even the slightest chill to it. It was clear and clean and calm...the kind of water that makes you want to swim forever.

Why anyone would wear a wetsuit in those conditions is beyond me, but once again I'd say the field was divided about evenly between wetsuits and skins, 4K and 2K.

The course was counterclockwise around 5 bright yellow buoys, twice for the 4K, with in-water start and finish. I had no body contact the whole time, except once around a buoy when an arm dropped onto me. It was just a nice, long swim. The wetsuit division, which left 5 minutes before us, allowed me to engage my passing gear off and on the whole way, which made for a rather nice work out. There were no currents and the water remained pretty flat until the last 20 minutes or so, when the wind created a small amount of chop for the final stretch.

Afterward, we were offered bananas and muffins and lots of great raffle prizes were awarded, including wetsuits, beach cruisers, and other stuff. The event was well run and the venue was superb. I've done races in different parts of this lake before and I preferred this one by far. The boat ramp made entry and exit very easy.

Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed this event. And for those of you who missed it...you have three more opportunities in 2009, thanks to the folks at DCB Extreme Adventures. The series continues on September 19 back at Saguaro Lake. Give it a try! For more information, visit www.dcbadventures.com.

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