Iron Mike's Marathon Swims The life so shorte, the crafte so long to lerne

Introduced a friend to Russian open water

August 27, 2017 / by ironmike

Today was a beautiful sunny day in Moscow. Partly cloudy by the time I got to the lake, but the sun made several appearances, which was welcome. Brought my friend Jen to the lake at Strogino today. We forgot the water-side selfie, but we managed to take one by the tank that fronts the entrance to the park area.

Unseen is we’re still in our suits, getting respectful looks and comments from Russians walking in the park bundled up against the 15C air temperature.

The water was wonderful. With all the rain on Saturday, I figured the water would be cold, but it really wasn’t. I’m guessing in the 20-22C range. Jen brought her shorty-wetsuit, but I told her the water would probably be ok. She toe-tested the water and decided not to go running back to her car and to just swim in her normal, English Channel-legal suit. She was glad she did. Within only a few strokes we were both plenty warm, with or without the sun out.

The lake was also practically empty. We saw two boats, and they were going very slowly and the drivers apparently saw us in our bright yellow swim caps with my bright orange tow-float. Having learned from the MChS boat a month ago, I had us stay near the shore. None of those ministry boats were out patrolling, but at one point we both realized the bottom was getting closer and closer (like a meter or so from the surface) and we stopped, and noticed a fisherman standing in the water looking at us like we’d just ruined his catch. I apologized for us and we took off, going a bit farther from shore.

Jen is just getting back into swimming, so when we were a bit away from our proposed turn around point, we stopped, right around the entrance to the Moscow river. I’ve seen boats come screaming out of the river into the lake, so I wanted to warn her about keeping our eyes open. She was really interested in keeping today’s swim to around a nautical mile. We had already passed a kilometer (I set my Garmin to warn me every k), so we decided to turn around right there and repeat our route.

I forgot to start the Garmin at first, so we’re about 50 meters shy for the total. No biggie. About a mile and a half in total, not bad for all the stopping we did. Everything goes well, we’ll probably swim there again next weekend. We’re two members of the three-person team going to Sochi at the end of September to swim at an open water festival in the Black Sea. Jen, Sabrina and I will each do a kilometer loop in a 3 x 1000 relay race (эстафета, in Russian). Jen and Sabrina will also swim the nautical mile event and I’m swimming the 5.5k. We will of course report from Sochi.

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