Race Report: Kingdom Swim 2015

Newport, VT, for those of you who have not been, is a stunning little town with incredible lake vistas. The day before Kingdom Swim, Phil White, the race director, invited us all to register, attend a safety meeting, and have a happy pasta dinner accompanied by live music. When I left the festivities, I enjoyed this double rainbow:

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The next morning was supposed to start at 5am, with the deployment of the Border Busters (who swam 15 miles into Canada). But heavy fog on the lake delayed their deployment until after 8am, so we all sat and waited patiently until they left. Here’s my wonderful kayaker, Christine Murphy, packing up our kayak and getting ready:

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I don’t know if you can see the red buoy in the distance. The plan was for the kayakers to leave first, and for us to join them after a land start.

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People from 22 states came to the event (many Canadians, too), but I think I was the only representative of California!

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These are the kayakers heading out (you can now see the buoy to the left.)

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And this was the start/finish line chute.

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Ah, Desitin, the substance of glamour, the stuff dreams are made of. Here’s me pulling a convincing Boris Karloff impression.

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And… to the race itself. I simply could not believe the conditions. They were marvelous. The lake was glassy smooth! My shoulders twinged a bit, but a second Advil took care of that nicely, and my back, which was under a lot of pressure, recovered after I rested on land. We expected a lot of chop and strong winds across the lake, but were surprised, at the turnaround buoy, to find completely calm and serene waters. The warmish temperature (mid-70s probably) was tempered by an occasional welcome cold spring (a river flows through the lake). It was an incredibly nice, meditative swim, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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The happy team celebrating on shore!

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Many thanks to Phil and the wonderful and cheery volunteers; to Christine, who is not only an excellent kayaker but a very special and lovely person; and to the one and only Ruthie, proprietor of Little Gnesta and Vita Huset, whose accommodations and kindness regaled me with a great week of swimming and writing.

Those of you spending some time in town might enjoy shopping for groceries or eating light meals at the Newport Natural Market or warming up after a cool swim with the Tom Yum soup at Dusit Thai Cuisine.



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