Swim & Fin, Salem, Mass on 26 August

On Sunday I swam the Swim & Fin 5k up in Salem, Mass. After my epic fail down in Richmond, VA, I needed a “win” in this distance. While I didn’t win, I showed! Again! And in Salem…again! Maybe I should do all my swims in Salem? I’m 2 for 2 there.

The swim was awesome. It consisted of three laps in Salem Harbor. With water beautifully cool; 70F at the shore, probably 68-ish out in the deep. As you can see below, it was a nice big lap. The current was going out, or north (left) on that map. And we got beat up on that end. The green dot is the start/finish, and we swam counter-clockwise. The last three buoys on that route…wow, like a washing machine. But I like swimming in that kind of water. Gives me a challenge and makes me feel like I earned the finish. My only concern, and the thing that got me booted in Richmond, was the course time limit. Here in Salem the limit was 2:15. I’ve done two 2-mile swims this season and both in about an hour and six minutes. You’d think I could then do a 5k in about 1:40. Nope. I got booted in the Richmond 5k after two hours and nine minutes. With the washing machine water on one end of the swim I was afraid I’d not make the time.

As is usual with me, within about half a loop, I was on my own. By the second loop I started to worry that I was dead last. At the third-from-last buoy, finally some of the fast swimmers started passing me. While it would have been awesome if no one passed me, I was happy that it was at the end of my second lap. Still, I was pretty sure I was dead last. I searched a couple times, and saw some 5k swimmers (in green caps) way ahead of me (~300 meters), but didn’t see anyone behind me. Ugg. Then, toward the end of lap #3, a couple kayakers started coming alongside me. Uh-oh. Am I gonna be kicked off the course?

Nope. Right at two hours. 2:00.17 to be specific. Non-wetsuit. Yes. Swim & Fin Salem divvied up the results by wetsuit and skins. God bless ’em. I hung around the finish after I was done, just in case, like the last time in Salem, I ended up on the podium. And no sh!t…I did! Third place. Again. How awesome is that?

Yes. I’m wearing my suit behind that banner.

The RD had a lot of fun with my name, both when I was stepping up on the podium and when I was walking back to my family. And the DJ just happened to pick The Eye of the Tiger when they announced the Mens 50-59 non-wetsuit winners. What a coincidence. /snort/ And nine other swimmers finished after me. I was so glad to see that the RD allowed four swimmers to finish past 2:15.

All in all, two thumbs up to the organizers for a great event!

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