Managed to get one open water race in this year, and it was WaveOne’s Washington’s Crossing, a swim across the Potomac and back.
The swim was on 23 August, starting and ending at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. WaveOne is run by marathon swimmer Denis Crean; he and I saw each other last year at Swim the Suck where he killed that course.
I happened to be in the DC area at the right time and took advantage. I suffered in that I registered way late, and this swim’s entrance fee goes up as the date gets close. But I figured it was worth the money seeing how every other race this year has been cancelled.
Denis & Co. have their crap together as far as COVID is concerned. Check-in was staggered based on whether you were doing the double (swimming to Jones Point Lighthouse on the VA side and back) or doing the single (swimming to the halfway mark then back to Nat’l Harbor). Everyone masked up. Once you walked down the ramp to the pier there was a blue trash can to dump your paper mask (provided by Denis) and then you jumped in, no putzing around.
Once done, you were to get out, grab your finisher medal and paper mask, walk up the ramp, get your crap and skedaddle.
There were only 35 or so of us so that also helped, and everyone did a good job of keeping six feet or more away from each other. All in all, very well run.
The swim, as you can see from the map above, was an out and back. Yours truly, of course, managed to swim way more than 2.5 miles. On the way back I got pushed up to the bridge; I knew I was too far over when I saw the bridge as I was breathing on the right. Yes, I was that close to the bridge I could see it on my left side! Added about a quarter mile to my swim. Doh!
The buoys coming back kinda threw me. At one point as I was maybe 300-400m away from finishing a kayaker told me to head for the “tomato red buoy” (as opposed to a cylindrical one). So I started aiming for it. Another swimmer, Pete, was right next to me. We both headed to the tomato. Only issue? It was moving.
As we were toward the back of the swimmers, the organizers decided to start taking up the buoys. Turns out the tomato was moving toward the end of the pier. If I had gone right around the buoy, I would have run into the kayaker and pier. Pete and I bumped.
Got that all figured out and could finally see the two small green-yellow buoys which marked the finish line. Put the pedal to the metal, which meant I sped up my arms an infinitesimal amount and finished a bit ahead of Pete.
Climbed the ladder, showered off for 10 seconds, got my medal and mask, and skedaddled. It was awesome. Results came back later: 1:50.12. Not bad for no swimming March-August!