I apologize to everyone who responded to my request for comments on Deer Creek only to find out that they weren't able to leave a comment. The problem is fixed now and you should be able to leave comments.

If you still have trouble, send me an email at joshuakgreen@gmail.com.


Deer Creek 2010 - Ideas and Feedback Needed

I sat in on an informal meeting with Jim Hubbard and a few others last night as a sort of "debriefing" for the 2009 Deer Creek swim. There were several ideas kicked around of how the race could be improved and we are seeking input from participants, spectators and paddlers for the 2010 race.

There was some confusion this year with the turnaround marker for the 1 mile swim. We discussed getting, or making, better and more visible buoys to mark the course.

We also discussed the possibility of keeping the course limited to the bay and not having it go out into the open body of the reservoir. Swimmers would swim laps of roughly 2 miles. This would address some logistical and safety issues as the race continues to grow. It is also possible that by limiting the race to the bay, fewer kayaks would be required. This also seems to be a good idea for spectators, as practically the entire course would be visible from the pavilion.

Another idea that was briefly discussed was the idea of having staggered start times. Swimmers doing the longer distances would start first followed by swimmers doing the shorter distances. The idea here was that swimmers would finish closer together, making for a more exciting finish.

Another item discussed was to get a PA system for the pre-race meeting announcements and to announce the finishers.

If you have other suggestions or ideas, please leave a comment so that other people can see it and comment on it. You can also send me an email to Jim Hubbard at jim@wadsco.com or to me at joshuakgreen@gmail.com.

The event website may soon be getting a face lift and a new home. What things would you like to see on the event website?


Deer Creek Open Water Swim - (Late) Race Report

This year's Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim took place on Saturday August 15th. That was over two weeks ago and I am just now getting around to writing up my race report and experience.

I have been looking forward to this year's swim ever since I finished the 5K last year. Jim Hubbard and his team did a great job of organizing this year's race, which attracted nearly double the swimmers as last year.

I spent all day Friday checking the weather forecast, hoping that the 30% chance of thunderstorms would magically drop to 0%. The forecast never changed, but that didn't stop me from sleeping with my fingers crossed Friday night.

Things were looking pretty good early Saturday morning. The weather was cool, but felt really nice and the water was perfect. I was surprised how many more people were registered this year than last. Jim Hubbard told me that there were over 50 swimmers this year. That compared to about 30 the year before.

After checking in and picking up my race cap, shirt and other goodies I headed down to the boat ramp to get my kayak ready. I had borrowed an inflatable double kayak from my sister-in-law and had to get it pumped up. Luckily, another swimmer and paddler had a similar kayak and they helped us get ours pumped up faster.

With the kayak ready to go, I got ready to get in the water. I stuffed my GPS between two caps so that I could take a look at the data and see a map of my swim after it was over. On previous swims I got a little chaffing on my neck and armpits. This time I was prepared with BodyGlide. With about 15 minutes before the race started I downed an energy gel and washed it down with some Gatorade. With everything ready to go, I made my way into the water. It's always kind of a shock getting into the water, but I quickly adjusted and swam around a little bit to get warmed up.

The swimmers all lined up at the starting line and the paddlers hung back a little bit to give us some room. I am always a little surprised at how fast people take off at the start. I wasn't at the back of the pack but I was nowhere near the front. I have been in other races where I got caught up in the excitement of the start and went out too fast only to regret it towards the end of the swim. I have learned that I need to force myself to relax at the start.

My first mile felt a little slow, but I was feeling great. I told my dad and brother, who were paddling for me, that I wanted to stop every half hour to get a drink or eat an energy gel. My dad signaled the first half hour, but I was feeling fine and kept going. My first stop was just after the marker at the end of the bay. I drank a little Gatorade and kept moving.

My next stop was at about two miles. I took another drink and headed into what would soon become the most challenging section of the course. The wind really started picking up and I found myself swimming head first into waves up to two feet high. Several times I turned to take a breath only to get a mouth full of water. I lost sight of my dad and brother and though that maybe their kayak had been overturned in the waves. After fighting through more waves for about a half an hour, I saw my dad and brother out of the corner of my eye.

I past a few other swimmers who were also struggling in the choppy water and made it to the turn around. I signaled to my dad and brother that I wanted a drink and an energy gel. My brother, Jake, ripped off the top of the gel and passed it to me. I choked down the gel and he passed me my bottle. Something about the combination of an energy gel and Gatorade while swimming made me a little sick. For a while I thought I might throw up. The waves definitely weren't helping. Next time I will water down my Gatorade a little and eat a little gel at a time instead of all at once.

This whole time I was thinking that after the turnaround it would be a breeze and I would be able to ride the waves, kind of like body surfing, all the way back to the bay. What I didn't realize was that the waves were actually coming at me more from the side and not straight on. The way back to the bay was just as much of a struggle as getting to the turn around.

By the time I got back to the bay, the waves had calmed down but I started seeing lightning when I would take a breath. And then the rain/hail started. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I actually kind of liked the feeling of the rain/hail hitting my back while I swam, I just felt bad for my dad and brother; they were soaked! I knew from swimming at Deer Creek a few weeks earlier that I had about two miles left to go and I decided to stretch out my stroke and pick it up. It felt great.

A little while after making the turn and the marker at the end of the bay, I saw flashing lights on a boat speeding towards us. At first I thought maybe they were on their way to help someone in the water but as they kept moving towards me and the group of swimmers around me, I knew that they were going to pull us out. Sure enough, my dad stopped me to tell me that they wanted everyone to get out and wait for a boat to pick us up. I was so close to the finish that I could almost see it! I decided that whatever the consequence would be, I was going to finish the race. I could see a swimmer ahead of me and they weren't stopping. I looked behind me and the swimmers weren't slowing down either. I pushed on and made it to the end of the course and through the finish buoys just as the boat with the flashing lights was pulling up the the boat ramp.

My arms were pretty tired, but other than that I felt great. I had just swam my longest consecutive open water swim. My wife, mom and brother-in-law were there to cheer for me when I got out of the water. My son was asleep in the car and my sister and my new nephew were also in the car trying to keep dry.

After last year's race I had some goals to do more training, get better at navigating and to do something about chaffing. I was able to accomplish all of these goals which helped me to finish the swim. According to the unofficial results, I finished in 3:11:15 which was almost 20 minutes faster than I was planning on.

I am already looking forward to trying the 10 mile swim next year...

Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim - Preliminary Results

As anyone who was at this year's Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim can tell you, it was a wild ride. A combination of wind, lightning, rain and some hail added to the already challenging 1 mile, 5K, 10K and 10 mile courses.

Preliminary (unofficial) results for each distance are as follows:

Distance Name Time Place Gender Age Wet Suit Race#
1 Mile Carrie Scott 22:19:00 1 F 44 yes 22
1 Mile Lari Brawner 30:13:00 2 F 54 no 46
1.6 Miles Fisher Olpin 1:23:52 3 M 11 yes 61
1 Mile? Karen Sigler 1:24:01 4 F 53 yes 43
1 Mile? Elizabeth Craig 1:26:12 5 F 26 no 19
1 Mile? Derick Smith 1:38:21 6 M 47 no 16
2.5 Miles Dan Hutchings 2:20:31 7 M 31
1 Mile? Matt Wooton

M 53 no 49
1 Mile

1 Mile

Distance Name Time Place Gender Age Wet Suit Race#
5K Swim Craig Barnes 1:11:10 1 M 38 Yes 12
5K Swim Grant Hurst 1:13:30 2 M 25 No 26
5K Swim Brian Jensen 1:14:09 3 M 42 yes 6
5K Swim Eric Bjorkman 1:20:02 4 M 49
5K Swim Mattie Mulick 1:20:07 5 F 29
5K Swim Doug White 1:21:07 6 M n/a yes 17
5K Swim Randy Philpot 1:21:38 7 M 54
5K Swim Travis Bird 1:25:01 8 M 32 yes 65
5K Swim Rip Oldmeadow 1:25:55 9 M 38 Yes 56
5K Swim Cathy Philpot 1:26:09 10 F 52 yes 9
5K Swim Aries Grogg 1:27:49 11 M 42 yes 4
5K Swim Anna Marie Forest 1:32:00 12 F 40
5K Swim Wade Erickson 1:35:45 13 M n/a no 66
5K Swim Aaron Lombardo 1:35:46 14 M 34 no 1
5K Swim Rod Storms 1:37:38 15 M n/a
5K Swim Beth Ott 1:41:05 16 F 31 yes 5
5K Swim Te Koi Smith 1:42:33 17 M n/a yes 63
5K Swim Chris Kenney 1:42:47 18 M 47 yes 10
5K Swim Alicia Mathews 1:53:48 19 F 26 yes 2
5K Swim Jarom Thurston 2:16:37 20 M n/a yes 68
5K Swim Scott Kunz 2:22:57 21 M 27 yes 59
5K Swim Julie Bills

F 40 yes 39
5K Swim Jim Hubbard 2:45 ?DNF
M 58 no
5K Swim

Distance Name Time Place Gender Age Wet Suit Race#
10K Swim Stacy Toby 2:21:42 1 M 40 yes 60
10K Swim Will Reeves 2:25:17 2 M 56 no 67
10K Swim Josh Green 3:11:15 3 M 30 no 38
10K Swim Jared Hansen 3:14:46 4 M 31
10K Swim Jared Hawes 3:14:59 5 M 35 no 33
10K Swim Dawn Lee 3:15:51 6 F n/a yes 15
10K Swim John Karren
3 M 42 yes 36
10K Swim Gary Kamikawa
4 M 31 yes 22
10K Swim Justin Stewart

M 35 no 40
10K Swim

10K Swim

Distance Name Time Place Gender Age Wet Suit Race#
10 Mile Robert Jacobson

Male 52 no 57
10 Mile James Jonsson

Male n/a No 29
10 Mile Jason Crompton

Male 33
10 Mile Jared Collette

Male 27 No 31
10 Mile Kara Robertson

Female 34 no 42
10 Mile Katrina Loken

Female 28 no 45
10 Mile Rachele Beaman

Female 26 yes 53
10 Mile

If you have additional input or corrections, please email Jim Hubbard at jim@wadsco.com.


Sneak Peak of the "No Whining-No T-Shirt 8K" Open Water Swim

Kara Robertson, our neighbor from Swim Las Vegas, just gave me a sneak peak of an 8K open water swim that they are planning. The swim will take place on Sunday October 4th at Lake Mead and will be a "point to point" swim. Each swimmer will be required to bring their own support boat and paddler. It will be a good opportunity to get in one more long open water swim before the season ends. Oh, and did I mention that it's free?

Below is a ma
p of the course.


He Did It!

I'm a little late posting this but...Congrats to John Quackenbush who made history Monday by being the first person to swim the 19+ mile length of Bear Lake. He started his swim a little later than planned at 9:00am on Sunday due to colder than expected weather. John suffered from mild hypothermia and had strained his lower back and wrist by the end of his swim. John followed Channel Swimming Guidelines, which basically means that he could wear a swimsuit (no wetsuit), one cap and goggles and could not touch the boat or another person.

For more information on the swim, click here.

If you still haven't donated to No More Homeless Pet of Utah, you can do so quickly and easily on their website.


Good Luck to John Quackenbush Tomorrow

We wish John Quackenbush the best of luck on his attempt to make history by swimming the 19+ mile length of Bear Lake. He will begin around 2:00am Sunday morning on the north (Idaho) end of the lake and finish Sunday afternoon at Rendezvous Beach.

Here are a few articles about his swim in case you missed them:


If you haven't already shown your support for John by donating to No More Homeless Pets of Utah, please take a minute to visit their website and make an online donation.


TriUtah Jordanelle Course Preview

For those of you who will not be swimming at the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim or the Utah Half on August 15th, TriUtah and Salt Lake Running Company will be hosting a course preview for the Jordanelle Triathlon at Jordanelle Reservoir at 8:00am. The course preview will take place at the Rock Creek campground.

Salt Lake Running will have several wetsuits, goggles, etc for you to test out while you are there.

Recap of the Deer Creek Group Swim - August 6

We had a great time last night at the Utah Open Water group swim at Deer Creek reservoir. I had anticipated a group of about 7 people but, for various reasons, many people had to cancel and it ended up being just Gordon Gridley and myself.

The water was perfect. Gordon's thermometer showed 73 degrees which is much better than what we have been swimming in at Bountiful Lake. We started the swim at about 6:30pm. At that time, and probably partly due to the windy weather, there were not many boats or other people there.

We started out swimming easterly from the boat ramp down Walsburg Bay. The wind started picking up after we reached the end of the bay and turned to go back towards the direction of the boat ramp. It was a good experience for both of us to swim through choppy water and I think we both learned that it is best to stay relaxed rather than try to fight the water. It also helped to swim with higher elbows and really try to reach as far as possible. Even with adjusting my technique I still swallowed a few mouthfulls of water.

We swam back to the opening of the bay and decided to head back the way we came. The water was fairly calm once we got back into the bay until about the last mile or so when the wind picked up again and we got a chance to practice rough water swimming again.

I wish I would have brought a waterproof camera to take a picture of the sunset from the water. That is one of the reasons I love open water swimming. When will you ever see a sunset while swimming in a lap pool? I started thinking about tying a waterproof camera around my neck when I swim from Alcatraz later this month.

According to my GPS which I kept in my cap, Gordon and I swam 4.39 miles in about 2 hours 24 minutes (not bad considering the rough water).

For those who missed the swim, we will have to get together another time after the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim on August 15th.


Open Water Swimming 101 by James Jonsson

For those of you who are registered or are thinking about swimming the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim on August 15th, James Jonsson has written a great article about what you can expect and what to bring and has also included some helpful tips for race day.

Open Water Swimming 101.

You’ve probably heard that the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon is now a sanctioned USMS event. And you’re thinking that maybe now is the time to try open water but you’re unsure of what to expect. No problem, Utah Masters is here to help.

The Deer Creek Open Water Marathon is a friendly event with four distances; one mile, 5k (3.1 miles), 10k (6.2 miles), and 10 miles (17k). The race is held at Deer Creek Reservoir and starts and finishes at the South Marina Boat Ramp (the one closest to the dam). The race course starts by going south into Wallsburg inlet and then follows the south shore. There are four distance buoys marking the halfway turn-around points for each distance – the half mile marker for the one mile race, the 2.5k marker for the 5k, the 5k marker for the 10k, and the last one for the turn-around of the 10 miler. There are also several buoys marking key points in the race and they are placed to keep you within 50 yards of the shore at all times. In fact, you can swim as close to the shore as you like for most of the race so you’re never too far out.

Facts about the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon:

  • There are 4 distances; one mile, 5k (3.1 miles), 10k (6.2 miles), and 10 miles (17k). Each distance has a wetsuit and non-wetsuit division.
  • Each swimmer needs to have their own escort in a kayak, canoe, rowboat, etc.
  • The start is a water-start off of the boat ramp.
  • The finish is a water finish at the start buoy.
  • The course follows the southern coastline and keeps you close to shore.
  • There are course officials in boats cruising along the race to make sure everyone’s safe. Your escort will be given a red flag. In case of emergency, he/she will wave the flag and signify the need for assistance from one of the boats.
  • Historically the water temp will range from 67 to 70.

What to bring:

  • Yourself
  • Your escort and the following:
    • Canoe, kayak, rowboat, paddleboard
    • Two Coast Guard approved life vests. One that your escort wears and one for emergency in case you need it.
    • Liquid and/or solid nutrition
      • Liquid can be water, sports drink, etc. Has to be in a plastic bottle.
      • Solid can be gelpacks like GU, or a Powerbar, bananas, muffins.
  • Sunscreen for your escort and yourself
  • Body-glide if you are wearing a wetsuit or bodysuit
  • Colored swim cap
  • Towel
  • Sweatshirt, or warm up parka. It can be cold in the morning. The last two years the early morning air temp was in the mid 40’s but the water was upper 60’s to 70…nice!
  • A fun attitude.

Here are some tips:

  • Remember to pace yourself. Open water swims can be longer than you think. If you get too tired, you are allowed to get up on the shore or hang onto your escort and rest. However, your time won’t count for an official finishing time.
  • Pour your liquids into pull-top sports bottles. Don’t try to open a twist cap bottle in the middle of a race.
  • Tie a rope to your sports bottles. Yellow nylon 3/8” diameter floating rope works best. Figure about 8’ long. This way your escort can toss your drink to you and you don’t have to waste time handing it back.
  • If it’s sunny, bring tinted goggles.
  • Put sunscreen on your back, neck, and back of your legs, especially if you are doing the 10k or 10 mile. Of course, it will wash off but it’s better than nothing.
  • Make sure your escort goes to the bathroom before the start of the race, especially if you are going for the 10k or 10 mile. That’s a long time to be stuck in a kayak or canoe!
  • Most swimmers are bunched together for the first ¼ mile or so. Your escort doesn’t necessarily have to be right next to you until the pack spreads out a bit. Tell your escort to hang back or off to the side at the start of the race and keep an eye on you. Then when the pack thins out, he/she can get next to you. Your escort needs to be aware of other swimmers and not impede their course.
  • If you are swimming more than the one mile distance, there is a 180 degree turn-around buoy at the end of Wallsburg inlet. This is a tight spot and can get congested. Tell your escort to hang back and not follow you around this buoy. Let the swimmers make the turn and have your escort pick you up as you start coming back after the buoy. Twenty yards is enough distance for the escorts to stay back and out of the way.

Remember, open water swimming is all about freedom. Freedom from lane lines, walls, and chlorine. It’s all about fun. Get out there and have some!

If you haven't already registered for Deer Creek, please visit the event website.


US Trisports Open Water Clinics

In anticipation of US Trisports' Daybreak Triathlon at Oquirrh Lake, they are hosting several open water clinics along with University of Utah triathlon coaches. The clinics will take place at Blackridge Reservoir in Herriman and are free for those who are registered for the triathlon. For those not registered, there will be a small fee.

Dates and times are as follows:

Tuesday August 13, 5pm - 6:30pm
Saturday August 22, 9am - 10:30am
Wednesday August 26, 5pm - 6:30pm

For more information, please visit US Trisports' website.