On Hill Events Tri Clinic at Willard Bay

My friend and Great Salt Lake Open Water partner Gords was asked to help with a triathlon clinic last night that was sponsored by On Hill Events.  I had a lot of fun and was lucky to have him ask me to help out.

On the drive up, the weather was looking sketchy.  I though for sure it was going to rain when we got to Willard Bay.  The clouds were dark and the wind was picking up.  By the end of the evening, it was absolutely beautiful.  The wind died, the clouds cleared and the sun even came out!

When I got to the reservoir, I found Gords and Jim Hubbard and we got things ready to go.  Jim already had his wetsuit on and he and Gords set the buoy that we would be using for the clinic.

I really liked the way this clinic was set up.  The group met together for some prizes and instructions and then split up into three smaller groups that rotated through swim, bike and run "mini clinics" every half hour.  It was much more manageable to have a group of 10 to 12 instead of 35 to 40.  At the end of the "mini clinics", race director Joe Coles had organized a "mini triathlon" so that people could practice the things they had just learned.

Gords went over the basics of open water swimming including how to choose the right goggles, pro's and con's of wetsuits, body lubricants, sighting, swimming straight, starts and finishes and drafting.  He asked me to cover buoy turns following the four steps found in the open water issue of USMS "Swimmer" magazine.

The water was surprisingly warm at about 63 degrees.  We had the swimmers practice starts, swim out to the buoy and then practice buoy turns.  All of the swimmers that I watched did a great job on their turns.

This was the second open water clinic I have been involved with and I loved it.  I'm already looking forward to next week when Gords and I will present our clinic at the Great Salt Lake.

Thanks to Gords for asking me to help (and for plugging the site) and for Jim who brought his buoy and hot chocolate.  Thanks to Joe Coles and On Hill Events for putting together a great clinic.  Thanks to my parents and brother Jake who watched my boys while I helped with the clinic.  And thanks to Har for bringing me my towel :)


Tracey Rumsey said...

Thanks for presenting at the Williard Bay clinic. That was my first time in open water and I have a lot to learn but at least I felt safe with a low intimidation factor.

PS I have no problems swimming in a pool, but swimming "blind" and in colder water is going to take some getting used to. Aside from practice, any other pointers you can offer to get more comfortable? Thanks.

Josh said...


I'm glad you made it to the clinic and found it useful.

I really believe that the only way you can get more comfortable in the open water is to spend more time in it. You can practice things like sighting in the pool, but it's not the same.

There are several triathlon clubs and groups that meet for regular open water swims. As Gordon mentioned at the clinic, we swim at least once a week in the open water and you are welcome to join us anytime. Just be sure that you don't swim alone.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.


Chad said...

Josh, thanks for your help at the Willard Bay Tri clinic. I have read and read about the turns, but to actually see it live and in person helped a ton. now to practice it more and more. I have seen you guys in the past swimming the lovely pond in bountiful on my way to work while driving legacy highway. i might have to give it a try sometime.

Josh said...

Thanks Chad! I'm glad practicing the turns was helpful.

We would love to have you swim with us anytime!