6.13.2011

Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim - Friday

Rob, John, Suzie, Joe and Silvia taking their first dip in the Great Salt Lake.
Wow!  What a day on Saturday!  There is way too much for one post so I am going to split it up into "pre-race" and "race day" posts.

After taking care of a few things at work Friday morning, I took the rest of the day off to buy food and supplies, set buoys and haul kayaks to the southern tip of Antelope Island. 

I met Gordon, Rob, Jake, Goody and Brendon at the marina in the early afternoon.  It was fun to meet Rob and talk to everyone while we were waiting for the buoys to be delivered.

Getting the buoys in a straight line for the 1 mile swim turned out to be a little harder than we thought, and we spent a little more time than we had planned out on the water making sure that they were in right.  I think we've got a system down now that will work better for next year and make it go much faster.  A big thanks to Jim Hubbard for letting us borrow his buoys and to his wife Connie for hauling them up to the marina.  Gordon's brother-in-law Brendon was also a HUGE help in helping us get the buoys in place.  Thanks also to my brother Jake who was at the marina for as long as I was, helping to get things ready.

Looking out across the 1 mile swim course.
When we got back from setting the buoys, the kayaks were already loaded on two Utah State Parks boats to be taken to Antelope Island.  All of the 8 mile swimmers where there and it was fun to meet them and see how excited they were.  What a great bunch of swimmers!  It was especially fun to see some of the out of town swimmers take their first dip in the Great Salt Lake and see their reactions.

It was a beautiful, and bumpy, ride across the lake.  Dave Shearer and his crew got us as close as they could to the island and we unloaded the kayaks and strung them together.  Gords and I got in the water and drug all 11 kayaks from the boats to the island.  It ended up being a lot more work that either of us planned on.  We waded through waist deep water for probably a mile and a half to get to the shore.  We both forgot to bring goggles, so we had to wade all the way back to the boats instead of swim.

On the way back to the marina after dropping off the kayaks on Antelope Island.
The rest of the evening was spent organizing all of the equipment and supplies and loading them into the van.  Kara Robertson gave me some advice and told me to get as much sleep as possible the night before.  Yeah right!  I wasn't up as late as Gords, but I didn't get to bed until about 12:30am.

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