Winter Swimming at Deer Creek

How could you see this and not want to get in the water?

Ever since Jim posted a photo looking down the boat ramp at Deer Creek last week, I have been thinking about going up there to swim.

This morning I met Jim and Nate at the frost covered boat ramp for a quick dip.  There was a lot of mist coming off the water because the water temperature was actually higher than the air temperature.  It looked like it would be fun to swim in!

Getting ready to get wet.
If you have ever been around Jim on a winter swim, he doesn't waste any time getting in the water.  Nate and I were still setting out our gear (and working up our courage, I think) as Jim was wading into the water.

Our thermometers read between about 40 and 42 degrees.  It was actually warmer than I thought it would be.  I was secretly hoping we would have to break through the ice to swim (I even brought two shovels in case we needed them).  Unfortunately, there was no ice anywhere near where we were.

You can see some of the mist over the water.  What you can't see are the buoys that were hiding in the mist.

The water was MUCH clearer than at the Great Salt Lake and it was quite beautiful.  After the initial shock wore off, Nate and I decided we could make it out to one of several buoys about 150 yard out from the boat ramp.  On my way to the buoy, I thought we probably should have been wearing Safer Swimmers.  The Great Salt Lake Marina is so shallow right now and you can stand up just about anywhere.  Plus at the GSL, you are only ever about 5 yards from the shore.  Here it was different because we were swimming out away from the shore in water that dropped to a depth well over our heads pretty quickly.  If/when I go back up there, I will pack my Safer Swimmer for sure.

The mist seemed to be a little heavier near the buoys and, with goggles on, you could just make them out.  When we got to our turnaround buoy, it was covered in ice!  I wish I had tucked my waterproof camera into my suit to snap some photos.

We ended up in the water for just over 10 minutes.  I felt great when I got out of the water.  Jim is really on to something with the milk jugs of warm water, it feels great!  I think it helps with my recovery as well.  As we were standing there in the frost, our feet and shoes started to freeze to the ground.  I took my time getting dried off and dressed, because I really felt great.  I talked to Nate for a while, sipping on Jim and Connie's homemade hot apple cider.

Pouring warm water on ourselves after getting out and trying to keep our feet and shoes from freezing to the ground.
Nate asked us why we do this.  From reading his blog, I think he is still trying to figure out why he does it.  I told him that it was very likely that we were the only three people in the whole state doing this right now.  It is a (sometimes painful) rush getting into the water but the real rush and "cold water high" comes after getting out of the water.  It's kind of a cliche when people say that it makes you "feel alive", but immersing yourself in near freezing water has a way of reminding you of the fact that, yes, you are in fact alive.  It makes hot showers even more enjoyable.  There is also a sense of camaraderie that comes from doing something challenging, and kind of stupid, with others.

This was my last swim before the WFPBC New Year's Race at the Great Salt Lake.  I'm a little nervous about the water temperature and the last forecast I saw said the high would only be 24 degrees.  On the other hand, Gordon has done a great job with the safety planning and the only way it could be safer would be to not get in the water.

What a great morning!  I am looking forward to getting back to Deer Creek (or Jordanelle) soon.  Hopefully when there is some ice :)


Still Time to Enter the WFPBC New Year's Race

I've been chatting recently with Gords about the WFPBC New Year's Race that he has been working hard on organizing.  It's going to be awesome!

The shirts are in (and are really cool!), the media has been contacted, and the safety and volunteer crews are in place.  Now all we need to make it even more awesome is more swimmers and more spectators.

If you are looking for a great way to kick off the New Year, there is no better way than to challenge yourself by doing something difficult (and a little crazy).  There are a lot of polar plunges around, where you can jump in and get right back out.  But this is the only winter swimming race in Utah.  It is a short swim with a time limit of 10 minutes.  There will be plenty of trained emergency crew on hand as well as heated areas to warm up (this is a winter swimming race after all and cold water can be dangerous.)  Did I mention that the grand prize is a new tandem kayak?!

It will be a fun atmosphere on race day and the swimmers will appreciate spectators cheering them on.  If you are not quite ready to swim in the race this year, you should definitely come and check it out.  Who knows, maybe next year you will be ready to try it yourself.  SLOW swimmers, come and support your teammates!

The cost to enter the race is $40 for USMS swimmers.  Because of the extreme cold, you will need to "qualify" at one of the few remaining WFPBC clinics.  For those who have earned a cap this year, you are already elligible to participate.  Check out www.wfpbc.com for details on how to register.

For spectators, the race starts at noon on New Year's Day.  Please come and cheer on the swimmers!


Merry Christmas From WFPBC!

I was planning on doing two cold water swims today, but couldn't make it down to Provo this morning to meet up with Nate.  I wish I had, there was ice in the water!

I met Gordon, Jim and Alan at the GSL marina this afternoon for our last swim before Christmas.

It was a pretty nice day today.  The air temp was around 46 and the water temp was right around 39 to 40 degrees.

After snapping a few photos in our Santa hats, we got in the water.  There was a crowd of people who had gathered to see what was going on.  Jim said one of them put a single finger in the water to see how cold it was.  What people don't realize is that it actually gets better after a couple minutes in the water.

We took some more photos and then swam out to the rocks and back.  On the way out we saw some GSL friends heading out of the marina to go sailing.

On the way back, some duck hunters were coming back in on their boat.  They were bundled up as much as they could be and thought we were totally nuts for being in the water.  We talked and joked with them for a while on the way back to the ramp.

Jim, Alan and I ended up staying in for just under 15 minutes.  The recovery was really good for me today.  Maybe because it was relatively warm outside.  Jim said it was much easier for him as well.

I asked Alan if he was coming to the New Year's race and he hadn't heard about it.  I told him to check out the WFPBC website for the details.  He could do it no problem.

We sure missed having Goody the Ice Man there with us today.  Gordon went ahead and added him in to this awesome Christmas card.  Hopefully Goody will be well enough to take a dip on New Year's.

Merry Christmas from Utah Open Water!  I am looking forward to another exciting year of swimming and hope you will come and join us.


Goody's Ice Mile

I am still amazed at what I saw happen tonight.

Goody posted that he was going out to the GSL Marina for what could be his last cold water swim for a while due to his upcoming cancer treatment.  Knowing it might be his last time in the water for a while, I knew I had to get out there to swim with him and I think Gords must have thought the same thing.

Gordon and Goody before the swim.

Goody had mentioned that he wanted to swim two laps and that he would see how he felt.  My only goal was to stay in the water for at least 10 minutes.  After finding a suit that fit, Goody forgot his, we went down to the boat ramp and got ready to go.  The water temp was reported on the GSL Marina website at 41 degrees and all of our thermometers confirmed it.

Gords took off and swam out to the marina entrance and back.  Face-in free the whole way with no hesitation at all.

I stayed near Goody and did a mix of head-in and head-up free and breaststroke.  Goody did head-up free for a while and then switched to head-in free.  I swam out to the rocks and saw that Goody was going out further.  He went a little way out of the marina and then turned back.  We swam back to the boat ramp together.

At the ramp, he turned around and headed back out.  I followed a ways behind him, not in any hurry.  He went out to the same spot just outside the marina and turned back.  I swam head-in free and head-up free back to the ramp with him and then got out.  Goody stayed in and asked Gordon to walk along the shore to keep an eye on him.  He started swimming again and then stopped and said, "forget it".  I thought he was done, but I learned later that something clicked in his mind and he decided to go for the ice mile.

You can't really see him in this photo, but he is out near the marina entrance on his last (I think) lap.

Goody swam two more laps and looked strong the whole way.  Gords yelled down to me to start the heater in my car so that we would have somewhere warm for Goody to recover.  Gords and I were both yelling and cheering him on.  It didn't look like he was struggling at all until he got to the ramp after about 40 minutes and 1 mile of swimming.  He had trouble standing up so Gords jumped in and helped him up.  We covered him with towels and a jacket before moving him into the car.

Warming up in the shower.

The recovery was pretty scary.  I have never seen anyone that cold before.  Gords took his pulse at one point to make sure he was ok.  After sitting in the car for a while, Goody asked if the shower was open.  We cruised over to where the shower is and I jumped out and got it running and warming up.  Gords and I helped Goody into the shower, where he spent quite a while warming up.

We could tell he was getting better when he started talking and joking around.  He told us about all the struggles he has been going through lately and how much he wanted to do this swim so that he had something positive to think about before starting chemotherapy.  He told us about how the last two laps he got MAD and was chanting "F*** YOU CANCER!" to get him through.  Cancer picked the wrong dude to mess with!

After about an hour and a half, he seemed pretty much back to normal and ok to drive home.  I am so glad that I could be there to see his great accomplishment!  He is the first Utahan to do the Ice Mile and one of only a handfull of people in the country to do it.  Goody has been an inspiration to me many times and today was certainly no exception.  Way to go Goody!

Read his account here: http://goody4.blogspot.com/2012/12/13dec12-going-out-with-bang.html
And Gordon's here: http://gordsswimlog.blogspot.com/2012/12/utahs-first-ice-swimmer.html


Coldest Swim of the Year so Far!

Two new members of the Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club this afternoon: Miles and Anna.
I rushed out of work this afternoon to make it to the weekly Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club swim.  The water temperature was reported to be 38 degrees on the GSL Marina website.  I was excited to get in a test run of the New Year's Swim.

Gordon, Jim and Miles were already there when I pulled in with my family.  I waled down the ramp to join them and, after a little chit chat, we got ready and get in the water.

The water temperature that we measured varied from about 41 to 43 degrees.  This was the coldest swim of the year so far!

I have been a little anxious about the upcoming New Year's race because I haven't swam that far in water that cold.  I was looking forward to swimming the course today to make sure I could make the time cutoff swimming a mix of head-up and head-down free and breaststroke.

Gordon took off like it was a summer swim and didn't seem to have any problems keeping his face in the water.  I swam head-up free until I was near the marina entrance and then switched to breaststroke.  I wished I had taken my camera with me, because there was finally some snow on the rocks that would have made a good picture.

On the way back, I put my face in the water and swam for a while until I got to where Miles was.  From there I switched to breaststroke again and swam the rest of the way in.  I came in about a minute after Gordon, who finished in 6 minutes.  I'm feeling a lot better about the New Year's race now!

I wanted to stay in for 10 minutes, so I swam back out and talked with Miles for a while until he hit the 10 minute mark to earn his cap.  I swam out to meet Jim and when I looked back, I saw my neighbor Anna coming down the ramp!  She has been telling me that she wanted to try it out and earn a cap and she finally made it today!  She walked right in with no hesitation.  She did great!  I stayed in for about 3.5 minutes with her and then got out.  I think I ended up at about 18 minutes.

Gordon and I were talking about how we need to keep an official list of WFPBC members (those who have earned a cap).  If you have been out with us and got your cap, please leave your name in the comments or on the Facebook page so we can add you to the list.

I felt great after I got out and the recovery wasn't too bad either.  I think swimming twice a week is helping me to handle the cold better.

Saturday is Christmas Swimfest at the Gene Fullmer pool.  Swimfest is open to anyone who wants to come.  Afterwards, some of us are planning on heading to the GSL to cool down.  We'll post the time on the WFPBC page for anyone who wants to come with us.


Swimming in the Snow!

I wasn't able to go up to Gordon's cabin this weekend to swim in the Logan River, but I still wanted to get some cold water exposure in.  Sue and I agreed to meet this afternoon at 3:00pm.  I talked to Goody earlier in the day and he said he would be coming with three new people!  He has become our cold water missionary and has got a lot of people to come out and earn a cap.

Goody giving the group a safety briefing before getting into the water.

I was surprised by the crowd when I got there.  We had eight swimmers!  Three of them were there for the first time with WFPBC.  After a safety briefing by Goody, we stripped down and made out way to the water.  My thermometer read 46 degrees, but it was also right on the surface of the water.  Goody's read 43 degrees.

Getting ready to swim.

Polar Bears!

I waded into the water, and it didn't feel as cold as I was expecting.  I swam breaststroke for a while and took some photos.  If I am going to swim in the New Year's race, I decided I need to be able to swim freestyle instead of head-up breaststroke.  The hard part has been keeping my face in the water.  It didn't seem like an issue last year, but I am having the hardest time with it this year.  I alternated swimming head-up and head-down free for a little while.  I need to work on making myself keep my face in the water.

I couldn't help swimming through the foam.

Alan handled the cold water really well and earned himself a WFPBC cap!
It was fun being out in the water while it was snowing.  Once we got out to near the marina entrance, we noticed a big patch of foam floating on the water.  I couldn't resist, I had to swim into it.  After taking a few photos, we headed back to the ramp.  I ended up staying in for 16 minutes.  I probably would have stayed in longer, but everyone else was getting out.  I wasn't hardly shivering at 16 minutes and could have done more.  Maybe if Jim was there...

Alan was telling Sue and I about how he likes to do hard things like this because he can use the toughness he gain from the experience in his daily life.  I definitely agree!

Three swimmers earned their caps today!  I am impressed with the new swimmers that come out and stick it out for 10 minutes to earn their cap of the first try.  Good job guys!

I followed Jim's lead and brought a milk jug filled with hot water.  It feels really nice to pour that warm water on you when you get out.  Goody has sworn off of hot water and has been trying to convince us to do the same, but I like it too much!

The recovery wasn't bad this time around.  Maybe it was the hot water "shower" or the hot chocolate I drank, but I recovered pretty quickly.  I'd like to think my body is getting more acclimated to the cold.

It was a great swim today and I'm already looking forward to Tuesday afternoon!


45 Degrees!

I met Jim, Gordon and Goody out at the GSL Marina for the weekly Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club swim.  It was raining this afternoon, which made the swim more fun!  I got there a little late and they were just getting into the water.  I hurried and stripped down and swam out to catch up with them.

Goody wanted to be sure that I told him when I was taking the picture so he could smile and not make a "dumb face"...Gordon, I guess, did the opposite.
The water didn't feel that bad today.  Don't get me wrong, it was cold, but not anything that I couldn't handle.  Maybe swimming twice a week for 20 or so minutes has helped me to shorten the cold shock.  After catching up with the guys, I pulled my camera from it's strategic location (hint, it wasn't in my cap), and snapped a few photos.

Notice the "cold water line" on Gordon's back.

Finally a little snow in the mountains...it kind of looks like winter.
Gords and Goody got out when we got back to the boat ramp and Jim said he wanted to stay in for 30 minutes.  I swam out to the end of the dock with him and then we headed back in.  I got out at 22 minutes and Jim floated around until he hit 30.  By the time we got out, his thermometer was showing just under 46 degrees.

Jim getting out after 30 minutes in the water.
The recovery wasn't that bad this time around and I wished that I had stayed in for 30 minutes with Jim.  I'm bummed to not be able to go to Gordon's cabin in Logan this weekend to swim in the Logan River, but Sue and I are planning on going out to the marina around 3:00pm to put in some time in the cold water.  Come and join us!  Stay in long enough and you can earn a WFPBC silicone cap and you can also qualify for the New Year's Swim.


47ish Degrees and Three New Polar Bears.

Great swim this afternoon!  Today's swimmers were Goody, Gordon, Sue, Todd, Ryan, Vicky and myself.  This was the first time for Todd, Ryan and Vicky, and I am happy to say they all earned caps (although Vicky left befire getting hers).

The water temp was around 47 or 48.  It felt warmer than on Tuesday, but that could be because the air temperature was warmer.  It doesn't really seem like winter swimming because the weather has been so warm.

It was Goody's first time back in a while and it didn't seem to even phase him.  He's a tough dude.

The new swimmers did great!  I was especially impressed with Sue and Todd's son, Ryan, who will have some bragging rights.  We agreed to shorten the time requirement because of his age, just to be safe.  Even so, he lasted 5 minutes!

I felt pretty good and swam free with my head in the water for a short while.  Sue, Goody, Gordon and I stayed in for 20 minutes.  I didn't shake much on the recovery and I could have stayed in longer.

Looking forward to Tuesday's swim!


Open Water Gift Ideas

It's almost December and Christmas is creeping up on us.  If you have an open water swimmer or triathlete on your shopping list, or you want to give Santa some ideas for what to leave in your stocking, check out these ideas below:

Brine Shrimp Ornament (photo from FOGSL store)

Friends of the Great Salt Lake Store
Friends of the Great Salt Lake (FOGSL) is a non-profit organization with the mission to
"preserve and protect the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the lake through education, research, and advocacy".  You can show your support for the lake by buying something from their store.  I especially like the brine shrimp ornament ($10), which I think I would use it as a key chain the rest of the year, and the Great Salt Lake map bandana ($8).  For the ladies, there are also brine shrimp earrings!

Got Salt? Suit from Splish.com

Got Salt? Tech Shirt or Swimsuit

What better way to support the Salt Lake Open Water (SLOW) that by wearing a tech shirt or a suit from Splish.com?  The shirts are only $5 and all proceeds go to support the Salt Lake Open Water club and to promote open water swimming in Utah.

SaferSwimmer (photo from www.ishof.org)

Safer Swimmer
In my opinion, this is the best safety device on the market for open water swimmers and triathletes.  Not only can you hang onto it if you panic or get into trouble, you can also store your clothes, camera, feeds, etc inside without worrying about them getting wet.  Available from the International Swimming Hall of Fame in small and large sizes.

H2Open Magazine Subscription
This is the only magazine dedicated to open water swimming.  It is full of insightful articles about everything related to open water swimming.  Since it is published in England, it's a bit pricey to get the magazine sent here (£39.95), but I think it is well worth it.  You can also subscribe to the digital version (available to read on your PC, tablet, smart phone) for
£16.99.  http://www.h2openmagazine.com/

Finis Agility Strapless Paddles (photo from Aquagear.com)

Finis Agility Strapless Paddles
I LOVE these paddles!  I use them in every pool workout I do.  You can read my review here for all the details.  The paddles are now available in small, medium and large sizes and you can get them from AquaGear for $19.95

TYR Nest Pro Goggles (photo from Amazon.com)

TYR Nest Pro Goggles
As a self-proclaimed "goggle nerd", I am pretty picky about what goggles I wear.  I wore a pair of the TYR Nest Pro Goggles all last season and I LOVE them!  I know Chad is a big fan too.  They are very comfortable and I have had zero issues with leaking.  Available from Amazon.com for about $15 (depending on what color of frame and lens you choose).

Custom swim suits from Splish.com (photo from Splish.com)

Custom Swim Gear
Isn't technology awesome?!  You can now design a custom suit, cap or goggles online and have it sent to your house without having to order large quantities.  I have been wearing custom PBT suits from Splish.com almost exclusively over the past year or so.  They last forever, even in the pool.  Custom suits and caps are also available from FINIS.  Next on my list is to get a pair of custom designed goggles from TYR.  You can even have them laser etch something on the lenses!

Poler Napsack (photo from www.polerstuff.com)

What better way to warm up after a winter swim than by throwing on a Napsack?  The Napsack is basically a wearable sleeping bag, complete with arm holes, pockets and a hood.  Poler, the maker of the Napsack, was a sponsor of both the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim and the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim this year.  Thanks to Rachel (who has family ties with the company), I got one of these this summer and it is awesome!  It is extremely comfortable and warm.  I took it with me to England for Gordon's English Channel swim and slept in in almost every night.

Muscle Repair lotion from Ojavan (photo from www.ojavanproducts.com)

Ojavan Skin Care Products
Ojavan was a sponsor of the 2012 Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim.  They make great skin care products from salt and mud extracted from the Great Salt Lake!  My favorite product is the RX Muscle Repair.  It soothes and cools sore muscles after a long swim.

Thermometer (photo from Amazon.com)
It's important to know how your body behaves at different water temperatures and I never swim outside without first taking the water temperature.  I have been through several thermometers (one is at the bottom of Bear Lake and another was mangled by the pilot boat in England).  You can find them for pretty cheap online.  I prefer the old school submersible thermometers to the digital ones.  The one I have now I got from Amazon.com for about $8.


I Still Can't Feel My Fingertips...

It was a small group out at the marina today.  Gordon and Goody weren't able to come, so Jim and I were the onky representatives of the Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club.

I got there a little late because of work and Jim was already in the water.  Not wanting to waste any time (it was cold outside), I quickly got ready and waded into the water.

It seemed colder today than it did on Saturday.  Jim said the air temp was 43 and the water temp ended up at 46.9 degrees.

Jim had been in for a few minutes when I got in.  We swam out to the rocks and back and then to the last of the sailboats and back.  I clocked just over 26 minutes in the water and Jim had 31.

My fingertips are still numb as I type this.  I didn't have the same problem after Saturday's swim.  47 degrees must be the point where this starts to happen for me.  It is pretty painful for a while during recovery.  It feels exactly like when your foot or hand falls asleep and starts to come back.

It is nice to swim breaststroke and chat because you don't get so cold with your face out of the water. Plus, talking to someone helps keep your mind off of the cold.  Jim and I both swam a little head-up and head-down free towards the end.  I really need to work on this before the New Year's swim.

I had a great time this afternoon and am looking forward to the next swim with Gordon, Sue and (hopefully) Goody and Jim on Saturday at 4pm.  A few people have told me they want to come out.  Please feel free to come this Saturday!  Silicone caps will be awarded to those who meet the requirements.


White Saturday Swim

This afternoon was the White Saturday Swim that Gordon organized.

I was the last one to get there and was surprised to see a whole bunch of people waiting down on the boat ramp.

Goody gave some great safety instructions and then we were off.  The water temp was reported to be 50 degrees (but read closer to 48 - 49 once we were out there).

My wife, Sabrina, surprised me before we left home by telling me she was going to take the plunge!  She was a little hesitant, but ran in, dunked, and ran back out.  She is awesome!

I was only planning on being in about 15 minutes, but was still feeling good on the way in. I jokingly told Gordon I was going to stay in as long as Jim, thinking it would be another 5 minutes.  Little did I know he was planning on staying in for 25.  We ended up making it to 31 before we got out.

All in all, there were 11 swimmers and plungers.  Six new swimmers earned an official Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club cap!

There was a bunch of hot chocolate and pie at the top of the ramp for after the swim.  It took me a while before I could drink the hot chocolate because my hands were shaking so bad.

It was a great time and a fun way to celebrate post-Thanksgiving!


50 Degrees and 15 minutes

I met Jim, Goody and Gordon at the GSL Marina for the weekly Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club swim.  My family also came along for support (my boys love exploring and playing at the marina).

The water temp was an even 50 degrees.  I always get anxious before stepping into the water (and even before I leave work to drive out) because I know it will be cold and that it will be very uncomfortable for a few minutes.  Once you get past the cold shock, it actually feels pretty nice.

Jim, Gordon and I swam breaststroke out to the end of the marina.  One the way back I put my goggles on and tried to swim and keep my face in the water.  I didn't last long before it started to hurt too bad.  I need to work on this.

Gordon and I were in the water for 15 minutes and Jim outdid us (as usual) and was in for over 20.

I am glad Goody came out even though he couldn't get in the water.

Next swim is on Saturday at 3pm.  We are expecting a good group!


New Year's Day Icebreaker Race

Gordon has been working hard on putting together a first-of-its-kind race in Utah that is planned for New Year's Day and I wanted to be sure to let everyone know about it.  It will be a great way to start the new year!

There are plenty of polar plunges around where all you have to do it jump in and get right back out.  The New Year's race will be different, in that it is an actual timed swimming race.  It will be a short, but intense, swim.  The distance is only about 400 yards, but the water temperature is expected to be between 35F and 38F.  Races like this are pretty popular in Europe and I'm glad that Gordon is bringing one here to Utah.

There are definitely risks associated with swimming in water this cold and Gordon has planned accordingly.  There will be a 10 minute time limit for all swimmers.  Emergency response will be on hand and there will be warm places set up to recover after the swim.  Kayaks will also be out on the water to keep a close eye on the swimmers.  Anyone interested in participating will be required to attend one clinic in December to demonstrate the ability to stay in the water for at least five minutes.

The grand prize for the fastest swimmer will be a Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak!

The entry fee for this race is $40 and you must be a USMS member to participate.

Here are the details from the Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club website:

Where: Great Salt Lake Marina
Time: 12:00 Noon
Distance: .23 miles (400 yards)
Expected Water temp: 35°F – 38°F (1.6°C – 3.3°C)

Extreme Winter Swimming is not a new sport. It has been around for decades, and is especially popular in Europe and Russia. This race is a 400 yard swim at the Great Salt Lake Marina. All participants must qualify by participating in AT LEAST ONE of the clinics held in December, and demonstrate the ability to stay in the water a minimum of 5 minutes. All participants of the clinics MUST be USMS members. If you attend the clinic YOU MUST BRING YOUR 2013 USMS MEMBER CARD or will not be allowed to enter the water with our group. 

Any swimmer who is unable to finish the 400 yard swim on race day in under 10 minutes, will automatically be disqualified and pulled from the water. Once the qualifications have been met, swimmers may register for the race.
Cost for clinic: Free,  Cost for race: $40
First place prize:  Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak 
For more information, or to communicate intent to attend one of the clinics please send an email here.  Here is the proposed course.


Review of the Kiefer Team Backpack

The folks at Kiefer recently sent me their Kiefer Team Backpack to review.  I have been using it for about a week now and I love it!  It is leaps and bounds better than the mesh drawstring bag that I have been using up until now.

The bag has tons of cool features.  I especially love all of the pockets and storage space for keeping things organized.  There is plenty of room to store all your swimming gear, clothes, towel, etc.  One of the things I like the best is the waterproof pocket at the bottom of the backpack.  It is great for storing wet gear after a workout, keeping your other stuff dry.  It's got some other cool details like a detachable key chain and a pocket with headphone access for your phone or MP3 player.

I love this bag and don't know why I put up with the mesh bag I was using for so long.  The pack is currently on sale at Kiefer for $29.95, which is a pretty good price for this great swim bag.

Here are some photos of the Team Backpack and it's many features:

Kiefer Team Backpack

Tons of pockets and storage space.

Ample room and pouches to store all of your swimming gear.

Key chain with quick release button so that you never loose your keys.

I love this waterproof pocket at the bottom of the backpack for storing wet suits and towels after a workout.
Large side pocket.

Mesh zip-pocket.

Comfortable straps and padding on the back.
Pocket with headphone access for your phone or MP3 player.


Second Swim With WFPBC

WFPBC - Jim Hubbard, Goody Tyler IV, Gordon Gridley, Josh Green
(Photo courtesy of Jim Hubbard)

I met Goody, Gordon and Jim at the GSL Marina yesterday afternoon for the second swim of the year with WFPBC.  We also had a good group of spectators: Sabrina and my three boys, Chad and Cathi.

The water was 57 degrees, which was about the same as last week.  It was cold at first, but not bad after I got used to it.

My new (old) swim suit and goggles.
(Photo courtesy of Jim Hubbard)

I bought a vintage one-piece wool bathing suit last week and decided to take it for a spin.  I didn't notice as much drag as I expected but that was probably because the vintage goggles I was wearing kept filling up with water, stinging my eyes, about every 10 strokes.  After a while I just switched to breaststroke and took the goggles off.  I noticed some hot spots with the suit that I am going to have to grease up for longer swims.

After swimming out to the rocks, we turned around and headed back.  As we were coming back there were three row boats coming out of the marina.  We found out they are from the Waterford School in Sandy.  Goody is a great cold water missionary and invited each kid to come and swim with us next week.

It was a good time as usual.  I spent just under 20 minutes in the water.

We found out Chad is going in for shoulder surgery today and I wish him the best and hope that it doesn't keep him out of the water too long.

Jim brought a bag of goodies that we will be giving away at the SDRC meet this weekend along with some GSL swag and a brand new tandem kayak that Gordon scored.

The next WFPBC swim will be next Tuesday at 4:30pm.  Come and swim with us and start working towards earning your cap.


South Davis Masters Meet is Next Week!

Next weekend is the South Davis Masters Swim Meet in Bountiful.  It is one of the bigger (if not the biggest) meets of the year for Utah MastersGordon is the meet director and he does an awesome job!

This year I am registered for the 1,650 free, 50 free, 100 free and 200 free and hope some fellow SLOW swimmers will join me for some relays.

I will also be running the Salt Lake Open Water table and raffle again this year.  For those who missed it last year, we set up a kid pool and filled it with salt water and had people bob for numbered balls.  We'll have the same setup again this year and there will be some great prizes.  Gordon has managed to get a brand new tandem kayak for one of the prizes!

If you haven't registered yet, do it soon!  The last day to register is November 7.  Here is the link to the online registration page: http://www.active.com/swim-meet/bountiful-ut/sdrc-masters-swim-meet-2012


First Swim of the Year With WFPBC

I met Goody and Gordon at the GSL Marina this afternoon for a cold water swim.  Goody and Jim have been out a couple times already, but it was the first time Gordon and I have been out with WFPBC this year.

Goody was the first one in the 56 degree water. He swam out a ways and then did breaststroke back so that Gords could get some photos.  It has been a while since I have been in the water and I wasn't really prepared fir the cold. Mostly it hurt my face.  After a while it was actually pretty nice and the three of us just floated around and chatted.

After a while we noticed someone in the parking lot who waved and then get changed and came down.  It was Miles, who has emailed me and came to one of our clinics.  It was his first time with WFPBC and he got right in and floated around with us.  It's always nice to have new people show up!

The new caps that Goody designed and ordered are in and they look awesome!  We will be giving these silicone caps away for free to those who meet the club requirements.

We were in the water for a good 20 to 25 minutes.  I didn't shiver in the water, but I sure started shaking when I got out.  It was good to be back in the water!