Goody's Catalina Swim

I am not even sure where to begin to explain what an incredibly inspiring and heartbreaking experience being a member of Goody's Catalina swim was.  It was an experience that I will always remember and look back on as being one of the most amazing endurance accomplishments I have ever seen.

We boarded the Outrider at about 6:30pm on Monday evening.  We met the other members of the crew and got our gear loaded onto the boat and picked our bunks.  The all-star crew included Rob, Alli, Lynn, Marcia, Doug, Patricia, Goody 3 (Goody's dad), Gords and myself.  We had a meeting with Lynn Kubasek, who was the official observer for the swim.  She went over the rules while we waited for Neil, Goody's paddler, to arrive.  After Neil got his gear loaded up, Goody gave us some final instructions and some awesome shirts he had made for the occasion.  We had some instructions from one of the captains (mostly about not throwing up inside the boat and how to use the toilets) and then headed off to Catalina Island.

I knew I was going to get seasick, I just didn't know how bad.  Over the next several hours I threw up the entire contents of my stomach.  As if that wasn't enough, my body insisted on trying to throw up even though there was nothing left.  I had taken two Dramamine pills, but as far as I could tell, they did absolutely nothing to help with the motion sickness.

As we approached the island, Goody started getting ready to go.  He hopped in the water and swam to the island.  After clearing the water, he raised his hands in the air to signal he was ready and stepped back into the water to start what would become a very long swim.

Once he started, there wasn't a whole lot for me to do other than try to keep from throwing up and getting some sleep between being sick.  I found that if I closed my eyes and laid on my bunk on my side, that I could kind of keep it under control...for a little while.

Goody's team was really efficient at getting his feeds ready.  I was extremely impressed with Lynn and Alli, the official observers for keeping such a detailed log of what was going on.  The log included information on when he stopped to feed, what he ate, how long the feed lasted, stroke rate, water temperature, conditions, etc.  It was very obvious that these people knew exactly what they were doing and I was grateful to have them aboard taking care of my friend.

Neil was an absolute wizard in his kayak.  It was amazing to see what control he had, even in rough conditions.  On top of that, he was always encouraging Goody as he swam and kept on top of feedings, medication, checking for hypothermia, etc.  If you ever decide to take on the Catalina Channel, this is the guy you want in the water with you.

Gords coming back aboard after swimming for a hour with Goody.

Goody and Rob in the channel.
Between sleeping and throwing up, I would come up to the deck to check on his progress and encourage him at feeds.  When the sun started coming out, I was finally able to start warming up.  Gords jumped in and swam with him for an hour.  I could tell that Goody was slowing down because Gords had to slow way down and wait for Goody to catch up every once in a while.  Rob got in next and swam for an hour.  Right before I got in, we saw a huge sea lion pop up about five feet behind Goody.  I have been in the water with large animals in San Francisco and San Diego and it didn't worry me too much.  I was only in the water for about 25 minutes.  I had been cold all through the night and the water was about 60 degrees when I got in.  It was awesome to be in the water with Goody for a VERY small portion of his swim.  The water was really clear, but I didn't see any sea life at all while I was swimming.  After my short swim, I got out and started shaking a little so I took a hot shower.

About this time I was feeling better and was finally able to eat a few snacks that were lying around and drink some Gatorade.  We all watched as Goody's pace slowed down.  He was still making forward progress, but at a much slower pace than he started out at.  He mentioned at a few of his feeds that he was cramping and the crew tried to get him more potassium in his feeds.

There came a point where the crew had to take an honest look at his possibilities of finishing the swim.  At the pace he was going, it would have taken about 9 more hours to finish.  The tides were simply working against him and were slowing him down too much to keep going.  I could tell that it was really crushing news when we told him at his next feed how far he had to go and how long it would take.  This is the point when most people would have quit, but not Goody!  He kept plugging away and we tried to encourage him to pick up his pace (which he did for a while).

Eventually Lynn, the captain, and the crew decided it was time to pull the plug.  I didn't thing that I would be so emotional, but I started crying when he got out of the water and sat on the platform on the back of the boat.  I knew how much effort he had put into training and how hard he had tried over the 15 plus hours of swimming.  He told us that the though never crossed his mind, during training or during the swim, that he wasn't going to finish.

Goody and his dad, Goody, after being pulled from the water.
I know Goody was disappointed that he didn't make it all the way, but a 15 hour ocean swim in water temperatures that ranged from upper 50's to low 60's combined with swimming through the night and getting stung by jellyfish is an EXTREMELY impressive accomplishment that he should be very proud of.  Even the veterans on board could not believe what he had done and that he had not just given up.  Goody is a great friend and has been an inspiration and support to me since we first met.  I am incredibly proud of him for his accomplishment and for the influence he has on the open water community in Utah.  Way to go buddy!

You can read Goody's own account of his swim on his blog here.


Goody Tyler IV's Catalina Channel Swim Coverage

My good friend Goody Tyler IV will be swimming the Catalina Channel tomorrow!  He has prepared well and I am super excited to be on the boat as part of his awesome support team (Gords will be there too).

This is a big deal for Goody (and for Utah) and I will be doing my best to cover his swim on Facebook and Twitter.  We have been having problems recently with the SPOT GPS Messenger, but I have set up a live tracking page and will try to get to the bottom of what the problem is.  We get on the boat at about 6:30pm (Pacific Time) on Monday and he will start swimming around midnight.

Here's where you can catch the coverage:

SPOT GPS Live Tracking:

Updates and Photos

Assuming we have internet service on the boat, I will be posting on Goody's Facebook page as well.

Goody has mentioned that he would like to hear your comments and encouragement when he stops for feeds, so please feel free to comment and I will pass along the message!

It's going to be fun!


Quick Swim With My Dad and Brother

I met my dad and brother at the Great Salt Lake yesterday evening for a quick swim.  It's been a while since I have swam with Jake and the last time I swam with my dad was at the clinic we did before the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim.  It was fun to be out in the water with them.

It is getting to be the time of year when the brine flies start getting pretty bad, especially inside the marina.  Because of that, we opted to start from Silver Sands Beach instead of from the marina.

Jake relaxing on the Great Salt Lake.
Jake and I hanging out, enjoying the salt.
Jake and my Dad.
The water felt great.  I didn't take a temperature, but I'm sure it was 70+.  We regrouped near the rocks to the east of the observation deck and then I left to do my own thing.  I had already done a fairly intense workout at the pool that morning and wanted to just do an easy mile.  The flies got worse as I got near the marina and on my way out to the second red buoy.  On the way back my arms felt like Jello from the morning workout.

It was a nice swim, but I think I may be taking a break from the Great Salt Lake for a while until the Orb Weaver spiders get big enough to start eating all the flies.  East Canyon is about the same distance (time wise) from my house, so I may start going up there instead.


Great Salt Lake Swim with Kate Greene

This morning I met Gordon, Goody and Kate Greene (winner of Jamie Patrick's Swim Adventure Contest).  Kate is traveling from Tennessee to San Francisco and is swimming all along the way.  We heard she was coming to Utah and we had to meet up with her for a swim in the Great Salt Lake.  We got to meet Kate's crew for the day who where there to support her and take photos.

It was a little chilly this morning and there were some decent waves on the water.  I've wasn't feeling well last night or this morning, so I opted for a shorter swim than we had planned.  Once I made the decision to do a shorter swim, everyone else decided to come along.

Kate taking a break and getting a drink to wash out the salt.  Photo by Gords.
The salt was a real shock to Kate (as it was for me and everyone else who has ever swam in the Great Salt Lake).  We swam out to the first red buoy and regrouped.  Kate took a drink of her Gatorade to wash out some of the salt.  We had her lay on her back so that she could see how easy it is to float.  After laying back she said "that's not right".  It really is kind of an unnatural feeling to be able to float that high on the water without any effort.

We swam out the the second red buoy and decided that was enough of an experience and headed back to the marina.  The swim back was much more enjoyable and Kate seemed to be a little more relaxed.  She told us how she could picture the lake on another planet (or moon of another planet) because it was so otherworldly.

After rinsing off, Gords and I went to breakfast with Kate and her crew at Market Street downtown.  We had a great conversation about some of the other swims she had done and some of her other planned swims.  We talked about other swimmers, swims, swimming books, etc. and had a really enjoyable morning.

Even though she may not have enjoyed the salt at first, I hope that she had a great experience.  We send her off with some Got Salt? shirts and other goodies.  I got to work pretty late, but it was well worth it.  I wish Kate the best of luck on the rest of her adventure and hope that our paths cross about someday soon.  You can catch up on her adventure and follow her progress on her blog, Rivers and Roads.

I also got this message from my friend Kris on Facebook today that made my day:

Hey Josh,
You changed my life in a good way forever. I just went outside and with the North wind blowing I smelled the lake. I used to think ew stinky but I got a smile on my face and thought of swimming :)
 We are changing people's perceptions about the Great Salt Lake, one swimmer at a time!


Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim - 1 Mile Race Report (Finally...)

Here it is a full week after the event and I am just now getting around to writing about it...it's been one of those weeks.

The one mile Great Salt Lake Open Water event was scheduled to start at noon (the same as last year).  The idea behind starting it at noon instead of earlier was that the one mile swimmers would be able to hand around and see some of the 8 mile swimmers finish.  Because of the wind advisories, we decided to move the start time up to 9:00am.  It worked out well to start earlier and I think next year we will shoot for a 9:00am start as well.

We had a couple hang-ups with paddlers and I had to try to recruit some of the spectators into paddling so that we had enough support on the course to meet the USMS requirements.  We had some really great volunteers that took control of the situation and bailed us out.

After sorting out the paddler situation, we gave some instructions and answered questions and the swimmers made their way to the starting buoy.  We ended up starting the race about 15 minutes late.

A few months ago my dad, brother and I bought a timing company, Elevated Racing | Event Timing.  Since we had access to an inflatable arch and PA system, we decided to set it all up at the finish line in addition to doing the timing.  I think it made the finish line a little more fun, and several people told me that the red arch was much easier to spot than Black Rock.
New Record!
We had a new course record set by Henry Hudson! Despite the wind and the chop, he finished with a time of 22:35!

This is my favorite picture of the whole day!
The best part of the day for me was seeing several swimmers who had been anxious about the swim and had doubted their ability, finish the race.  It was awesome to see how excited and happy they were to have struggled through it and finished despite their doubts and anxieties.

There were a few hiccups, but all in all I think everyone had a great time and everyone who started the swim, finished it.

There are a lot of people that I need to thank for making this event possible. I want to thank Gordon for all his work in getting this race together (especially the last minute logistics on the 8 mile race).  He is a great friend and a great guy to be in business with.  My family also deserves a lot of thanks for all that they did to help set up, check-in swimmers, transport swimmers, time the event, help with food, and on and on...  Of course it wouldn't have happened without our awesome swimmers and volunteers.  This year we had some amazing sponsors.  If you get a chance, please check out Pool n' Patio, ojavan, Poler, AquaGear, Elevated Racing, Lifetime, Smith's, Achiva Energy, Splish, Affordable Printing and Utah Paddle Surfing.  Lastly, thank you to my wife Sabrina who has been VERY understanding and supportive of not only this event, but all of my swimming adventures.

Two Swims, Two Broken Caps and Two Swallowed Flies

Contents of my Safer Swimmer this morning.
I headed down to the GSL Marina this morning, shooting for 4 to 6 miles of swimming.  I didn't realized SailFest was going on this weekend and the marina parking lot was packed, but there weren't many boats in the water.  I talked to a couple who was unloading their paddle boards and they asked me a little about swimming in the Great Salt Lake and asked "what's that stuff you were rubbing on your body?".

Since I was alone, I just decided to swim laps around the buoys.  After the first lap, I talked to a guy from the rowing club.  After the second lap, I talked to a couple out on a small inflatable sailboat.  Things started going haywire on the fourth lap.  I noticed that I had forgotten to apply lanolin to the back of my legs and I started getting chaffed where they rubbed against my suit.  I was wearing two caps with a Garmin in between to track my swim.  On the fourth lap I noticed that my cap felt weird.  I felt the cap with my hand and discovered that it was split about half way down.  The cap I had on below it had a hole in the forehead.  I decided to just head in at this point, mostly because I didn't want to make the chaffing any worse.  On my way in to the marina there were tons of brine flies.  I swallowed two of them while taking a breath.  I dry heaved twice in the water, not because they tasted gross or anything, just the though of swallowing them.

I finished up pretty short of my goal at about 3.5 miles.

Some friend were swimming at Bountiful Lake this afternoon, so I decided to join them and figured I could make up the distance there.  I got there late with my family and the kayak and the group was already in the water.  I swam over to them and did a lap between docks and then got out to sell someone a Safer Swimmer.  After that, I opted to play in the kayak with my family rather than get back in and swim.  I added another 0.34 miles to the day's total.


First Swim of the Year at Blackridge

I heard that Blackridge opened this week and that there was a group going out there last night.  I decided to try and meet up with them to check it out.

We ended up stuck in traffic and got there late. There were still a few people in the water, but they were just wrapping up. I got in and swam a couple loops. The water was more murky than I remembered from last year. Each lap took about 6 minutes so it must only be about 400 yards around.

I met up with Kris after the second loop and chatted with her for a while as another group was getting in the water.  I did one more loop and then played with my boys for a bit before heading home.

I didn't take the temperature, but I suspect it was upper 60's.

This is a great little "lake" for triathlon training and fun with the family, but not the best for distance swims.


What People Are Saying About the 2012 Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim

Here are some of the race reports for the 2012 Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim:
Rachel Wagner - 1 Mile Swimmer

Matt Gerrish - 1 Mile Swimmer

Goody Tyler - 8 Mile Swimmer

You can also see photos of the event on the Great Salt Lake Open Water Marathon Swim Facebook page.

2012 Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim - 8 Mile Race Report (Finally...)

We finally have most of the loose ends wrapped up from last weekend's Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim and I am just now getting around to putting my thoughts together.

It was a chaotic weekend.  Weather forecasts early in the week looked good for race day but quickly changed and called for high winds.  Several wind advisories were issues in the days leading up to the race.  Because of the threat of winds, which can make for very rough conditions on the Great Salt Lake, we made the tough decision to cancel the 8 mile swim and move the start time of the 1 mile swim up by three hours to avoid the storm.  This was a tough call to make, but Gordon and I both felt like it was the right thing to do in order to have a safe event.

I got to the marina on Thursday for our usual swim to find Gordon, Gilles (one of the 8 mile swimmers) and Chad already at the marina.  Gordon had been talking with several of the 8 mile participants and also with Dave Shearer about moving the 8 mile swim to Friday (one day early).  Gords called everyone who was signed up and got commitments from seven swimmers to go a day early.

We met for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory downtown and had fun meeting a lot of the swimmers who were here from out of state.  Goody couldn't find a paddler for Friday, so I volunteered to paddle for him.
2012 8 mile swimmers and paddlers.
We got to the marina early on Friday morning and got all the swimmers checked in, had some instructions from Gords and had a small raffle.  Chad saved the day by bringing his trailer to haul all the kayaks and also ran home to get a kayak (we were one short).  We then piled up into the two vans and headed to Antelope Island.  Some of the swimmers were surprised at how far away it is.  I had never been to that part of the island, so I was excited to see it.

Getting ready to swim!

After everyone got greased up, we made the short trip down to the water.  It was fun to see the reactions of the swimmers who, except for Goody and Kim, had never set foot in the Great Salt Lake before.  I think they were all surprised at just how SALTY the water is!

After wading out far enough to swim, Gords counted us down and we were off.  Gilles took an early lead followed by Michelle, Kim and Goody.  The wind was blowing, causing waves on the water, but it never got too bad.

Goody had a very specific plan for when he wanted to feed, what he wanted at each feed and where he wanted me to be.  After some bickering on the first mile (good thing we are friends!) we got things figured out and it was pretty smooth sailing from then on (except for the times we ran into each other...).

I have a lot of fun paddling for other swimmers and was glad that I got to help Goody with his swim.  He was making really good time and finished the race about 45 minutes faster than last year!  Gilles came in first with a time of 3:39:49.  The final results were as follows:

Antelope Island To Black Rock
Place Race Number First Name Last Name Gender Age Wetsuit Finish Time
1 12 Gilles Chlandon M 55 N 03:39:49
2 9 Goody Tyler IV M 35 N 03:49:21
3 8 Kim Patterson F 36 N 03:51:49
4 2 Michelle Pool F 47 N 04:29:33
5 13 Roxane Phifer F 41 N 04:51:57
6 1 Cindy Cortes F 23 N 04:54:40
7 14 Madhuri Yechuri F 35 N DNF

Six Salty Swimmers
It was a lot of fun hanging around and watching all the swimmers come in and talking to those who had finished.  What a great bunch of swimmers!

After a short awards ceremony: 1st Place Male - Gilles Chlandon, 1st Place Female - Kim Patterson, "Strongest Saline Stamina" - Cindy Cortes and "Most Pickled Tongue" - Roxy Phifer, we packed up and headed home to get ready for Saturday's one mile race.


Greg Mockett's Antelope Island to Black Rock Swim

Greg Mockett is the latest swimmer to add his name to the list of swimmers who have completed the Antelope Island to Black Rock Beach swim.  Greg had registered for the 8 mile Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim but wasn't able to swim on Saturday because of the wind advisories.  He finished his swim this afternoon with a time of 4:21.

Greg was kind enough to let me share his account on the blog.  Here is his experience in his own words:

We drove to Black Rock at about 8:20am to get a GPS position. Saw Gordon on his way back to the marina making good time. Looked like there was another swimmer behind him--must have been his SSD?
We then met Dave Shearer at 9am at the Marina. We assembled Taylor's inflatable, pedal-driven double-pontoon boat and loaded it on the rescue boat where Dave and Taz (his dog) took us for a quick trip to Antelope Island. Well, almost there. Dave let us off in a little over waste deep water and after we found the bright orange flag which had gone overboard when we launched Taylors boat, we started.
The water was amazing! Beautiful, really. The air and water temps were perfect. I couldn't have asked for better. It lasted for about 3 miles, then we got 6" to 12" chop. Which was not a problem except that the direction was from behind and directly into my breathing cavity. As I am a novice swimmer, and currently breathe right-only (working on bilateral and left-only in the mornings at the pool and will have better options for handling this next year) this took a few miles to get used to. I finally got to where I could predict the waves and manage my breathing much better.
The water was incredibly shallow for much of the swim, Near Antelope Island, the bottom was sandy, but as we neared the middle and for a substantial portion of the swim, the bottom was rolling black rock that looked a little like a mountain scape with "canyons" filled with white sand. It was probably 8 to 10 feet down, but really looked like it was just out of reach.
The black rock bottom and sandy bottoms each returned from time to time but particularly closer to Black Rock.
This was definitely a great adventure swim.
Now, for my struggles and even an "ooooh gross" moment . . . While I was trying to work out the breathing in the aforementioned chop, I wound up getting a lot of salt up my nose. By mile 6 my sinuses were so completely swollen that I could not breathe out of my nose. This only compounded the problem. In fact, as the sinuses began to go, I thought my goggles had started to leak until I noticed that the water in my goggles was not burning my eyes--because it was coming from my eyes owing to the pain in my nose and sinuses. The struggles also included being slightly out of shape for this swim. I had to reroof my house over the past two weeks and got maybe 2 training swims in. My arms are very sore. But its that good sore. My back is also sore. Like a dough-head--I forgot the sunscreen!! So while my roofing tan is no worse for the wear, the lily white remainder got loberstered. And for the grand finale . . . the "oooh gross" moment. When I was showering off at home and scrubbing off the Vaseline, I pulled no less than 5 dead brine shrimp from my greased armpits! Told you it was gross!
I will be better prepared for next year's Great Salt Lake Marathon. And will be shooting for a time with a 3 at the front.


Body Surfing at the Great Salt Lake!

This afternoon wasn't the best for swimming, but it was great for body surfing!

Gords after boogie boarding at the Great Salt Lake.
The weather took a turn for the worse this afternoon and it got cold and windy.  A little wind in the city usually translates to a lot of wind at the Great Salt Lake.  For those that swam last night, the waves were a WAY bigger today.  I have seen pretty good sized waves at Silver Sands Beach and have always thought about trying to body surf.  There was a story in the news recently about a 9 year old girl that actually surfed out there.  It was too good to pass up today, so I decided to just mess around rather than try to swim.

When Gords pulled up, I had a huge smile on my face and so did he.  He and I have both been emailing Katherine about the upcoming race on Saturday.  She is new to the sport (and the Great Salt Lake) and I offered to meet her at the lake tonight to swim and show her the course before Saturday.  The waves looked a little too rough and she decided to come back to swim with us on Thursday.  I don't blame her at all, it was NUTS!

Gords swam out of the marina, to the white buoy and in to Silver Sands.  I couldn't wait to play in the waves so I went straight down the path to Silver Sands.  I had a huge smile the whole time.  The water was really murky because the waves were stirring up all the sand and mud.  After a while I saw Gords making his way through the mayhem.  The waves that were coming in were completely random, so it was hard to judge when a good one was coming.  It wasn't like the ocean at all, but I did manage to ride a few decent waves.

Gords went to grab his boogie board and fins and I started to get cold so I got out.  I watched him do a little boogie boarding and then we headed home.  I had a LOT of fun tonight and hope to do it again soon!

Here is the video Gords made:


KSL No Show and Big Waves

I don't normally go out to the marina on Monday afternoons, but Gords had talked to someone at KSL who wanted to get some video of people swimming at GSL as a lead up to Saturday's race.  There was a pretty good group there who all wanted to be part of the KSL story and show that people really do swim in the Great Salt Lake.  Today's swimmers were Goody, Kim, Chad, Erin, Etsuko, Kris, Rachel and myself.  Chad's friend Lang also came along with his kayak.

My State Parks pass expired a few days ago and I stopped in to see Dave Shearer and get a new one.  This is the best $75 I spend all year.  The pass gets you into any State Park and also gets you a discount on camping.  It sure beats paying $2 to $10 for a single day use.

We never saw anyone from KSL.  I tried calling Gords without any luck.  I ended up getting a hold of him through Google Talk.  He called his contact, who told him that they weren't able to get anyone down today and that they would try to have someone there on Saturday.  Lame.

With that bit of disappointing news, we all headed down the boat ramp and got in.  Chad said the water temperature was about 74 degrees.  There was a pretty good wind this afternoon which made for some pretty awesome waves out on the lake.  I didn't feel like battling the waves and had some things to do back at home so I was just going to swim a mile.  We sat around waiting for KSL in the parking lot for so long, that I decided to just swim out the white buoy and back.  The waves were pretty crazy at this point and Erin, Kris, Etsuko, Rachel and I started swimming.  I stopped a couple times on the way to the white buoy to see how everyone was doing.  Kris and Erin were doing great and seemed to be enjoying it.  I could tell Rachel and Etsuko were having a tough time and we saw them turn around and head back (against the wind and waves) to the marina.  I caught up with Rachel, who was a little scared, and convinced her that it would be easier to swim with the waves and get out at Silver Sands.  We swam out past the rocks until we could safely head into the beach.  The wind died down quite a bit as we were getting out and everyone made it out safely.

We were all pretty bummed about KSL not showing up to do the story, but I know at least I had fun being tossed around in the waves.


Antelope Island to Black Rock Beach to GSL Marina

Gordon asked me quite a while ago if I wanted to swim the 8 mile Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim course with him the week before the race.  I jumped at the chance because I have never done the swim (and I kind of think I ought to since I am one of the race directors).

I've been dealing with some stuff stemming from my experience with hypothermia a couple months ago and had myself pretty worked up last night worrying about this morning and praying that everything would go well.  It turns out that I had nothing to worry about.  The conditions were absolutely perfect and I didn't have any issues at all.

The sky was pretty dark and the wind was blowing pretty good when I got up this morning.  I got to the marina and Jake, Gordon and I went to talk to Dave Shearer, GSL Harbor Master, about the weather.  He pulled up some satellite maps and told us that he didn't think there was anything to worry about.  With that, we loaded up the kayak and the rest of our stuff onto the rescue boat (this boat is awesome!).

Our view from the State Parks rescue boat after leaving the marina.
Dave took us as close as he could to the island and we hopped out.  The water was about 4 feet deep and was totally clear (which we learned is because the brine shrimp have been eating all the algae).  Dave told us the water temperature was 65 and then left us to get ourselves back to land.
Dave and his dog Taz on the way to Antelope Island.
Gords and I at the starting point.

I read something a while back ago that talked about how my hero, Lynn Cox, sings "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" when she swims.  It has been a good way for me to keep my mind off of the things that have been causing me to panic lately and is also good for passing the time. It ended taking almost exactly 30 minutes each time I went through the song in my head, which made it nice to know when our next stop would be.  I didn't look at my watch at all during the swim.

After four stops, about 2 hours, I asked Gords if we were at the halfway point.  He checked his GPS and we were at 4.6 miles!  This was VERY encouraging!  We were making much better time than I though we would.  It was at this point that I finally started to relax a little bit.

You can't see Black Rock from Antelope Island and you don't do a whole lot of sighting, especially with kayak support.  I didn't really look to see where we were until we stopped for feed.  It was a great feeling when I finally saw Black Rock.

Gordon and I were pretty much side by side the whole way, which was really cool.  I would look over at him and see him just slicing through the water.  I swear a couple times I saw him smiling when he took a breath.  We were having a great time!

My brother, Jake, was an awesome paddler!  He had some shoulder pain last week, but said he was fine to be our kayak support.  He was always right there when we were ready for a feed.  He said it took him about 4 miles to really get into it.  I was him snapping some pictures and I can't wait to see them!  Thanks Jake!

My feeds were pretty much straight Perpetuem with occasional apple sauce treats.  I never felt like I was running low on energy the whole way.  I am a HUGE fan of Perpetuem.  The taste isn't that great, but it gives me the energy I need and it sits well in my stomach.  About halfway I took two Ibuprofen.

As we got to within about 1 mile of Black Rock, Gordon didn't stop for our usual 30 minute feed.  I wasn't planning on stopping either.  We were so close I just wanted to power through and finish.  At this point I had no idea how long we had been in the water.  The water had cooled down (relatively) at this point and felt great.  As we got closer, the water got more shallow and it was amazing to see the ripples in the sand on the bottom and see the shadows from my arms and splashing water on the bottom of the lake.

I felt like Gordon sped up and I was trying to keep up with him.  At this point, by arms were feeling the previous 7+ miles, but I kept going.  Once we cleared the water we stopped our watches...3:34!  I was hoping for around 4 hours, so I was REALLY happy with our time!
My brother Jake and I at the finish.
Gords and I after finishing an awesome swim (and before our second swim).
After seeing everyone's pickled tongues last year, I though mine would be pretty bad.  It ended up not being bad at all and is pretty much back to normal now.

Sabrina was going to meet us at Black Rock and take us back to the marina, but since we finished half an hour faster than planned, she wasn't there.  We were all feeling good and decided to just swim back to the marina.  We also saw Chad on his way back to the marina.

All in all, we ended up at 9.26 miles in 4:15.  I briefly thought about adding some more on to make it an even 10 miles, but my arms were pretty shot.  Thanks to Gords, Jake and Dave for making it happen today!  You guys are awesome!


Antelope Island to Black Rock Swim Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, Gordon and I will be swimming the 8 mile Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim course from the southern tip of Antelope Island to Black Rock Beach.  Dave Shearer, the Harbor Master, was nice enough to offer to take us over on the Utah State Parks boat and drop us off and my brother Jake will be our kayak escort.

I'm both excited and nervous.  I'm excited because I have never done this swim before and want to see what the participants of our race will see next Saturday.  I'm nervous, not because of the distance or the salt, but because of my recent challenges in the water (that I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing about by now).  I think that finishing this swim will help boost my confidence and help me get past some of the mental things that have been causing me problems.

The plan is to meet at the marina at 9:00am and head over.  I'm guessing we will start swimming around 10am.  We will have our SPOT GPS Messenger with us so anyone can track our progress live at the following link:

I met with on of our event sponsors, Ojavan, this morning and am excited to try the Muscle Repair Oil sample that they gave me.  I'm sure my muscles will be in need of repair by tomorrow afternoon.