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.

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