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.