Sydney Harbour Classic 11 March 2012

Setting for the start and finish line

It was back to the Opera House and Farm Cove for one of my favourite swims. As you can see from the picture the location is idyllic, just near the Opera House and Botanic Gardens. Sure there was no surf, but the view from the water is just divine. Another good thing for me is that I can walk to this swim, which is a pleasant way to warm up. Luckily the organisers of this swim had adjusted their schedule so that I could so both of the swims.

Some of my friends from lane 7 at squad agreed to join me on this event. So shortly after registration I ran into Shayne and Karl and we found a nice patch of grass to sit on under the shade of a tree. We shared a love of swimming and even though none of us had yet to feature on a podium over the season we considered ourselves to be tragics. Our motivation was not to win a prize, but just to enjoy the beauty of Sydney from the water in the company of friends. The only level of competition was to see who could swim further over the season, and at this stage Shayne was leading the tallies with me third.

Swimmer’s view

For the two km swim Karl and I were in different waves which was a shame. There were more swimmers in this race so we had more waves due to the small start zone. Once again the course was start at the steps, swim east to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, turn right and follow the Botanic Gardens into Farm Cove, then turn right to head back towards the middle of Cove and then left to finish. Sounds confusing but it was really easy to navigate, mainly because I had done this swim several times already. In addition I had improved my ability to lift my head up in mid stroke to look ahead to sight the course. All those sessions in the pool had definitely helped as I had developed the technique of lifting my head to check the clock at the end of every lap before turning.

The swim was straight forward and I swam most of the way with a couple of swimmers who were slightly faster than me. I made sure I stayed away from tapping their toes, but used their drag. Sometimes they went right around slower swimmers, as I went left, but we managed to stick together most of the way. I did notice today the faster swimmers in the following waves were really fast. Usually I try to stick to them for twenty metres or so, but today found that difficult. I did manage to pull away from my guides towards the end as my energy levels were still quite high.

My time of thirty-three minutes was quick for two km, but was a lot slower than my previous two years, And then I remembered that this time the course was longer. I was placed in the top 140 out of the 360 swimmers, and I managed to place twelve in my age group. So on the day I had two top twenty finishers in my age group, and a top one hundred overall in the one km. I was very pleased with that.

It was such a nice day that it was a shame to have to leave.

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