Big Ruby swim race report

imageThis is a race that was meant to happen last year, and was a warm up for my team challenge Wanaka effort, me as the swimmer. It was blown off, quite literally, so this year, it was take two! In fact, the same weekend I was entered for the sovereign triathlon in Wanaka, me doing the swim and bike and hubby doing the run, and man that swim was memorable! Massive massive waves, a bouy got blown completely ashore and the race organiser called the swim off mid lap, sending everyone into complete confusion. Some stopped, some carried on, me? I decided bugger it, I am going to get my money’s worth and I did the whole distance! It was a little hair raising and rather memorable. I was NOT hoping for the same! 

This weekend the weather was forecast for cloud but low winds, perfect weather for swimming. 🙂 I have to be honest, I have done very little in the way of swim training compared to last year. In fact, I may call it ‘panic training’! I went to the pool last week and swam 4km, just to make sure I still could. That was the extent of my training!

Standing on the bank, I wasn’t really thinking about much: meh, I’m sure it will be fine, I’ll make it round, I won’t die was the extent of my thoughts!

There were more there than I expected so I deemed it unsafe to use the GoPro, sadly, as I don’t have a buoyant back on its case. Leaving hubby on the bank, off we went. I was told it was around 600m to the lake shore and the first turn bouy. Not sure why, but it took me almost half of that to get everything under control and my breathing down to its usual 3 strokes pattern. The lakeshore all the way round was quite shallow, so you couldn’t swim too close. It was difficult to destinguish the island’s features from the background landscape so I almost swam into couple of rocks on the first lap. It wasn’t until I was right up close to a paddle boarder that I realised why he was standing there: marking a huge rock that was jutting out! Oops!

Round the back of the island was quite uneventful until the turn on the opposite end, when, again it blended in so I couldn’t see where it was. The shoreline was really shallow, so I had to be careful not to break a nail on the rocks on the bottom! Beautiful crystal clear water. At this point you turn at the end to swim back round for lap 2, not before swimming over the underwater cliffs on the Wanaka end of the island. The rock just sweeps up out from deep, straight up and out to form the island. I wish I could have taken the GoPro.

Lap two I starting to get into my stride. However, my shoulders were really starting to feel it. The non wet suited swimmer I had been with all along was starting to get away. Fatigue was setting in, which was contrasting the rest of me, I was feeling way better!

I lost her all together on the back of the island for the second lap but was starting to pass some of the red hats who had been set off after us (not sure how long) and were just doing one lap. They looked like they were having a long day at the office and I felt like apologising as I passed them!

Rounding the island for the last time I was now heading for the red carpet and the finish tent. I could clearly  see the red mat and tent, but the darned thing felt like it never ever got any bigger!

Frantically kicking all the way across, so I didn’t faint when I stood up, I climbed of the lake exhausted but elated, enjoyed every minute and I was only a couple of minutes behind the time I was expecting. Not bad for next to no training!

Would I do it again? Certainly, but I would need to do more swimming! My shoulders complained all afternoon. Hubby did make me laugh. When I said I hadn’t done much training, I hoped I wasn’t last, he said ‘yes but you don’t need to train, you just swim!’

I had to laugh, but then, that’s exactly what I did do!

Roll on next year?!


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