12.5 mile Swim Around Key West race results
Good news: the race was not cancelled due to the stormy weather. It was very windy, but it was under 30mph by the time we started. Phew. It rained hard during the swim, but what did I care, I was in the water!
Bad news: my kayaker lost control of her boat almost right away due to the waves and wind, and couldn’t get back out past the surf. Thus, I spent the first 4 miles without food or water .
Good news: At mile 4, the coast guard stopped me and said I had to be pulled from the race if I didnt have a kayaker escort me through the harbour (I tried to swim as far as I could and pretend I was not seeing their gestures, but then they pulled right in front of me. End of pretending ). This sounds like bad news, but at that moment a boat pulled up and offered to escort me.
Bad news: He had no food on board, except a handful of chips, which I ate. Even the ones that fell in the water, since beggars cannot be choosers. Plus, I figured the extra salt content would be helpful (my salt tabs were with my stranded kayaker). He did have water, yay!
Good news: A mile later, I swam to a nearby relay team boat and asked if they had any food. They gave me 2 gels and a swig of Gatorade. I spent the next 20 minutes thinking about how I am like a street person asking for money, except that I am a swimmer trying desperately not to bonk by panning for calories.
More good news: Was handed off to a safety kayaker, Mark.
Bad news: He had no food, only water. Good news: he was willing to ask other support boats for gels. He scored 3 GUs for me.
Great news: I finished! In 5 hours 55 minutes. I came in 42nd out of 81 solo swimmers.
… on 5 gels, a swig of Gatorade and a handful of chips – not the way my nutritionist Matt and I planned it Even though the water was very choppy on one side of the island, I found the conditions on the other 3 sides excellent (when you start off a race with the worst conditions, you are grateful for everything that is better) and the currents were with us all the way. The storm cooled the water to 81 degrees and no hot sun to burn me!