On Saturday morning hubs and I headed to Barrie with my mother-in-law in tow so I could participate in the Kempenfest Bay Swim. It is an annual 2000m non-wetsuit swim in Kempenfelt Bay that has taken place for 30+ years in conjunction with the Kempenfest Festival on the water front. It was a hot, hot day and the sun was already pounding down on us hard at 9am. It was certainly a good day to be swimming, but I wouldn’t want to do much else. After registering for the swim (we were asked to arive an hour early), we had plenty of time to kill as the exhibitors were setting up, but I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible.
Soon enough it was time to suit up and I waded into the lake for a short warm-up. The water was perfect! I paddled around for less than 10 minutes before joining everyone on the beach for the pre-race meeting. From what I could tell looking at the other swim caps crowding around, there was only one other person in my age group which was a broad range of all females 25 to 39. Actually, the majority of the field was made up of kids who were arriving in bus loads from sports camps.
We ended up starting about 10 minutes late, which was stressing me out since we were already extremely tight on time to make it to a wedding immediately after the race. Finally we lined up in the water, they counted us down and we were off. I was surrounded by kids, most of whom soon left me in their
dust bubbles. It was only crowded for a few minutes, although I did have some young’uns swimming zig zags in front of me until the first buoy.
The swim was a diamond shape with each “side” being about 500m long. This made it a lot easier to break up the distance, although I wasn’t able to peak at my time because I realized when we arrived that my Garmin battery was dead. I tried to swim hard but controlled. I was a bit nervous about my legs cramping after riding 100K followed by a run on Friday (I am terrified of leg cramps without my wetsuit!) so I think I was slightly more conservative than I needed to be.
There was a sail boat anchored just beyond the second buoy, and a house boat anchored just beyond the third, which helped a lot with sighting since there were no intermediate buoys. Before I knew it, I was headed back to shore and couldn’t help but notice that I was virtually all alone in the water. I did manage to randomly spot my friend’s son in the water and spent most of the swim with him nearby, but he took off like a rocket on the home stretch.
I swam until hitting the bottom more than once, then dragged myself up and lumbered out of the water. There is just no way to do this gracefully (as evidenced in the video posted on my Facebook page). We then had to run up the sand into a line to have our time recorded. It didn’t occur to me to ask for my time, but I remembered the timer stating “8 – 5 – 3” after checking my number, so I am assuming it was 38:53. Hubs timed me at just over 39:00 but didn’t stop it right away, so that seems to make sense. (No results online, though I have emailed the organizers to verify.)
I was honestly surprised and had expected to me quite a bit slower without my wetsuit. All in all, it was a great swim and a fun morning. And then we had to make a MAD DASH to the wedding. We had just minutes to get to the car and drive to the church, which was thankfully close by. I ran to the car in my swim cap and suit, managed to change superman-style in the front seat and we slid into the back pew just in the nick of time – even if I still had some sand in my toes, wet hair, goggle marks on my face and my underwear on backwards. Whew!