Sunday, September 09, 2007

Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life 2007

Provincetown Harbor
Swim for Life is a 1.5 mile open water swim race in Provincetown, Massachusetts every Saturday after Labor Day to raise money for local AIDS, women's and youth's charities. This year was the 20th edition and my first.

The Philadelphia Fins Aquatics had a strong presence at the race. We had 15 swimmers

Dr. Steve & Nick
Roper & Ray
George H
Pat R
Jason K
Keith C
Joe C
Merrill & Caroline

Registration at the Boatslip was a little slow, but I expected that. Putting the wetsuit on was a little easier this time. I hung out with Fins buddies for a while. Many of Fins swimmers were on my shuttle bus. We were then transferred to a boat to go out to the lighthouse which was the start line of the race.

While we were on the boat heading out, we saw swimmers in pink swim caps already heading to the Boatslip. WE MISSED THE START! Chaos ensued. The boat stopped at about 1/4 mile from the lighthouse. One by one, swimmers jumped into the water, heading toward the lighthouse.

I panicked the moment my feet hit water. It was cold. My survival instinct kicked in and I started a breaststroke kick, followed by another. After about five minutes, I saw swimmers in front of me making a sharp turn. I didn't know what was going on, so I stopped to look around. I swam toward a volunteer on kayak and was told to change course to head in land. I was already in the race.

I settled into my comfortable pace, breaststroking my way forward. I didn't see too many swimmers around me. Since I started last, no one passed me and I only passed a few swimmers. The tall Pilgrim monument was my one o'clock landmark. Even knowing that, I was off course by about 10 times, losing at least five minutes.

The Pilgrim monument looked bigger as I breaststroked my way in land. I started hearing cheers from the crowd at the Boatslip. I saw a few swimmers far ahead of me, and a few swimmers behind me. I thought we were the last ones still swimming. Once I saw the finish line, I cleaned up my strokes and went into my sprint mode. I could see the bottom of the harbor. The water was cleaner than water from the Jersey and Delaware shore.

I made it! I got on my feet and ran to the finish line. My official time was 58 minutes.
I started to look around and a lot of Fins swimmers were nearby. I looked back at the harbor and saw many swimmers still swimming in.

I made my way up from the Dick Dock. Took some photos with the Fins. Got in line for the Mermaid lunch buffet, and walked around to socialize. After about 30 minutes, I went to back to my hotel room, took off my wetsuit, and showered.

After cleaning up, I went back down, and guess what, swimmers were still coming in. I joined the crowd to cheer until the last swimmers reached the finish line.

Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life

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