An open-water race held annually just north of Peterborough, Ontario in Buckhorn Lake. Water is clear and shallow, and very warm even early in the year.
There are three options: 1000m, 2000m, 4000m. They all use the same 1000m course.
I gave the 2009 edition of this race a shot last year. Temps were in the single digits, the wind blew the buoys out of place, and it ended up getting canceled.
What a difference a year makes! Hot temperatures, very warm water.
I had no goals or aspirations for this race, it was really just a chance to get in a nice long open-water swim in a fun environment. Brought the family for a nice morning at the beach, it was all quite lovely.
I elected to do 2000m, which more or less matches my goal race (Ironman Muskoka 70.3).
The first lap it just took me awhile to get comfortable. This was my first time in open water since Ironman Canada last August, it just feels different. I felt pretty constrained by the wetsuit, not sure why.
Sighting was tricky on the first lap - I couldn't see some of the buoys due to the sun. I just followed the other swimmers around me to try keep on track, which mostly worked out OK.
By the second lap, the current had become quite strong on the way out... it was tough. You see the bottom, but it ain't moving - it's very disheartening. Just seems to take a lot of work to go nowhere! Going across the current wasn't much easier, as you get blown off course and have to kind of re-adjust your trajectory to keep a somewhat straight line.
All in all, I didn't do very well, finished the 2000m in about 50 minutes. A bit off my pace at Ironman, but conditions weren't as good and I wasn't nearly as comfortable. Just in general, swimming has been low on my priority list... my first tri of the year isn't until July, while I have a bunch of running and biking stuff scheduled.
To the pool!