Race Review: Honolulu Fin Swim Open Water Race

Hawaii and all of it’s warmness. I can’t even begin to explain how much I needed 80* temperatures, sun, being able to wear shorts and flip flops and walk around not needing to bundle up. Even going for runs in shorts and a tank top does numbers for me, since I’ve been bundling up all winter. I primarily came out for the Hapalua Half Marathon, but also started looking up some open water races a week and change ago. I’m in the mist of Ironman Training, and the only swims I’ve done ever (even going back to swim team as a kid), have been pool swims. I came across the Waikiki Swim Club page and by chance, they had a 2000 m (read 2K, 2187 yrd, 1.242 mile) open water swim today. Sold, sign me up! I figured it would give me a good chance to see how I do swimming in open water over a pool and to get a better feel of how I’d time and what I need to work on for the swim portion of future triathlons.

750The race started at 8 AM and was close enough to my hotel where I walked over around 630 this morning. I was kind of worried about being able to find it because check in was in one of the parks so I was glad when things were visible enough to see and figure out where to go. I had 10 different alarms set, but really needed none of them since I fell asleep fairly early and was up at 530 AM (it felt like 830 PST to me, so it’s a win win!). Check in was quick and easy, and after getting my shirt, I got my number drawn on my left arm and picked up my ankle time chip. Having that on kind of felt like someone being on parole or jail monitoring, but what can you do. I hung around the finish area and got somewhat situated. There was no official bag check, but most people had their stuff  out without much of an issue. At 750, we had pre race announcements before heading into the water for a water start. It was a fin race (you know, those flipper things you wear while snorkeling), but I didn’t go that route. I was more worried about trying to figure out the open water situation

The horn went off at 8 AM and I fell into the let everyone else go ahead of me so I don’t panic and freak out. The course was 1000 (1K) out and back along the Pacific Ocean in the Ala Moana Beach Park area. After I let most people get out of the start, I tried to find my groove. It was hard to get your bearings since you’re actively trying to swim and at the same time look at the course floating devices to make sure I was going in the correct location. My problem is I breath to the right and anything floating we had to care about was on our right shoulder. I definitely drifted on more than one occasion to the other side of the course on the way out and nearly ran into a few people, but it happens. I think I did about half freestyle/half breast stroke because I was trying to not freak out about anything (and I’m pretty sure the lifeguards on course may have been a little worried at first). When I hit the turn around, I was at about 29:30. On the way back, it was easier to deal with since I had calmed myself down and knew at least what was coming. I was figuring out ways to find something down course that was a course marker to look at too every few strokes so I could not go further than I needed to. I ended up finishing in 1:01:24, which I’ll take. Me being me, I somehow had that the half ironman swim time cut off was an hour and the full ironman cutoff was 2 hrs. How I got to this I have no idea, but I’ve had these stuck in my head for the past 4 months so I initially was a bit bummed because I figured if this were a legit Ironman/Half Ironman I’d be pulled off course. Shocker (to me), I really have an an hour 10 minutes for the Half and 2 hours 20 minutes for the full. At least I figured that out now and not race day.

Overall, I thought things went well. I didn’t drown, I finished, there wasn’t any waves or storms, no sharks to speak of and I didn’t finish last! Too bad I don’t live somewhere where I can do more open water swimming. It could be fun!

About drrunner
8 time marathoner, 65 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. BibRave Pro, Doctor and a mix of insanity

One Response to Race Review: Honolulu Fin Swim Open Water Race

  1. Pingback: Bibrave Race Review: The Hapalua | drrunner

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