Saturday, August 4, 2007

Day 61 - Budgy Smugglers and Open Water Swimming

Seeing I graduated with a degree in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine I figured I could come up with a proper training regiment for the big swim. Apparently thats a lot harder than you would think. It really wouldn't matter if we ate properly or rested well our times were going to be to be bad. So we burned the candle at both ends and woke up hating life. After checking in we were notified that the 2.6km swim was nonstop, we were horribly in trouble. However, armed with our speedo's and pink swim caps we went for gold. It did really hit us until we were in the boat on the way to the sand bar and overhearing conversations that this race was a really big deal. Come to find out there were Olympic medalists, world champions, nationally ranked swimmers and five backpackers. We are supposed to be on vacation.

The whistle blows for the start and everyone darts into the water, I start running and don't see Josh. I look back and he yells "wait I have to put my goggles on". Right there we are a minute behind. After swimming about 50 meters I realized I am a horrible swimmer, then I looked at the rest of the team and realized they are horrible swimmers as well. I look at my watch and realize I might miss lunch at the rate we are going. I love lunch. Too many negative realizations in a short period of time. We did regroup and I thought of my youth sports coach saying its not weather you win or lose, yady yady yady, we were gonna drown.

They have guys in kayaks all along the race in case of emergency and they seemed to have gravitated towards us. Smith looked at the guy closest to him who would be following him the whole time and asked him his name, the response was priceless. Moses. Chosen to lead Josh to the holy land. Too bad this guy couldn't part the south pacific. With about 1km to go Smith's calves cramped up and he had to hang on to the kayak for a bit. Matt and I looked back and said " see ya at the end, good luck". After turning the last buoy and seeing the shore we mustered some energy and charged the beach. Matt and I finished the same time and ran out of the water(in speedos). The entire beach was cheering and then we almost fell over, 1hr 15min in the water. Emma and Immy finished right behind us at 1hr 18min. Then it gets interesting. The announcer summoned everyone to cheer Mr. Smith, gold finger, golden boy, to the finish. He added some humorous jokes and some timely sarcasm as the fleet of kayaks delivered our rhino like swimmer to the shore. The crowd erupted as he crossed the finish line. Not only because he finished but now they could eat lunch. 1 hr 35min in the water, the winner finished in 39min.

The entire day was jokes and laughs about the event and the legend of Smith was growing. Literally. He got an award for coming in last. We ate at the swimmers lunch and dinner and drank a little as the night time festivities continued. I retired to bed after the fire dancing 12yr old put on an pyromaniacs highlight reel. Smith danced the night away.

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