The Open Water Challenge of the RCP Tiburon Mile
As the ferry neared the shores of Angel Island, the idea of lunging into the icy bay for a nautical-mile swim became a reality. Hundreds of people stripped down to their swimsuits and lined the beach waiting for the start of the race. Among us were a dozen Olympians, who chatted with one another as they anticipated the final countdown. They were the first to go -- at 9:10AM the elite division departed at the blast of a shotgun.
Before the rest of us had any time to process the dynamics of the race, a screaming siren sounded 60 seconds later. We were off. A stampede of swimmers submerged into the body-numbing, 62 degree water of the bay. Within the first 200 yards we were fighting the current, the cold, and avoiding collisions with other athletes.
Despite everything else, your top concern is warming up. At the risk of burning all of our energy-- we went out spinning our arms and kicking as fast as we could. During that moment in the race, you are willing to do nearly anything to heat up your body.
Once we gained some distance from the shores of Angel Island, our state of mind shifted. I found myself singing "just keep swimming," and avoiding the thought of the obvious sea creatures surrounding us. At this point in the race, you are no longer fighting other athletes in close proximity. Instead, you are fighting the rolling waves and struggling to keep up with other swimmers. No one wants to drift off by themselves in the unprotected waters.
Soon enough, things start to look up. As we breathed to the left, we got breath-taking views of the San Francisco Golden Gate.
As we lifted our heads to gain perspective on our location, we saw the nearing finish and hundreds of people awaiting our arrival. Swimming into the shores of Tiburon was overwhelming. Upon racing for dry land and warmth, you gain a surreal realization that you just completed the fastest open water swim competition in the world!
Note: SwimOutlet.com is pleased to sponsor the RCP Tiburon Mile and was proud to feature three members of the SwimOutlet.com team swimming in the race!
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