We took the 4:10pm ferry to Liberty Island. Race start was 6:45pm. The race organizers stated in the pre-race meeting that they used an algorithm to figure out the seeding of swimmers. Average mid pack swimmers were seeded in wave 1 and 2. Then faster to slower swimmers were seeded respectively. There was a total of 10 waves, approximately 330 swimmers. I was placed in wave 1. The full distance of the course was slated at 1.2K.
I decided not to use a wetsuit in this event because I need to get use to swimming without the assistance of one especially in non triathlon events. In swim only events wetsuits are seldom used by the masses. If I aspire to be a stronger swimmer I need to swim like one.
Our wave was commissioned to a race designated ferry which would be the point where all swimmers would enter the water. Two swimmers were allowed to jump off the ferry at a time. After jumping into the Hudson we swam to the yellow buoys for our official wave start.
Off we went after the final race countdown. We first headed towards Manhattan to make our way around Liberty Island. The current was definitely stronger in that segment of the race. At times I felt like I was in an endless pool. I just relaxed and knew at some point the swim would become easier. The water was also choppier in that section. I used my tinted Aquasphere goggles, they were okay but still allowed a considerable amount of sunlight in which impaired my sighting. Sunset was still at least an hour away. I did my best to hang on to a draft to gain some “free” speed, but many of those swimmers zoomed away. Sighting was a huge issue as I kept having to stop to catch my bearing. I kept swimming and breathing after every other stroke. After 25 minutes I was swimming my way to the finish and feeling considerably strong.
This is my first only-swim event and it couldn’t have been in a better New York City venue. There was also a post race BBQ but due to the NYRR Sprint Tri in the morning we had to leave immediately after the race. There were two ferries provided to swimmers and their guest to transport us back home; 7:45 and 9:05pm. We were able to catch the 7:45 to Manhattan.
Liberty Island Swim Course
Finish Time: 25:29
158/322 finisher. Algorithm was dead on I guess.