The Flat Island race is the first open water race of the 'summer' season. It's about 1.6 miles, starting from the the NorthWest end of the Kailua beach park, around Flat Island and back. I did a YouTube movie of the race last year . It was pretty much the same thing; I finished fastest, and even got the same body marker, "45", somehow.
The biggest difference between last year and this year is that there was no cigar shaped orange buoy to swim around at the finish turn. I did a lot of water polo-style heads up swimming trying to sight the marker, didn't see it and decided to just swim parallel to the beach before turning in to the finish. Bummer for me: the last marker for the race course was considered to be the ever-present channel marker in lieu of a buoy (white pipe in the center of the picture). Though my time was fastest, the award went to a deserving Brook Nottage, who did swim a slightly longer course.
I was glad that Kailua Masters, who organized the race, went with electronic timing this year. That was nice. I re-learned a couple of lessons the hard way today. First, listen to the pre-race announcements, and listen extra close if they are being done in windy conditions without a bull-horn. The course announced at the pre-race might not match with the map drawn at the registration table. Never assume that the course is the same as last year. Second, with electronic timing, never (ever) stop running until you pass the yellow box. Today's finish was 50 yards up the hill from the water, and the chute only went half way to it. I actually stopped for about 5 seconds thinking I was done before the crowd frantically pointed out I wasn't there yet. It's good to get these kinks worked out before the North Shore Swim Series starts at the end of next month. Now, I'm ready.
The Flat Island race is unfortunately always held on Mother's Day. I say unfortunately because she is not a swimmer. We should have been cheering her this morning not me. Sue does a lot to keep our family running smoothly. Some years more than others. I asked the kids each to name something great about mom today. I liked Nate's answer best. "She does homework with me".
Nate struggles with school. He is only in first grade, but even this early on, he and Sue often spend more than two hours a day going through lessons at the kitchen table. Instead of complaining about it though, Nate picked Mother's Day to point out how grateful he is to his mom. Go Nate! Go Sue! First place you!