Tuesday, May 10, 2016

South Shore Classic

The South Shore Classic is a unique swim race here on Oahu and this was it's second year running. Here's how it works. There are actually 4 different races: Women's 1-mile, Men's 1-mile, Elite 2-mile (men and women) and the Keki race. It's a pretty unique format for racing and glad it came back for the second year. 
For the 1-mile races...the first people in the water are those 70 years of age and older, then, 1 minute later women in their 60s start, 50 seconds later all the people in their 50s start, 40 seconds later all the 40s head out, 40 seconds after that, all the 30s head out, then 20 or 30 seconds after that if you are 29 or under you leave. In the 2-mile race all the women (or teenage girls and me) leave first and then a bit later the men (or teenage boys) leave. I'm not sure how far behind us they went (maybe 3 minutes?), but women left first followed by the men. In all three of these races, the first person to cross the finish line is crowned the South Shore Champion. 
Saturday happened to be a huge South Swell here on Oahu. The south shore has actually been pretty mellow these past few months and wouldn't you know, the day of the race, the surf comes up and it's ripping out there! Yessssssssssss! Since there was such a swell and the surf was breaking right on shore, the course needed to be modified a bit to keep everyone safe. (Course changes happen all the time, you just gotta roll with the punches, in the end everyone is swimming the same course, so it doesn't much matter what the course actually is as long as you know for yourself that you can be safe out there). So, I think the courses were actually a bit shy of 1-mile and 2-miles.
The 1-mile race was a 3 loop course with a run on the beach between loops and the 2-mile race was 5 loops of the same course (the runs on the beach were pretty legit, deep-ish sand and not short). Now, if you know swimmers, typically they hate running...I used to be one of them, my how the times have changed! 5 runs on the beach in between swimming loops in the surf -filled ocean was music to my ears. All the swimmers were crying a little bit on the inside (don't get me wrong, 15 years ago, I would have also been a little sad that the race directors were making swimmers run in a swim race!), but I was super stoked!
I've said it a million times before but girls are vicious in the water, especially swimmer girls. The gun went off and I was immediately shoved, pushed trampled these girls. It's all a part of racing I guess. By the time we made the first buoy it was still a crowded mess (I really, really don't like swimming in the ocean with people all around me, thank goodness for me that that doesn't happen all the time and I give everyone a whole lot of credit for having to swim with people all around them for entire swim races or portions of swim races, it is NOT easy).
My goal was to stay with the front girls the whole first loop then try to make up some time on the beach runs. I came out of the water 10th-ish and proceeded to run past about 6 girls on the beach! YAY running! The next loop, I passed another girl in the water and then one more on the beach and was sitting 3rd. I was able to stay with the two girls in the water and then pass them on the beach, I was holding my own with 15yos! (I don't know how old they were really, but HSers I think.). Anyways the last loop was me and one other girl, we entered the water at about the same time and I proceeded to face plant running in, whoops! The swell had come up again for the last loop and we were kind of getting pummeled  throughout the entire last lap. As we were rounding the last buoy, she caught a wave and took off, missed that opportunity (I guess I should practice my body surfing skills) and lost my timing chip in the process (it actually washed up on shore before I got there!). I tried to catch a bunch a waves coming in to the finish and failed miserable. The guy that ended up in 2nd overall caught a wave right at the finish to get into shore right ahead of me. Results are here
Thanks Todd and John for inviting me back again this year, what an excellent race you guys put on! Great sponsors, great people, great atmosphere, great entertainment!
If you're on Oahu next year around this time, I would seriously consider this race!

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