Today I completed the 1.9 kilometre Mandurah half ironman swim and, hence, reached my goal to become an efficient swimmer.
I originally intended to finish all three race legs. In early October I re-evaluated the situation. Considering interrupted preparation including trips to Malaysia, Melbourne and Adelaide, preparing for South America, packing up the house and my life, and the flight to Brazil two days later, I decided to only attempt the swim. This aligned with my swimming goal and was far more manageable.
Yesterday afternoon I drove an hour south of Perth to Mandurah foreshore for the surprisingly efficient registration process. After checking in my bike (I didn’t want to risk disqualification) I travelled to nearby Wannanup where Bernice, Gerry and Nick kindly hosted me.
This morning the 4:45 alarm rang. As the transition area closed at 5:45, early access was critical. The 700+ bikes on racks made an impressive sight. The pros placed their expensive machines on a special red-carpeted line.
Mandurah half ironman bikes in the transition area
The professional men began their open water swim at 6 am followed by the pro women and then various age groups of amateur men and women. Each wave wore colour-coded swim caps and my navy-capped wave was one of the last, starting at 7:01.
The water was murky and I took time to get into rhythm. I felt best in the middle 60%. I didn’t experience much carnage, only the odd bump. One woman who bumped into me said she thought I was a buoy and I immediately replied I am 😀
The picturesque swim course goes around canals and, about half way in, under a bridge. The finishing stairs appearing in the distance were a welcome sight and minutes later I was out of the water and running to the transition area. I’m uncertain what time the swim took (~50 minutes I guess) but I made it!