Tuesday, July 12, 2011
North Shore Swim Series Sunset Beach to Ehukai Beach
Arrived at the North Shore in Lae'i on Friday night. We decided to head over to the first race of the North Shore Swim series first thing Saturday morning. We raced in the Waimea Bay race two years ago and had a blast so we figured we would do another one since we just happen to be here for one of the their races in the series. I don't think I have seen so many fit swimmers in my life. 700 or more were registered and ready to go. We got in just before the day of registration closed and we headed down to the shore. The first step of my vacation into the beautiful water of the North Shore was to do a 1 mile swim just off the break from Sunset Beach to Ehukai Beack park. We had to swim out about 300 meters to the two bouy start. Men went first and women followed 5 minutes later. My first impression when I swam out was very calming and relaxing with the salt taste of the water. In less than a minute getting to the start the horn sounded and we were off. Lifeguards placed bouy markers every few hundred meters to follow. It was difficult to sight them with the swell. I just tried to follow people and sight as well as I could. It was much more challenging than an open fresh water lake swim with a wetsuit. The salt water takes a second to get used to the taste and the water is so clear for 10-20 feet it is almost like snorkeling with tropical fish here and there. I had to clear my goggles out once and if you get the salt water in your goggles it stings. I thought I could see the finish buoy with two to go but when I reached it and saw another I was thinking wow this is longer than 1 mile. The rolling waves and current carry you forward and backwards and hold you in place at times where you feel you are not moving at all. Time wise in past swims I would have been done at around 30 minutes but still had a ways to go. I finally spotted the final turn triangle buoy and the fast women were starting to catch and pass me. I drafted as much as I could but was dropped many times. Finally making it to shore was a relief and if you time it you can body surf in on a wave. You have to run up the beach to cross the finish in the deep and everyone sprints in the sand to the finish regardless if you cross 1st or 700th. I only waited a few more minutes and Meri was coming out. The look of "Are you kidding me" was on her face. We headed over to get our finisher shirt, ate a piece of chocolate to get the salt taste out, grabbed a few red-vines from the snack stand, and we were done!! We had to get back to the start somehow where Jeff and our kids were waiting so we decided to run along the beach. What an awesome opportunity to race and in such a beautiful place. We had a blast and hope we can do another one someday.