Today, I took part in the 8th annual Nave-sink -or- swim, it’s a an open water swim race and festival held in Rumson, NJ at the navesink inlet at Victory Park. Again this year , like last year the weather was perfect, and the water was calm and myself plus around 400 swimmers, got ready to take part in this open water swim. There are two swim races a 1.2 and 2.4 mile swim in the Navesink River . For those looking for Photos / Video skip to the bottom of the page.
Arrived about an hour before the start, checked-in and then did a short warm-up swim. Water temp was perfect and considered ditching the wetsuit (which may have been a better idea, read more below). Then just chilled out on my beach chair and ate my bagel and egg white and coffee.. This is a great event because the venus is fantastic it’s a park with a short walk to the beach and it makes it really easy to just literally get up and be in the water. Its an excellent venue for friends and family to come and cheer on the participants, because it’s so close the the shoreline and everything is in a small neat little area..
Race Report 1.2 miles
Right on time 7:30 am the men’s 1.2 mile wave went out. This year’s course unlike last year ran clock-wise along the piers,to the first turn bouy, and then back. I actually like this direction better, because return leg is straighter and make it easier to navigate despite the dreaded sun-glare. At the first bouy I made a left, started pretty slow, and felt myself drifting back a bit, I wasn’t too concerned my goal was to improve on last year’s race performance. The amount of contact this year was much less, and it felt more comfortable and controlled at the start. With the sun at our backs sighting the bouys along the piers was pretty easy. The only suggestion to race organizers is if your’re going to use yellow and red bouys, don’t use yellow and red swim caps, our wave’s swim caps were yellow and you had to do a double-take to confirm it was a bouy you were aiming at not another swimmer. I was never quite able to hop on anyone’s legs, and my stroke through the first .6 mile did not feel great, I was moving, just not as efficiently as I thought I would.
Also my shoulders felt like they were tugging against my Orca S4 swim suit. This is my second ows swim in this suit and the same issue, shoulder movement during the swim felt constrained, and a slight “tiring around the shoulders” , something I never feel when I swim without the suit. Even though I put the suit on the carefully and pull up the arms, and the suit fits me well, the shoulder movement is just not as comfortable as my old QR Ultrafull, not sure maybe it’s because the suit is new.. Also leg buoyancy in this suit is less than my old Ultrafull, so I’m reserving judgment on the S4 until I break it in a little more.
Approaching the first red bouy, the turn around bouy, there was a sandbar, and because of low tide, everyone, pretty much got up and walked around this turn buoy, kind of weird to see that in an open water race.. then it was back into the water, and straight in to sun-glare hell. Pretty much you can’t avoid the sun at this hour in the day being lower in the horizon, and just about all morning swim races when the sun is out have this issue, only tip is to hope for an overcast or cloudy day . It was a challenge to navigate back sighting the red bouy’s in the bright glare of the sun, but I trudged along. Even so I felt I navigated a pretty good return leg, and hugged the buoys pretty close. There weren’t too many swimmers nearby so I never had a chance to draft off of any particular swimmer, I need to work on that more.
Approaching the last of the red bouys. I finally started to settle into a decent stroke and maintained it all the way to the finish along the beach. when I reached the shore I popped out of the water, looked around (I hate last minute swimmers running by you), and i had enough of a gap that a moderate run up to the finish would suffice.
I was done, I looked down and was happily surprised to see a 31:47, shaving almost 5 minutes off last year’s time. It’s kind of impossible to compare open-water swim races even on the same course, in open water so many conditions can change such as currents,wind , chop, sighting , race participants etc. and vary greatly day to day. Congrats to the winner for a 23 minute swim and to all the finishers.. .
Once the race was over , received my finisher’s medal, got some water, and then it was back onto the beach to chat with a few competitors and to cheer on the other participants.
Because the 2.4 mile swimmers went out about an hour after the 1.2 mile race start, most 1.2 finishers had the opportunity to be spectators and cheer on the other competitors in the long-course swim. The overall winners race had a fantastic head-to-head finish (see video clip below) , in essence it was a great 2.3 mile swim which came down to a .1 mile race dolphin dive and run sprint to the finish… (perhaps Joe could comment on details of the swim below).
Either way it made for an exciting finish and kudos to both those guys for finishing the 2.4 miles in a blistering 44min. The ladies were not to far behind. Also moving was when an amputee swimmer emerged from the 1.2 race and crossed the finish, impressive. All in all it was a great day for swim and triathlon participants and fans..
That’s to all the organizers , Split Second Racing , Sandy Hookers,Long Branch life guards and police, and EMS folks and particularly the volunteers for making it a well organized and fun event. Keep up the good work looking forward to the 9th annual race.
- Starting considering possibility of trying another wetsuit if, shoulder discomfort continues. I love the fit of my Orca S4 but it’s not been an ideal performer in the water. Also warm up with the wetsuit on, I typically warm up without it, then put it on for the race.
- Improve bilateral breathing in the water, I tend to breathe more to my natural side during races, than during training..
- Work on pacing and drafting. Try to “pick” out slightly faster swimmers and draft off them, I did this a little better last year. But happy with my sighting and navigation today.
Race Photos & video
These race photos are free to download, I took most of them with my Pivothead Video Photo camera, and my Nexus 4 phone.. Enjoy. If you like them leave a comment below.