Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Annual Bear Lake Length Relay

reported by Sarah Jones

The ladies team for 2015 Bear Lake Relay consisted of:
Lisa Gentile
Sarah Goldberg
Joelle Beard
Dominique Maack
Chelsea Carmichael
Sarah Jones

Our time was 8:27

Drivers: Maury (Steiner swimmer) and Tom (Dominique’s boyfriend)
We met up Monday morning at 5:30 at the First Launch boat ramp on the east side of Bear Lake. Maury showed up with the boat and got it in the water very quickly. Before we knew it we were on the south side of the lake, wrapped up in coats, blankets, jackets and huddling together, waiting for the other teams to arrive. It was chilly and dark; it took some deciding to see who would be the first brave soul to get it. This person had to be particularly tough because she had to swim to the shore, get out in the cold, and then reenter the water to start. Chelsea Carmichael was everyone’s hero for volunteering, and we all winced a bit while she took off her warm clothes and lowered herself into the water. She’s awesome!

Earlier, we had decided to swim in 30 minute increments. Our order was Chelsea, Dominique, Sarah G., Lisa, Joelle, and Sarah H. The water temperature was warmer than the air temperature for the first part of the swim, so swimming was great but getting out and trying to get dry and warm afterwards was a challenge. Maury and Tom did an excellent job navigating the boat, managing to stay near the swimmer and also guide us in a very straight line to the north shore. They switched off every swimmer so they each got a break.

One of the best parts of the swim was watching all of the different swimming styles each woman has. Each member of the team had an efficient, effective stroke, but they were all very unique. We also had time to talk and get to know each other, which was a real treat. The water changed throughout the day; there were times it was smooth with slight swells, and then other times when it was quite choppy and the wind picked up.

We had planned on each team member getting three swims and one member getting a fourth, but we finished so quickly that I had to swim together with Joelle at the end so I could get my swims in! All of the team members are fast, but Dominique and Chelsea in particular are FAST. It really was so much fun to see them swim. This was the last summer swimming fun for most of us (with the exception of Sarah Goldberg, who is competing in an IronMan in two weeks) so finishing was bittersweet. Driving away from Bear Lake and knowing that it will be the last time to swim there until next summer had me feeling a bit sad. Good thing Bear Lake will be there next year!