Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2009 Tiburon Mile

The 10th annual prestigious Tiburon Mile took place on Sunday, Sept 13th in Tiburon, California. After participating in the Waikiki Roughwater just a week earlier, Roque Santos made it out to Tiburon to support the athletes participating on behalf of blueseventy, and to compete himself. Check out Roque's play by play below:

"blueseventy is a key supporter of the RCP Tiburon Mile and the Special Olympics and we were happy to provide caps to all participants and Neros to some of the Special Olympics athletes. The Tiburon Mile has the largest pot of cash prizes in the US for open water totalling at $30,000 and over $775,000 has been raised for the Special Olympics and other local charities!

The beach was wide open and the water calm when I got to the race Sunday morning. I like to be one of the first guys there - especially when I'm setting up the blueseventy booth. Unlike triathlon where athletes arrive days in advance, open water swimmers show up race day ready to go so it's important for us to be there early with some of those last minute key items like goggles, swimskins, and wetsuits.
As the sun started to shine above, there was still a hazy cloud cover over the San Francisco Bay. It didn't exactly look inviting. My mind started to wander, and like most swimmers I started to second guess my decision to get in and swim. But, at the last minute my brother David, who is a Tiburon Mile veteran, convinced me to do it. So I grabbed my Helix and headed for the boat.
Boom! The first gun went off and the elite group jumped into the water wearing only jammers! 3 minutes later the age groupers were off followed by the wetsuit swimmers. The race course goes along the edge of Angel Island and then you are out in open water in the bay. So, when the gun went off for the 3rd wave, I ran along the shore line as far as as I could before jumping in the water. I had an early lead and in the wetsuit, the water really wasn't that bad. Was happy I had my wetsuit and skull cap though!
I started to move ahead of the group ahead of me and got out into the open water. That early good feeling was gone and I was starting to hurt. Really hurt. I laugh now but at the time my arms felt heavy and I had to really decrease my stroke rate. Then I made my first and biggest mistake. I stopped. I had to. I was in pain and my mind couldn't take it. I saw the bright green caps getting closer and I thought I was done. But I put my head down and tried to fight through it. I knew if I kept swimming at an easier pace things would come back around.
Several people passed me but there was nothing I could do. Towards the end I did feel better, but I was really happy no one was around me because I didn't want to have to sprint the finish.
New Zealand's Kane Radford and Australia's Melissa Gorman won the elite division in very close races. I did not see them finish because, well, I was still suffering in the water. But this race is obviously very competitive at the top level and we are so happy and proud to be a part of it and a supporter of all the athletes.
Maybe next year I'll fair a bit better!
P.S. check out the pic of me and my buddy Sean Mahoney!

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