Chattanooga Open Water USMS National Championships


USMS Middle Distance Open Water National Championship (>1 and <=3 Miles) (2.4 miles)
Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 3, 2017

USMS Ultramarathon Distance Open Water National Championship (>= 9 Miles) (9.2 miles)
Chattanooga, Tennesee, June 4, 2017

Lisa, Arlene, Matt - after finishing the 9.2 mile swim

Lisa, Arlene, Matt – after finishing the 9.2 mile swim

Arlene Delmage swam all 3 races: 1-mile, 2.4-mile, and 9.2-mile.  She won her age group in both the 2.4-mile and 9.2-mile, making her a double National Champion.  Lisa Gibson and I swam the 2.4-mile and 9.2-mile races.  Lisa had an amazing swim in the 2.4-mile event but got disqualified for using physio tape on her reconstructed shoulder.  She would have been 2nd overall female and won her age group if she had not been DQ’d.  She did the 9.2-mile swim without the tape and won her age group making her a National Champion there.  And there was also another swimmer from Oregon, Margot McKirdy, who swam the 2.4-mile swim and placed 9th in her age group and also paddled for Lisa in the 9.2-mile race.  I swam well in the 2.4, finishing 6th overall male, 2nd in my age group.  My goal on the 9.2-mile swim was just to finish, so I didn’t race it terribly hard.  I finished 4th in my age group and 7th male in that swim.

The current in the river was extremely fast.  The leaders in the 2.4-mile swim were averaging under 13 minutes per mile!  And in the 9.2-mile swim, the winner averaged 13:38 minutes per mile!  I was lucky to have chosen this swim for my first (and likely only!) ultramarathon distance swim.  It took me less time to complete the near 15-kilometer swim than it took me to do the ePostal 10K the previous weekend!

I got really lucky on that 9.2-mile swim with the current being so fast!  I finished the swim in 2:13:43, averaging 14:32 per mile for the 9.2 miles.  That’s 50 seconds per 100 yards!!!  It was fun moving so fast, but some of the competitors didn’t like that it was over so quickly.  It effectively changed the race from ultramarathon distance to marathon distance, so the true distance freaks didn’t get as much time to run down people who would have tired-out had the race been an hour or more longer.

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