Following his reputation, coach Bob Bruce organized his famous pentathlon on June 14 in Bend. Although you can pick and choose your races, Bob designs this meet with the courageous swim warriors in mind. There is the long-distance freestyle pentathlon which includes all the freestyle races from the 50 to the 800, the IM pentathlons: sprint 50 of each stroke + 200 IM, the medium 100 of each stroke + 200 IM and the beast 200 of each stroke + 400 IM. On that sunny, although windy and cold, Saturday afternoon, all of us first realized we were no more in a 25 yards pool but in a 50 meters pool at altitude!! Wow what a change. None the less, there were about 60 courageous swimmers, ready to conquer the challenge: a monstrous speed workout designed by Bob to quickly put you into shape!!! Amongst those warriors was our now 100 years old friend Wink. Wink is the true example of a trooper. Nothing scares him and he is taking any challenge with a smile. First, he swam the 800 meters and a few world records fell on the way from the 50 to the 800. After which, he swam the 100 back and 200 back and broke the world records as well. That was not enough, there was another opportunity for a world record in the 4 X 200 meters freestyle relay in the 320 years age group. Why not? The Oregon team broke that World record as well. As this was the first meet in a 50 meters pool in Oregon for probably two years. A few Oregon and zone records were also broken by many swimmers who changed age group in between.
The next morning, the wind had died down and the sun was up. It was the perfect weather for the “mock” open water event. The event consists of swimming around four buoys tied to the bottom of the pool at each corner for a total of 1200 meters. The start is given in waves from faster to slower swimmers. Personally, this was my first “open water” and I enjoyed it because it was sunny, the temperature of the water was ideal, no strange creatures in the water and there were even some black lines to guide you! But I know the true open water swimmer is laughing at me!!! Thanks Bob, the officials, and the whole COMA crew for organizing. I will be back next year.