Hey guys! I got back today from my little vacation up at Bear Lake. For the last few years they have had an open water swim up there but I have always had a family commitment. Well, this year I didn’t so I decided to go for it. (Plus, they were doing a 1/2 mile swim which was super nice of them). I found the only motel in town which looked like something out of Bates Motel but it was somewhere to sleep and headed up there Friday afternoon. (I also saw Ant-Man and Mr Holmes this weekend so make sure to check out the movie blog for those reviews).
It’s kind of a weird tourist destination because aside from the lake there isn’t a ton to do. There are only 4 or 5 restaurants and a few little shops. No movies, bowling, or other activities for tourists. I guess the lake is more than enough but Friday and Saturday afternoon it was raining and so it dragged a little. I don’t know if I would want to get a place up there because when I couldn’t swim it would be kind of boring.
But luckily this trip the rain didn’t stop the race and I did get to swim. You can see from the photo up above I finished and got my medal! With the weather it was very choppy waters and so I was glad I went with the 1/2 mile instead of the mile. I finished in 39 minutes which I was proud of. I know technically it is slow but for me that was a pretty good time. Here I am in the water:
It was a small group of 1 mile swimmers but everyone was so friendly (as is always the case in open water events). It was neat about 10 minutes into the swim I noticed a girl stopping and it didn’t seem like an ordinary stop. She was gasping a little bit so I stopped and asked her if she was ok. She said she was swallowing water and her asthma was bothering her. I’ve been there so I told her to do some breaststroke for a little while to get her confidence back and calm down the nerves. She did and she finished the race! Afterwards she told me my encouragement had meant a lot to her. That’s what is great about open water swimming- the community spirit that accompanies the sport. Even though I am far from a typical athlete I probably was the best one to encourage someone like her to finish her race. As I always say ‘if I can do it so can you!’.
Here’s a picture of all of us swimming the 1/2 or 1 mile races:
I made this little video after the race. It’s what I call old school- just my laptop and chatting, so don’t be too tough on that part of it. The internet was very bad up there so I would have done more if I could.
Here I am showing my medal to Jim Hubbard who first introduced me to open water back in 2011 (I call him my open water missionary).
After the race we all chatted for a bit and then I went back to the hotel room and had some breakfast and a good nap. Then later on in the afternoon the sky cleared up so I decided to go back to the beach and wear my glorious sun hat I bought a few weeks ago.
The lake was beautiful and the sun felt great. I wish I could have laid out in it even longer! But alas the sun went down and this morning I had to drive back home. Still, it was a nice little break and I hope to do the Bear Lake Monster Swim next year and hopefully eventually get up to the 7 mile full race instead of just 1/2 mile. My next race Deer Creek Open Water Swim will be my 10th open water race! Can you believe it? I can’t.