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Race Result

Racer: David Orton
Race: USMS 1 Mile Open Water National Championship
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2007
Location: , --
Race Type: Swim - 1 Mile
Age Group: Male 25 - 29
Time: 0:23:08
Overall Place: 32
Age Group Place: 5
Comment: I got Crushed

Race Report:

Non-wetsuit swim following the standard 1 and 2 Mile Jim McDonnell Lake Swims.

First race was the one mile wetsuit competition. I started in the first wave and quickly caught the feet of the race leader. I stayed with him until the first turn. I didn't get around it well (lack of racing experience) and he gapped my by half a body lenght. I surged to catch his feet but he pulled away. At that point, I focused on controlled breathing and proper sighting. After the turnaround, I started to pick up the pace and felt really good. Everything was clicking and I finished strong in second place overall in 21:37. It was my first race in my new QR SuperFull wetsuit and couldn't have been happier.

The second race was the 1 Mile National Championship. No wetsuits were allowed and the competition was very strong. As we entered the water, a group of guys slowly treaded forward from the starting line. I lined up in the same spot as my previous wave and was shocked that everyone else was over a bodylength ahead of me before the start. I called out so that they'd come back to the line and in that moment, the race started. As I raced to catch up, the group folded together at the first bend in the course. I was essentially sandwitched and crushed by the swimmers in front and next to me. Being a strong swimmer, I'd never been hit that much and was shocked. I had elbows and knees hit my midsection and I immediately pulled up and slowed down. It wasn't worth it and I backed off and found some clear water. I was well behind the leaders at the first turn and mentally checked out of the race. I tried to stay focused and build my stroke. I swam a large part of the race alone, caught a few people, but overall swam slower than before. After the rough start, I just didn't have it in me. I finished strong but lacked my usual sprint to the end. I ended up 5th in my age group in 23:08.

The race is well organized, but I wish the start of the elite wave of the National Championship should have been better officiated. Overall, one good race and one terrible race. All things considered, it was nice to be racing open water again and a good dry run for the Reston Triathlon. Kudos to the Reston Masters and everyone else who came out to help and race.