Three Seas in Three Days

heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
edited July 2012 in Event Announcements
A fabulous event in Israel: Day 1 - 10k in the Lake of Galilee; Day 2 - 10k in the Mediterranean; Day 3 - 10k in the Red Sea. Fun! Dates are Oct. 17-19. I'll post updates as I hear them.


  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    I almost went to this last year. I had an entry and everything, but in the end, couldn't get the leave from work. The organizers were very understanding.

    They had the "race" divided into three groups, based on approximate finish time, so each group stayed with a boat. So, not really a race, as much as a fun three days.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Some of the smaller Alcatraz events are organized in "pods" of swimmers. I'm not surprised they're doing it like that, as I find it hard to believe they'd be able to marshal enough kayakers for everyone in all three locations. :)

    I've swum in all three seas before, and competed in one (the lake.) Water temperature in October should be a lot more reasonable than now (I swam in the lake and in the sea two weeks ago, and they were very soup-like.) OW swimming is a growing sport in Israel, so I wonder how many people will show up.
  • this sounds like a nice swim! does anyone have a link?
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    When the link is up, I'll post it here right away.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Gadi Katz, the guy organizing Three Seas in Three Days, says registration will be through the Shvoong website (the Israeli equivalent to Once registration opens, I'll post the link here, and if help with the Hebrew is needed, let me know.
  • Hi, I'm an Israeli swimmer, I participated in the 3S3D event twice. The swimming is really a pleasure, water tempreture is about 24 deg. You swim in a group,there are 2 or 3 pace groups. (18 ,20 and 24 min/km) The swimming itself on consecutive days is rather easy . The main difficulty is getting from one location to another.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    The dates, apparently, have changed (ugh!) to Oct. 25-27. Still waiting for the link.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Online registration is on!

    Dates are Oct 25-27. The website is not very friendly to English speakers, or to non-Israeli credit cards, but they do have a phone number you can use to register. Drop me a line if you need help with the Hebrew.
  • qingliqingli Member
    edited August 2012
    This looks great!! How many people normally do it every year? I'm in Israel until Dec. I would love to join!

    Also, I just started a post about the Sea of Galilee race Sept 15th (before I saw this one). Would anyone here be doing that as well?

    Also, if anyone has issues with the hebrew, you can throw the website into GoogleTranslate. It works pretty well.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Niek, that's hilarious! But, the swim is organized by TI Israel. You can "friend" them on FB and message them for the details, and they'll probably allow registration by phone.

    qingly, it's a pretty small field of swimmers for those distances. Lots of people in Israel swim OW - it's really a fast growing community - but I don't think there are a ton of people doing marathon distances. The swim is organized by Total Immersion Israel, and usually includes a nice mix of marathoners, TI masters swimmers, and some folks from the local triathlon community. The race organizers provide the water and GU drinks and gels for the road. It's not really a race per se, more of a fun excursion - you swim in a group (they break up the groups by approximate speed) and everyone stops together every 50 minutes to refuel. All three courses are gorgeous. By late Oct water temp should be lovely and the jellyfish are long gone. The challenge from your perspective is merely the logistics and the expense of getting from one sea to the other. It's a small country, but it's not that small. :)
  • Last year there were about 25-30 swimmers in each group. I'm sure people would be happy to help you with transportation; try to contact by FB.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Race Report: Day 1

    The bottom line: The thing was beautiful, complete with a crazy-ass rainstorm that came out of nowhere, gorgeous views, and some family drama thrown in for good measure. Please don't feel compelled to read this pile of athletic drivel; I'm writing it as much for athletic exorcism as for information.

    I woke up at approx 2:40am (thank you, transatlantic jet lag!) to read and watch a rainstorm, which I hoped would subside by the time the race started. Turns out my folks hadn't slept well either, and kept waking up in panic that they'd miss the wake-up time. We had a hefty breakfast, after which my dad drove me to the Kinneret. The roads were completely empty, and by the time we got there it was still dark, but the rain had completely stopped. Took us a while to find the place; the entrance to the beach is pretty well hidden and it doesn't really look like a beach access sort of place (this detail will be of importance in a bit.) The water was glassy and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.

    We were supposed to be in the water at 5:45am (the atrocious hours are the only thing that is seriously wrong with this otherwise awesome sport), but apparently the water-and-Gatorade car was late, so we only got started at 6:30 or so. They had us split into two speed groups. I started off with the faster group, but after 500m it became clear that I couldn't do that AND conserve my shoulder for the remaining stages of the race, so I switched to the slower group. It was actually pretty fun. The people were awesome, and every time we stopped for food, which was every 50 mins, they played techno music on the support boat and threw crazy-flavored gels at us (chocolate-mint, espresso, raspberries.)

    The first 2500 went, for some reason, slowish for me. I felt a bit sluggish and it took me a bit of time to loosen up. I suspect some of it had to do with the vagaries of international travel. But by the time we took the first break I was in fine form. Everyone climbed on the boat for a break, but I figured that, as preparation for Tampa, I should resolve to swim under EC rules whenever I race, so I treaded water and floated on my back while eating. At that point, the sun was shining, the lake started developing a healthy chop, and things got exciting.

    The next 2500 went well but were a bit challenging on account of the chop and a fairly strong countercurrent. The view was gorgeous - basalt stone buildings of Tiberias on one side and the mountains of the Eastern border on the other. Truly fantastic day. The kayaker was ideally positioned to allow us to see him and kept swinging back to keep track of the guys that hung back. This gradually became a bit problematic; there were folks swimming much faster than others, and every break we opened some serious gaps and had to wait for folks to come. It was difficult to figure out if they were having a hard time or were just slow, but I was happy to wait for them for longer and be inclusive and glad the race directors made the same call.

    Then, we turned around, and the next 2500 were absolutely stunning. Since we were now with the current, it felt like we were flying. At some point, a flock of birds forming a perfect V passed above my head and my heart soared with joy. It was fantastic. And spirits were high during that break, as we could already see the end and started talking optimisticly about Sea Two and what we'd do different tomorrow.

    Alas, our rejoice came a bit too soon, because about ten minutes into the last 2500 a crazy rainstorm started, complete with insane rain and fog and lightning. It was actually quite thrilling to swim in the rain, and I was glad that the crazy days of swimming daily in Ala Moana prepared me well for this sort of thing. Everyone got super excited, increased their stroke rate like no one's business, and started flying towad the exit. Alas, the catch was that the folks who were lagging behind not only could not catch up, but could also not be seen on account of the fog. The kayakers hung back, found them, fished them out of the water, and put them on the boat for safety reasons. I was seriously bummed for them, but I think the race directors made a good call on this one, too. It was simply not worth it to lose people.

    As we approached the shore, near a big ancient basalt fortress, I saw my mom, aunt and cousins waving and shrieking. I broke into my customary butterfly for the last 300 or so, which my cousin filmed to everyone's delight. But upon coming to shore, after the requisite group shot, I realized that the weather had thrown my family into discombobulation and mass hysteria. They were soaked with water and mud from the blizzard. A giant meal at a Middle Eastern restaurant helped everyone recover some from the thing, but the rain was still absolutely insane and we were all covered in mud.

    Song list in my head: Papa Don't Preach, Like a Prayer, Cosmic Girl, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, So Far Away, Proud.

    Waving at you with tired biceps, and always at your service,

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited October 2012
    Race Report - Day Two

    Today my adventures were somewhat less illustrious, though not less adventurous, than yesterday. A variety of family issues, and a lengthy hold on the phone with Orbitz in an attempt to change my plane ticket anticipating Hurricane Sandy, led to a sleepless night, so you can imagine what fine shape I was in when I got out of the house into a fully-blown storm. Thunders, lightnings, the whole shebang. It kind of came and went. We drove toward the beach in the dark, and when we met up with folks everyone seemed in good spirits.

    Before our report for today, I'm going to jump ahead in time. The conversation at the beach afterwards included my new buddy Dan walking up to Gadi, our fearless leader, and engaging in the following exchange (which was all very nice and smiley):
    Dan: "You know, Gadi, it was somewhat irresponsible of you to send us into this kind of sea."
    Gadi: "It wasn't irresponsible. It was really, really stupid."

    Right before we went in, I heard Gadi murmur, "this is a very bad sea." And he was right. You know how they sometimes ask distance swimmers if they prefer swells or chop? Well, we didn't have to choose. Pouring rain, 2m swells, crazy ass chop, shit visibility, the works. Scary storm clouds followed us. The first 500m also included three of the five jellyfish stings I incurred today: Thigh, both sides of torso, and both hands. Pierced with pain, blinded from the blizzard, and feeling like this is Not My Day, I started stroking and decided that the way to get through the day would be to be very mindful of my form. But things were very difficult until the end of the first 2500.

    Then, things changed a bit. For the next 2800 we swam in a really tight, friendly pod, and actually made huge progress. You know how triathletes climb all over each other? I once wrote a limerick about that:

    On my first open water long race
    an infidel kicked in my face
    so I pushed and I kicked
    and I clawed till he shrieked
    and next time I'm bringing a mace.

    The point is, this was utterly different. It was so nice and comforting to have everyone nearby. And we all got to the boat in time for our feeding. I was already a bit queasy, and so did not eat a gel, which might have been a mistake. As was stubbornly clinging to the English Channel rules despite the weather and treading water while everyone hung to the boat for their dear lives. Also notable was the fact that the nasty sea coughed out an untold amount of vile plastic bags. Jayzuz, how utterly gross.

    The third leg was getting difficult. The storm gained force and it was difficult to see the kayak. The swells kicked the boat and kayak up and down. And the queasiness was getting worse and worse by the second. I figured I could try and tough it out, but then felt like throwing up and was afraid I could suffocate if I threw up in the water. So, at 8000m I called it a day and climbed on the boat, sobbing, puking everything I'd eaten in the last, eh, twenty years or so, cursing the day I was born and wishing I were dead.

    The boat took us to shore, and from there I strolled on to where my awesome dad waited to pick me up. We then met up with my awesome mom; I managed, again, to shovel in obscene amounts of protein (giant nicoise salad) and we're now waiting for our trip to Eilat, where I very much hope not to feel like I'm about to croak.

    All my love, and rather chuffed I'm still around,

    Thy pukey pal,

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Third Day's a Charm

    What an incredibly amazing day I had!!! The swim was absolutely marvelous and utterly compensated me for yesterday's misery. We went into the water at 6am, and the temperature was a bit cooler than that of the two previous seas. Having practiced in the frigid waters of the Bay, this was a blessing for me, as the soup-like quality of the Mediterranean added to my nausea yesterday. So today was perfect. The water was very blue and clear.

    The first 2500 went a lot better than in the two previous days, partly because I had the good sense to take in a gel right before going in the water, and I felt very strong all the way. I also found that I could easily sprint whenever I needed and had immense reserves of energy. The second 2500 took us to the dolphin reef, where we saw the dolphins frolicking in the water right next to us! It was incredible. We were all in awe of how beautiful they were and could hear them talk underwater!

    We also passed above some scuba divers. We waved to them, but I don't think they saw us, as they seemed busy exploring the corals.

    The last 5000 were terrific. We swam above the coral reef and saw so many different and amazing kinds of tropical fish. It was almost a pity that we had to stick to our speed and course, because we could've spent the entire day looking at the fish and enjoying their company. I feel so fortunate that I got to do this. The 17-year-old girl who swam next to me kept saying, "this is so pretty! I can't believe it!"

    We all got out ecstatic with happiness, allowing our two most senior swimmers - aged 72 and 70 - to come out of the water first to a big applause from fellow swimmers, tourists and hotel denizens. We then shared a delightful brunch on the beach, after which I split to hang out with my mom. Mom was priceless in helping me shop for emergency conference clothing for Chicago, as all I have with me are sweatpants, Vibram five finger shoes, and various race t-shirts in various degrees of ugliness. So, I'm now appropriately decked in clothes that will not shame me at Loyola, provided that my giant shoulders will fit into them!

    Since I only did 8k yesterday, after we were done I went to the beach and swam an extra 2k to complete the full 30k I set out to do this weekend. Because I'm THAT pigheaded. :)

    Learned a few lessons that will come in handy in Tampa and on other races:

    (1) Gel right before going in the water is a must and makes the first 2500 or so much less sluggish.
    (2) Feedings can happen every 50 mins to no ill effect, and there's no need for solids - gels and Gatorade-like drinks do just fine for me (forum denizens - thoughts on this?)
    (3) The key to avoiding the usual biceps tendon injury I get every marathon is to stay attentive to my stroke, and particularly - to keeping the extended hand up until the recovering hand enters the water. If I'm mindful of this, my shoulders don't get tired and I can keep going till kingdom come.

    This concludes our athletic reporting for this race. It was beautiful and I highly recommend it!
  • I participated this year for the 3rd time. I love this event; and just as expected swimming 3*10 k was fun; Swimming + driving a few hundred k was exhausting. I enjoyed mostly the second day in the Mediteranean; which was rather stormy. I get dizzy from time to time swimming in rough conditins but fortunatelly it didn't happen this time.
    Heart - when I heard you did an extra 2 k for compensation I realised you must be my lost sister.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited October 2012
    The whole thing was pretty educational in terms of feeding. When I did the Portland Bridge swim, I ate every half hour. But on this one, 50 mins was more than enough.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I think pigheadedness is a good quality in marathon swimming, Tamar. :)
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    Anyone know if this is still going? I did a quick Google search and got a bunch of hits for past years. Their FB page is either gone or called something other than Three Days in Three Seas.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

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