Advice for RDs and water safety personnel from a DFL swimmer....

tortugatortuga Senior Member
edited September 2014 in General Discussion
1) Always remember that you are GREATLY appreciated. We have much love for you and what you do for us.

2) It's demoralizing when the kayakers hover around me like a gang of buzzards waiting for the last gasp of a beached fish. I got a good idea that I'm DFL when the pack swam over me as they lapped me. Just because I'm slow does not mean I'm in trouble. Please give me some space.

3) Please don't park your kayak between the swimmers and the sighting/turn bouys. I stay in a perpetual state of semi-lostness anyway and it doesn't help when you're blocking my view of the mark.

4) Please don't wear clothing that matches the colors of the marks. Sighting for me is a challenge on the best of days and it's a mental beating when I figure out that the mark I've been trying to swim to is a kayaker in a blaze orange T-shirt.

5) If your race rules states a cut off time for the race, please allow that much time. 3.5 hours for a 10k is pushing it for me anyhow. I know everyone has places to go and things to do but I'd like to know how close I can get to the 10k within the time allotted. (Yesterday, at Swim for the Potomac, the rules stated 3.5 hrs and they closed the course at about 2:20. I drove 5 hours, slept in a $200.00 hotel room and didn't get my full 3.5 hours of race time. It made me sad.)

6) When in doubt, refer to suggestion #1.




  • I second everything you said on this one, especially in regard to that race.
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    2:20 time limit for a 10k?!?? I'm guessing a lot of people didn't finish.
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    3:30 is a tight cut off for a 10K.
    You made very good points for any swim.
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member
    gregoc wrote:
    2:20 time limit for a 10k?!?? I'm guessing a lot of people didn't finish.
    Reading between the lines, I'm guessing they pulled swimmers after 4 loops of a 2K course if they concluded the swimmer wasn't likely to make the 3:30 cut-off. But even that doesn't add up. If a swimmer was at 8K in 2:20, they'd be on pace for a respectable 2:54 10K.
    tortuga wrote:
    1) It's demoralizing when the kayakers hover around me
    Funny story: I was in a race a couple of years ago, and the field was spread out. Very little passing after the first mile or so. I managed to pass a guy with a red support kayak at the turn-around. But a little more than a mile from the finish, I picked up a red flash in my peripheral vision. I tilted my head back on the next breath, to confirm my suspicion: it was the red kayak! Not wanting to be passed on the home stretch (or any other stretch), I put the hammer down. I figured the ol' 100M razzle-dazzle would break him. Nope. Still there. Red Kayak 20 feet back, right at my 6. "Hell, he's probably catching a draft!" So I gave him the diabolical 500M Pile Driver. But he matched me stroke for stroke. "Dammit! What is this guy made of!" So pulled out the last weapon I had: the controversial (banned in 20 states) 1000M "water-boarding simulator." But he didn't break. He didn't even flinch. I, on the other hand, was near drowning. After laying down what must have been the fastest mile of my adult life, I rolled onto my back to salute this worthy competitor as he swam by. And, "Whoa! Wait a second! There's no swimmer back there! That's one of the RD's volunteer kayaks lending me a some gratuitous support!" The swimmer with the other red kayak support pilot was barely visible. I had to breast stroke to the finish...

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member
    Does DFL mean what I am thinking it means?
  • tortugatortuga Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    Dead F****ing Last.....somebody's gotta do it

    @Spiff It was a 1k course and they pulled everyone who came by after about 2:20. I'm sure there was a reason but it wasn't the weather. It was a fine day on the water.
  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USSenior Member
    edited September 2014
    tortuga wrote:
    Dead F****ing Last.....somebody's gotta do it
    Yep. I thought I had the distinction of being the last one out of the water. :) But I wasn't even that.

    The results surprised me. But they don't show is how many "laps" each person did. (I did 8 k.)

    This was my first organized open water swim, and I was pretty confused when the kayaker who had been shadowing me that last lap said I had to stop early.

    My take on it is that the event itself had a time limit. The water front was really busy when I got out. They were ready to rent kayaks etc that would leave from the part of the dock the swim used. I talked very briefly to someone who was packing things up and he commented that they should have started the 10 K first, and at 8:00 a.m.

    BTW, it was good to meet you @tortuga!

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • Yeah, I wish they had started the events in the order they said they would, with the 10k starting at 8:15. Instead, they decided to make a change and have the 500M start first, which got us starting closer to 9.

    This was my second swim, and first marathon distance -- wish it was better organized, but since at least the registration fee was cheap and I was just using it as a training swim, it wasn't a big issue to me, but I felt really bad for everyone else swimming it.

    And @tortuga, did you pop in briefly to Harrington's after the swim?
  • tortugatortuga Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    @JSwim: I assume you were the OTHER old dude. Good to meet you as well. It's a small swimming world. We'll meet again.

    @SharkPoint: No, I grabbed a sandwich and jumped in the car for my drive back to Raleigh, NC.

    Another question for you two. The posted time is exactly 20 minutes more than my stop watch showed. Do I have a faulty watch or is the time based more on when we should have started?
  • Don't know about the time -- I didn't wear a watch.

    And looking at the results a little more closely, okay, now I'm a bit annoyed. They told me to come in just when I finished 9 laps. I could have gotten the last one in before the last person came in out of the water. Still happy with a 9k in 2:28, but dammit, I could have gotten the full 10k in. Wish they gave me the option.
  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USSenior Member
    tortuga wrote:
    @JSwim: I assume you were the OTHER old dude.
    @tortuga, well I messed up! I obviously mismatched your MSF username with who I met.

    I was the old duddette (sp?). In other words, the woman who was not @SharkPoint? who I assume was who I met?

    It is a small swimming world! I grew up in Raleigh, swimming mostly for RSA.

    I think my time of 2:43 is correct. But I'm not positive. My watch seemed unreliable early on, so I ignored it. At the time I really thought I was the last one out of the water. So I'm not terribly surprised to hear that you, in fact, did not get out after me.

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • @JSwim It was great meeting you! I was the one you met. With only two of us dudettes there, we're easy to spot. :)
  • tortugatortuga Senior Member
    Marathon Dudettes are the bomb diggity
  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USSenior Member
    Thank you @SharkPoint and @tortuga for making me feel welcome! Scatterbrained though I was. :)

    Overall I'm happy I went even with the glitches. I learned a lot.

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Sorry you guys had that experience with the Potomac swim. It wasn't like that in 2012. Hope it didn't sour you all for swims there.

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

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