Last weekend, the annual La Jolla Roughwater Swim took place here on the shores of San Diego. There is a 1-mile and a 3-mile swim, and all age groups are included. I watched all of the mens 1-mile competitions from a front row seat!
Ironically, even though it is called the “rough water” swim, most years (and most of the time), the La Jolla Cove is anything but rough! However, this year the race lived up to its name- there were 8 foot swells coming in in the hour before the race started!
I was happy not to be competing this year. I needed the time off and the waves and chop didn’t look appetizing to me.
Luckily for the swimmers, the big waves were not a huge factor at the start. Most managed to make it past the first wave without much of a problem. The chop definitely slowed down the overall times for most, as nobody went under 20 minutes.
I watched in amazement as masters teammate Ben Westin pulled away from the rest of the field at around the halfway point. Not only that, but the last quarter of the race he seemed to turn it on and go faster! Months and years of hard work allowed him to do this and to win the race by such a huge margin.
This year, the 1-mile swim was a much harder race and just to finish required a ton of energy.
Many of the swimmers then turned around 90 minutes later to do the Gatorman swim, 3 miles! Fun time for some I guess….definitely not something one can just use the “winging it” strategy with!