They came, swam 3.75 miles and went home happy… that being the ‘short story’, I’m not known for brevity and the story deserves more because the people there were all about ‘more’. Safe on shore, viewing the distant horizon had to raise the anxiety level of more than a few. Trepidation is natural when a challenge is not fully known and for most, these were ‘uncharted waters’. We were blessed again with great conditions, actually the best ever with almost glass smooth water. Who would believe visibility in the Indian River Lagoon would reach down nine feet? The bottom was seen in detail the entire distance even when 800 yds from shore. There were many stories told of the sea life at the finish.
The ability level of swimmers spanned a full range and many of the very best area triathletes and swimmers participated. Kaitlin Shiver Donner sent regrets from an airport in China after a victory in Taiwan but her husband Ed and sister Ashley were there to swim. In fact, 1st and 2nd place finishers overall in the recent Rotary Pineapple Man triathlon in both men’s and women’s divisons were there to swim. And there were people like myself, adjusting the GoPro and diving on crab traps to see who might become someone’s dinner!
The 2010 B2B swim had 12 swimmers. In 2011 there were twenty-five swimmers. July 1, 2012 more than 50 swimmers appeared with exact number unknown because we lost count. Maybe it was the pina coladas promised at the finish? Not likely but Dave Underill again played bar tender to everyone’s delight with some help from Island Multi-sports on nearby 5th Ave.
Most gratifying for me who helps organize and promote this event was that people self-evaluated their personal skill level and came prepared to go the distance in a way that was non-threatening. They formed kayak relay teams. They wore fins. They had kayak support to tow them for portions of the distance when needed. They took personal responsibility for their own welfare. It was commonsense and comraderie blended into one magnificent armada moving toward a distant pier. Many emails and postings tell personal reflections of an experience never considered possible before yesterday. They’ll be be back… guaranteed, they’ll be back!
B2B Swim Here’s a link to a Youtube video made at the first sandbar where we re-group before doing the final 2 miles.