2.4 Mile Whidbey Island Adventure Race 

DATE OF SWIM: 6/23/19

A choppy, low visibility, strong current 2.4 mile swim along the beach of Langley, Whidbey Island.

 

My first official swim race!

Route

Langley Seawall Beach, down and back

Distance

2.4 Miles

Water

55 Degrees

Support

Kayaks, Paddleboards, Safety Boats

Weekend Before, Race Prep

Grey, & Choppy Race Day!

Testing the Waters

 

Since I'm addicted to salt water now, I decided my first race would be the 2.4 mile Whidbey Island Adventure Swim in Langley.

 

I found myself on Whidbey Island the weekend before the swim, so my Dad, boyfriend and I rented kayaks at Whidbey Island Kayaking and tested the water. We weren't able to go out of site of the kayaking rental spot so I couldn't swim the full course as a test. Instead, I swam around the marina. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and the water was calm. Look at those mountain views!

 

A seal friend followed closely and I casually swam a mile. I did more talking and seal viewing than actual swimming. However, it helped me to get used to the water!

Seaweed Wigs and A Camping Adventure

The next weekend, my friends and I set out for Whidbey Island and camped near Langley. I needed to be at the race between 7:30-8:30 am and the ferry can be a pain.

After eating pizza by the water, we went down to the beach to scope out the course and wear wigs made of seaweed. Later, we made psychedelic creations with markers at the campground and drank wine (see my version 1 of my next painting of Shi Shi!).

A Choppy Ride

The swim course was down the beach 1.2 miles, around a buoy, and then back the same way.

The day was grey and water choppy with low visibility, but I did it! Before we started the swim, the race director said we would swim with the current on the way back. I think I missed that change in current, because it felt like I was being pushed out to shore the entire time on the way back finishing up the 1.2 - 2.4 mile leg. I finished last (two people didn't complete the race) out of 34 - all smiles!

At 1:39:48.7, I swarmed in at the finish line with a fleet of support boats since I was the last one out - it felt pretty epic. My time included talking a bit to the kayak support next to me as they told me I maybe would not make the cut off of 1 hour 45 minutes. It felt so nice to have my best friends by my side as I climbed out of the water last with lots of clapping and cheering. The best part about ending last is that you get a supportive audience of all the swimmers!

There was a good representation of Alki swimmers at the race too. Everyone did such an amazing job - the times are so impressive! Here's also a great write-up (and photos!) of the race in the South Whidbey Record.

I'm excited to do this swim again and beat my time next year! It was also great training for Fat Salmon and Swim Defiance, up in July!

Photograph Courtesy of Suzanne Koval

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NOTE: I am not an expert and this site is meant to give you tips on OWS and some ideas for adventures. If you're really serious about OWS, a swim coach is probably helpful. Your safety is ultimately in your own hands. Be smart out there and have fun!