The last event of the Erin Baker Award is the Swim Across Lake Taupo before I continue to the Cameron Brown Award. The difference between the two awards is the addition of a 5th event, Ironman NZ. So in summary for the Erin Baker Award I completed the Taupo Half Marathon in August, the Around Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in November, the Kinloch Triathlon in February, and now the Across Lake Taupo Swim also in February. This has all been on top of the 3 events that made up the Iron Maori / Port of Tauranga Legend Series. So how did the Swim Across Lake Taupo go?
I was running late due to work commitments to meet the Registration requirements on Friday evening, so I made arrangements with the Race Director to check in early on Saturday morning, This was something I was loathed to do as I didn’t want to muck them around, but they were really good about my late report for Registration. Once registered, armed with my transponder and had my wetsuit cleared I got ready. I spotted Meredith Kessler, a multiple winner of Ironman NZ in the female division, and said hello. I also bumped into Lincoln Nicholls a former Army Doctor and good friend of mine.
I then headed to the waters edge and did a short warm up before the race brief. After this the hooter went off and away we went. About a 100 meters into it my goggles fogged up and I couldn’t see much more than 20 meters in front of me, which got worse. I wasn’t too concerned as I have swam in the pool with fogged up goggles and know if I leave them in place they clear after 20 minutes or so. Not to be, they simply didn’t clear at all. I switched tactics to stopping every 30 strokes and treading water for a few seconds to get my bearings and start swimming again. This was going to be a long drawn out swim.
I noticed another swimmer had the same problem. She kept removing her goggles, dunking them in water, replacing them back over her eyes and restarting. Judging by the cursing I could hear, that was proving to be worse than keeping them on. Some swimmers had their own personal safety kayaker so I swam beside them, moving from one to another depending on the speed of their swimmer and my visibility to see the next one. One even said head to the orange flag but I couldn’t see it, so the hill at 3 Mile Bay was my target zone and it appeared to be spot on.
Needless to say I was glad to head up the boat ramp at 3 Mile Bay after swimming as blind as a bat from Acacia Bay Domain. The distance is 4.2 kms with a time allowed of 2 hours, my Garmin indicated 4.5+ kms of zig zagging and I spotted the race clock of an unofficial time of about 1 hour 52 minutes. I cut that a bit fine. As for my goggles, yeah the jury is still out on that one lol!
Take care team, regards John Humphries (aka UltraHumps).
Humps will be writing weekly as he continues his journey raising funds for the Fallen Hero’s Trust.
Read Humps’ article from last week here:
And all his previous articles are stored here: