DISCLAIMER: Open-water swimming is inherently dangerous. Open-water swimmers risk drowning, hypothermia, hyperthermia, heart attacks, panic attacks, cramping, jelly fish stings, fish bites, boat or jet-ski collisions, collisions with floating or submerged objects (including other swimmers), and other calamities that can be injurious, disabling or fatal! The "West Neck Pod" is an informal association of open-water swimmers who swim "outside the lines" with no lifeguard protection, it has no formal membership, organizational structure or legal identity, and its participants, including the author of this blog, make no representations and assume no liability with respect to its group open-water swims. All swimmers who participate in West Neck Pod group open-water swims do so at their own risk. Be careful out there!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 Fran Schnarr Memorial 5K/10K in the Bay Swim

Seven-time World Marathon Swimming Champion Shelley Taylor-Smith, who has swum in this annual open-water event numerous times since its inception (established in memory of her dear friend Fran Schnarr), as well as other veterans of the "5K in the Bay," agree that the tide and currents in Huntington Bay can be daunting, especially on an incoming tide such as that facing the 2010 competitors. The more-than-a-dozen members of the "West Neck Pod" who joined Shelley in Sunday morning's 5K swim or tackled the still-unimaginable-to-me 10K swim might have disputed that assessment in the early part of the swim, which commenced in surprisingly flat, calm waters on a bright, clear, sunny morning.

We swimmers enjoyed a relatively brisk romp to the western turnaround boat (thanks, Bob Miller!) and across the usually interminable gaping mouth of the harbor. It was not until rounding the eastern turnaround boat at the far (very far!) edge of the race course that the full might of the incoming tide suddenly asserted itself, leaving the by-then-already-tired swimmers to struggle desperately to traverse the final leg and round the starting boat to the finish. To their credit (and to the credit of the Pod), every last one of them did -- and then the 10Kers did it again!

OFFICIAL RACE RESULTS for all entrants were just posted this morning (and are available online at www.huntswim.org). The top finishers in both events were a bunch of teenaged squirts (aged 13 to 18!) who put down absolutely amazing times, but our Pod made a respectable showing, with one 3rd place trophy (Steph Palmieri in the women's 10K) and four age-group medals among us!
Pod members' time and rankings were as follows:
Stephanie Palmieri, 3:03:43, 7th overall
Rob Martell, 3:27:52, 8th overall
Ken Longo, time not reported; finished 11th overall

5K:Mike Wright, 1:36:34, 14th overall (1st in Age Group)
Tim Sullivan, 1:53:15, 30th overall
Rob Todd, 1:58:23, 33rd overall (2nd in Age Group)
Ani O'Brien, 2:05:39, 35th overall
Carol Moore, 2:06:01, 36th overall (1st in Age Group)
Kaitlyn Robinson, 2:09:35, 41st overall
Tommy Capobianco, 2:14:08, 44th overall
Steve Albright, 2:16:01, 47th overall (3rd in Age Group)
Sue Robinson, 2:24:17, 48th overall
Gae Polisner, 2:49:41, 51st overall
Evelyn Cruise, 2:59:02, 53rd overall
Chris Vasallo (unofficial time 1:43, DQ'd b/c of wetsuit)

Many, many thanks to the volunteer kayakers who showed up to keep us safe, on course and in good spirits. Check out photos by participating members of the North Atlantic Canoe & Kayak organization (thanks, Ann, Colin, Dara and Roy!) at their website at http://www.get-the-nack.org), and don't miss Mike Engel's great coverage of the event (and photos from the dock at Nathan Hale Beach) at the Huntington Masters Swimmers blog at http://www.hums.blogspot.com/.
(These pictures are all by Jo Rambo, who kayaked for Chris Vasallo and is much in demand for next year!)

See you in the Salt!

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