Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kuusijärvi 1500m open water swim race report

Kuusijärvi 1500m open water swim race attracted 70 participants on Tuesday evening. This small lake and the surrounding natural areas in Vantaa are be a popular destination for people living in the metropolitan area on warm summer days. There is a restaurant and sauna in the main building.

Jussi, an old triathlon buddy and soon-to-be M40 winner, and me.
The water temperature in the lake varied, but perhaps averaged about 18C (65F). The air was a little cooler and the summer crowds had mostly stayed at home.

I seemed to be confident before the race, having studied 'I'm Here To Win' by Macca closely :)
The start was at 6pm. My friend Heikki broke his goggles just before the start, but fortunately someone had an extra pair for him.

We swam the 750m course twice counterclockwise. We had to run around a tree on the beach and yell out loud our race number between laps for safety and timing.

70 swimmers getting ready for the start and eyeballing the small buoys along the course.
Swimming in a wetsuit felt odd after a long pause, but otherwise everything went smoothly. I felt relaxed and had tons of fun.

I started conservatively at the back of the pack and didn't try to go really fast until the last 200m. It turned out to be the right strategy, as I had a comfortable gap of a couple minutes to the next swimmers in my M50 age group.

A big thanks goes to Helsinki Triathlon for professional race organization. This race was part of their HelTriCup 2012 competition. Prizes were cup points.

My friend Heikki, the oldest competitor, and me after the race. I beat him only by 39 seconds!
The winner was Mikko Mäkinen with 19:21. The fastest female was Suvi Sintonen, 22:41. Jussi Peltola won M40 age group with 23:39. Leena Kauko won F40 in 26:01. I won M50 with 25:39. Petteri Grönholm won M60 with 25:44.

Janne Kallio wore his Suunto Ambit during the swim (I decided not to). His Movescount data is here.

Finally thanks to my son Jon, who was my personal assistant and took all the photos and videos on this page. And thanks to Heikki for driving us to the lake and back. A super fabulous event!

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