Swimmer Safety

Triathletes,
Just a reminder about the safety of our swim course. As a retired SCUBA instructor, Certified USAT Race Director, 6 x Ironman (swimming 2.4 miles) and a Big Shoulders 5k swimmer I take water safety very serious. Our team wants both the newcomer and veteran to know that we take every precaution to make your swim safe. We know the swim creates stress and concern for everyone on race day.
That is why we exceed the USAT required lifeguard to swimmer ratio, we have guards on rescue boards, we have scuba divers on the water, we have numerous personal water crafts on th water in addition to the power squadron and lake redsidents surrounding the course for your comfort and safety. We have doctors on boats and on shore, we have an ambulance on site as well as a medical helicopter. If something does happen first stop and get your breath and hold onto a craft or board. It is perfectly legal to hold on and get calm and catch your breath. Just dont move forward. If you are in trouble wave an arm in the air and a guard or jet ski will be there asap. Don’t panic, you have trained for this. Take some time, collect yourself and relax. We will be watching the entire course and have plans in place to assure your safety.
Some quick tips, practice in open water even if it’s within a beach setting, practice race day morning once the guards arrive. Get your head wet and use to the water temp. Swim at the back of your wave or to the side to avoid contact. Realize contact is minor and unintentional. If you are new or un- certain about your health talk to your doctor. You are taking great strides to increase your health, quality and quantity of life. Don’t fear the swim, respect the swim and ask questions of us or your fellow triathletes. We/they have all had the same concerns and will help make your swim a success. As I tell new triathletes, it’s the shortest part of the day, enjoy it. It only gets hotter and harder out of the water.