Monday, July 21, 2014

Peaks to Portland

Last week I headed down to Portland to watch the finish of the Peaks to Portland swim.  I am in awe of people who swim in open water.  Many years ago, I completed a sprint triathlon, and learned that training in a pool is oh so different from swimming in the ocean.  Every 2 inch wavelet seemed like it was trying to drown me.  It wasn't a pretty sight.

So my respect for folks who swim competitively in the ocean is great.  The Peaks to Portland, a fundraiser for the Portland YMCA, is 2.4 miles long, from Peaks Island to East End Beach in Portland.  The water was in the high 50's/low 60's; making for a cold swim, even in a wet suit.  It was a great morning; worth an early morning drive to the big city.

Before the race started, an army of volunteers prepped the finish line.  There were water bottles to put out . . .

. . . and oranges to cut up . . . 

. . . and medals to prepare.

Then we waited . . . 

. . . and played with the dogs (it's a dog-friendly beach in the early morning) . . . 

. . . and scanned the horizon for signs of swimmers.

Then far, far on the horizon, we could see tiny specks that grew bigger and bigger.

Until finally the lead swimmer charged through the moored boats and into the finishing chute!

And the leaders' escort kayaks made their way to the boat ramp.

Eventually a huge pack of swimmers and kayaks streamed our way.
The kayaks poured up the boat ramp (I helped carry for awhile).

This must be a dream come true for LL Bean and other outfitters.  This is only a small fraction of the kayaks.

Congrats to the finishers!  Great job.

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