Thanks for the info Carolyn. I'm under the impression that the waves aren't nearly the factor in the sound as they are in the ocean since the Outer Banks acts as a barrier. I hope that's true anyway. I am assuming that's why they have the swim there VS the actual ocean itself? I looked at the pictures of last year's race and noticed that many people did NOT wear a wet suit, although some did. Perhaps the water if fairly warm that time of year? Again, maybe warmer in the Sound than the ocean itself. Of course, the Sound is part of the ocean, just protected by more land. I should ask some of these questions of my nephew (he's the one getting married Sept. 10th and is the reason why I'll be out there). He is a surfer and surfs out in the Atlantic all the time. He Kayaks out in the Sound so knows that water as well.
As for the salt and buoyancy, DH had said the same thing and I had noticed that the times were better (Yep...already checked that out in last year's race too...LOL). Even the slowest of the slow seemed like a good time to me! Ha!
Thanks for your tips and words of encouragement! Hopefully, this wretched body will hold up. I had a fantastic year last year, but am paying the price for it this year, so my racing is WAY down and barely exists! Canceled out of three races already that I had hoped to do. I am not signing up for any races until the finally days leading up to it. It's a little more, but I just can't tell if I'll be ready or not.
Lynn - as someone who has done a lot of ocean swimming and a little bit of fresh water swimming, I can tell you that you're in for a treat. Salt water is more buoyant than fresh, so it's easier to swim in. I wouldn't worry about sharks - they really are not interested in humans as a food source. The majority of bits occur when sharks get confused by what they think is fish and turns out to be a leg. They generally avoid people.
The main thing you may have to deal with in salt water versus fresh water is waves. You should become familar with the way to make your way out to the buoy through the waves without fighting them which will make you tired. It's called dolphining. When you are heading out to the buoy, you wade in (or run in) until you are about thigh deep, at which point you can start swimming. As waves come in, dive under them so that your hands touch the bottom. Bring your feet up to you hands (you're now in a crouching position), and then push off with your feet while bringing your hands into a prayer-like position to help you easily break the surface of the water. Get a breath and continue the dolphining as necessary. Usually once it's too deep to dolphin the waves are no longer breaking on you and you should be good to go.
Remember, too, that when you first get in, if there are waves to stand sideways to them to allow them to break around you. Allowing them to break on your full front or back takes more energy to remain standing.
It might help to find a tri group in the area and see if anyone will meet up with you for an hour or so to walk you through the finer points of what I described above. They can also give you insight into wet suits, typical water conditions, etc.
One more thing - on race morning, do a swim warm up and take a good look at the bottom to note where there may be rocks, as well as where the water gets deep or maybe a sand bar formed a bit offshore and it suddenly gets shallow. Talk to the lifeguards the days leading up to your race to find out what the conditions are like.
I hope you decide to do the race. The ocean swim is a fun and different experience.
"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
Fitness Minutes: (49,969) Posts: 8,681 5/22/11 9:47 P
Considering racing in the OBX Triathlon near Nags Head, NC in Croatan Sound. (choosing the Olympic Distance)
Anyone familiar with this triathlon or this area?
I have ZERO experience with swimming in salt water (other than frolicking in it) but I'll have a week in the area before the event to somewhat acclimate myself.
Anyone here experience swimming a tri in salt water when you live far inland and only experience fresh water or chlorinated water?
I'm at least fortunate enough to live 35 miles from Lake Michigan, which is like an inland ocean...without the salt (even the waves can get pretty big here as well as an under toe). Oh....and minus the sharks!
Thanks for any info you can give me. Happens to be my nephew's wedding that weekend. I always wanted to do a destination triathlon and it was exciting to see this triathlon is going on while I'm over there!
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