Thursday, October 31, 2013

Catch Up: Part 1 - SERC Alcatraz Invitational

It's been a busy few weeks, but I had some fun too.

After getting home from Portland I headed up to San Francisco for a long weekend.
I was honored to be selected as the guest of the South End Rowing Club for their Alcatraz Invitational.
I wasn't sure what this meant, but was not about to miss out on back-to-back Alcatraz swims.

Saturday was the Test Swim (they use swimmers as rubber duckies to determine where/when you should start off the masses and where they should aim to reach the finish) and I was with my wing men Gabor and Randy.  We were told to take it easy and we did.  Water was right around 60 (warm by HMB standards) with no wind and we even had some sunshine.

After the swim we had a great breakfast across the street at the Blue Mermaid.

I spent the rest of the day walking along the shoreline with my mom and was able to see the remnants of the Americas Cup festivities - I can't believe how big those boats are.

The evening brought us back to the Club for beers and BBQ.

Sunday morning I realized how big this event is.
The swim draws +500 swimmers every year many from outside of CA.
I wished everyone a great swim then the crowd humored me and sang Happy Birthday to my mom.
Picture credits to my mom

On this day I decided I'd swim with someone who was extra nervous or someone who had the right spirit.
Annabelle was definitely the later.

We met at the BBQ and she was so excited to share stories about her daily swims that week with SERC members that it took hours to find out that she is a doctor from Amsterdam.
Definitely has her priorities in order.

I can't remember having a bad swim* and this one was no different.
Every few minutes Annabelle would stop and point out the landmarks TO ME.
"There's the Golden Gate.  The Bay Bridge.  The Balclutha.  The Jeremiah O'Brian..."   
I loved it.

I am so grateful to all of the SERC members, but especially Ann, Gary, Suzanne, Stevie Ray, Wayne B (the bad one), and Kathy.

* I still separate the Maui Channel swim and my arm being taken.

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