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Aegean Sea Swim Anyone?

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Oct 5, 2007

I'm writing this note on Friday evening in Rhodes. All of the athletes needed to arrive by today, specifically 5:00 pm, in order to get their preferred start location on the start line.


On race day, athletes are introduced in the order of their world ranking. After being introduced, each athlete immediately walks to the starting box of their preference. For this race, starting boxes are marked on the carpeting that overlays a wooden platform. The wooden platform sits directly on the beach and it will be a run, then dive start.


Sometimes, the start lines are on top of pontoons located in the water. A pontoon start is a diving start.




This morning, some of the Team BG athletes swam in the pool that sits in a beautiful location overlooking the ocean. Other athletes wanted to swim in the ocean to test the current and water temperature. This will be a non-wetsuit swim due to the 26-degree Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit) water temperature.





It is fun to hear athletes from different countries speaking their native languages. While I know the world is a big place, traveling to international races is always a great reminder for me that I live in a very small corner of earth.




Five of the nine athletes racing for Team BG at this race were at the Vancouver race I supported in early June. That particular race was cold and rainy. It was a wetsuit swim due to the chilly water temperature.




Somehow, one of the athletes got the wise idea that if any of them placed in the top ten, the support staff should take a dip in the cold, cold, cold water. I did take my suit and towel with me on race day, expecting I would take a blue-lip dip. The highest placing Team BG athlete was 11th.




That athlete, Lisa Norden, wanted a proposition for this race.




Gale says to herself, "Sweet! The water is wonderful here, I'd be more than happy to go in and pay on that bet."




Before knowing the proposition, and based on my assumption, I say "Sure, a race bet is in order!"




Ah...not so fast...Lisa's proposition for this race was that if any of the athletes on Team BG place in the top 10, support staff will take a plunge off of the 5-meter platform that sits in the ocean within the circumference of the course.









To be continued...



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