This September I'm doing the ChesapeakeMan race in Maryland and I'm told the Choptank River swim is flled with Jellyfish. Being from MN my only exposure to Jellyfish has been watching Spongebob with my daughters :-) Do others have experience swimming with Jellyfish? What should I expect if stung? Is there a product that wards them off similar to "Off" for bugs? Is there something I can throw on post swim to minimize whatever reaction there is? If anyone has done this race are swim gloves legal? Just curious what I should expect, thanks for any insights....
I swam in the Choptank River for Eagleman. I, too, was worried about the jellyfish. I bought Safe Sea on the internet. It's a sunscreen and jellyfish repellent. Luckily, the jellyfish weren't a factor for my race. But I'd buy some if I were you. Good luck.
The best thing to do would be to contact the race director.
The precautions you should take really depend on the kind of jellies that will be present. I can only assume that if there is a sanctioned event taking place that there are not going to to be jellies that are hazardous to your health. Most likely, if the race coordinators are saying there will be jellies, it is just going to be moon jellies (milky colored, have two to four rings in the bell, and can range in sizes from a quarter to a basket ball--and those shapes too!) Moreover, if they are moon jellies, there's not much need to worry: moon jellies aren't [generally] harmful to humans and have tentacles which are very short and aren't easy to touch.
As far as protection is concerned, you might be able to wear gloves (make sure you check that this is not illegal for the race). But the idea that the jellies will flee from someone who is wearing some kind of "repellant" is ridiculous. Number one, jellies are not going to go after you like a mosquito might; they can't even see you. Number two, even if they are repelled by certain things, you are going to be swimming too fast for this to be a factor.
I have swam with jellies before and it is kind of freaky when you hit them for the first time (I thought it was like punching a water balloon). But if you are genuinely concerned, just swim in someone else's wake and/or just keep telling yourself that if other people are doing you will probably be fine too.
I hope this helps.
I am doing the same race, well the Skipjack one . I live in MD and talked to many in my tri club who have done this race. The race is wetsuit legal, so wear a long sleeved one. If you don't have sleeves on your wet suit just wear a long sleeve compression shirt under the suit. Also, apply (with a rubber glove) liberal amount of vaseline to any exposed area of skin. This puts a mild barier if you brush against the jellies. Hope this helps. This is how I am gonna battle the beasts. Good luck racing!