20 September 2017
Saturday was the second year of the Swim Serpentine open water event.
Over 5,000 entrants from 27 different countries swam a variety of distances from 1/2 mile to 6 miles.
Mark Strakosch entered the 1 mile, the same event as last year. The course was a straightforward rectangle, running east west along it's long side and the start/finish was in the middle of the north long side.
Mark was in the first 1-mile wave and was about 20th into the water. After the initial mad dash at the beginning the cold water made it feel like his body was shutting down with all energy being taken away by the cold. By the time they had reached the east end turn, he was up to 5th.
Along the long south side, he made it up into 2nd place and at the west end turn could see the leader getting bigger so he knew he was catching up.
Along the finishing straight he did not quite manage to get up to the leader but in the results he was credited with 1st in the wave so even though the swimmer ahead was first out of the water, he started before Mark.
His final time was 23'30" (last year 22'39"), and finished 11th overall (19th last year), 8th by gender, 2nd in age group (last year 1st in age group, 55-64 & finished 4th overall!).
He was 1st in his wave ‘winning’ by 8 seconds.
Whether the colder water, 15 deg (18 deg last year), made the field go slower he is not sure but quite possibly!