Stroke and Stride Series 2011

I've decided that being an average runner does not translate into being an average swimmer. I've also decided that sea swimming is for a better-than-average swimmer. And to be clear, I'm not sure I fall into any of these athlete categories.

As I mentioned several weeks ago, NS and I signed up for the Ogier Stroke and Stride Series - an annual set of three swim/run races based out of Sunset House in South Sound. After our first experience with a multi-sport event, I found myself quite in awe of those who do three or more sports for much longer distances than I managed! But in any case: Here is a recap of our races.

August is a rather hot month in Cayman, so the Ogier races were set at 5:45 p.m. to allow participants to get out of work and give the island a chance to cool. Slightly.

Here was our west-facing view from Sunset House before the first race:

We arrived before the "crowd", so after checking in, it was time for a quick stretch.

Looking out to the water, the concrete area to the left of the iron shore coast provided plenty of space for the transition area.

This photo is from a strange perspective, but it's of our race numbers, sharpie-markered onto our calves. Apparently we were some of the first individuals to sign up! (SM: Weren't you #1??)

And here we are: All smiles before the race. I think that swimming cap was a first for me! I actually rather liked it, but would have preferred a colorful one like those given out at the Flowers Sea Swim.

So the race itself was, for those of us who don't swim regularly and are entirely new to sea swimming in general, rather brutal! Each progressive race over the course of three weeks included longer swims, which seemed unfathomable to us after completing our first 400 meters in the water. Multi-sport events require you to really pace yourself so as to have enough energy to complete each part of the course; but these distances were short enough to put you in sprint mode. Thankfully, we've been running regularly in preparation for the Cayman Islands half marathon, so finishing the race with a 2-mile run felt terrific for me. To be fair, I got an extra boost from the loud cheers by the encouraging volunteers that stood at the turnaround point in the run.

I don't really feel the need to post our times in this post. I've wiped them from my memory. What I will mention, though, is that NS beat me (by seconds) on the first race (400m swim/2mi run), but I beat him  (by seconds) on the second race (600m swim/2mi run). (Per NS: "I swallowed too much sea water in the swim and was ready to chuck my cookies!") We had to miss the third race due to our latest couch surfers arriving on island, so we tied up the series and left it at that. I'll take it.

No more races scheduled for the immediate future, although the Pirate's Week 5k and 10k are on the horizon in the next couple months... I'll certainly be on the lookout for more events once the weather breaks!


  1. Jenn, you look so cute in your swim outfit! :) So proud of you for doing all these athletic events! The leg shot with the numbers is great :)

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