Here is my official race report on BT, but let me just say that the 5K race was awesome. Lake Chatuge is beautiful, the water felt good and I enjoyed the whole experience. I finished, I wasn't last and I finished in under two hours. My super-secret goal was 1 hr 45 minutes - I didn't make that (only 9 minutes off) but I think I could come close to that if I did the race again.
I met some neat folks and it turned out that we all finished within about 2 minutes of each other. I guess hanging around in your bathing suit is self-leveling. In some ways, I'm disappointed that I swam the full 5K ahead of time because it took some of the suspense out of the race. There was no "maybe I won't make it" and no "wow, it will be tough to get to the finish before I run out of energy". Then again, it was a good feeling to be out there in the middle of the lake and have confidence in the knowledge that I could do the distance and not worry about the fact that I was completely alone and there were no boats within 200 yards of me. The boats were continually circling around to keep track of us and make sure we were on course but they weren't always within easy reach.
It was really hard to navigate in the lake. Because I'm so terrible with directions, when following a map I have to turn it in the direction of travel to know whether to turn right or left. Doug and I call that "getting in the map." However, in this race I really was "in the map". I think I'd do better with navigation if I were able to give the route another try - maybe even shave some time off. If anyone thinks about doing this race next year and is willing to practice to get comfy with the distance, I'd love to do the race with you.
In other news, I almost got run over this morning. A Honda Accord came up behind me so closely that my arm hairs got ruffled and I screamed. I knew the car was coming because I heard it but assumed (and you know what that means) that it would stay in the general vicinity of the correct side of the road and safely away from me since I was running facing traffic on the other side. Not so. I don't think I'll be going around the loop in that direction again for a while.
AND, as I started down the home stretch, the dog-walking ladies and I heard tires screech and a crash. A teenager had blasted through the stop sign at the dead end, jumped an earthen berm (and bushes) and hit a tree. The tree actually just stopped her because I think she lost a lot of speed going over the berm. So, I had a sprint to get to the neighbor's house to call the police and then some rest while we waited for the cops. As we waited with the clearly inebriated young girl, the neighbor and I were visibly uncomfortable (we didn't discuss this) with the fact that we were ratting her out. We didn't want her to leave until the cops came but we studiously avoided discussing the idea that we had brought the police into the picture and she was now in really big trouble. The kid wanted to walk up to her friend's house but we discouraged that idea. Should we have let her go (so she could possibly avoid prosecution for the DUI) or kept her waiting for the police with the car? I think I would have wanted my kid to face the consequences with the police but that is just me.