Sharkfest is finally over!

It was a harrowing experience but it is finally over. Every sibling made it to the finish line and I think even a few were smiling. Here is a recap of the event in a slide show and I will throw my own little comments after.

Create Your Own

We all arrived the day before the race about noonish. It would have been earlier if we would have known our way around and instead of getting of the "f" line one stop later, we opted to tour the town while pulling our suitcases behind us.

Here is my Mom at the place where we got off the "f" line. If we would have walked straight ahead it would have been about 5 blocks. But instead we opted for the indirect route which took us past some interesting adult oriented places. Finally Tracey had mercy on us, and since he had a car came and picked us up after our 45 minute saunter through unknown parts of San Francisco.

Dave got the hotel and it was really nice. We walked down to the aquatic park (which is where we would swim into from the bay). We all sat there for a bit trying to gauge how tough it was going to be. There were people practicing in the water park area. There is a pier that goes to the right and a pier that goes to the left shaped like a horse shoe, we swim between those piers as we come into the park area as seen in the illustration below.

We checked in at about 6:45 am after which we put on our lovely wetsuits and rubbed out bodies down with a grease stick so we wouldn't hopefully have any chaffing. At the time we checked in we received our ankle timing device and our T-shirts. Which was really a mistake because I thought, Heck I have the T-shirt who needs to swim. But since all my siblings didn't go for the idea, I was still committed. Next came the athlete's (yes, for a period of 24 hours I was considered an athlete, now that is a sad state of affairs) parade to the ferrys. We loaded up on the ferry and people either took a spot on the floor while trying to get in their zone or there were people like us who were joking and laughing (mostly because we didn't know what we were in for). As we reached the island they sounded the ferry horn and people began disembarking (or jumping as non-athletes would call it). We held out until about 2/3 of the boat emptied and then the boys had the nerve to jump. I was next. The cold didn't shock me as much as the salt water. That would be the first gulps of many in the next hour. We had to swim about 100 yards to the start line but because of our hesitancy we didn't make the start before the second blow on the ferry happened which signaled the start of the race.
This isn't anyone we know but shows how choppy the water was out in the bay.

I breaststroked it for a little ways then tried getting into some breathing rhythm. Just as I got my breathing going I would get a swell and suck a bunch of salt water. Nasty stuff. I also had a hard time making out the direction I was suppose to be going. Between the water swells and not having my glasses on it was easy to get disoriented.

I was exceedling glad when it was over. We all worried ourselves about the possibility of being attacked by a shark beforehand, but I am hear to tell you sharks didn't cross my mind once. It was an interesting experience, one I am not sure I will replicate soon. Perhaps it will be like childbirth and I will have a memory fog and think it was great and try something like this again. But for now, I am content to know that I am a better swimmer than when I started and have truly learned to appreciate and respect my siblings. Each one showed such strength and helped me in many ways.

Tracey took me swimming at deep lake and encouraged me at home (even though he bought me a real shark tooth to freak me out)

swam the race even though he had the flu and could only communicate by writing on a napkin. I know he did this so we could do it as a family.

Wendi is very competitive and her drive kept me going even when I didn't want to practice anymore. And even though she had major problems with her goggles she did a great job.

David kept talking me through it and told me I don't know how many times that I could definitely do this. He also filled us in on as many details as he could remember from doing it before. This helped us be more prepared.

Matt, my brother in law, could barely swim when he signed up and he finished the swim and was even smiling when he was done. Impressive!

Steff is amazing, she has 2 small boys and had to get up early in the morning to practice (among other roadblocks) but she kept going and finished really strong.

Each one is a great example to me and I am glad we were able to do this together (but next time couldn't we just go on a cruise?)


~D Marie said...

That looks like so much fun and exactly what memories are made of! Great job everyone!

Becca said...

a cruise? butlers aren't made of sugar...lol

Thomas Family said...

Sounds like there is a group that is going to try it again in 2010 if anyone is up for it. I will hold your towels :)