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The 2017 Great Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Swim – I’m In!

On Sunday, January 8, 2016, I was notified that I had been accepted into the The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, which will take place on June 11, 2017. The race starts from the shores of Sandy Point State Park, Maryland, which is about 5 miles northeast of Annapolis. The course extends eastward between the two spans of the William Preston Lane, Jr., Memorial Bridge and finishes at a small sandy beach on Kent Island immediately south of the Bridge eastern-shore causeway. The race is limited to 600 entrants. I’ll be swimming the 4.4 mile event.

I had planned to do the swim five years ago, but developed a shoulder issue and decided not to continue pushing distances until the problem was resolved. Fortunately, I worked that year with an amazing coach who helped me improve my form to swim stronger and more efficiently. Ann Wilson of Camelback Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona – can’t say enough great things about her!

In October 2012 I did Slam the Dam 8k, which was slightly longer than this event, but conditions were easier than I expect the GCBS to be. According to the GCBS’s website, “Among the difficulties that may be encountered during the swim are flailing arms and legs during the ‘Cuisinart start,’ cross currents, swells, chop, hypothermia if the water is cold, nettle stings if the water is warm, and collisions with the bridge supports or rocks surrounding the jetties, islands and causeways.”

It’s especially meaningful for me to do this event as I had lived within an hour of the Chesapeake Bay for over 30 years. I’m nervous, but excited – I’ve got a lot of training to do over the next five months!

Swimmers approach the eastern edge of the Chesapeake Bay during the bay swim on June 13, 2010. More than 300 people participated in the fundraising event. News21 Photo by Brian Hooks.

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