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Swimming in the Potamac River
CREATED: 06/09/09 by mduble REPLIES: 4
mduble's ravatar mduble    JOINED: 4/27/09    POSTS: 4
Swimming in the Potamac River
POSTED: 6/09/09 10:07 AM

I have just started doing tri's and the next tri is on June 21 Dextrol I think and the swimming is in the river.

Can any of you please tell me what it is like swimming in the river. I am a little nervous because I tend to swallow a lot of water during my swims.

morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 728
RE: Swimming in the Potamac River
POSTED: 6/09/09 10:35 AM

Come on in - the water is fine...

I did my maiden swim (by choice) in the Potomac at 2008 Nations Tri. I was apprehensive about swimming in the river that I had only rowed on in crew and swore then I would never end up IN it. But, my how times change.

ITU is having open swim practice from 1-4 on Sat 6-20 and I would definitely recommend partaking. I did last year at Nations and it got me over that hurdle of jumping in.

Potomac currents can be a bit unpredictable, but the course was well marshalled with kyakers and official boats. So you won't get swept up downstream. That said, not matter what direction I was swimming in (up or down), I always left like I was swimming to the left. Practice some sight drills in the pool and bilateral breathing. If it is a sunny day, wear darker lensed goggles to block out the sun. In any event wear the darker goggles as you don't want to see what you are swimming in (ok - only kidding). I thought the Potomac was actually cleaner than Centennial Lake in Columbia.

Good luck - I am sure you'll be fine. From Tuan's reports - you can't be a worse swimmer than he is - Yes Tuan?

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1481
RE: Swimming in the Potamac River
POSTED: 6/09/09 10:57 AM

Many have tried ... few have succeeded :)

It's a miracle that I haven't drowned or grown a 7th finger. I've dranked from the worst lakes, rivers, and oceans that mother Earth has to offer. You should be o.k swimming in the Potomac ... just make sure that you have children first.


itri_45    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 22
RE: Swimming in the Potamac River
POSTED: 6/09/09 11:16 AM

The water was fresh and clean last year at the Nation's Tri. I pass by the river, where the swim takes place, everyday to work and I think it'll be hit or miss, depending on how much rain we get before the event. I believe the swim would be canceled this morning due to all kinds and sizes of debris floating down the river.

Last year the buoys were set up on the left so it'd help to practice breathing on that side.


vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Swimming in the Potamac River
POSTED: 6/09/09 11:23 AM

i did the nations tri a few years ago, and going to do it this year.

its fine, obviously you don't want to be drinking river water or sea water on a cotinuing basis. the course is very well marshalled and will be since its being done by a reputable race organization.

triathletes tend to be overly dramatic when it comes to things like swimming in bodies of water.

dont' worry, the dirtiest body of water that i have swam in was the roth IM distance triathlon, that is in a narrow commercial canal you could taste the diesel fumes with every mouthful of water. that is easily the most dirty body of water that you will ever swim in, way worse than the potomac or the hudson on a bad day. but again its a very well run and fun race to do.

good luck and have fun.

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