Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Limited Overs Swimming

The 2006 UBC Swim Meet is now online. Unlike the two day swim meets most competitive swimmers are used to Masters swim meets are only one day events. In fact they’re really only held over an afternoon. This plays havoc with someone looking to establish official times in a broad range of events. I, for instance, want to establish times in all four 100 events, every 200 event excepting breaststroke (I don’t like breaststroke and, perhaps not surprisingly, I’m not particularly competitive at it so why suffer?), and the 400 free (which will be my sole ‘distance’ event). That makes nine events. Well, really only eight events since 200 fly remains only a distant theoretical concept for me at this time (jeez – no kidding, right now I can barely finish fifty!). Even so, as I’ve noted earlier, I desperately want to be good in fly so both fly events are on my list to race. Ideally I’d like to compete in my best events (which at this time I’m thinking will be the 100 & 200 back and 400 free) once every month or so; and the rest at around three times during the season (excepting the 200 butterfly!). If I was racing over two full days I could expect to swim at least four individual races, maybe up to six with some help from scheduling. But having racing limited to one afternoon my opportunities dwindle to a maximum two or three. With only six meets the entire season the numbers don’t add up. Anyways I think I’m going to be very aggressive and enter three races: the 100 back, the 200 free, and the 200 IM. I had wanted to swim 100 free instead of the 200 but it was back-to-back with the back (no pun intended). Clearly too much ‘distance’ for my first meet but at least the back (the only one with real emotional investment) is the first race.

A reader might be interested to know masters swim meets are very egalitarian; heats are seeded strictly on the basis of time and therefore a single race can see both men and women of widely differing ages racing in the pool at the same time. Must be murder on officiating though (oh this race? Well they’re a bunch of nobodies except for that lane seven swimmer who came in third. Apparently she seems to have set a FINA world record for woman 60 to 64, so I’ll need your signature. Personally I’m surprised you allowed her kick, but then what do I know? Please sign here, and here ... )

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