If you had swum this last week, you would have noticed a few more cars and big vans than usual in the front yard at Lucky’s Lake Swim. And no, Lucky has not started renting out his yard for parking. The parking overload was because the USA National Special Olympic games happened in Orlando, and two events were being hosted at Lucky’s Lake Swim, the stand-up paddle-boarding and, more near and dear to our hearts, the inaugural open water swim at the USA games. Although we have had Special Olympics athletes swimming at Lucky’s lake swim for 20 years (apparently a well-kept secret), Special Olympics has finally caught up and recognized open water swimming as a sport. So this race was a historical event.
Josh Olds from Miami (who finished 16th overall in the Golden Mile® two weeks ago) broke our 2000K club member, Gregg Dedic’s, Special Olympic course record by over 3 minutes. It was an awe-inspiring time of 14:59.44, which is even more remarkable when you learn that he accidentally swam to the stand-up paddle-boarding finish line and had to swim another 50 meters over to the open water swim finish line. Josh was so fast that we could not find a unified partner quick enough to keep up with him, and yes, he did that time while wearing a safe swimmer buoy. After the swim, Rowdy and Lucky agreed to race Josh, but only if they could do it as relay and wear fins.
In the women’s division, Catherine Darrow from Colorado broke the Special Olympics 1K Course record of Orlando’s Lauren Bergquist by a phenomenal 7 minutes with a time of 21:16.32.
It was fun while it lasted. Unfortunately, all that is left as a reminder of the historic event are a few tents and the fragrant aromas emanating from the remaining porta johns that have been basking for days in the Africa hot Florida sun.
We are returning to our regular summer schedule; the only exception will be on the 4th of July, when the swim time will be 7:45 AM.
Congratulations to Geno who finished his 2200 crossing today! Not bad for a ninety-one year old. When asked for some sage advice Geno reportedly said “I have lived nine decades spending 98 percent of my money on wine, women and swimming, and I now I have come to realize I wasted the other two percent.”