Step 1. Yep.
So in the grand scheme of this whole swim-bike-run thing, you first have to swim! Your swim course descriptions are below along with some super sweet info about the waters you'll be enjoying and a tip to help you enjoy them a bit more. Olympic Distance Swim Course
1.5km (2 Laps)
The open-water ocean swim course is .75 km in a counter-clockwise triangular pattern off Lovers Point Beach. You will enter the water from the right half of the beach. Once in the water, your best sighting reference is the Hopkins Marine station in the background while looking for the first turn buoy (turn buoys are large pyramid-shaped buoys). Turn left at the first turn buoy and proceed out to the next turn buoy. Make another left turn and head back to Lovers Point. (It's like NASCAR, lots of lefts.) The Olympic Distance triathletes will complete two laps of the course. To start your second lap, you must exit the water, run around the old dock anchor on the beach, and re-enter the water. Complete the same triangle again, exit the water to your right, go up the stairs and along the seawall into Transitions.
Sprint Distance Swim Course
The open-water ocean swim course is .25 in a
counter-clockwise triangular pattern off Lovers Point Beach. You will
enter the water from the right half of the beach. Once in the water,
your best sighting reference is the Hopkins Marine station in the
background while looking for the first turn buoy (turn buoys are large
pyramid-shaped buoys). Turn left at the first turn buoy and proceed to what is referred to as the sand channel (a natural channel where the kelp doesn't grow as thick) to the next buoy. Make another left turn and head towards the beach. You will exit the water to your right, go up the stairs and along the seawall into Transitions.
Both swim courses include lifeguards, kayaks, and boats that will monitor you at all times. Wetsuits and hoods or double swim caps are strongly recommended as a safety precaution because of the chilly water temperature (52-58 degrees).
Swimming in the Sanctuary
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is an incredibly beautiful and special place, and is protected as the nation’s largest National Marine Sanctuary. From rugged rocky shores and lush kelp forests to one of the largest underwater canyons and the only protected seamount in North America, the National Marine Sanctuary is one of the most diverse and dynamic marine ecosystems in the world. As you journey through the "kelp crawl" at Pacific Grove, please enjoy it!
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is home to one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world, and is commonly referred to as the "Serengeti of the Sea". It is home to 33 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fishes, and numerous invertebrates and plants. This remarkably productive marine environment is fringed by spectacular coastal scenery, including sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, rolling hills and steep mountains. Visit the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for more information: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/welcome.html
Swim the Orca
With the Triathlon at Pacific Grove just around the corner, plan ahead and rent your Orca Sonar wetsuit for the event! For only $65, our friends at Orca and Trisports.com will ship you your suit. After you race, you simply have to box up the suit and attach the supplied return shipping label. What could be easier?
Featuring top of the line SCS coated Yamamoto 39 cell neoprene for flexibility and speed, strategically placed Aerodome panels for buoyancy and an ultra-comfortable neck line, the Orca Sonar offers exceptional technology and performance when compared to other rental wetsuits.
Here's a tip from elite triathlete Allen Gardner. He earned his elite status at Pacific Grove a couple year's ago and since then placed third at the race in 2013. He's completed this swim, successfully, a couple times. Thanks for these experienced words Allen!
The "Kelp Crawl" is so unique that a non-swimmer can make it a faster by doing a few things. First, always stay as flat as possible. The kelp has the ability to get caught on your body if angles in your position are formed. Second, your head should stay down unless spotting. With a head-down position the kelp won't get caught on your chin, goggles, or head. Third, always look and create a line that you want to swim. Pick the cleanest line (the line with less kelp). If that line is not perfectly straight to the buoys, its okay because a water swim will always be faster than a kelp swim.
Here's the shortest, sweetest schedule of events. The full schedule of events can always be found on the Tri-California website
Friday, September 13
- Expo & Packet Pick Up | 12:00PM - 7:00PM
Saturday, September 14
- Expo | 7:00AM - 4:00PM
- Olympic Distance Triathlon | 7:30AM
- F1 Series Youth/Junior Elite Race | 11:45AM
- Elite Draft Legal Race | 12:00PM
Sunday, September 9
- Expo | 7:00AM - 12:00PM
- 5K & 10K Run Race | 7:30AM
- Sprint Distance Triathlon | 8:40AM