Once more into the breach, my friend! This race gives me a good test of my mid-season fitness in swimming, since the course is always exactly the same; no bouys to misplace. Just swim out to the end of the wharf, round it, swim back to the Dream Inn. Simple 1 mile swim. My back injury propagated into my left hip issues, and I was hurting just walking down to the race this year (normally I run the 1 mile from home). Yet, once in the water, I can't say I felt any performance problem from these injuries.

I felt I had a good line, this year taking the inside track instead of the outside. I hugged right up against the wharf end, saw the seals hauled up on the wharf understructure, watching us placidly all swim by, perhaps wondering what kind of slow awkward beings these could be. Water was 59F, comfortable, and everything went well. Except my finishing time was 27:25, which is a minute slower than last year, and that was a minute slower than the previous year. In my age group, I was still good; 5th out of 22. Are we all getting slower?? I swam hard, but maybe a notch below the all-out adrenaline competitive edge I felt in more distant years. This getting older sucks. Since 2011 I've lost 2.5 minutes on my swim, or 10%! Yet in the pool I swim 100's just as fast or faster than ever. However, my total yardage is down this year. Maybe it's just lack of mojo motivation, as these days I hardly see any of the old group that I used to swim with here. This used to be a favorite event in the early days of our tri group.

Cold salt water will put a smile on your face!

I went with the 2nd wave, which was 10 minutes behind the first wave. Got out, applauded finishers for a while, went to grab my camera and shoot a few shots of late finishers.

The Santa Cruz Masters group took home more than their fair share of the medals, of course.Marta's in the green cap, coach Joel is standing on the right

Lots of awards to hand out, a nice thing about this race; tight age groups. The oldest finisher was 83. That's impressive. I didn't register, but if I had, I'd have been 2nd in my age group in the wetsuit division. 158th out of 321 overall.

Superwoman Marta took 3rd in her age group. Again. I congratulate, and chat with the SC Masters people for a while before heading home.

Coach Joel's blogsite for the Santa Cruz Masters, has great pictures and commentary for all the many swim races this year.