Truly – What have I gotten myself into? I caught myself drifting in a full visualization of The Tahoe Triple right before I had to give a big presentation to a client. Even as I was being introduced my thoughts were of raising my arms on the beach triumphant in my goal. This is why I do these things. Yes to cross the finish line, but more importantly the journey. My thoughts of training and preparation are so at the fore front of my brain.
I have arrived at our cottage in Hidden Valley Lake for a fun Valentines weekend with my family and our good friends the Larson’s. Greg Larson is one of my best friends and has crew for me on many of my adventures. Greg is one of the best swimmers I know. He just missed making the Olympics and has won many open water swims over the years. Greg and I plan to swim in Clearlake this weekend. We have mapped out an east to west crossing where we will swim a total of 8 miles. According to the Clearlake fishing report the water is 54 degrees. We will be swimming solo, without a guide boat so we must be very careful. Greg is always up for an adventure, except if it has to do with running.
In May, Greg and I will swim the length of Clearlake in preparation for The Tahoe Triple. The total distance will be 17.5 miles. As of total we have found no record of anyone swimming the length of Clearlake. We shall be the first. Not only will be the first, but we plan to do it overnight. This will give me some idea of how it will feel swimming the final length of Tahoe due to the fact that it will occur from about 10pm to 8am.
So far we have brought an amazing team together. Here is the team so far.
Terry Patrick – Wife and Manager
Steve Munatones – Coach and Liason
Greg Larson – Training Partner
Paige Dunn – Psychologist
Finis – Swim Equipment
Yardbark.com – Sports News and blogging
Martin Sundberg – Photography
Stay tuned for tomorrows blog on our swim in Clearlake
Today was my first ever photo shoot with the exception of my engagement photos, Junior Prom and Senior Ball. I had no idea what to do. I showed up at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and met one of the editors and two photographers for Competitor Magazine. I spent a little over an hour with them taking various photos along the shore, and some swimming shots in the bay. The purpose of the shoot was for an upcoming article in the March edition of their magazine promoting my world record attempt, The Tahoe Triple - T3. I have been told that the article and photos will take up the entire back cover. Pretty cool....The Tahoe Triple is really picking up steam. I have three potential major sponsors. Being back in the water feels great and to have a goal makes the training that much more enjoyable. It truly is amazing the support from everyone. So far the website for The Tahoe Triple has received over 4000 hits in two weeks www.site.ultraswimmer.com. We will be launching the new site within the next two weeks. Watch out for the Competitor article in March. Peace - Out
Photo of the Photographer
This weekend, my daughter and I took a hike along a stream. We call these trips “adventures” I love to listen to her as we explore. The mind of a young child is so pure and ultimately correct. Because they have experience so little, they speak the truth as they see it. As we walked, we pretended we were on the trail to the fairy princess castle. As we passed over a bridge she saw a plastic bag in the stream.
My little girl, without being prompted, walked down to the edge of the stream, looked at me and took one step into the water. Before we left on our adventure she insisted that she wear her pink sock and mommy’s favorite shoes. As the water filled her shoes and got her pant legs wet, she bent down and grabbed the plastic bag. She pulled it out and turned to me with a serious look on her face. “Daddy” she said “the fairy’s don’t want this in their stream” She then walked back to me and said that she was going to put the bag by the tree and we would get it on the way back. She was so proud...
I thought to myself, she is right… The fairies do not want garbage in their stream. On our way back I look up the stream and thought of the plastic bag in the water and then looked at my daughter. This truly is a magical trail and my daughter is my princess.
My wife and daughter and I headed up to our vacation home on Friday. We call it The Cottage, as my wife has decorated it very shabby chic (this weekend we added to the shabby chic look a little more with several painting projects - my daughter's foot ended up in the bucket of paint at one point, but overall our projects were a success). It is about an hour and forty five minutes from our house in Lafayette, and is a beautiful drive through the wine country. The area is called Hidden Valley Lake, and our cottage is one street up from a 170 acre lake. According to google earth, one loop around the lake is about 1.25 miles - I have swam many miles there and love having it not only as our family vacation home, but also as an awesome place to train. Recently we have started driving up separately so we can turn a weekend getaway into three days - my wife and daughter will drive home together in the morning, and I will be up at 4:00 to drive into the city to work.
Yesterday - I went for my first open water swim in preparation for the Tahoe Triple. The air temperature was around 52 degrees and I expected it to be cold, but not as icy cold as it felt when I hit the water. I lasted 15 minutes. My Sailfish wetsuit and Barracuda hoody were great, but my feet and hands began to lose feeling so I figured I'd better get out. I later went down to the hardware store and bought a hot tub thermometer and returned to the lake. After about 4 minutes I pulled it out to find the lake to be 49 degrees. Holy S_____.
Until the lake gets into the high 50's I am going to stick to the pool. Next week I will be ramping up to about 25,000 yards in the pool. Stay tuned for an article in an upcoming issue of Competitor Magazine in which I will discuss the Tahoe Triple world record attempt. THANKS TO ALL FOR THE SUPPORT. Check out the website. www.site.ultraswimmer.com Peace out!!!!
HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE
The Training has begun. I have swum four days in a row and getting more excited every minute. I am having a hard time sleeping as I wonder what I have gotten myself into. I have determined that I am a bit crazy. I was informed yesterday that this will be a world record swim. This is what I was hoping for as it adds to my drive.
To be successful in anything you must be as prepared as possible. In preparing for this I have begun to form a team for this incredible adventure. Here are a few members of the team that will be with me along the way:
1.Paige Dunn - Xcel Sports Psychology Group. Paige will be helping me prepare mentally for The Tahoe Triple. Her expertise in ultra sports will be a huge help. We plan to assess everything from family life to pain management. I am excited about what Paige brings to the table because this challenge is 90% mental. www.xcelsportsgroup.com
2.Steve Munatones - Steve will be my liaison and coach. He is considered the guru of open water swimming. I feel lucky to have him by my side. Here are some of his accomplishments:
USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Team - Coach
Coach at the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 World Swimming Championships. Head coach at the 2004 World Open Water Swim Championships. Assistant coach at the 2006 and 2007 USA Swimming National Team Select Training Camps. Coach of Catalina Channel, English Channel and USA Swimming National Championship swimmers.
Open Water Swimmer
2003 inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and member of the Board of Directors. Professional marathon swimmer and 1982 World 25K Swimming Champion in Lake Windermere, U.K. Completed 5 unprecedented solo swims in Japan between 20 - 36 miles. 2001, 2005 and 2007 USA Swimming award recipient.
Open Water Swimming Writer and Commentator
NBC Olympics commentator on the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim. Reported on open water swimming for USA Swimming, FINA, Swimming World Magazine, Swimmer Magazine, Triathlon Magazine (Japanese edition), Competitor Magazine and Endurance News Network. Speaker at the 2006 World Clinic American Coaches Swimming Association World Clinic. Wrote script for the USA Swimming Open Water Swimming DVD and contributed to USA Swimming's Coaches Quarterly and numerous newspaper and magazine articles.
He is also the editor of the following open water news outlets:
3.United States Coast Guard - Lake Tahoe. They will be overseeing the swim. Providing support as needed. We may be working on some co-promotion. Stay tuned.
4.Greg Larson - Greg is a former USC swimmer and Olympic trials qualifier. Greg is one of the top dentists in San Francisco. www.larsondentistry.com. He will be assisting me as my training partner. He is always up for a challenge. Greg crewed for me at both the Triple Ironman 7.8 miles swim, 336 mile bike, 78 mile run, and The Ultraman World Championship.
Other potential Team Members
1.Martin Sundberg Photography www.martinsundberg.com
2.Jaimal Yogis www.jaimalyogis.com
As the team builds, the reality becomes clear. I will conquer The Tahoe Triple. With the right preparation, The Tahoe Triple is mine to take.... Here we go...
January 1st, 2010 – The first day of the New Year. I have just finished a successful come back into the ultra sports world. Having just completed the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii and finishing a respectable 19th place, I vowed to myself not to get back out of shape. Well it has been a month and I have put on 7 pounds. Time to ramp up again. Having done 15 ironmans, 2 Ultramans, and a Triple Ironman I told my wife that I want to focus on one sport instead of all three. Because, I have a swimming back ground I have decided to focus this year on swimming. I have been trying to figure out what to do. I have swam many 10K races so this did not interest me. I thought about swimming the English Channel, but hundreds have done that. What should I do? I need to do something that for me goes beyond what the mainstream considers a bit crazy. Something almost unattainable. Something that no one else has ever done.
In today’s world, this is almost an impossible feet. Someone has done almost everything at least once. Except for one thing. The Ocean’s Seven. What might you ask is the Ocean’s Seven.
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. Successfully scaling these mountains is a mountaineering challenge attained by only the strongest. As of 2007, 198 climbers have achieved this expensive and physically demanding goal.
Open water swimming’s version of the Seven Summits is the Ocean’s Seven.
The Ocean’s Seven include (1) the Irish Channel between Ireland and Scotland, (2) the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, (3) the Moloka’i Channel between O’ahu and Moloka’i Islands in Hawaii, (4) the English Channel between England and France, (5) the Catalina Channel near Los Angeles, California, (6) the Tsugaru Channel between Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan, and (7) the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.
No human has yet to complete the Ocean’s Seven.
Achieving the Ocean’s Seven requires an ability to swim in both very cold and very warm seas. It also demands the swimmer is physically and mentally prepared to overcome every condition known to defeat open water swimmers, from strong currents to stiff winds.
Like its mountaineering cousin, the Ocean’s Seven requires a tremendous amount of planning and expense and a multi-national support team of knowledgeable local experts.
A description of the Ocean’s Seven follows. Note the distances listed are the shortest straight-line distances from point-to-point, but the actual distance covered by swimmers is significantly greater due to the tidal movements and currents.
1. Irish (North) Channel (www.irelandtoscotland.com)
• Location: Channel between Ireland and Scotland.
• Reasons for Difficulty: Heavy seas, cold water, thunderstorms and strong currents are among the natural elements that must be overcome in the 33.7-kilometer channel (21 miles).
• Window of Opportunity: July through September.
• Hazards: Widely considered to be the most difficult channel swim in the world with the water temperature 54ºF (12ºC), normally overcast days, and tremendous difficulty in accurately predicting weather and water conditions. Swimmers face large pods of jellyfish if conditions are calm.
• Description: Has been attempted at least 73 times since 1924, but only 8 successful solo swims and 5 relays have been achieved to date. Most of the attempts have been abandoned due to difficult conditions and hypothermia.
• Additional Information: Swim crossings are governed by the rules set by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. First attempt was made in 1924 and the first success was 1947.
2. Cook Strait (www.cookstraitswim.org.nz)
• Location: Channel between the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
• Reasons for Difficulty: 16 nautical miles (26 kilometers) across immense tidal flows in icy water conditions among jellyfish and sharks are extremely stiff challenges for only the most capable and adventurous swimmers.
• Window of Opportunity: November through May.
• Hazards: 1 in 6 swimmers encounter sharks on their crossings. Sharks only come around to be nosey. No one has ever been attached during a swim. Both sides of the strait have rock cliffs. Cold water (14ºC-19ºC or 57ºC-66ºF) over 26 kilometers and heavy chop.
• Additional Information: To date, only 71 successful crossings have been made by 61 individuals from 8 countries. Hypothermia and change in weather conditions during a race are the most common reasons attempts fail.
3. Moloka’i Channel (or Kaiwi Channel)
• Location: Channel between the western coast of Moloka’i Island and the eastern coast of O’ahu in Hawaii
• Reasons for Difficulty: 27 miles across a deep-water (701 meters) channel with extraordinarily strong currents in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and aggressive marine life.
• Window of Opportunity: As conditions permit.
• Hazards: Extremely large rolling swells, strong winds and tropical heat and very warm salty water offset the incredibly beautiful views of the Hawaiian Islands and deep-blue underwater scenery.
• Additional Information: Deep-water channel with beautiful views of the Hawaiian Islands was first crossed in 1961 by Keo Nakama in 15 hours and 30 minutes and has only been crossed by 8 individuals to date.
4. English Channel (www.ChannelSwimming.net and www.ChannelSwimmingAssociation.com)
• Location: Channel between England and France with the narrowest point being in the Strait of Dover between Shakespeare Beach, Dover, England and Calais, France.
• Reasons for Difficulty: An international waterway of 34 kilometers (21 miles) at its narrowest point, cold water temperatures, strong currents and ever-shifting water and weather conditions.
• Window of Opportunity: June to September.
• Hazards: The world’s most famous channel crossing with nearly 1,000 successful swimmers to date, but thousands of failed attempts due to strong currents and tidal flows, strong winds and whitecaps caused by changing conditions and hypothermia.
• Additional Information: Considered to be the standard for channel crossing with the rules and traditions significantly influencing the worldwide open water swimming community.
5. Catalina Channel (www.swimcatalina.org)
• Location: Channel between Santa Catalina Island and Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
• Reasons for Difficulty: Cold water (especially near coast), strong currents, potential for strong winds, marine life and distance. Shortest point-to-point course is 33.7 kilometers (21 miles) from Emerald Bay on Santa Catalina Island to the San Pedro Peninsula.
• Window of Opportunity: June to September.
• Hazards: A deep-water channel that is comparable to the English Channel in terms of water conditions, difficulty, distance and the physical and mental challenges to the swimmer, although the water temperature is a bit warmer (mid-60°F water). Marine life seen on occasion, including migrating whales and large pods of dolphins.
• Additional Information: First successful swim was in January, 1927 when Canadian George Young won $25,000 in the Wrigley Ocean Marathon Swim in 15 hours and 44 minutes.
6. Tsugaru Strait
• Location: Deep-water channel between Honshu, the main island of Japan where Tokyo is located, and Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Closest points are Tappi Misaki in Honshu and Shirakami Misaki in Hokkaido.
• Reasons for Difficulty: An international waterway, 19.5 kilometers (12 miles) at its narrowest point. Swimmers must cross a strong current, large swells and abundant marine life between the Sea of Japan with the Pacific Ocean. English and other western languages are not widely spoken in area. Water can be between 62-68ºF (16-20ºC).
• Window of Opportunity: July and August.
• Hazards: Swimmers are swept long distances due to the extraordinarily strong currents flowing from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean. Swimmers face large blooms of squid during the night. Swimmers are challenged by occasional patches of cold water that flow up from the depths and are caused by the screws of the large oil tankers from the Middle East travel through to the West Coast of the U.S. Only four confirmed solo crossings and one confirmed double-crossing have been achieved to date.
7. Strait of Gibraltar (www.acneg.com)
• Location: Strait between Spain and Morocco that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Shortest point is between Punta Oliveros in Spain and Punta Cires in Morocco.
• Reasons for Difficulty: 14.4 kilometers (8 miles) across an eastern flow of water from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea with an average of 3 knots (5.5 km per hour). Heavy boat traffic, logistical barriers and surface chop confront swimmers throughout each attempt.
• Window of Opportunity: June to October.
• Hazards: Its boundaries were known in antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules. The currents remain of Herculean strength. Combined with the unpredictability of the water conditions and high winds, only 185 successful one-way crossings and 7 double-crossings have been made to date.
• Additional Information: Most attempts are made from Tarifa Island due to the influence of strong currents, a distance of 18.5-22 kilometers (10-12 miles).
Who will be the first to achieve the Ocean’s Seven? Who will be the first to try? There are a few who are in the process and have completed four. From what I understand they are going to try and complete the remaining over the next three years.
To be the first, need to catch up. Not only do I plan to catch up, I plan to attempt all seven in one year.
Stay tuned.. --- The UltraSwimmer
One great thing about Hawaii is being 'disconected' and on vacation. the unfortunate part is not being able to update important events. Jamie's Ultraman's updates to follow.
Updated by Matt R.
We woke up early today still on Californian time, and the rest of the support crew (friends) and family showed up.
First however we went for an easy swim by the pier right at downtown Kona - 500 yrds or so. The water was super clear, 100 feet vis. The weather today is also perfect, low 80's, partly clowdy, not a lot of wind. Jamie met up with many of the other racers;
Nino from Slovenia (w/ camera support crew)
Shanna (just returning from Fire Academy training)
Uli (from German)
Peter Mueler (from Switzerland) - 4x Ultraman, 5x Kona Ironman, 2 of 3 Badwater, Marathon des Sables
They all went for a swim. Shanna went for a ride after.
We checked in at Race Headquarters. Picked up all the racer #'s: for Jamie, for the lead paddler on the kayak escort (Day 1: 5 mile swim & 90 Mile ride), and alert stickers for the sag vehicle. Today and tomorrow are easy days w/ some carbo loading and good pre hydration.
Pic: Jamie and Keith Metzger, off Kona Pier