Tuesday, August 29. 2006
The Championship race course is a 2.5K rectangular loop in the Tyrrhenian Sea, a part of the Medateranian Sea just off the west coast of Italy. It is basically 250 m wide by 1Km long. It is fairly calm in the morning and the waves pick up as the day goes on. The boats on course, several FINA officials boats as well as
media, increase the roughness of the course but thats just how it goes! The 5K swimmers today did 2 loops around, the 10K swimmers will be doing 4 loops, and the 25K swimmers will also be on this course and just be doing 10 loops around with 2 feeding stations per loop for both the 10 and 25K's.
Day One of Open Water World Championships went very well for Team USA.
We started off the morning with the girls 5K, where Kirsten Groome and Brittany Massengale competed. They both did very well and looked great out in the slightly rough waters! Brittany finished 12th while Kirsten finished 4th, just barely missing the medal podium by 4 tenths of a second.
Then we had Chip Peterson one hour later swim an amazing 5K good enough for a second place finish and a trip to the awards podium. It was a pretty dreary day for the event, plagued with lots of drizzling rain but it was slightly cooler which was nice for the athletes competing in the 5K.
Next, we have the 10K on Thursday which, if today was any indication, should go very well. Chip Peterson now has a day and a half to rest before his next big race while Erica Rose and myself will hang low and train the next day and a half and start off our meets with the 10K Thursday at 12:30 pm. Until then,
Monday, August 28. 2006
Only one more day until the Open Water World World Championships begin! We are all very excited about starting the competition and having a few great 5K's. Yesterday was fairly uneventful but we had a great time lounging around the hotel between training sessions.
We split our training between the pool and the beach and saw some really amazing things out of everyone on the team, which gives us great hope about what's to come for us in competition. We get to go to the venue at where we will be competiting for a training session tonight which will help us learn exactly what the race course will be like, where the feeding stations and where the finish will be. Practice makes perfect and we're going to practice aiming in for our finishes and turns around the buoys, hopefully a great advantage for TEAM USA! The race water has been fairly smooth so far, not too wavy but rough at times depending on how many boats are near. More about the race site next time.
Saturday, August 26. 2006
Another great day in Italy for the U.S. Open Water team! We have had two more great training sessions since the last time I wrote. In the 10K and, more importantly, the 25K, feedings during the race are very important for refueling and energy, and we got to practice these feedings last night during our pool workout.
This morning we got another training session in at the beach, just down from the race site off the coast of Naples. The water was beautiful and the view is breathtaking. We are all well taken care of with lotions to prevent sea lice while swimming and we have no problems with that yet which is a good thing!
The team is having an absolute blast between training, just hanging out getting to know each other a little better. We have had a few friendly games to get to know a few things we wouldnt otherwise have known. Then our head coach, Rick Walker, got us together last night for a great card game, which was a blast!! Italy has been amazing so far and we are all definitly ready for the competitions to start. The 5K starts on Tuesday, August 29th so we're getting close!!!
Here are the members of the US team and the events they are swimming.
Katie Ball - 10K:
Claire Hawley- 25 K
Chip Peterson- 5 and 10 K
Dan DeMarco- 5 and 10 K
Erica Rose- 10 and 25 K
Kirsten Grooms- 5 K
Brittany Massengale - 5 K
Erica Rose is doing the marathon swim next week from Naples to Capri, its
a 36 K and should take 8 to 9 hours.
Friday, August 25. 2006
Ciao, from Naples, Italy.
It was two long days of traveling Tuesday and Wednesday and we are finally in beautiful Italy.
After a nice loosen up swim with the team on Wednesday, we all caught up on sleep with a great nights rest and we were up and at it again on Thursday.
Training has been going very well, the team comraderie is amazing and has made for some great training
sessions. We had our first training session in the sea last night which was amazing, the water is perfect and the view is absolutely gorgeous.
The Italians are treating us very graciously and we have been very thankful for that. There have been a few obstacles we have had to overcome between traveling, training sessions, and language barriers but we have had no problem overcoming those and continuing on our way to a great competition. Being flexible is
so extremely important with open water swimming because nothing is ever set in stone!
Well were off to the beach to get in a good swim, till next time, Ciao! Katie Ball