Monday, September 1, 2014

Goody's 19 mile Bear Lake Length Swim

A month or so before Goody's swim date he asked me if I would be on his crew for his 19 mile length crossing of Bear Lake. I said yes of course, I would love to support another ultra-marathon swimmer. I put it on my calendar. Unfortunately weather did not cooperate and the swim was postponed and several crew members changed, but on Friday, August 29th it was finally a go.

The crew which consisted of me, Jim Hubbard, Goody's wife, brother-in-law (Josh), and father-in-law headed out of the marina and to the south end of the lake. Goody went over the details of the feeds and the what he did and did not want done or said while to him while he was swimming. At 8:00 p.m., all greased up and ready to go with his wife paddling, Goody started his swim.

He started out a little slower, before getting into his pace and picking it up. He was doing really well and pushing forward. I the overall in charge of overseeing everything and making sure that everyone was doing what they were supposed too, because I have had a lot of experience with long distance open water swimming. I helped Goody's father-in-law mix the feeds, I threw the feeds out, took stroke count, and wrote down things in the log. When we crossed the Utah/Idaho state border we stopped Goody, gave him a treat, and blared the music to have a party; he was a little over half at this point.

Around 4:00 in the morning we had a major scare! We had just thrown a feed out and were planning on changing paddlers on the next feed. We were helping Goody's wife get bundled up and let Goody and Jim get ahead for a minute and would catch up later. When we looked up we didn't see them. Josh took off to catch up. I thought we were going the wrong way, but no one else seemed to notice. Finally they realized and stopped. We turned around to head back the right direction, but they were nowhere to be seen. We kept going up and down looking for them. Each time we would see a little light we would head for it, thinking it might be them, but it would turn out to be a light on the shore. We were all panicked! Jim and Goody were stuck in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night with a swimmer in the water and just a kayak by his side. We had to find them! Finally we saw a blue light just for a second. We knew it was them and raced that direction. We would see the light for a second, then lose it as soon as Jim would turn his head. Finally we reached them. We had been getting tired, but we were all wide awake now. Surprisingly both Jim and Goody seemed pretty calm. Goody was tired because we had missed a feed. We traded out kayakers and gave Goody a feed every 15 instead of every 30 minutes for the next while, so he could get his energy back up.

Around 7:00 Goody asked me if I would get in. I was freezing from the breeze hitting me all night, so I sat by the heater for a few minutes and then got ready and got in around 7:30. Goody thought we were closer to the end than we were. I think we were about 2 and half miles out, but someone told him 2 to 1 and a half miles left. I was already cold, so the water didn't help that at all. I swam with Goody for the last 2 hours. Once we got close I got the GoPro so I could video his finish. There was not a lot of battery left, so I don't know if it worked. When I could touch I stood up, but Goody kept swimming a bit further. He walked out like a champ. At the end a lady asked how far he had just gone. He looked tired, so I answered for him. I was so happy for him and impressed. I had never been on the crew side of things; it is impressive witnessing someone do a swim like that. I gave him a big hug. He then made his way out to his wife in the kayak to thank her too. As Goody swam back to the boat, he didn't even look tired.
Finished like a Champ!

Way to go Goody! You slayed the Bear Lake Monster!

Read Goody's account of the Slaying the Bear Lake Monster

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