Many of my favorite memories from last summer are not about a particular race but about the time I spent at Grant Ranch on the west side of Denver. This is the location where Mile High Multisport hosts open water swimming at different times and days throughout the week.
Last year I often followed my mile or so swims with runs ranging from 6 - 10 miles and I always felt a profound sense of accomplishment afterward.
However, this is Colorado and so after Labor Day, the open water season ends for most of us and it's back to the pool. The Parker Rec Center has been my only swim venue for the last 8 months or so but that all ended last weekend when MHM's open water program started. For me, that didn't matter since I was swimming and running at the Summer Open Sprint. But on Saturday morning, I had the benefit of my first open, open-water swim. No starting gun. No washing machine start. No group grope. Just me, the lake and the buoy off in the distance.
Unlike the venue for last week's event, Union Reservoir, the lake at Grant Ranch (which is designated Bowles Reservoir #1--I have no idea where #2 is) was a few degrees colder and I did notice as I full submerged. The usual shock of cold water hit me but also passed very quickly. Soon enough I was gliding through the water.
The parking lot was full and there were a number of people standing on the shore either having just completed or about to start their swim. Despite that, I encountered only four people--all of whom I passed.
As you can see, the lake is not as big as its neighbor to the north, but still large enough to swim over a mile well within its confines.
There was no time today for a run afterward and besides, the BolderBoulder is tomorrow. My sore legs could use the rest. But I'm happy at the prospect of getting to do some afternoon swims this year as well. MHM is opening those up for the first time this year. Even better, they are opening them up next week so I'll get a chance to swim in the open on more time before being out of town for a while.
About that....I'm still planning on posting a race report on the BolderBoulder, but then expect some posts from Europe. Sweden and Spain to be specific. But more on that later!
I'll leave you with a couple of random Grant Ranch/Bowles Reservoir shots. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your long weekend!