by Alan Liu
The 25th Annual Trans Tahoe Relay was a wild adventure. Four teams of six MVMers each swam their frozen butts off and were treated to a special appearance by Tahoe Tessie herself! Yes, the wind was already kicking up chop at the 7:30am start, and it only rougher as the race went on. The start was the normal chaos of teams finding their boats and leadoff swimmers running to the start line 1/4-mile away in their speedos with only seconds to spare. Once in the water, the boats had to find their leadoff swimmers within the 30 minutes of the first relay leg, and with 100 teams on hand, it was a real challenge.
This was our second year of competing in this 9.5-mile event, and we made MVM proud! The 114+ Mixed Team "Postpartybetterbegood" of JR Desouza (lane 8), Paul Cousineau (lane 8), Alan Liu (lane 7), Kathy Hoerber (lane 7), Nadine Andrakin (lane 5), and Lorry Thomas (lane 5) finished in under 5 hours, battling through lead changes with other teams along the way. JR, Paul, and Kathy swam particularly well, passing other boats each time in the water, and JR was especially fast when next to one of the naked teams. The cold water was a shock to open-water-first-timer Lorry, but she didn't quit, settled into a groove, and swam strongly. Tahoe veterans Nadine and Alan had to look tough in front of their teammates (but we were still freezing!).
The 114+ Women's Team "Lane 3 Lovely's" of Leah Larson, Karen Kirby, Lisa Barella, Barbara Smith, Noel Daly, and Chris Miller (yep, all from lane 3... or 4...) fittingly placed 3rd in their division. Lisa struggled with the water temperature but was able to swim some breastroke to relax. The others powered through the waves en route to their 5:30 finish.
Our 180+ Mixed Team "Mixed Up In Mountain View" of Tom Werner (lane 7), Jon Schreiber (lane TiVo), Annika Lewis (lane 6), Dave Trollope (lane 6), Susan Donahue (lane 4), and Adina Kletter (lane 5) enjoyed the comfy confines of Dave's boat: warm showers included. The team finished in just over 5 hours with Susan doing the honors on the beach. Tahoe Tessie was very mean to Adina, who preferred swimming in the cold water to rocking on the boat.
The 180+ Men's Team "Mark's Madness" of Rafael Gomez (STAN), Mark Bongi (lane 5), Darrell Chen (lane 4), Dave Stubbles (lane 3), Roy Sueda (lane none), and Chuck Morganson (lane run) felt the brunt of the event. Roy wasn't able to complete his swims in the cold water, and his teammates had to cover for him. Rafael and Mark were the workhorses, but despite the team's best efforts, they failed to make it home before the time limit. They promised to have another go at it next year.
Beyond the race itself, the swimmers socialized between Mark's and Alan's cabins. Between the carpooling, pizza dinner, and pre-race captain's meeting, the swimmers got to know one another well, and by the post-race Banquet, they were ready to party! The teams enjoyed a luau dinner and disco dancing and cheered heartily when the Women's Team was awarded their 3rd place trophies. After the banquet, some adventurous souls ewnt back on the lake in Dave's boat for a wonderful booze cruise under the midnight stars.
The next day, we all went out for breakfast, cleaned up the cabins, and
headed home. The weekend was not only a success but a ton of fun too, and
we're looking forward to next year!