The Jim McDonald lake swim is a great venue to get in open water experience in my opinion. I did the 1 mile practice swim last year. This year I decide to take on the 2 mile race.
On Sunday morning the lake was 66 degrees.(Four days earlier it had been 76.) I got to test out the sleeveless wetsuit I had rented for the event. I did a warm up in the adjacent outdoor pool and quickly realized I had forgotten my earplugs. I found out a couple years ago that I easily get cold-water induced vertigo. Not a pleasant experience. Thankfully Bonzai sports was on site selling items such as ear plugs and goggles. :-)
I wasn't really racing as much as I wanted to see what I could do and get a sense of what it is like to swim that far as I am training for the Chesapeake Man Aqua-Velo in September. Overall, I was happy with my time. The swim is started in waves based upon times you entered when registering. It is a 2 loop course in the lake. I got into a rhythm fairly quickly. The only problem I had was that my goggles kept fogging up. Towards the end of the second loop I was feeling a bit of fatigue in my left arm and I noticed I was going off course a bit more, so I had to do more frequent sighting work which was made difficulty with the constantly fogging goggles.
On my list for summer - new goggles and a bottle of anti-fog.
My ear plugs worked and I was spared any crazy vertigo symptoms, although I was bit dizzy right after I got out of the water, it was fine shortly after.