People say times don’t matter in open water – or at least that you don’t always know what they mean. And perhaps that’s part of its attraction. While in the pool “the clock never lies,” in open water it’s not much more than a ranking device.
Even so, I’ve been surprised by how closely most of my open-water pace times have approximated my pool speed at various distances – from 1:15 at 1 mile (Huntersville), to 1:17 at 1.5 miles (Livermore), to 1:19 at 2 miles (H’ville again) up to 6K (Windsor), and 1:22 at 10K (Noblesville).
When an event has been staged for many years, though – at the same location, on the same course layout – comparing times makes a little more sense. Big Shoulders is one such event.
In that spirit, here are the finish times in Big Shoulders across the 12 years of available data, starting with the 5K race:
That chart is a little busy, so let’s unpack it:
- Each black dot represents one swim. The dots are “jiggered” slightly to the left or right of their corresponding year (so more of them are visible).