Every open water swim is different from every other. The factors that make this so include the setting, the weather, the event, and the varying condition of the swimmer. The setting for my June 24th swim in Lake Chatuge was idyllic. A meandering mountain lake surrounded by natural beauty and blessed by clean water and almost perfect weather. A well run event with only 114 swimmers, and those a mix of fast and leisurely paces. I was mostly in good condition for the five kilometer race and finished strongly with energy to spare. Unknown to my strong finish, however, I had failed to hydrate properly for this event and paid penalty which I’ll describe shortly.