What To Do When the Big Race is Cancelled — 5* Pix

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Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 11   (4.4%)

Very high winds forced the organizers to cancel the 27th annual big Shoulders open lake race.  Over 1200 swimmers from across the nation (and probably others as well) gathered in Chicago for one of the nation’s largest open water swim meets.  One they looked forward to, trained for, and traveled many miles to participate in.   The disappointment in the air was palpable, but they gamely hung on.  Some swam the course anyway, others watched from the beach while the University of Illinois deejay encouraged the crowds; some danced.  That’s what you do when the big race is cancelled – you make lemonade out of lemons, turn a race into party.  Here are my 5* images from the impromptu portion of the event.




  • Making the Best of It: These swimmer and spectators put on a brave face , thumbs in the air, and celebrating with a high five.


  • Sweet Caroline: As Neil Diamond’s voice wafted over the crowd, this couple first looked at each other, then with a shrug, he grabbed her hand as if to say, “we’ve got nothing else to do,”  and began stepping and twirling.



  • Play With Me, Please! I just loved the dog – he just pranced around the dancers, looking for a bit of fun.  And these brothers ran back and forth, enjoying the beach time — always a bonus in September.


  • It Was Palpable: this couple came in from St. Louis for the swim.  He was able to get a swim before the Coast Guard asked all swimmers to leave the water.  She sat, watching the waves crash against the shore, the disappointment clear on their faces.  When I asked, they admitted the disappointment for themselves, but really felt for those who had come much longer distances.


  • Ultimate Selfie: the last thing I expected was to see swimmers in the water pull out their phones for a selfie.  Nonetheless, that is exactly what I saw.  I couldn’t resist trying to capture this image, with the wave in the foreground.

So yes, you make the best out of disappointing situation.  That’s what these swimmers did – they couldn’t compete in the way that they had hoped, but they had a bit of fun anyway.

See more outtakes from this and other photography outings by following me on Instagram @eyevpointofview.


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