What is it like to swim in open water?

The biggest difference between swimming in open water and training in a pool is that there are no lane lines and there is no side to hang on to if you get tired. Some open water courses are out-and-back, and others look more like a loop. Either way, the course is marked with buoys. It is important to sight (look up and see where you are) every so often so you swim fairly straight. If you're uncomfortable being shoulder-to-shoulder with other participants, you may want to consider waiting 10 or 20 seconds after the bullhorn sounds to beginning swimming to give others the opportunity to get out on the course. Most triathlons will have safety canoes and kayaks out on the water, along with lifeguards. If you begin having trouble during the swim, wave your hands and a rescue boat will be at your side soon. Open water swimming can sometimes be wavy or choppy, depending on weather conditions. 

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1. What if someone is caught wearing another person's number?
2. What about bad weather?
3. What happens to my bike while I'm swimming and running?
4. What does transition mean?
5. What is a wave start?
6. May I use my own timing chip instead of the provided timing tag?
7. What do I do with my race bib number after the event?
8. What is it like to swim in open water?
9. Why do I have to race in the swim cap I was given?
10. I have a mountain bike. Is it OK to ride that?
11. Why is bike fit so important?
12. Is there an additional fee for parking?
13. What is a race number belt?
14. Why is hydration so important?
15. Why can't I have someone pick up my packet?
16. What about refunds or credits?
17. What do I get in my packet?
18. Will the race be capped?
19. How early should I arrive?
20. What should I bring with me?
21. Can I listen to a music device while I am biking or running in the race?
22. Where are the pre/post race restrooms located?
23. Where is the start & finish line?
24. Will food and drink be available after the race?
25. Where will the Post-Race Party be?
26. What do I need to get into the Post-Race Party?
27. Can I switch my shirt size?
28. Where should spectators go to watch?