Ian Overway lives in Chicago, but he’s a native of Grand Haven, so he knows how tough swimming in Lake Michigan can be.
That’s why he spent countless hours training for the swim portion of Sunday’s Grand Haven Triathlon — to the extent that he slacked off a bit on his run training.
So you can imagine his consternation when he learned that unsafe water conditions led to the cancelation of the swim event, turning the triathlon into a run-bike-run duathlon.
“I joined a swim team earlier this spring, and I was getting up at 5 a.m. every day swimming for an hour, about 2,400 meters every Monday and Wednesday to be ready for this side of the lake,” said Overway, a 1997 Grand Haven High School grad. “In Chicago, on the west side of the lake, it’s much easier. They have breakwalls, or the wind out of the west knocks the waves down so the water’s always flat.
“Here, the water’s always wavier, so I trained hard for the swim. Then I woke up Sunday morning and no swim.”
Overway understood the decision, as did most of the athletes who had their triathlon dreams dashed early Sunday morning.
Race director Ron Knoll said he hated to make the call, but he had no choice.
Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.