Updated: Jun 19, 2021
This is my first race after restrictions of Covid-19. I wasn't sure that they were going to cancel or postpone the race during quarantine times. Luckily they didn't cancel it postponed it to August 23rd with some precautions.
They extended the kit collection days from 2 to 4 days and they didn't allow any exhibitors to race area. They expected us to follow so-called social distance. They also increased the number of ships that would carry us to the Asian Side. Normally there were only 2 ships that carry 2500 people. This time they had 3 ships.
I decided to take my race kit on 22nd of August. The whole area was empty and we have to wear mask in the exhibition area. There was nothing there to enjoy the place :( They cancelled the boat trip as well.
I kept my normal nutrition plan and didn't change anything.
On the race day, I woke up at 5.00am and had a very small amount of food. I ate only Banana and Honey ( I know some don't recommend honey but my body is used to it and I love it :)
I arrived there by car and around 7 o'clock in the morning. My family arrived later. I met with my teammates in the athlete's area and we took photos with masks :)) I am not a fan of masks. haha!
We discussed about our race plans and I listened to experienced athletes.
I took the second ship and it left at 9:10am. The race started at 10 o'clock. I was very calm and relaxed. I visioned the race and I was expecting to finish it in 1 hour. When I first jumped in the water, I immediately started to swim to the middle of the 2nd bridge. I kept following the route and always tried to feel the current so I do not go another direction. I didn't swim like in the pool, I looked to the front in every 2 strokes. It worked really well for me. I was going pretty fast actually.
Between 2nd bridge and 1st bridge, there is an electric cable that connects two continents. :) I tried to see those cable as it was very hard to see them, I was lucky that the weather was clear and some parts were cloudy. I continued to swim in the middle, the current was taking me away from my planned route but I was lucky to get back to actual current.
After I crossed the cables, the hardest part had started, I was planning to see Galatasaray Island and when I cross it (not too much), I should swim directly to the finish line. I was swimming pretty fast and I think I reached that area in 47-48 minutes, but I missed Galatasaray Island. :( I realized that after I crossed the finish line and saw some swimmers going back.
I was trying to swim back to the the finish area but I just couldn't reach there, the current was taking me away. I arrived without too much effort until that point, but the real struggle began when I tried to reach finish line. I really forced myself to get over the current and could finished the race in 1 hours 2 minutes. I could have finished it in 55 minutes, but I see it as an experience and I hope to finish the race with a better time next year. :)
I just hated the part where we took our bags, They took all the precautions, but there is only 3 spots for picking our bags? It was the worst part of the race and I wish my family was there to watch me :) Next time, I will never leave my bags to that area :)