Up until about a week ago, having a late-in-the-year birthday always kind of annoyed me as it related to swimming. Due to the rules that govern LCM, your competition age for a year is determined by your age on December 31 of that same year. This means I’m always “swimming up” a year in age during my favorite season, LCM.
Most of the time it doesn’t really matter that much though – with a five-year age span per age group, I’m usually in the same age group. And, seeing my age listed on LCM meet sheets with one additional year than my current age sort of mentally prepares me to be that next age.
But, every five years, I spend nearly 12 months in two different age groups (one age for SCY, one for LCM) and thus swim in an age group that I haven’t actually entered yet during LCM season. For example, this summer I swam in the 50-54 LCM age group while still competing as 49 in SCY.
I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to see the up side in this situation, especially as I’m a distance swimmer. However, thankfully, I’ve seen the light this year, with time to take action! Here’s the short explanation: I can swim and legally enter double the standard amount of epostals this fall.
Here’s the why: A swimmer competes at the age they are on the day of the event in SCY. So…the window of time allowed for the fall postals with my birthday in the mix means I can swim each distance (3K and 6K) twice, and enter a swim in two age groups. I just have to ensure I swim round one before my birthday and round two after my birthday, with all swims occurring before the event deadline of November 15.
Will I swim two 3Ks and two 6Ks this year though? Unlikely, as I just discovered this windfall, and there are a few wrinkles (biggest: pool space/time [especially one in which I won’t blow up due to overheating] and verifiers/counters.) It’s too much of a cool opportunity to pass up though, so I’m aiming for at least two 3Ks this year. And, the notion will serve as a cool swim-carrot for the next time I age up, allowing for plenty of time to train and plan for swimming two timed 3Ks and 6Ks within a two-month span.
Am sure other sly boots in a similar birthday situation have already figured this out and maximized the potential; I’d love to hear from you! Also, am sure are there lots of swim peeps with birthdays that present other weird age-related situations, um, I mean “opportunities,” for example, swimmers who aged up during a meet. Talk to me people – what was the situation, what happened, did you feel it was a boon or bust?!