Dedicated Swim Parents Cope with Excessive Heat

Claire Brasser sprays her daughter Lorelei with a mister as friend Karen Chierico observes. The Brassers were happy when the weather became breezy, even if it did almost blow down their canopy.

It starts with the rows of SUVs and hybrids, displaying their “swim geek” pride on bumper stickers and license plates. Nearer to the clubhouse, the grounds resemble a tent city with hundreds of colored canopy tents parked on the grass.

Western Prince William County swim parents come to community pools in droves to spend the first five hours of their Saturday, watching their children compete at local swim meets. On days like today when temperatures surpass 100 degrees, it requires a lot of love and a lot of preparation to stay cool by the pool.

Signy Yeats of Haymarket proclaimed, she is, “dying” from the heat.

It is 11 a.m. and she has been at the Kingsbrooke pool since 5 a.m., and she is trying to stay cool under a canopy accompanied by friends.

Tsunamis’ Mom and friend, Jenney Brandt, explained their strategy.

“We’re the visiting team, so we come with a tent.”

Brandt was also prepared with mist fans to cool off the kids.

“Every once in a while there is a slight breeze that you just have to savor,” said fellow canopy inhabitant Mollie Rosenburg.

“You’re almost happy to get splashed,” Yeats added.

Everyone is trying to stay cool and out of the hot sun. The canopies along the Kingsbrooke pool give the appearance of a outdoor festival, rather than a local swim meet.

“It helps if you get a cold wet cloth,” Yeat’s son, Grant, suggested.

During the meet, the swim team has taken breaks in which the kids were invited to all jump into the water and cool down. Due the extreme heat, parents and volunteers were also told they could jump in.

A few canopies down, Tsunamis father David George was trying to stay cool snacking on some frozen blueberries.

“They were frozen, but now they’re just cool,” he said.

His son Andrew George said mist fans and break times helped with the heat.

Kevin Kelly and his wife Monica tell a similar story as other parents at the meet. Kevin arrived at 5:30 to set up, and said the heat was even worse at that early hour.

“It was very muggy this morning, at least we have a breeze now,” Kelly said.

At the concession stand Jeannie Lowder said Gatorade had been selling very well. People were also flocking to the Kona Ice truck parked on the street in front of the clubhouse.

Swim is king in Sea Lions country, where people take their swim team seriously. The crowd can buy pizza or nachos at the concession stand, but what they really want is a cold water and Gatoraide.

On the way towards the Sea Lion encampment, children dipped their swim caps and towels in ice water from a cooler.

But Sea Lion mom, Claire Brasser had a better way to stay cool, using chilly pads, which look like thin towels that she purchased for the meet at a sporting goods store.

“They’re super absorbent, but the water evaporates and they’re icy cool,” said Brasser.

She was also sitting in a canopy tents with friends, and she had spray mist fans and a supply of water for the children.

Since the Mercury was so high already, most spectators at the Kingsbrooke Pool were hoping to achieve record highs. Perhaps one day they will tell the story of how they braved the hottest day on record at a Bristow swim meet.

 

 

 

© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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Category: Community, Health & Wellness

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