On to the race. I set up all my stuff in the transition area and headed to the water. We had heard that this was one of the worst dams to swim in because it was so filthy and they weren't lying!
(P.S. A side stitch is an intense stabbing pain, usually on the right side, under the ribcage. It is said to be a "muscle spasm" of the diaphragm. It can occur because of the movement of the internal organs as they jounce up and down while running, thus pulling down and straining the diaphragm as it moves up while exhaling. But who knows. I've tried everything).