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Sunday, April 10, 2011
Swim Your Age Is For A Select Few
The marathon swimming world and its Swim Your Age concept is not meant for everyone - or even most people. It is a goal for a few - very few.
Without a doubt, the bars that are currently used in the marathon swimming community are certifiably difficult:
- The Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (i.e., completion of the English Channel, Catalina Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim)
- The Oceans Seven (i.e., the completion of the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel, North (Irish) Channel, Cook Strait and Tsugaru Channel)
- The Half Century Club (i.e., completing a major marathon swim once past the age of 50 years)
- Two-way and Three-way Channel Crossings (i.e., in many different lakes, seas, channels and oceans around the world)
The Swim Your Age is similarly another difficult metric. It certainly becomes more difficult the older you get, the rougher the water becomes and the colder the conditions.
However, with the growing number of swimmers doing longer and more difficult solo swims, the exploding number of older swimmers doing open water swimming, warming water temperatures in many of the world's waterways, and the more information and technology being made available in the open water swimming world (e.g., GPS, micro weather forecasting, caloric needs during a marathon swim, strategic use of tides and currents), there will undoubtedly be an increase in the number of swimmers who can Swim Their Age.
Where is the sport of marathon swimming currently going?
On the female side, Penny Palfrey, a 48-year-old marathon swimming dynamo from Australia, will attempt to swim 68 miles (109K) between Grand Cayman Island and Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands in June.
Similarly, the annual Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28.5 miles / 45.8K) always has people who Swim Their Age every year. This year, 25 out of the 36 swimmers entered in the June 18th swim have the opportunity to do so:
- Eliz Albritton-McDonald (44 years)
- Miguel Arrobas (36)
- Cecy Cohen (37)
- Edmond Irwin (39)
- Brad McVetta (37)
- Charles Mitchell (33)
- Guy Moar (43)
- Gabor Molnar (29)
- Victoria Moore (27)
- Selina Moreno Pasagali (38)
- Evan Morrison (31)
- Greg O'Connor (42)
- David Orders (32)
- Courtney Paulk (41)
- Erica Rose (28)
- Tullio Salvatore (35)
- Julie Sheldon (39)
- David Smith (44)
- Miquel Suñer (34)
- Sarah Thomas (28)
- John Van Wisse (38)
- Oliver Wilkinson (35)
There are other marathon swims around the world - including solo attempts and competitive races - where dozens of people will Swim Their Age - while abiding by the traditional English Channel rules and only measuring the straight-line tangent distances of the course (not the distances that one swims, floats and drifts).
These individuals are mightily worthy of our respect and admiration - not only for their achievement and commitment, but also for the countless hours of training, preparation and sacrifice that go behind their achievements.
Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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