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Monday, June 10, 2013
I Could Cry Now When I Think About It
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did your preparation help you compete in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim?
Ellery McGowan: I kept up my training after the 2012 Ederle Swim which meant swimming in a 25m pool in 27ºC (80ºF) water doing 15,000m a week on average, increasing to 20,000m + plus 1 session of Pilates, one of Gyrotonics, one of Fitball, and one of spinning a week.
I was out in November for a few weeks with a fractured metatarsal, but I could kick with one leg. But I could not play tennis, nor do the spin classes. I did the long distance training camp at the beginning of April in Mallorca with SwimTrek and completed my 4-hour qualifying swim in water of 13.8ºC (56ºF) and jellyfish galore. From the end of April, I trained outside 5 times a week at our local 50m lido. On most days, the air was cold. Often it was raining, but I knew I had to do it. I had some friends who would swim with me for a couple of kilometers and bring coffee down for when I finished. There was just one day when it was so miserable, I did not go in. This pool averaged 22ºC (71ºF) and I often said to myself, "The air will be this in Manhattan but the water will be colder".
I returned to Mallorca the week before Manhattan Island Marathon Swim to do the BEST OPEN WATER FESTIVAL and the SwimSmooth Training camp. This entailed sea swimming each day as well as 1-2 hours in the pool and some land training. The rough seas were again a good experience and Matthew O’Connor (the BEST co-owner) said I handled the waves well. That was good to know.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Were you worried at any time that they might pull you from the race?
Ellery McGowan: Some weeks I was apprehensive about being able to do it knowing that I was by far the oldest and slowest, but I knew I had it in me. I was actually rather excited the day before and looking forward to it, especially knowing the weather forecast was going to be better than the week before’s prediction. I knew once I hit the water I would be fine, but on the Thursday when I did the round Manhattan boat trip we went against the tide up the East. It went through my mind that we might get caught, me especially but then I brushed that aside knowing the organisers would have taken all scenarios into account.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was the hardest part of the race?
Ellery McGowan: Little did I realise at the Roosevelt Bridge, the race organiser made the decision to pull all the swimmers apart from the elite who had made it through as the rain from Andrea and our delayed start by 1 hour and a quarter meant we missed the weaker than normal tide going up the East. I accepted this, but was delighted that were allowed to get back in after the foot bridge. Mind you I did not want to get back in, but I had another costume, hot tea and was warm again. My daughter-in-law did not want me to go back in but my son advised me to "just swim the Harlem". I thought yes. Why not? The Harlem was cold, very cold in patches and learnt it was 56-58ºF (13-14ºC) later on. There was a lot of debris but I enjoyed seeing Yankee Stadium, the rowing course, the boathouse, and even spoke to a random swimmer in a white hat. It was “one bridge at a time”. Then I saw the big C for Columbia’s rowers and their new sports complex and I was never so pleased to see Spuyten Duyvil Bridge. It was tough coming into the Hudson, like swimming through a whirl pool but the water temperature was heaven in comparison.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel as you were swimming down the Hudson River towards the finish?
Ellery McGowan: The Hudson was rough, wind coming up the river. It is such a long way. I had done the rough stuff in Mallorca, the current was with me. My mantra “relax”,from Cassie Patten, “enjoy” and turn “one arm after the other” kept me going. I loved the George Washington Bridge, seeing the little red lighthouse, even the water treatment plant, and rubbish barge depot. When I hit 42nd St where Concorde and Trident are, I knew my way home - Chelsea Piers, Pier 25, the apartment block where my son and his family lived, the World Trade Center, North Cove, South Cove and finally Pier A. The crowds on the piers were great and I gave a few waves along the way. However, I did suffer with unbelievable cramps in my inner thighs, especially when feeding. My swimmers always use even a toe cramp as an excuse to get out of the pool but I know one can swim through them and I can. I didn’t have any negative thoughts on this stretch at all, my body was warm and I could take the waves and wind bashing.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did you take any special British or Australian food or drink during the swim?
Ellery McGowan: We used to take Maxim but now it is Maxi, still a high carbohydrate fuel which I mixed up Friday morning with one teaspoon of fructose and Robinson’s Apple and Blackcurrant squash. My mixture was 150 ml (double strength) diluted with 150 ml of hot water which I took every hour and on the half hour an Isogel, an Australian product which does not need water to wash it down. Two of these were substituted with Vipergel (Maxi fuel) which had caffeine. Then of course every two hours I had half a banana. Feeds went to 25 minutes along the way due to the cold.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Who was your kayaker and on your support team?
Ellery McGowan: My kayaker was Stephen Ahearn whom I met on the water, a very efficient and positive guy. My escort boat was “No Problem”, a good omen really as “no problems” is a very Australian saying. Ed Scola was the skipper. My support team were my son Angus and his wife Renata who live in Connecticut now. They were amazing and Angus had packed extra towels warm clothes for me. They crewed for me on the Ederle swim last year. Whenever I looked up I would see Angus filming, handing feeds over to Stephen, and always a big smile and thumbs up from Renata.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was the most enjoyable about the entire experience?
Ellery McGowan: I had been tired for weeks from training and working but I am thrilled that I made it round even with the Boat Assistance. I am not angry that we did not get away on time as New York City had a tough time, it was bad luck. I’m happy we were able to swim and I can say I did the Harlem, the Hudson and nearly all the East. I feel satisfied and I must say it was all enjoyable except for the cold in the Harlem. That homeward stretch was amazing and I could cry now when I think about it.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.
The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.
The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.
Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.
The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."
Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."
The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme
Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]
Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland
Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance
Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute
The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:
* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:
* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.