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Friday, July 19, 2013

Thomas Lurz, The Marathon Man At Worlds

The sporting media talks about how crowded the racing schedule is of Ryan Lochte and the number of events that his American teammate Missy Franklin will swim at the upcoming 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona.

These pool swimming superstars are highly respected and deeply admired for being able to race so well and so often against the world's best with an ability to quickly recover. The lactic acid that they build up and have to dissipate before their next race is beyond incredible. Most humans cannot do what these multi-talented athletes do on a regular basis.

Same with Thomas Lurz.

The German star is going to battle in a 5 km race against American Andrew Gemmell, Greek Spyridon Gianniotis and 56 other men tomorrow. The following Monday, he heads back to the Port of Barcelona to duel with Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia and 65 of the fastest open water swimmers on the planet in a showcase 10 km competition.

Then Lurz headlines a strong German team, one of the pre-race gold medal favorites in the 5 km Team Pursuit competition on Thursday, undoubtedly serving as its lead swimmer. Then with less than 48 hours rest, Lurz heads back for the final 25 km of his world championship schedule to face Alex Meyer, Evgeni Drattcev, Vladimir Dyatchin, Richard Weinberger, and a slew of other top-notch Olympians.

That is 45 km (27.9 miles) of hard-nosed intense racing against the best in the world over a 7-day period. Assume at least 3 km of warm-up and warm-down before and after each event (although he may not warm-up much before the 25 km race) and that is a total of 67 km of swimming next week.

A true marathon man.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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