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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Making Decisions At The Faros Maratón

Christine Jennings set the course record at the 16 km Faros Maratón, but she made some ultimately clever decisions and made up some valuable time along the way.

Fellow American competitor Lexie Kelly who finished eighth explains, "The start was really spread out across the harbor. One pack went right and another went left. Christine and I went to the right pack at the very beginning.

But the pack on the left took off on a faster pace. When Christine noticed the difference, she cut across. She is so strong and fast that it was amazing to see her catch up to the pack of men. I tried to sprint to catch up, but couldn't keep pace with Christine or the men. It was just a decision made early in the race that Christine has the ability to overcome.

After I couldn't catch the faster pack and was ahead of the pack behind, it was tough being in no man's land. I ended up swimming the first 5 km alone at a hard pace while the slower pack gradually inched up on me. I knew that I could not hold that pace for 16 km, so I morphed into the second pack and latched onto Evelien Sohl from the Netherlands, Jose Luis Larrosa of Spain, and Dina Levačić and
10. Nika Percic from Croatia. We all swam together until the 12 km mark and then we broke off into different lines, going back and forth for a while while Christine ended up giving everyone a good run for their money.

The race itself and sights along the way are beautiful. Even if you are going fast and pushing it, the scenery and clear water really make the race go by fast. The 8 km buoy came up pretty fast during the sunny gorgeous day. With very little wind, the sea was calm and the water temp was perfect. And the finish was great; it was clearly visible coming into the harbor with its bright red and yellow signage and a large funnel so no one can miss it. When we got out, we were greeted by [International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee] Vicko Šoljan which was an honor because he has done so much for the sport. Then the Department of Tourism gave us a hat as VIP's greeted the swimmers. Everyone was made to feel important. The race is a great credit to all the volunteers and people like General Secretary Janez Maroević who works so hard year-round to put on this race

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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