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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crews Are Made Of Special People

Every volunteer group for every charity swim is special and giving. Every support crew for every marathon swim is special and giving. Every team behind every open water swim is special and giving.

These groups, crews and teams are dedicated to the safety and success of their swimmers.

Many swimmers like Kathy Batts and Jamie Patrick recruit crews that are outstanding and stocked with people who fundamentally understand endurance athletes and specifically know open water swimming is a degree that beyond remarkable.

In the case of Kathy Batts, she enjoyed the support of Kevin Murphy, Paula Foreman, Dr. Chris Stockdale, Mike Ball, Eddie Spelling and Janet Gifford with several dozens of English Channel crossings among themselves.

After 22 hours 30 minutes, Batts touched on the French coast to became a Channel swimmer. “I constanty get asked why didn't you fall asleep, give up, or complain. Well it's simple, I had one chance and one chance only of fulfilling my dream. I was doing this for my Dad and all those people on that boat who believed in me. They made me cry into my goggles with the antics on the boat, cartoons on my wipe board, and hitting me on the head during at least two of my feeds.”

Characteristically, Batts was appreciative of those around her. “I have said it all along and I will continue to say it: a swim is only as good as your helpers. Get helpers who are sick, who want to give up when the going gets tough, and who do not know the swimmer, you might as well not start. You must choose your helpers with care, follow your head, and not your heart.”

Patrick says something similar about his crew for his upcoming 90-mile (144.8 km) Great Lake Swim, "There is truly nothing solo about a solo swim. It is difficult to describe how important their role as a group is, but also as individuals. Each of them brings something unique; their backgrounds and expertise range from areas such as physical therapy, sports psychology, emergency medical response, sales management, social media marketing, teaching, accounting and website programming, to fellow marathon swimmer, professional triathlete, librarian, practicing buddhist and author."

Patrick's team consists of his wife Teresa Patrick (shown above) and the following crew: producer and director of Ridgeline Entertainment Doug Stanley, endurance photographer Brian Patterson, acclaimed journalist Jaimal Yogis, sports psychologist Jen Schumacher, open water swimmer Cathy Delneo, Oceans Seven Darren Miller, father Jim Patrick, channel swimmer Craig Lenning, friend Keith Metzger, EMT Garrett Harley, triathlete and coach Chris Hauth, Lake Tahoe swimmer Janet Manning, physical therapist Matt Richardson, programmer Morgan Christian, author and Ironman Mark Lukach, friend and marathoner Debbie Lopker, marathon swimmer Karen Rogers, Goose (the dog), professional marathon swimmer Lexie Kelly and daughter Hadley Patrick.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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