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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Suzie Dods, Swimmingly Joyful, Joyfully Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The longer, colder, rougher it is, the better Suzie Dods becomes in the open water. In addition to her athletic exploits, the San Francisco Bay swimmer is also a coach who thrives on sharing her knowledge, experience and expertise.

And she has plenty of it. Dods swam across the English Channel (12 hours 37 minutes), Catalina Channel (18 hours 36 minutes), Lake Tahoe width and length, did 2 English Channel relays, swam 12 miles around San Diego's Coronado Island, did the 15 km Maratona dei due mari in Sicily, Italy, the 26.2 km International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen across Switzerland's Lake Zurich, a 9-mile swim in Tampa Bay, Florida, a 8.2-mile Great Salt Lake Open Water Marathon in Utah, and an 8-mile swim around Pennock Island in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Dods brought all her expertise into play when she organized the 24 Hour Swim Relay in Aquatic Park in San Francisco.

While she juggles work and training for the upcoming 36-mile Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test, she is also coaching and mentoring others at all levels. Her athletes have a tremendous respect for their coach:

"I have learned a tremendous amount from her, not just about my stroke, but about open water and marathon swimming. She brings the perspective of someone who has worked very diligently to improve her own stroke and of someone who has trained hard and planned out all aspects of marathon swims. She very generously passes on her own experiences and her learnings as a coach over the years."

"Suzie is also a wealth of knowledge about San Francisco Bay and cold water swimming. Marathon swimming is really, I think, where she provides her most unique insights. That is an area that requires a very special union of swimming ability, endurance, athleticism and mental toughness--not to mention logistics. These skills are analogous to those required for Ironman distance tri's. And so too I think that is why she can relate easily to triathletes and their psychology."

"I am someone who has a very difficult time with cold temperature and coupled with being a rookie in the open water swim event, I was very much out of my comfort zone. Suzie's coaching style and her patience are what helped me manage those elements, develop technique and skill to complete the open water swim. She is the best."

For more information on Dods' coaching services, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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