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Friday, June 27, 2014

Brian Leftwich Swims And Runs To The Limit

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

After last week's 36-mile (57.9 km) END-WET swim from North Dakota to Minnesota down the Red River of the North, 32-year-old Brian Leftwich got out of the water after swimming for 9 hours 57 minutes, changed into his running gear, and then ran 29 miles to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. After an early morning start for the END-WET the day before, Leftwich finished at 2 am and then attended the award ceremony.

The 32-year-old from Bismarck, North Dakota, who moved to Fort Collins, Colorado in 2001, works for the state of Colorado in Disaster Response and Volunteer Management. He is also a volunteer Firefighter and EMT with the Eaton Fire Department, currently chasing a dream of becoming a full-time firefighter.

But he also trained like never before for his unique endurance charity swim-run that he performed on behalf of Team Lily [shown on left] and explains below:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you see yourself as a swimmer or a runner or an all-round endurance/adventure athlete?

Brian Leftwich: Honestly, I'm just a guy missing a "quit switch." I love endurance events and pushing myself to the limit. Mainly just to prove that I can do it and hopefully inspire others to give it a go. I really am just a clydesdale hoping to finish with a smile.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can you explain your swimming and running adventure around the END-WET 2014?

Brian Leftwich: I swam 36 miles as part of the END-WET race in Grand Forks, North Dakota. My brother Kyle kayaked as my support. The race was phenomenal. With the river at flood stage, it was a wild ride. Navigating around debris and tracking the current made it interesting. The water was colder than expected and towards the end of the swim I could tell my body temperature was getting low towards the end. I had my brother phone ahead for broth and noodles so I could warm up. My nutrition was all liquid, with Hammer Strength Perpetuem, HEED and gels being my main source. I was the 15th person out of the water and with an official time of 9 hours 57 minutes.

The run was something we dreamed up as part of the 65 Rhinos campaign. We wanted the mileage to add up to 65, so we choose 29 miles for the run and set up a course along the greenway. Originally it was to be three figure 8 loops, with each loop of being 4 miles and 4.7 miles to form the figure 8. I would then do an extra half-loop of 4 miles to reach 29.

We began the run around 7:30 due to a thunderstorm that swept in. My brother who kayaked and was attempting his first half marathon, paced me for the first 13 miles. I felt pretty dehydrated for the first half and we paced at 11:00 miles. I realized after the first full figure 8, that I did not want to continue running the 4.7-mile portion of the course. So we made the decision to run 5 laps of the 4-mile loop after I had completed the first 8.7. After the first 13, I high-fived my brother on his first half and then my race director came out to pace me for the rest of the run. I took the next lap, mile 13-17, to get my nutrition dialed in and try to rehydrate in the humidity. My pace was around 13:30. We did another miles after that at a 12:30 pace and my body was starting to even out a bit. I was taking SaltStick/ caffeine pills and downing Hammer Strength Perpetuem to stay ahead of sleep. Apparently I wandered off the path a couple times. We hit 21 miles and I knew that I needed to switch up the course a bit. I was in my dark place and struggling to stay awake. We decided to do a quick mile out and a mile back from the aid station to get my total up to 23 miles and just break it up a bit. I sent my brother to the house we were staying at and told him we would run to the house and meet him. The house was 5.5 miles away. Mentally, I needed a destination to get motivated. It was 12:40 am when we set off for the house. We settled into a 12:00-minute pace and made our way through town. We reached the house around 1:50 and I realized I still needed 0.5 miles to hit 29. I ended up running 3 laps up and down my friend's street. It was pretty hilarious. Finally at 2:00 AM, my watch read 29.1 Miles. We were done. 29 miles, 6:30.


Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was difficult about your adventure?

Brian Leftwich: Training was tough. Early on, I developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis and running was difficult for me. I live in Colorado, so the only place I could really train was a swimming pool. My longest swim was a little over 9 hours. I hit 27 km. I also had some pretty awful chlorine inhalation and couldn't take a full breath for a few hours afterwards. The other part was not hydrating enough after the swim. I didn't realize how much the humidity would affect me, but I played catch up the entire run trying to stay hydrated.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was enjoyable about your adventure?

Brian Leftwich: Seeing my family when I came out of the water. Watching my brother finish his first half marathon was a highlight. Birthday Cake Oreos. The swim and the swimmers were amazing. Andy Magness and his team put on a great event. Raising money for Make-A-Wish made it all worth it. We raised US$3000 to help make wishes come true. I was also able to honor my friend Johnathan Skinner who passed away in January from Cystic Fibrosis. He was truly the catalyst for 65 Rhinos.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is your athletic background?

Brian Leftwich: I grew up playing hockey. I never really liked running all that much. In 2010 I had become incredibly unhealthy, was a pack-a-day smoker and weighed 260 pounds. I walked into an MMA gym one day and decided to make a change. I began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai at Zingano's in Broomfield, Colorado. I fell in love with it and competed in both disciplines. I was also introduced to CrossFit at the same time and began to do that 3-4 days a week. Eventually, I became a L1 trainer and coached at a local gym. I ran my first half marathon in 2012. Sub-2:00 which was my goal. In April 2013, I moved to Washington D.C. for a job and hooked up with a group called Team Red White and Blue. They encouraged me to keep running and training. I completed 2 ultra marathons and an Olympic Distance Triathlon. My ultras were a 30-mile trail run in Illinois and Fire On the Mountain 50 km Trail Run in Maryland. The triathlon was the first time I had swum in 20 years. I fell in love with the water and kept swimming when I wasn't running.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you have a website?

Brian Leftwich: www.65Rhinos.org. I am still updating the week of the race on the blog, but it should give you a pretty good idea of why I did it.

65 Rhinos chases wishes for children with Cystic Fibrosis through creative fundraising and athletic events. Leftwich completed the END-WET swim and run on behalf of Team Lily (shown above).

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Agenda


Friday, 19 September

5:30

PM


Welcome Reception at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Documentary films shown throughout the reception:

Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
(film by Bruckner Chase)

Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
(film by Wayne Ewing about Matthew Moseley's Lake Pontchartrain crossing)

Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska
(film by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko about the relay between Russia and Alaska)

The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau
(film about Simon Holiday's Pearl River Delta crossing)


Saturday, 20 September

9:00

AM


Registration and Coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

10:00

AM


Keynote Speech:
Colleen Blair (Scotland) on The History of Scottish Swimming

10:20

AM


Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport

10:30

AM


Colin Hill (England) on Recent Explosion in UK Open Water

10:50

AM


Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) on The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionized Professional Marathon Swimming

11:10

AM


Simon Murie (England) on Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry

11:30

AM


Swimming The Oceans Seven
A round table discussion moderated by:
Kevin Murphy (England), with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden),
Darren Miller (USA), Adam Walker (England), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)

12:30

PM


Coffee and Break

1:00

PM


World Open Water Swimming Awards Luncheon:
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA)

Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year

Olga Kozydub (Russia), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year

Bering Strait Swim, 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Honoring: Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva [represented by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and Nuala Moore]


2:30

PM


Alexey Salmin Pavlovich (Russia) and Dmitry Dragozhilov (Russia)
on the 2016 Winter Swimming World Championships [film]

2:50

PM


Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers

3:10

PM


Dmitry Blokhin (Russia) and Aleksei Veller (Russia)
on the First World Ice Swimming Championships [film]

3:30

PM


Matthew Moseley (USA)’s Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain [film]

3:50

PM


Simon Holliday (England) and Doug Woodring (Hong Kong)’s The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014 [film]

5:00

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)

IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies and Dinner
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA).

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Elizabeth Fry (USA), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • James Anderson (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Dr. Jane Katz (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee (Indonesia), IMSHOF Honour Organisation

  • Melissa Cunningham (Australia), Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Sandra Bucha (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Jon Erikson (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer [represented by Sandra Bucha]

6:30

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Introduction Video.
Welcome speech by host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

6:45

PM


Dinner

7:30

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Induction Ceremonies and Dinner with host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Mercedes Gleitze (England)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by daughter Doloranda Pember]

  • Dale Petranech (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Contributer and IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Claudio Plit (Argentina)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Shelley Taylor-Smith]

  • Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (Netherlands)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Niek Kloots]

  • George Young (Canada)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]

  • David Yudovin (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer


Sunday, 21 September

9:00

AM


Registration and coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

10:00

AM


Nuala Moore (Ireland) on The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC

10:20

AM


Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia)’s Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska in 2013 [film]

10:40

AM


Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World

11:00

AM


Bruckner Chase (USA)’s Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa
Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
[film]

11:20

AM


Rok Kerin (Slovenia) on Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming

12:00

PM


Survey distribution and group photo-taking

2:00

PM


Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute






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."


Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

The 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.

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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

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