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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Are You A Better Runner Or A Better Swimmer?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"Are you a better runner or a swimmer?"

That is a reasonable and frequently asked question to ponder about Darren Miller. Miller has not only completed the Oceans Seven, but he is also an accomplished ultra-marathon runner.

Miller is a multi-talented athlete whose range goes from 50 yards as a collegiate sprinter to a long of 15 hours 55 minutes in the Tsugaru Channel in Japan.

"I would easily define Darren as a better swimmer, relatively speaking, than a better runner for several reasons," says friend Steven Munatones.

"1. He swam competitively in college.

2. He is one of a handful of people in history who have completed the Oceans Seven. However, he has not done 7 equivalent runs to his Oceans Seven swims.

His 12 hour 4 minute crossing of the English Channel, his 9 hour 15 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel, his 12 hour 12 minute crossing of the Molokai Channel, his 3 hour 44 minute crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar, his 15 hour 55 minute crossing of the Tsugaru Channel, his 10 hour 42 minute crossing of the Cook Strait, and his 11 hour 16 minute crossing of the North Channel is pretty remarkable - and that would be hard to replicate on dryland.

3. If we compare Darren's best 26.2-mile marathon run time, it is not comparable to the times of the world's best marathon runners. But if we take his best 10 km marathon swim time, it is within the ballpark of the world's best marathon swimmers. In other words, he is closer to the world's best swimmers than he is to the world's best runners.

4. If we line up any 100 people in the world of any age and any athletic ability and ask them to run and swim against Darren at any distance in any venue under any conditions anywhere in the world - from a 100-meter dash to a 100-mile run, or from a 100-meter freestyle in a pool to a North Channel crossing, Darren's swimming ability against any 100 randomly selected people would shine far, far better comparatively speaking than his running ability against these same individuals.

5. 50 years from now when Darren is in his 80s, he will still be able to swim faster than 99% of the people in this world of any age. But 50 years from now when he is in your 80s, I guess he will not be able to run faster than 99% of the people on Planet Earth of any age.

In other words, Darren is a very good runner, but I believe he is a great swimmer

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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