Help me to find OW race in China!

miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMem​ber

(Note: I am posting this to multiple related forums in order to get the best possible coverage)

I live in southern China and need to find some 5 - 10 km races along the coast of South China Sea, preferably in winter. I can't find any information from search engines, calendars and even my OW friends. I need such races before reaching my target of marathon swimming.

I post my training logs on a local forum, but the people there are not forgiving and always tell my speed is crap (it's true that my current speed is crap - more than 2:00 pace, but I'm having training and hope for improvement). When I asked about 5 km races or more, those people only think about the 2 national champs (5 km, and 10 km) which is held to FINA standard (i.e. closes 30 minutes after the first swimmer) and has high qualification requirements (equivalent to 19:30 / 1500 m race). There is absolutely no way I can go for that, and those people are telling me I shouldn't swim 5 km or more races if I can't get to that speed (those people also tells the others they shouldn't run a marathon if they cannot run 10 km within 40 minutes). There are also short-distance classes for the national champ (600 m class w/ 20 minutes cutoff for the 5 km championship, and 1.7 km class w/ 45 minutes cutoff for the 10 km championship) and they are popular among local swimmers, and those people on the local forum is telling me to race those shorter class instead if I can't meet the elite qualification standard for the national champ, but for me they are like telling crap because my explicit goal is to complete a marathon swimming race next year.

Apart from those championships from the national swimming association, there are also some other races popular with local swimmers, but they are mostly only 600 m - 1 km in length, with 2.6 km the longest.

There are also club events as well, ranging from 2 km to 5 km, and also the iconic 15 km races, but they are not well-known by local swimmers (only below 100 people per race, and most of the participants are westerners, and the active OW community is made up mainly by westerners), and some of those races are specifically "for advanced swimmers only" with stringent cut-offs (e.g. 1:45 for 5 km). When I talk about those races in a local forum, those people always say they are dangerous because they don't have enough kayak / motorboat cover (they are talking about a kayak per 100 m and a motorboat per km), and always wish me to die when I mention I will participate in some of those races, given my "crappy" fitness and speed. However, in my region, I only know about 3 races a year which is strictly greater than 5 km in length - the 10 km national champ, and 2 15 km club races (kayak supported). As the 10 km is the national champ with elite qualification requirement, it is out of question for me. I can't find any races which can bridge the gap between a 5 km club race (if there is one which is not limited to advanced swimmers) and a 15 km race which is my target.

  1. Can anyone help me to find some 5 - 10 km races in southern China such that I can prepare for the 15 km iconic race? I don't know why I can't find any, all races of comparable lengths I can find are all in North America, Europe, Australia or Philippines. The first 3 places are too far away from where I live, and Philippines is too hot (29°C water temp expected in Philippines, but I am targeting cold water races of around 16°C)
  2. Why the local people always think that the club races (not governed by the national swimming association, including the well-known iconic 15 km marathon races) are dangerous?
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Comments

  • Kate_AlexanderKate_Alexander Spring Lake, MichiganMember

    My speed is crap too, but it doesn't stop me from swimming long distances or enjoying the heck out of it. Keep looking, you'll find something. And if you don't, maybe you can start one on your own. Good luck and keep on swimming.

  • PearlyShellzPearlyShellz TexasMember

    @miklcct said:

    ... but for me they are like telling crap because my explicit goal is to complete a marathon swimming race next year. ...

    1. Why the local people always think that the club races (not governed by the national swimming association, including the well-known iconic 15 km marathon races) are dangerous?

    I'm not in China nor haven't swam the distance you have had but I had the same questions last year when I was planning to join races. I was also given the same answers. Except, my responders were kinder to emphasize that those qualifications are for our safety, and encouraged me to continue training. Small races are not outright dangerous, it woulde be wise to know the organizers, location, even the participants, so get as much info as you can and look for their fine print too before signing a waiver. Have you tried looking for open water swim practices which simulated race conditions and distances? By joining these, you could gauge for yourself if you're meeting your goal. Those swim practices are more affordable and had less stress than an actual race. If you want the stress, get the friends you meet in those practices simulate an actual competitive feel as the real race event gets near. There was also a YouTube video that had kayakers hit the swimmers to simulate the kicks and hits of a mass start. And just as Kate said, you can start your own by finding people you trust who can provide the support for you in the location you want. There might be organizations who might be able to advice you on this.

    flystorms
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