A swimmer's triathlon

molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaSenior Member
edited September 2013 in General Discussion
I've often wondered what it would be like to have a triathlon geared toward marathon swimmers. So, for a training workout, I invented The Poseidon Adventure - 10K swim, 100K bike and 10K run. It's a totally self-supported, DIY, non-sanctioned, grass roots, organic, locally produced event. I'm still dreading the run. But since it's just a friend and me, my chances of placing are pretty good ;-)

I was messing around with Photoshop to make a fun logo for our adventure. Oh the plots that are hatched on long swims!

Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska


  • Molly, if I could get to Branched Oak Lake, Nebraska, on September 21, I'd totally do it with you. :)
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    I love this idea. When I started tracking my training in 2010, I calculated the percentages of swim, bike, and run distance, and then had excel tell me how much of each I'd need to do to reach the same proportions as a triathlon. With 1,822km of swimming logged, I now need to bike the circumference of the Earth and then some (48k km) and then run 11k km more to balance out. Probably not going to happen, but...

    ...if I ever do run or cycle again, I hope your event is still happening. I could get back into triathlons if they looked more like this.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Same here. I'm training for my first sprint triathlon and, as I try to get used to the bike, bitterly think to myself, "how many of these people can say they swam the length of the bike course?"
  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaSenior Member
    We have a couple of guest rooms and plenty of floor space. I'd be thrilled to have any of the fine folks on the marathon swimmers forum join us!

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • I love this idea! It is a little biased towards the swimmer, LOL, but is a needed variation. Did my first triathlon this year (Olympic) and was disappointed that my 1 mile swim was only 1/12th the time spent in the exertion. The popular aquathlon of 1M swim/5km run is a great balance between running/swimming, and with the speed ratio between running/biking being around 4:1, it would be a lot of fun to do a 1M swim/20km bike/5km run...
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    This is similar to the Kingdom Aquaman Tri. (3.5M/34.0M/13.1M)

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    For my money, the best marathon swimmer's triathlon is that one in Israel. 3 x 10K over three days. No running. No biking. Just swimming. Paradise.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I did it last year, @IronMike. It's absolutely delightful. And they're doing it again this year.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    I almost did it in 2011, but couldn't get my boss to approve my leave. Sigh...

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • A better challenge would be to bias each discipline into the the established pinnacle events. So the swim needs to be English Channel equivalent.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    Haydn wrote:
    A better challenge would be to bias each discipline into the the established pinnacle events. So the swim needs to be English Channel equivalent.

    Swim: English Channel
    Bike: Paris-Brest-Paris
    Run: Badwater Ultramarathon or Leadville 100 Trail Race
  • The Arch to Arc comes out on top. Starting at Marble Arch....60 miles run to Dover, swim the Channel, cycle to Arc de Triumph, Paris.
  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaSenior Member
    But that would involve all sorts of sanctioning and expensive travel. If it's not tough enough for you, you can wear a wool turtleneck and skinny jeans.

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    FYI, Three Seas in Three days will include three swims, but they're only going to do two seas by popular demand: The Mediterranean and two swims in the Red Sea. One of the latter will have a 15km option.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    So, I've now done my first triathlon--a women's sprint, organized by See Jane Run--and I've come to the conclusion that my preferred distances would be a 3-mile swim, followed by a 3-mile bike and a 3-mile run. :)

    It's been fascinating to see how fitness translates across sports, but not perfectly so. I didn't really train for this thing--it's a sprint, after all, and work has eaten up my life lately--and yet, I managed to finish the thing in a decent (for me) time. The swim was a pithy 400 yards (yes, you read correctly) in a beautiful lake. Temps were in the low 70s. And, most of my fellow racers wore wetsuits! For a few minutes of a lake swim! I bet taking the suit off cost folks some precious time during T1.

    But the folks who faltered in the swim did much better in the bike. I came out of the water second in my wave, having passed about twenty people in the water, and it seemed like every last one of those twenty people passed me on the bike. :) It was not a big effort--a flat course sprawling along beautiful vineyards--but I am really not a cyclist.

    I also found that T2 was a stranger transition for my body than T1. One's legs get used to the cycling motion, and the beginning of the run was a geriatric hobble, just getting the jelly legs used to running again. I passed some, but not all, of the folks who passed me on the bike, but more importantly, we all high-fived each other along the course and had a lovely time!

    What I liked about the experience was how friendly and lovely everyone was. Maybe it's because it was an all-women's race with many beginners in it, and maybe the beautiful day made everyone happy, but it was so nice to see everyone encouraging each other and smiling. The swim might've been somewhat ridiculous for my taste, but the whole thing was very happy-making. I'm not going to invest in a fancy bike or anything of the sort, because the gear-heavy nature of the sport is a bit off-putting to me and I like the freedom of jumping in the water in just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles. But doing something like this once a year, and going for a run a couple of times a week, seems like a fun and refreshing thing to do.
  • How about a 30k bike? Three miles is a pretty short bike leg...
  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaSenior Member
    The Poseidon Triventure was a success - if you consider survival a success, which I do. Here's my report: http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/2013/09/post-poseidon.html

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member
    I absolutely love this. Those who are swimmers and triathletes know they have been discriminated against for decades. In the 1970's a guy named Fletcher Hanks organized a triathlon that was equally fair to all. However, the triathlon world was dominated by cyclists and runners. They gravitated toward swimmer UNFRIENDLY triathlons. Put their money where they wanted and the even up triathlons withered.

    In 2010 we organized an even up Aquaman Triathlon in Vermont with the notion that strong athletes would spend about 1.5 hours on each leg. 13.1 Mile Run (half iron distance), 34 Mile Bike (instead of 56 miles) and 3.5 Mile Swim (instead of 1.2 Miles). We have also added an "Ollie" with a 10 K Run, a 15 Mile Bike, and a 1.75 Mile Swim. www.kingdomtriathlon.org.

    If you support this even up type of triathlon, we hope you will register and come to Vermont to show your support. Or organize your own even up triathlon. Unless folks actually register, pay some money, and participate in even up triathlons, it will be no different than the 1970's when even up triathlons withered on the vine. My bet is that it's about time. Swimmers will support Even Up Triathlons by showing up and participating at these types of events.

    Thanks Molly1205. You are SPOT ON.
  • Niek wrote:
    42 km running - 2 hours for a marathon runner

    42 K is a full marathon. 2 hours would be a world record.

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Fil wrote:
    In 2010 we organized an even up Aquaman Triathlon in Vermont with the notion that strong athletes would spend about 1.5 hours on each leg. 13.1 Mile Run (half iron distance), 34 Mile Bike (instead of 56 miles) and 3.5 Mile Swim (instead of 1.2 Miles).

    Sounds great...as long as I don't have to do the run or the bike. ;)

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    In case anyone's interested, the Kona championship is streaming live right now. http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/detail.aspx?race=worldchampionship&y=2013#axzz2hWqBPfaX

    Took the fastest men 50 mins to swim the 4k course, and sighting seems to have been a bit off.
  • I agree that three miles of swimming, biking, and running would be fun! I run about 5-6 miles a week to keep the sprinter inside me at bay (no, you have to keep gooooing) and I'm moderately good at it...flirting with a 25:00 5K for awhile if I really focus on running... but I won't go longer than 5K!
    It's funny, I was just in the paper and they misquoted the swimming and running distances...no, I *run* 5 miles a week, swim 25....no way could I run 25 miles in a week!!
    As for biking, I'm too clumsy to do it other than a ride to work every so often.
  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    I've always suspected that triathlon ratings would go through the roof (Hunger Games-style) if they moved the swim to the end of the event.

    Run->Bike->Swim or Bike->Run->Swim.

    Rescues make for great ratings! ;-)
  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaSenior Member
    I wonder how they coordinate the swim to bike transition? The athletes could arrive anywhere within a wide range of Calais after swimming the EC.

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • wow, had no idea that the wait in Dover for the tide factored into this...
  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Interesting Niek, pleasant surprise to hear that Trent will give it a shot - do you now what tide he is on? I'm also confirmed for the A2A 2015, tide 22 August.
    I understand that most did it with a wetsuit (though WR holder Mark Bayliss did w/o), so besides the tide effect, the times are also interpreted with caution.
    For me it's all about the swim, the run and bike is just appetizer and desert.
  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Thanks Niek. Honest blog post by Trent, I like it. If the weather turns out to be alright he surely has a crack at beating the current record; with a good two years left to train he can catch up on the running & cycling part. For me it's the other way around.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for Trent.
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    This year, I was due to crew for Rachel Hessom. She's a fantastic athlete. She completed the Arch to Arc challenge in July and became the 12th person to complete the challenge. Her run was only 21 minutes slower than Mark Bayliss'. She completed the swim without a wetsuit (second person to do so). When she got to Folkestone (about 8 miles short of Dover) she was told that the weather forecast had changed and the swim was now going to be delayed. She had been due to start the swim about 12 hours after arriving in Dover. She ended up waiting over 4 days for the weather to settle enough for her swim to be able to start and swam the Channel in 14:13 in not ideal conditions.

    The problem is that the clock starts ticking as soon as you leave Marble Arch. I think that Trent has an excellent chance of breaking the current record, but a lot of things will have to fall into place for this to happen.
  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Right Zoe, a lot of luck involved.
    I'll also try w/o wetsuit.
    The split times look rather slow considering that all but two raced in a wetsuit and didn't have to put on extra weight to cope better with the cold.
    But I guess they all went conservative on the run to have a fair shot at the EC.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I *love* Trent's blog post. It's so honest and refreshing. Thank you for posting it, @Niek. I hope the challenge brings him direction, focus and happiness. I can't even imagine doing such a feat!
    edited January 2014
    hi guys, be gentle with me, my first post, but i think a sprint tri should be 2k swim 20k bike and 2k run
  • Good one @hammerhead. I'd do that one.
  • Niek wrote:
    @HAMMERHEAD care to explain how you come at those numbers?

    There nice rounded numbers which favor stronger swimmers over stonger runners.
    But mostly the fact that 2k is about as far as i can run these days before my knees force me to stop,all tri s from sprints to Iron distance should have 2k runs just so I can compete again
  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member
    Here's our mileage:

    Aquaman Even-Up: 3.5 mile swim, 34 mile bike, 13.1 mile run (1.5 hrs each leg)
    Ollie Even-Up 1.75 mile swim, 15 mile bike, and 10K run (0.75 hours for each leg)


    Just sayin' If you are a swimmer/triathlete we hope you will support an even up triathlon offered someplace in 2014, Otherwise, the cyclists win, Like, forever.

  • sharkbaitzasharkbaitza LondonMember
    What about a Spartan Death Race preceded or followed by a nice swim...
  • Pole vault across the finish instead of run.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    edited October 2014
    The Isoman Triathlon is advertised again in the Oct/Nov 2014 issue. 11 July 2015

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • Eight laps of the lake! Thats going to be gruelling. A swim down the River Severn would be sooo much better and then ride to Arrow Valley :)
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