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  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member
    Well, I joined at the end of 2013, but have mainly lurked in dark alleyways, wearing night vision goggles. I think I'll come out into the daylight, now. I have no idea what I'm going to do for my next major swim. Ready to have a wallow and wait until something bites. Having a relaxing birthday, so I'm going to pour a drink and start reading the forum in earnest. Cheers!
  • NoelFigartNoelFigart Lebanon, NHSenior Member
    Yep, I'm new.

    I was on a swim team for a couple of years as a little girl -- same team as Olympian Jeff Rouse, as a matter of fact, but I was never anywhere near as fast!

    I've always enjoyed the water and most of my childhood was spent on the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, but wasn't really much of a competitive athlete except for a couple of years as a martial artist.

    However, between ballet and martial arts, my joints were pretty much shot from a young age, and as I got older, I got LOT heavier (and I was never slender to begin with!)

    I got into swimming as an adult purely for joint-friendly exercise. And I fell in love. I never thought about doing any real open swims, even though I followed Martin Strel's Amazon swim back a few years ago quite avidly.

    Some years later, I got very ill, then took on a professional project I can only call Life-Eating. After that was done, I realized I needed desperately to get some exercise if I wanted to see my full lifespan. So I got back in the pool. Then as I was doing some research on swimming techniques, I started reading about Lynne Cox, then ran across LoneSwimmer's blog, and got to thinking. I'm not exactly athlete material at my size and shape, but maybe I could still train to do some open water swims. It'd keep me interested. My husband is desperate to visit San Francisco (we live nearer to Boston), so I suggested that in the summer of 2016, we could go out there and maybe I could swim from Alcatraz. I was mostly joking, but he took me seriously and I kind of found myself committed.

    Since if I'm going to DO that swim, I'd rather do it safely. So I'm training five to six days a week (stop laughing at me. I'm very slow and need the training) in the pool over this winter, then am going to be exploring some open water swims with a friend in the lakes of New Hampshire and Vermont. (Well, she'll be in a kayak. I'll be in the water).

    To make sure I don't chicken out, I've signed up for the Boston Sharkfest 2015. No wetsuit. I figure a good New England winter will be good to acclimate myself to more cold, and a New England spring will have an ample supply of cold water to acclimate myself to swimming in it.

    I am side-eyeing other, more ambitious swims, but I figure I have enough to keep me busy for the time being.

  • andissandiss Senior Member
    So i just sold my swimming wetsuit - just looking to swim a tad bit further than before
  • jonnySjonnyS Shanghai, ChinaMember
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm Jonny, been reading plenty on here for the last few months after thankfully finding this forum.
    I'm a Kiwi living in China, who has had one of his knee caps removed so can't run or cycle.. so its swim or golf for me! I've done a 10km back home, but working into a 15km for early next year.
    I got into this crazy thing, simply by loving how personal this sport is, i'm not a fast swimmer, but thats not an issue, make it to the end and you've accomplished something 99% of the world would drown trying to achieve! It's a mind game as much as a physical one and that is a big draw for me, to push myself to beat myself.
    See you all around the globe someday!
  • cthoroldcthorold TorontoMember
    edited November 2014
    Hello all,

    I am a marathon swimming newbie who has been following posts here for the past 6-12 months but has not yet contributed. I swam for a couple of years in a club as a young kid and then didn't return to swimming until I was nearing 40. In the past couple of years I have built my swimming up from a few lengths of freestyle to an EC relay this summer (with some strong teammates!). My ambition is to swim an EC solo and I hope more exotic channels afterwards. I have a long way to go but have booked an EC solo for 2016.

    I am also using the skills I developed as a journalist to share my enthusiasm and fascination with the sport on Twitter. I am very keen to hear about the heroic antics of channel swimmers and am hoping to be particularly active next summer - tracking and updating on channel attempts (wherever they are).

    See @crispinswims and please contact me on Twitter or by PM if you have an interesting swim coming up. I would love to be on your mailing list, as well as to follow your social media accounts.

    More than anything though I look forward to being involved with and benefiting from the shared wisdom on this site.

  • Hi all,

    My name is Terry and I am an Irishman living in Perth, Western Australia. I don't have much of a background in swimming really. My brother taught me the basics. They run a really great open water series here in Perth and I started out with the Cottesloe classic mile about 3 years ago. I worked my way up to the 3.6k busselton jetty swim and yesterday completed my first 10k ocean swim at City Beach.

    The plan is to attempt the Rottnest chanel swim in February. I must admit though I found yesterdays 10k harder than I thought I would. I got stung by some jellyfish early on and the feeling of nausea made feeding difficult ( this rarely if ever happens at my local pool :) and although I am sure others would say the conditions were fine I found them quite challenging.

    Perhaps I should introduce some jellyfish to my local pool to aid with training?
    I will give it some more thought when i can lift my arms over my head again.
  • kevmc77kevmc77 Sligo, IrelandMember

    Hi all,
    My name's Kevin and like alot of people here by the looks of things I've returned to swimming after a long absence, just wanted to say I love the site and am looking forward to chatting with you all in the future

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    Hi all,

    I'm a "not-quite-marathon" swimmer--and I'm in awe of the kinds of swims I've been reading about here. While I've been a lap swimmer on and off most of my adult life, especially when recovering from running injuries (and did an open water mile in 2002 b/c, injured at the time, I missed competing in runs). In 2005, out of curiosity (and with no running injury to make it necessary), I joined a masters' swim group, and loved it! The coach urged us to participate in an ocean swim, which at first I was reluctant to do b/c although I learned to swim as a kid in a salt-water bay, I found the ocean intimidating--some forays into it for recreation, but that was about it. However, the coach was very persuasive, and I ended up participating--and wanting more open water swims.

    I learned of a 5.25 mile swim (Great South Bay Cross-Bay Swim)--which stretched to 5.4 recently, as they had to make changes due to Hurricane Sandy--and my first thought was "no way--it's too long!" But the Great South Bay has special meaning for me, as my family used to vacation on Fire Island, and something in me wanted to try it. I became seasick the first time I did it--but finished. I was stung by a jellyfish the second time--and developed a case of sea lice--but finished. This year I did it for the third time and became seasick--but finished.

    During all these swims, I vow to retire--but I return and do them again. This year, I had an amazing coach, who helped me with a workout schedule and feedback, and improved my time from the previous swim by a lot. And after finishing, despite my promises of "never again," the moment my feet touched sand, I was thinking of "next time." And I also began thinking of the Boston Light Swim (8 miles). That too I dismissed as too much swim for me. But that too keeps calling my name.

    And that swim too has a certain resonance--I was born In Boston, and I've made many trips there, as well as taken numerous ferry trips from Logan to towns along the coast, loving the water and the islands. I often would think "How would it be to swim here?" So I've decided I want to find out.

    This won't be next year--I want to do the Cross-Bay Swim again next year and improve my speed and other open water skills. I'm thinking two years down the road (plus I'll be traveling to LA for my nephew's wedding in June, so that will use--happily, of course--a large portion of my travel budget for next year).

    I value swims (as I have running marathons) that capture the imagination, that inspire me to aspire to them--that call for something extra. Whether I'd go beyond 8 miles--heck, whether I successfully complete 8 miles!--remains to be seen. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I didn't think I could swim a mile in the ocean and then did; I didn't think I could swim 5+ miles in open water--and did. So the question starts posing itself--can you make it 8? It's a tease, but a good tease.

    So there you are! I salute the experienced people here. I was 54 when I joined the aforementioned masters' group, and now I'm 64--and still swimming and running. I figure while I have the health, it's time to use it for adventures.

    Thanks for reading this far--good swimming to all!
  • TerryKeogh wrote: »
    Hi all,

    My name is Terry and I am an Irishman living in Perth, Western Australia. I don't have much of a background in swimming really. My brother taught me the basics. They run a really great open water series here in Perth and I started out with the Cottesloe classic mile about 3 years ago. I worked my way up to the 3.6k busselton jetty swim and yesterday completed my first 10k ocean swim at City Beach.

    The plan is to attempt the Rottnest chanel swim in February. I must admit though I found yesterdays 10k harder than I thought I would. I got stung by some jellyfish early on and the feeling of nausea made feeding difficult ( this rarely if ever happens at my local pool :) and although I am sure others would say the conditions were fine I found them quite challenging.

    Perhaps I should introduce some jellyfish to my local pool to aid with training?
    I will give it some more thought when i can lift my arms over my head again.

    Hi Terry, just a FYI. That 10k at City Beach was in fairly bad conditions. I turned up but didn't swim as my shoulder is a bit delicate at the moment, and I didn't like the look of the ocean. Other swimmers I know swam up to 30mins slower than they would "normally". Paul Newsome (of SwimSmooth) said it was the filthiest, dirtiest, roughest 10k he had ever done. So even the best found it quite challenging. I'm guessing that your time was a few minutes shy of 3.5 hrs? Hopefully we'll have better conditions for Rotto! Your Cott 5k was about 5-6mins quicker than me so I'm glad I made the decision not to swim. At least you've done your qualifying swim now, I still have to do mine.

  • Hi everyone!

    I'm new to marathon swimming. I'm a former competitive swimmer...I was actually a sprinter! I recently had my second baby and while I was pregnant with her my mom sent me link to NYC Swim and I became obsessed with the MIMS. I'm hoping to work my way up to that in 5 years (realistic?).

    I've been reading this forum and various open water swimming blogs. If anyone can recommend a book with good info on marathon swim training that would be great!

    I haven't started training yet. I'm still attached at the boob to my daughter so I'm thinking I can start pool training in March. For now I'm focusing on losing weight and healing from a rotator cuff sprain. I have a million questions about training but I'm not sure how to make a new post in the beginner forum on mobile. Can anyone help me there?

    I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you and learning more about this sport!

    One more thing. I've been looking for open water events in my area (Manitoba, Canada) but I haven't had luck. Do most of you travel to events or live on the coast? I'm thinking I might just be stuck with triathlon relays if I do anything locally.
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member
    Welcome! Your timeline seems perfectly reasonable. Of course, having not actually done MIMS, you can't rely on this as an "expert" opinion, but I am a card-carrying member of the Holiday Inn Express rewards program... :D
    Also, while weight loss is extremely beneficial on many levels, swimming is not necessarily one of them. "Bioprene" (MSF code for fat) aids in both buoyancy and heat retention. Even so, if you start putting in 20K/week of swimming (at 200-400 calories per kilometer), I imagine the weight issue will resolve itself. To the frustration of my friends and family, I can (and do) put whatever the hell I want into my 47-year-old body and maintain a 33 inch waist.

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    Hi Deema. You might want to connect with your regional Masters Swimming Club to find out more about open water swims in your area. Many swims post links to other swims on their websites, which is a great way to discover new swims. Triathlon race management companies and local Park & Recreation departments are other sources of info on OWS events near you.

    Open water swimming has exploded in popularity in many areas, but may have yet to do so in yours. When I first started open water swimming in 1994, I had to take 3 road trips to swim a total of 4 races in a summer. There was only one in Seattle, so I went to BC, Oregon and Idaho. This year I swam 20 open water races and still only made 3 road trips, 2 of which were to attend events that were longer/more challenging than races happening in Seattle at the same time.

    The Seattle area has become a pretty great place for open water swimmers, both for those who thrive on flat water races in local lakes and for the hardcore marathon swimmers who enjoy countless possibilities in Puget Sound.

    You might have to travel if you want to race frequently or experience a particularly epic event. I like to plan my swims as short vacations, usually around events that have special significance for me, such as swimming in waters that have legendary monsters or my first 10K. Multi-day events are especially fun, giving swimmers a chance to get aquainted and develop friendships that transcend the distances between us. It's a fantastic community full of amazing, generous and fun people. Welcome!

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • Thanks spacemanspiff and Wendy!

    From what I've read so far I'm not concerned about losing a ton of weight, but I definitely still have some work to do in that department! It'll be much easier once I can start working out more often.

    I've been looking at local swim club sites and triathlon sites and have only managed to find one 1500m race in my area which is surprising because triathlon is very popular here and there are soooooo many lakes. I'll start looking for events in North Dakota, Minnesota and Ontario.

    Unfortunately the masters club here is a pretty far drive for me, but I might commit to one day a week to see if I can connect with other open water swimmers.

    Thanks for the warm welcome!
  • ksmithksmith La Jolla, CAMember
    Hey everyone,

    My name is Kevin and I have been looking around the forums for a bit and have finally decided to introduce myself. I live in La Jolla, CA and have been swimming at La Jolla Cove for about a year now. I did pool swimming all my life but got hooked on open water swimming when I first went out at the cove. I now moved 5 minutes away from the cove and swim there 6 days a week since I'm training for the Catalina Channel next summer!

    I have got to know some of the local marathon swimmers who swim at La Jolla regularly but it has been great to read about peoples experiences here and get a lot of insight into what I need to do to train for my first big swim. So I have been training a lot to get ready and just finished my longest training swim of 15 miles on Thanksgiving day. Hurt a bit after but I was able to still get in the water and swim the next couple days after that swim. Plan on doing some more long swims like that before I put in my application but I feel like I will be ready when I plan do the swim next summer. Look forward to continue to learn from these forums and get to "know" more people in the marathon swimming community.
  • Not much of a lurker as I've already posted a few times in other discussions. Oops.

    I'm a "pure runner" (My coaches words, not mine) who trains like a triathlete because I have a connective tissue disorder and can not really train like a pure runner. (connective tissue holds all of us together, mine is very loose and stretchy, so my risk for injury is pretty large, but there are ways to minimize).

    I always was a swimmer, joining a team when I was 6 until i finished college. Started with lake swims for fun to break up the run training and last year on a whim I ended up doing a 4 mile ocean swim- seriously this was my first Ocean Swim. Then I was hooked, and completed a few shorter swims (2.5 miles and 2 miles) and then took on the Alligator Lighthouse 8 mile swim but got pulled about 3 miles in because I was super stung by Jelly Fish. (I kind of joined this forum in hopes of finding some attire advice because they were only moon jelly fish, but after about 70 stings, many to the neck area, I was truly done.)
    I've herniated a disc in my low back so am now awaiting surgical intervention so my foot will move normally again, and then I hope to get back to swimming so I can successfully complete the Alligator Swim, and a few others in 2015... So yes, I will be asking a lot of not so bright questions regarding marine life. I was scared of sharks, but really ...I'd have rather seen a hammerhead glide on by than get entangled in that wall of Jellies again...So painful.....
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member
    Welcome @ksmith. I could not be more jealous of you, living mere minutes from my favorite OW swimming hole!! I used to spend the week of Memorial Day at LJBTC every year and I'd start each day with a hike up Mt. Soledad, breakfast on the beach and then top it off with a swim of the club-cove-scripps triangle. Paradise... Good luck with your training.

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • prodprod New YorkMember
    Hi everyone,

    Been lurking off and on for a little while now, in awe of the animal sets and even the average sets on most days. I've been a life long runner who swam a bit in high school to never touch the pool again upon graduation. But the gym i joined has a pool and the knees don't work anymore so the pool called again.

    While nowhere near a marathon swimmer yet, I hope to work my way up to some 5k-5 mile swims in the tri-state area (CIBBOWS, Long Island Sound, etc). Just finished my first real week of swimming and realized I just swam over 10 miles. So much fun. Really appreciate all the info that everyone shares here. thanks.
  • kiparizkipariz New JerseyMember
    Hi everyone,

    I am a real newbie to long distance swimming... I've swam since I was a kid but it's been all as recreation. However, I love swimming and since few months ago I started going to the pool almost every day. I have this wild and crazy wish to swim the lake in my hometown Ohrid, Macedonia, a 30km swim that actually is used for the swimming marathon held every August. I don't necessarily want to swim the marathon, but rather an individual swim....

    I know I have a lot of work ahead of me and I know I have to start with a lot shorter distances... But I just need to get a feel of how long do I really need to train to achieve that....

    BTW, I'll be 47 in February .... and I am doing everything on my own... and yes, you can call me crazy.... :)

  • Hello,
    I swam and played polo (mostly played polo) in HS and college and then just stopped for about 20 years. The longest race distance I ever swam was the 400 IM and I always thought that was nuts. About two years ago I started to swim again really for no other reason than I was at a pool with my kids so I swam some laps. I had forgotten just how much I loved to swim. So I came back the next day. And the next. For the past two years I've swam more and more. I'm now in pretty good shape for 46. Last year I swam about 600 miles. No races. No plan. Just swimming. A lot.
    I have come to enjoy my swims and find the solitude in them peaceful and now look forward to the weekends when I can do 5-8 miles in the ocean. Since I live in South Florida I can pretty much swim in the ocean year round but probably swim half the time in a pool that seems to not be on anyones radar because it's usually just me a few folks who swim there starting at around 6:30am.
    Anyway, I love this forum and am happy to find that there are a lot of people like me who enjoy swimming in the open spaces on the planet. Most of my friends think I'm insane. My wife is just glad I haven't drowned.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Welcome all. @kipariz, you are among fellow adult onset swimmers! Fear not!

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

  • steffiesteffie Mexico CityMember

    I'm Steffie from Mexico City. Been a swimmer since I was around 7 years old.

    A couple of years ago I started open waters with an event held at the Sea of Cortes, Baja California. i'ts a 35km relay, divided among 4 couples (we swim 30min with our partner, and rest 90 minutes, swimming a total of 9km aprox). The event Is a Charity to buy cancer equipment for the local hospital, and has been really great.

    This 2015 I will turn 45 and I want to do the 35 km....solo!!!!

    Any advise will be taken with lots of gratitude....happy 2015 to all!!
  • Hi all,

    Time to introduce myself. My name is Jesper and I'm from Copenhagen, Denmark.
    I have been following th MSF forum more than 3 years, but this is my first post. I think it started when I commited myself in 2011 to swim the Channel in 2012 and therefore seeked all the good advice I could come upon. So here comes a big thanks to you all!

    I consider myself a marathon swimmer as I swam the English Channel in 2012. I don't think I could have done it without my younger brother, Christian, who also swam the Channel the day before me. Even though marathonswimming requires a lot from the individual mentally, the community, friends and family are indispensables.

    I have been swimming all my life, stopped as an elite swimmer at age 16 (10 years ago), continued with triatlon for some years (I still regularly bike and run). And thats when my eyes got opened for open water swimming! Started competing for fun at the nationals in open water swimming in 2010, 5k distance, and have continued doing that, now also in the 10k.

    As I love the sport of open water swimming, I last year co-founded, with my brother and a third person, the Danish Open Water Swimming Association ( The sport is growing fast in Denmark and we are triyng to facilitate and root this growth. I can tell by now that we are planning a yearly swim between Denmark and Sweden, "AcrossÖresund" ( ), and an app. 15 k swim along one of the many coasts of DK - all beginning in 2015.

    See you in the ocean,

  • NedNed Charter Member
    edited January 2015
    NoelFigart wrote: »
    Yep, I'm new.
    I got into swimming as an adult purely for joint-friendly exercise. And I fell in love. I never thought about doing any real open swims, even though I followed Martin Strel's Amazon swim back a few years ago quite avidly.

    I always like to understand what brings newcomers into the sport of marathon swimming. You are certainly not the only person who followed the various exploits of Martin Strel. The number of hits on his websites during these swims is testimony to the thousands (or was it tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands?) who clicked their interest.

    Many just know Martin for these big swims. To the purists in the sport....these don't count because they were "staged" (i.e. he got out and slept at night) and in some cases "assisted" (i.e. he wore a wetsuit to somewhat protect against the other life in the Amazon!). For me they represent the best of the GREAT ADVENTURES. Martin is as much an an explorer as the folks who climb a mountain or walk across a Pole for the first time. The world, to me, seems richer for swimmers like Martin who: HAVE BIG DREAMS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.

    Most don't know, or forget, that Martin is also a top "purist" marathon swimmer: call it Speedo only and swim until done without help. The English Channel is a common benchmark...Martin completed. Then he did lots of other marathons. I am most impressed by the 100 miles (162 km) from Lignano to Ravenna (Italy) in 1994 in 55 hours 11 minutes. On the best list available this was the 10th longest time ever swimming as a purist. Hey there may have been others (not listed) maybe it was 12th or 20th....but 55 hours. We are talking 2 days +.

    He was recently inducted as a Honour Swimmer into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame on the basis of his purist resume. The Board of Directors had to select from an amazing slate of nominees at the end of last year. I suspect that everyone of us knew Martin primarily for his BIG SWIM (and clicked to follow at the time, and got the DVD and enjoyed meeting him [if we were so fortunate]) - but beyond that his purist resume is absolutely incredible.

    So Noel, make it a goal to meet Martin some day...and buy him a beer (as a thank you for the inspiration)
  • NoelFigartNoelFigart Lebanon, NHSenior Member
    I will buy him a beer if ever we met, yes. Following his swim gave me courage during a pretty tough time, and he really is something else!

    Though in terms of inspiration for marathon swimming as an actual sport for me to get into, gotta say that was Lynne Cox.

    (And my God, can you think of two more different personalities?)
  • itsjustanaliasitsjustanalias Asturias, SpainMember
    Hi all,
    I'm John, originally from Liverpool but I've been living in Asturias in the north of Spain for seven years. I started masters swimming four years ago and started doing open water swims in Asturias twelve months later. I'm not a marathon swimmer by any means yet but I'll get there, I've been lurking here for a while and learning a lot from the knowledgeable folks in the forum and associated blogs.

    In Asturias the iconic "travesía" (what they call an open water race), is a 5km descent of the river Navia, which I did as my second race, the third was a 3.8k swim across the bay in Gijón, Asturias' second city. Last year I met up with and joined Aguas Abiertas de Asturias (Asturian open water), a multi-club association of swimmers who like swimming in the sea and we meet up most weekends to do anything from laps just off the beach to 5 or 6km swims along the coast. Last year I did the desafio de las playas de Llanes (Beaches of Llanes challenge), a non competitive 8km swim along the stunning limestone coast in the East of Asturias.

    At the moment my goal is to keep swimming through the winter sans wetsuit (minimum temp will probably be about 10C, so that seems eminently doable), we're meeting up tomorrow to do 3k in a nice sheltered beach. I've got the idea to do some solo swims of about 12k in September, there are no organised events of more than 8k that don't require wetsuits. So I'll be around, soaking up the hard won info.

    And if anyone's in the north of Spain and fancies a swim, drop me a line...

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited January 2015
    Hey @Steffie, it is a goal of MSF to have more members from outside the US & Europe. Our english speaking bias is a barrier so feel free to use spanish if you want. Welcome and anything you can do to convince any of your friends to join would be great! I don't normally almost ever canvass for members but I'm really keen on making this a wider communiry.

    Hey @JDamgaard, did you see that Denmark made it into the 2015 MSF Calender? Same for you as for @Steffie and @itsjustanalias. Aguas Abiertas de Asturias keep popping up on my radar, seems an OW club that is on the rise. /u/Jambonjambon, Does that makes sense? No obligation to answer. I've got some friends heading to Catalonia (I think) for a 20k at the end of summer. I'll check into that.

  • mysterybobmysterybob North Hampton, NHMember
    Bob Fernald over here in North Hampton, NH, USA. I've used the forum to gain great incites, and answers to questions for my marathon swimming. Additionally, MSF has introduced me to new friends around the world. (The best part)

    The Seacoast of NH is a great place to train, and a good location for colder temp acclimatization. Sub 60 temps often run into July, with max temperatiputes rarely exceeding 65.

    A quick thank you to Elaine, for the nomination for swim of the year, 2014; and to all who voted for me and my interesting year. Such an honor, thank you.

    If you find your way to my part of the world, let's go swim! Send me a message.

  • itsjustanaliasitsjustanalias Asturias, SpainMember
    I think it's all me @loneswimmer, I do get the jamón reference too ;). Catalonia is a looong way from here, but they've got some cracking clubs and events, and it is warmer in the med.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    Well then @itsjustanalias, I hope your club knows how well you are doing in raising its profile!

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    JDamgaard wrote: »
    As I love the sport of open water swimming, I last year co-founded, with my brother and a third person, the Danish Open Water Swimming Association ( The sport is growing fast in Denmark and we are triyng to facilitate and root this growth. I can tell by now that we are planning a yearly swim between Denmark and Sweden, "AcrossÖresund" ( ), and an app. 15 k swim along one of the many coasts of DK - all beginning in 2015.
    Jesper, my first OW swim was the Round Christiansborg, which was awesome. Before the 2K, in the morning, they held a 10K, which was swum by mostly Danish swimmers, all very fast.

    The wonderful volunteers and fellow swimmers at the R.Christiansborg event really sold me on the friendliness of OW swimmers and the fun of OW swimming. I look forward to hearing more about the DOWSA, and especially the AcrossÖresund as I would love to participate in that swim.

    Welcome to the MSF!

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

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Hey @JDamgaard, did you see that Denmark made it into the 2015 MSF Calender?

    I'm proud to say that my son took the picture for Nov in the calendar from that swim I just mentioned above, the Round Christiansborg!

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

  • IronMike wrote: »
    Jesper, my first OW swim was the Round Christiansborg, which was awesome. Before the 2K, in the morning, they held a 10K, which was swum by mostly Danish swimmers, all very fast.

    The wonderful volunteers and fellow swimmers at the R.Christiansborg event really sold me on the friendliness of OW swimmers and the fun of OW swimming. I look forward to hearing more about the DOWSA, and especially the AcrossÖresund as I would love to participate in that swim.

    Welcome to the MSF!

    Thanks Mike! That must have been the FINA world cup 10k in 2009. I swam the 2k that year as well, have swum it 6 times since 2007. I'm glad to hear you've had a good experience here in DK, and hope see you for coming events! It would be an honour if AÖ can reach out beyond Denmark and Sweden.
    Yes, our DOWSA website will be up soon. And within short time, we will also reveal the details of the marathon swim.
    Hey @JDamgaard, did you see that Denmark made it into the 2015 MSF Calender?

    Awesome! I got to have that calender :-)
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    @JDamgaard, no, I swam around your island in 2010, and the 10K only had about 10-12 participants, so definitely not the FINA world cup!

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

  • Hi -- Just joined! I discovered this website as I was researching info to plan a solo swim in August 2015. It's only about 5-6 miles, but it's a lot for me at this time. But I'm dreaming big...

    My mom started me in swimming lessons early because she couldn't keep me out of the water. I swam for our local YMCA in middle school, but then took up running and soccer in high school.

    But in grad school, I was struck by a neural condition that was so painful I was barely able to walk for 12 years -- I had a wheelchair, hobbled around on a cane, but mostly I prefered to crawl around my home or curl up in bed. But when I could get to a pool, I could still swim a mile!

    I started walking again in 2008. In 2011, I did my first sprint triathlon in Burlington, VT. (In my attempt to avoid the flailing crowds, I think I may have doubled the length of the swim portion, which was only about 600 m anyway. My husband thought I was heading for upstate New York.) A bad ankle sprain and other health issues set me back for a while, so I just hiked and walked and swam.

    But this year I am signing up for 2 or 3 sprint triathlons and my first 10K.

    But my swimming goal is to swim Lake Willoughby, where my in-laws have their family reunion. This gorgeous lake has been begging me to swim it (and no, it has nothing to do with the nude beach at the southern end. Trust me.) But now I've heard about the Son of Swim, and I think I'll sign up for the 3 mile.

    Long term, I'd like to run a marathon and swim a 10K. ANd if things go really well...dare I dream it?...maybe an Ironman. It seems a bit ambitious for a girl who used to be too exhausted to get in the wheelchair, much less leave the house in it -- but maybe its because of that very reason it might be possible.

    I've already learned so much from reading your forums, and you guys have gotten me even more excited about 2015 than I was just 24 hours ago! Looking forward to learning even more from you in the coming months and year -- and sharing our victories, too.
  • OzzieOrcaOzzieOrca Member
    edited February 2015
    Hi everyone,

    another former lurker here. Been lapping up (pardon the pun) the info and discussions on and off for a few months. I find the stories here ever so inspiring, the advice helpful, the practice sets intimidating – but above all, you all get me motivated to swim and helped me pluck up the courage to embark on my own swimming adventure.

    Name is Chris, I am a 42-year old Bavarian-Australian who wants to get back in better shape and loves swimming. I grew up in South Africa (where I competed in school swimming carnivals every Saturday). Lived in Oz for many years and am now back in my native country, based near Munich. There are some excellent lakes around Upper Bavaria, but so far I have been doing my Open Water swimming in Spain: We take our summer vacation in Catalonia. A local mate, who is a triathlete, got me to join him for shorter race there two years ago. The experience was very good indeed, and this year I am going to swim a 5k there, from Coléra to Grifeu in late August. If anyone is interested, the race can be checked out here – and you can follow my progress on the "great big swimming adventure" here. (Hope it is ok to post these links here, and will add to the cool map tool @loneswimmer set up once I worked out how to).

    My next goal is to swim a 10k race next year. Oh and I really want to crack the 1k in 15 minutes or less at some stage! Ultimately, I dream of completing some serious long-distance events. But I find juggling family life, a full-time job and lots of other engagements on top of swimming a real challenge. Though it is thanks to swimming that I get the energy to keep the other things going, like many of you I suspect.

    See you in the water!

    Follow me on [b]"The Great Big 10k Marathon Swimming Adventure"[/b] (yes, I know, but getting to 10k is a big marathon for me!) at

  • NiccNicc TennesseeMember
    I am a brand new member...but I have been lurking for a while. I'm just coming to the realization that yeah, I'm on a trajectory that will likely make me a marathon swimmer at some point. After all, I'm craving a return to the OW when the weather warms, I'm poring over posts here, marathon swimmers' blogs, and channel swim accounts...

    But that's getting ahead of things. I grew up spending hours on end most summer days in my grandparent's pool, I swam on my high school team, yet somehow as an adult I kept trying to make myself exercise on treadmills or stationary bikes. And hated every minute of it. Which meant I did a very bad job of keeping with it. For 20 years, people. Too long. Sigh.

    Fast forward to 2013. I was in a really down spot--sick in bed, feeling fat and more than a little blue--when I heard that the PT Barnum of OW (well, I think of her that way now) was about to come ashore in Key West. I'd heard that Diana Nyad had made some attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida but never really paid too close attention before. I turned on the livestream a few minutes before she became visible to the cameras on the beach. I watched the excited crowd wade into the water and then split as her handlers made sure the ways were parted so that she could reach dry ground under her own steam. She looked really beat up, but it seemed that she'd done this amazing thing and (seemingly) held it together all the way to the end to carry through to the last punctuating moment of leaving the water. Something about it all that made a switch flip in my brain. I was inspired to get off my butt, but more specifically, I was inspired to get back in the water.

    About six weeks after I jumped back in the pool and started making a concerted effort to exercise there, my family went to a beach on the Gulf of Mexico. And for the first time, I decided to try really swimming parallel to the shore instead of just playing in the surf. Within the first few minutes, a school of tiny, silver fish swam under me. Then I spotted a horseshoe crab burying itself in the sand. I was transfixed! And just as quickly after I stopped to play with my kids, wildlife made another appearance. Stingray, right in the top of my foot. I decided Mother Nature was telling me something: the water is wonderful! Spend lots of time there! But for goodness sake, keep your feet up high and spend that time swimming!

    Ok, so maybe that's reading too much into the events of that day, but it's pretty much the approach I've taken since then. Based on the sheer joy of REAL swimming in the open water, I signed up for a 1.2 mile river race last May. I trained in local lakes once the temp got above 60 degree and found it invigorating (for about 45 mintues, lol), I was surprised at how many wetsuits I saw on race day, then had a blast swimming in the rain for the race. I went into the water scared I wouldn't be able to finish on time; I came out of the water in the middle of the pack (I considered that a major accomplishment) and feeling like I could have absolutely done more. I wanted to do more as soon as possible. And I didn't want it to be in a designated lake swimming area.

    Thankfully, my husband found the whole thing pretty darn cool, and he likes to paddle, so we bought a kayak and spent just about every Saturday morning last summer in the river near our house. My son became intrigued, so we bought a second kayak so he could come along.

    Right now, I'm planning on swimming this year's Big Shoulders 5K. That's my next big step. To feel ready for it will require moving the next step up into swimming/paddling in lakes with more boat traffic (and therefore more chop). And I am chomping at the bit to try. I just wish I'd kept swimming as the temperatures dropped, building up cold tolerance, so I'd feel comfortable jumping back in at an earlier point this year.

    In the meantime, I'm trying to learn all I can about this sport. I'm imagining what sort of longer swims I might want to attempt locally. I'm developing strong opinions about things like wetsuits (ugh) and marathon swimming rules (y'all have developed a fantastic set of them), and I'm finding myself inspired by the likes of Penny Palfrey and Chloe McArdle instead of...well...
  • BrendanBrendan Portland, ORMember
    Hey Folks,

    My name is Brendan. Ive been a fairly noncontributing member of the forum for a while, but I figured that it was time to introduce myself. I swam competitively for most of my youth. I stopped early high school and then didnt get back into the pool for another 10 years. The past two or so years I've been training towards becoming a marathon swimmer. Last year I swam the Portland Bridge Swim, or at least as much of it as I could before lightening forced us out of the water.

    Im training again for it this year. Although I have some larger plans in mind afterward. The Juan de Fuca is festering in my mind a little.

    In any case, Im in San Francisco for the next few months, finishing up college. If anyone on the forum has an open water group that wouldnt mind me tagging along through May I would be extremely happy. Id love to join the dolphin club or something of the like, but I cant swing that kind of cash; starving student that I am.

    In any case, im happy to learn as much as I can from the forum. Thank you for everything.
  • ryanmdaltonryanmdalton San Francisco, CAMember
    hi Everyone,

    My name is Ryan and I'm a newbie long distance swimmer. I swam competitively in New Orleans through middle school, then picked up OW swimming in Oregon while in college. I've been in San Francisco bay for the last 5 years, the last year through the Dolphin Club, a really remarkable place, full of great water and great humans. Am I obsessed? Yes, and I'm fortunate to share the obsession with so many others from the DC and SERC. But I'm also still relatively new to the sport. Like probably everyone at this stage, I'm thinking big, starting small. Hoping to swim Anacapa and Bay to Breakers this year, but I'd settle for spending every waking moment outside of work in the water.

    Thanks for all the help!
  • Hello!

    My name is Victoria and I have swam throughout high school and college. I have competed in triathlons, all distances (sprint to ironmans) but I am now getting into open water swimming because I am planning to attempt the English Channel as a memorial swim and promise to my mother.

    Originally from New Jersey, I moved to Massachusettes for school and stayed after graduation.

    Any advice for open water swimming would be awesome and welcome! I hope to learn a lot from this group as well as becoming more comfortable with open water swimming.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    Welcome @Brendan! I'm glad to hear Juan de Fuca is festering in your mind. It needs to be in more minds.

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

  • BrendanBrendan Portland, ORMember
    @malinaka, thanks for the welcome. I have to admit, I've read the crap out of your blog. I'll likely try to pick your brain in the future, though my attempt probably wont be until next year.
  • Hi everyone!

    My name is Melissa and I am newish to looooong open water swimming. I grew up swimming and swam for 2 years in college. I took about an 8 year break from swimming and then jumped back into open water swimming.

    Up until now I have relied on my background and probably haven't been training the distances I should have. I completed a race around Key West (12.5 miles) averaging about an 8-10k per week. I have also swam the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim twice and the 5k in Swim Miami.

    This year I plan on The Potomac swim (7.5 miles), the GCBS and the Ocean Games in Ocean City MD (9 miles). In 2016 I am planning on the Tampa Bay marathon.

    I have been using all of your posts to help out with nutrition and training so thank you for

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    Welcome @MelMcCam!

    I tried the Ocean City 9 miler a couple years ago. Great race director and volunteers! Highly recommend. Additionally, I would SERIOUSLY recommend you bring a kayaker. (Who knows, I've been out of country for a while, perhaps they now require kayak escorts?)

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

  • Thank you @IronMike! My husband will be my kayak escort. He will also be my kayak rscort during the Tampa Bay Marathon so we need all the practice we can get when it is warm!

  • ChrisgreeneChrisgreene Mercersburg PA/Atlanta, GAMember

    Hi, I'm Chris and I'm new to the forum and even the term "Marathon Swimming" . I've been swimming competitively for nearly 50 years - age group through college D1 and Masters, with probably my longest break of maybe 6 months? (various degrees of "training" along the way) I've done quite a few open water swims over the years (yes, even Chris Greene Lake) but "Swim the Suck" was my first pilot paired swim and with some dumb luck and great generosity I was entered into the SCAR Swim - In fact I'm on a plane to Arizona right now for SCAR. (It was quite an experience explaining to the employees at the local Bass Pro Shop why I needed glow sticks for a swim) It's been great reading all of the posts and learning as much as I can and I even use it for motivation for my next workout. I'm both challenged and blessed that I have to travel a lot for work. It's challenging to find time and a place to swim but a blessing that in the past year I've swum La Jolla Cove, Walden Pond, Puget Sound and Lucky's Pond in Orlando and met some great people. It looks like I'll be able to meet a lot more this week!

  • joscie_gjoscie_g Monroe, WAMember
    edited May 2015

    Hey all! I have been swimming fairly consistently for the past 20 years although to varying degrees of commitment--that whole thing about having a job, having know. :) Right now I am just trying to get into the pool regularly again and I do workouts geared to improve my 1-mile time, although the other day I did a two mile workout and it was so amazing and awesome that it reminded me how much I love "distances" - the term being relative. I have done sprint tris, formula one tris, aquathon, and USMS swimmer's miles in competition. I am decently fast by triathlon standards but not at all by USMS standards, however I seem to have more mileage in me than my peers of either group so I am thinking maybe this is the way to go. At the moment my distance PR is 4 mi. I would like to do a 10k at some point but it's not an immediate goal. I thought I'd hop on here to browse for advice and meet like-minded folks. Cheers!

  • ambrauambrau Anchorage, AKMember

    Hi all! My name is Abbey and I've been swimming over 15 years. I started the open water thing post-college in 2010 when 1-mile in the pool just wasn't long enough ;). Since then, I have been working to build on my distance with a goal to complete the Triple Crown. Distance PR is 12.5 around Key West and I am excited to push past that. I love the amazing experiences and places that OW swimming has brought to me – and the fact that I can swim further than I can run!

    Initially joined the forum to get some answers on the current situation of MIMS (for which I was supposed to have a confirmed 2015 date at the end of January), but I'm also excited to be a part of the community to hear advice and excitement from so many others who also love this sport! Happy swimming!

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    Welcome new Forum members! Don't forget to introduce yourselves :)

  • klassmanklassman VirginiaMember

    Hello all. I did my first marathon swim a few days ago at the Ocean Games in Ocean City Maryland. I swam as a kid through high school and in Division III at the university level (in America, Division III schools are the smallest, don't have athletic scholarships etc.)

    I'm 41 and the father of four. I've been doing triathlons for almost a decade and have done four Ironman races. Last month I did the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim for the first time in more than a dozen years. I think I've done it three times now (maybe four).

    This site and the forums are a treasure chest of information -- much of it learned through hard experience. I made a lot of mistakes last weekend but had a great time. I look forward to learning more and finding my next long swim adventure. I irregularly post at a blog and will have two posts up about the Ocean Games within a day or so. The first is already up at

    Final thought: when I was about 13 years old I went to a swim camp at Indiana University. One evening they showed a documentary film about Doc Counsilman's English Channel swim in his late 50s or early 60s. Afterward, he took questions from the stage. Ever since I've had it in the back of my mind that I would do that some day. I've just started taking the smallest baby steps toward that objective. Onward!

  • BloodBankBloodBank Gypsy Member

    Hello fellow fish!

    I grew up swimming competitively for club and playing water polo religiously. I read Swimming to Antarctica when I was 14 and became obsessed with swimming the English Channel. When I was 15 I sustained a TBI and my entire life got thrown upside down. I was in a coma and had to relearn a bunch of living "basics."

    Fast forward 6 years later... I got involved with long-distance backpacking aka thru-hiking. 3 years and over 10,000 trail miles later and I'm still at it stronger than ever. I've always said the ocean holds my heart but the mountains have my soul.

    I'm still very much a fish despite the hooves that have replaced my feet.

    I am the biggest proponent of human-powered living and adventure. I fully believe in being a well-rounded adventurist. Whether it's in the mountains, in the water, riding a bike, or flying through the sky... they all appeal to me.

    Come August 8th-15th I'm swimming the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. Just like my backpacking endeavors this will be self-supported. I'm swimming roughly 10 miles per day and towing all my gear, food, water, etc in a dry bag behind me. If I see an intriguing cliff I'll most likely go climb it. Every night I'll get out and set up my sleep system and fall asleep then wake up, pack up, and do it all over again. No fins. No wetsuit.

    This is NOT a continuous swim in the sense of straight through for the duration of the 72 miles, but rather a staged 10mi per day adventure.

    I'll carry about 2/3 days of food and resupply twice by hitching to the grocery store (7 days of food is just way too much to haul).

    I'm headed to Catalina to train this last week with my buddy who's the harbor master before I start tapering.

    I'm super stoked to have found this forum. There's an invaluable amount of wisdom shared here. Thank you all for your contributions!! You guys rock!

    Sara BloodBank Fry


    Living Life and Testing Limits

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