I am excited to announce that I have been accepted into the Maratón Hernandarias-Paraná, a professional marathon swim race on the FINA Open Water Grand Prix Circuit. An 88km swim down the Rio de Plata in Argentina (up river from Buenos Aires), it is billed as the longest swim marathon in the world. It is certainly one of the most prestigious.
So on February 5th, I will join 22 other international competitors in a 9+ hour current assisted river swim. The swim, which is part of a river festival, will be spectated by thousands of Argentinian nationals, who line up along the shore to watch the swimmers go by in a tradition started in 1965. Accompanying me will be International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee and good friend Anne Cleveland as my support crewperson and the USA Swimming Coaching Representative.
I first set my eyes on this swim almost two years ago. Admittedly, it started out as a very personal and internal dream, something that I thought unlikely if not impossible and rarely dared to verbalize. Just getting this far involved changing my mindset, moving across the country, overhauling my lifestyle and training methods, and navigating a confusing qualification and application process While I still have another month and a half of training and logistical planning to go, I feel very good about the work that I have done thus far.
As is always the case in a situation such as this, credit is due to a number of people who have advised, mentored, and supported me thus far in this endeavor. My work is far from finished, but I find myself training smarter and swimming faster than ever before. I am looking forward to the opportunity to really put myself out there, to test my mettle and to grow as an athlete.
For more information (in Spanish) visit the Maratón Hernandarias-Paraná website here.