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SWIMMER Editorials

Family (March-April 2012)

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by , March 1st, 2012 at 12:00 AM (951 Views)
While gathering articles and information for our annual open water issue, I was struck by the sense of community in the world of open water swimming. As vast as the world’s waters are, the passionate group of swimmers who inhabit them seems like a small family.

Many open water swimmers, particularly marathon swimmers, know each other well. They share tips, exchange advice and accompany one another on long training swims. They reminisce over swims from the past and dream up great swims for the future. They are also competitive. In this issue, Elaine K. Howley, an experienced marathoner herself, looks at the how challenges are thrown down in “Farther, Faster, Colder, First.”

As in all families, the members don’t always agree on everything. This issue’s “Both Sides of the Lane Line” presents two views of the media’s role in the open water world. Both are well thought-out and both convey the passion these swimmers feel for their sport.

And whether arguing or agreeing, this open water family is always happy to share. When we needed some advice about what marathoners use to prevent chafing and protect their skin, several greatly respected swimmers shared their secrets. (See “What the Experts Do” in “Swim Bag.”)

Learning from those who have swum before is deeply ingrained in the family. It’s as though swimmers undergo a transformation once they’ve tackled cold water, jellyfish and fatigue. They’re grateful for help along the way, and want the cycle to continue. Laura Jones interviewed Craig Lenning about his North Channel swim for “Swimming Life,” and he repeats the mantra we’ve heard from so many of these amazing athletes: Pay it forward.

One family member who does that on a daily basis is Steven Munatones. He might seem like the godfather of this family, but he’s really more like the Kevin Bacon of open water swimming—only with one or two degrees of separation, rather than six—from everyone else. It’s become nigh impossible to research, reference, quote, edit or write anything about open water swimming without coming across one of his creations: the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Openwaterpedia, Oceans Seven and many more.

Munatones penned two of the articles in this issue: the technique feature, "Open Water Feeding” and “Splashback” on how marathon swimming became an Olympic event. His new book, “Open Water Swimming,” is reviewed in “Swimming Life.” His passion for the sport and for recognizing the accomplishments of the rest of the family comes through in everything he does.

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Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:49 AM by Editor

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