More good stuff from Penny Dean’s history of Catalina Channel swimming. Here’s the story of Myrtle Huddlestone, who in February 1927 became the first woman to cross the Channel [emphasis added]:
Huddlestone, a 30 year old widow from Long Beach, had only begun swimming during the preceding year to lose weight. She had been motivated to enter the Wrigley Ocean Marathon in order to pay for her son’s education.
Her swim was far from routine. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., Huddlestone encountered one problem after another. Fog appeared after midnight and the lights on both support boats went out. Unable to see the boats, she drifted off and for three hours she was lost. During this time she was attacked by a barracuda. She received bites and cuts on the left side of her body.
USA Swimming just released the qualifying times for the 2011 open-water national championships in Fort Myers, FL (h/t Adam B.).
And, the standards for the 5K are surprisingly doable! 9:08 for 800m or 17:29 for 1500m? I think even I could do these times with a decent taper behind me…?
In order to compete in the USA Swimming 2011 Open Water Championships, a swimmer must have:
- Finished in the top 15 at a 2010-11 FINA World Cup Race, or
- Finished in the top 10 at the 2010 USA Swimming 5K or 10K National Championships, or
- Attended the 2011 Open Water Developmental Camp (by invitation only), or
- Achieved the following pool times standard(s) between April 1, 2009 and the entry deadline
1500 LCM 800 LCM 1650 SCY 1000 SCY
Women 5K Race Qualifying Times 18:20.89 9:35.99 17:57.39 10:43.19
Men 5K Race Qualifying Times 17:29.89 9:08.99 16:59.39 10:10.99
Women 10K Race Qualifying Times 17:20.49 9:03.49 16:48.49 10:05.99
Men 10K Race Qualifying Times 16:15.49 8:35.59 15:51.49 9:26.09
- Athletes who meet these times standards will be permitted to enter the Open Water National Championships.
I want to congratulate my friend and fellow Point swimmer Ruth-Anne on completing the Ironman Cozumel in 16 hours 46 minutes. As an orthopedically challenged swim specialist, I can’t even begin to imagine tackling a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon run… after a 2.4-mile swim.
We open water swimmers occasionally rag on our tri friends for their neoprene fixation, but Ironmen and women are a special breed of endurance athlete. Not to mention, Ruth-Anne continued swimming in Lake Michigan sans-wetsuit through mid-November – longer than me by over a month.
Her triumph in the face of adversity (16 hours 46 minutes!) is captured in a wonderful blog post.…
Gertrude Ederle was one of the greatest swimmers of her time, and a founding queen of marathon swimming. In 1926, she was the first woman to cross the English Channel, in 14 hours 39 minutes – almost 2 hours faster than any man had done it. This feat earned her a ticker-tape parade in New York City, her hometown.
I’ve been reading Penny Lee Dean‘s wonderful history of Catalina Channel swimming, in which Ederle makes a notable appearance. Though Ederle never attempted a Catalina swim, the first successful crossing (in 1927) was directly inspired by her success in the English Channel.
William Wrigley, Jr. (of Wrigley chewing gum), seeing an opportunity to promote tourism on Catalina Island (in which he owned a controlling interest), offered Ederle $10,000 to become the first person to swim across the channel between Avalon and the San Pedro peninsula.…