The Barkley Marathons

JenAJenA Charter Member
edited April 2016 in General Discussion

I just heard about the Barkley Marathons for the first time, and despite the 98% failure rate, it sounds pretty epic. :-) I wish we had something in this spirit for marathon swimming, although I'm not sure exactly how that would work... But maybe this posting will spark someone's creativity... :-)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barkley_Marathons
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/sports/the-barkley-marathons-few-know-how-to-enter-fewer-finish.html
http://rw.runnersworld.com/selects/notorious.html

Notable details:
- 100 (some say 130) miles over 60 hours
- $1.60 entry fee
- no website, or public explanation of how to enter
- only 40 runners per year; includes a "sacrificial virgin" who is selected based on their expected inability to finish the event (how's that for a psychological thorn?)
- when you are accepted, you receive a "letter of condolences"
- you aren't given the event date until after you are accepted
- participants aren't given a start time, just a 12-hour window. The race director blows a conch shell to signal that the participants have one hour to get ready.
- the course is not marked, you're not allowed to use a GPS, and the course instructions include gems such as: “Look down. See that brier-choked, steep hillside? That is the Zip Line Trail. Go down, and bear only a little to the left.”
- the elevation gain (and loss) is double Mount Everest
- the race director plays "Taps" on a bugle for those that DNF
- oh and then there's the 98% failure rate...

tortugaJaimie
«1

Comments

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    edited April 2016

    I think you mean "Barkley"

    And no, it does not sound fun, you crazy woman! ;)

    JenA
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    JenA said: I wish we had something in this spirit for marathon swimming, although I'm not sure exactly how that would work... But maybe this posting will spark someone's creativity... :-)

    Notable details:
    - 100 (some say 130) miles over 60 hours
    - $1.60 entry fee
    - no website, or public explanation of how to enter
    - only 40 runners per year; includes a "sacrificial virgin" who is selected based on their expected inability to finish the event (how's that for a psychological thorn?)
    - when you are accepted, you receive a "letter of condolences"
    - you aren't given the event date until after you are accepted
    - participants aren't given a start time, just a 12-hour window. The race director blows a conch shell to signal that the participants have one hour to get ready.
    - the course is not marked, you're not allowed to use a GPS, and the course instructions include gems such as: “Look down. See that brier-choked, steep hillside? That is the Zip Line Trail. Go down, and bear only a little to the left.”
    - the elevation gain (and loss) is double Mount Everest
    - the race director plays "Taps" on a bugle for those that DNF
    - oh and then there's the 98% failure rate...

    We have Suzie's 24-hour relay. Slightly less sadistic and a little more straightforward with logistics, but no less an adventure. You never know when Noah's ark is going to show up and drop off the animals or when we'll be instructed to reduce the course to the buoy line. And it's wicked easy to swim directly into a boat in the middle of the night. That's like fording a brier patch, right?

    JenATMcQueen

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar... https://elaine-howley.squarespace.com/

  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USMember

    Netflix has a documentary on the 2012 running. Very, very engaging to watch. I'm not sure if the organizer is a genius or just a nut. Mostly the former, a sprinkling of the latter, I think.

    JenA

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    What about a "staged" circumnavigation swim following the 80-mile Flathead Lake Marine Trail in northwest Montana (USA)?

    Flathead Lake is the largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi, and there's an actual marine trail with designated camping spots along the way for "non-motorized" campers.

    flowswimmers.com/FlatheadLakeMarineTrail.pdf

    Are you thinking about an actual race or just an accomplishment @JenA?

    ssthomasmjstaplesJenAIronMiketortugaJaimieTMcQueen
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    @FlowSwimmers ...ooooh!! That sounds like a FAbuLOUS way to spend some time.....

    FlowSwimmersTMcQueen

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    If you organized something like that, @flowswimmers, I'd come. :-)

    I'm envisioning a multi-day, self-supported swim. We have to pull our own feeds with us. No support boats, no GPS. Maybe we do have to carry a radio with us, just in case we need out of the water or to be rescued. I suppose there has to be _some _type of safety consideration. Only camping the day before.

    I was reading about the Barkley race the other day- they do stay awake for like 60 hours if they finish. If I recall, there were 4 loops. Most people just did one or two, and I think one person finished this year. The cut off times are designed so that only the best can barely make them, and there's no wiggle room for errors.

    Sounds like a good adventure in the water, if you ask me!

    JenArosemarymintFlowSwimmersSolosuziedodsTMcQueen
  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember

    @flowswimmers.....that sounds awesome!!

    FlowSwimmers
  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    @FlowSwimmers said: Are you thinking about an actual race or just an accomplishment @JenA?

    Oh, heck no. I'm not a race-y type marathon swimmer. :) I'm a diesel. :)

    The Barkley Marathons (thanks for the correction @IronMike) officially have five loops, but there's a three loop (60-mile) "fun run". I'm probably better suited to that level of participation. :)

    With the way the routes ping back and forth across Flathead Lake, I bet someone could conjure a series of routes so that diesel swimmers like me can make it to the same campsite as sprint-y swimmers in about the same amount of time... :D

    Wow, and these pictures look amazing! :O

    FlowSwimmers
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    "I'm envisioning a multi-day, self-supported swim. We have to pull our own feeds with us. No support boats, no GPS. Maybe we do have to carry a radio with us, just in case we need out of the water or to be rescued. I suppose there has to be _some _type of safety consideration. Only camping the day before."___

    When you say "self supported," @ssthomas, are you still thinking of a kayak supporter for each swimmer or when by "pulling your own feeds" are you thinking of one of those dry bags (which are pretty cool)?

    I could imagine several options...even a kayaker/swimmer relay team and the kayak loaded with camping equipment, food, etc. We could re-stock in a couple of locations around the lake if necessary.

    If there's REAL interest out there, I know I could pull it off.

    mjstaplesJenAssthomassuziedodsIronMike
  • JenAJenA Charter Member

    The PDF map noted that "fog frequently restricts visibility". @FlowSwimmers, do you know if this is a seasonal phenomenon? Fog could make non-GPS navigation impossible, and could create real safety issues.

    This page http://flbs.umt.edu/lake/weather.aspx notes that the lake's water level varies between 2,883 and 2,893 feet (879 and 882 m) above sea level. Elevation. Perfect. :D That page also shows water temperatures in four areas of the lake, and they differ by 9oF. I imagine the lake is deep enough for upwelling? Mmm. Average depth of 50 meters and maximum depth of 113m. Adds the potential for a touch of drama.

    I don't immediately see a way to access the water temperature beyond the past week, though.

    I could see a scenario where a kayak would follow a swimmer, for safety.

    FlowSwimmers
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    The fog, @JenA, is not an issue in the summer. It's a regular winter occurrence.

    The lake level is lowered nine feet during the winter months as a precaution against spring floods and potential ice dams. The current level is 2884, and they've just started bringing it up. They are obligated to "full pool" (that's really the term they use) by June 15th. They start to draw it down in mid-October.

    As far as I know, they don't have a historical water temperature website. Right now, the only buoy with a thermometer in the water is at Yellow Bay. The other buoys are "dry" and do not reach the water level this time of year, so you'll find that the water temperature and the air temperature on those buoys to be identical or very close.

    Typical water temps are 50s in May, 60s in June, 70s in July and August, then down again in September. Last year, it was unseasonably warm, nearly reaching 80 around the Fourth of July (as @ssthomas can attest). However, due to the depth of the lake, a strong wind event will impact the water temperature; sometimes significantly.

    In July of 2014, I swam a 10K on a Saturday morning in 72-degree water. The wind picked up in the afternoon, continuing overnight and into Sunday morning. When I returned to the same location mid-day on Sunday, the water temperature had dropped to 54-degrees!

    My biggest concern would be wind and the potential of thunderstorms. It's a HUGE lake, and it can become like the ocean with big swells very quickly. There are many times when I would not want to be a swimmer, kayaker, or motor-boater out in the middle of the lake...kite surfer or sailor, for sure!

    Thunderstorms are not as regular as they are in places like Colorado, as we are too far north to be path of the summer's monsoon moisture. But, they still happen.

    However, even on windy days, there are plenty of spots to hide in a protected bay or on the leeward side of an island.

  • JbetleyJbetley UKMember

    How about a round-Catalina, independent staged swim adventure?

    evmo
  • ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member

    I heard a rumour that the Copper Coast Champion of Champions is being done in reverse order this year: 1 mile, then 3 then 5, Something about it being too easy.....

    suziedodsloneswimmer
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    @Flowswimmers: I was thinking of having swimmers pull their own feeds in one of those dry bags. I do that sometimes in our lakes up here and can self-support for 6 hours, easily. There would need to be check in points where we could resupply along the way. I'd envision NOT having kayakers. :-)

    I'm wondering if there is a way to make big loops in the north part of Flathead, where there is less boat traffic. You could station a pontoon boat in the middle of the lake to help with navigation and then designate a point on the other side to check in as well, that way there would be some tracking of the swimmers. Or maybe we just stick a GPS/spot tracker on the swimmers so crew on the shore always know where we're at, even if we don't?

    If you stuck with the theme of the Barklay race, you'd need 5 loops. I'd think 50-60 miles total would be a pretty challenging swim- not many people would want to or be able to do that. So, 5 x 10ish mile loops. Cut off time for 10 mile loops at like 6 hours each?

    If you did this, I'd be there. :-)

    suziedodsKate_Alexander
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    Uhm.. mosquitoes? Bears? Pike? ( @KarenT ). BUT!! I think it sounds like just what the doctor ordered !! Just don't do it the same day as BLS... @FlowSwimmers ..I think you have a project for this weekend!

    ssthomas

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    @suziedods I love the way you think I would be more freaked out by a pike than a bear!!

    suziedodsjendutrosemarymint
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    @suziedods: Craig and I spent like 13 hours or so in Flathead last summer... didn't see any bears, mosquitoes or pike. It's quite a lovely place to go swimming.

    suziedodsFlowSwimmers
  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember

    I would love something like this! I'd never make a 6 hour cut off on each loop though :(

    suziedodsIronMikeFlowSwimmers
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    no website, or public explanation of how to enter - you aren't given the event date until after you are accepted - participants aren't given a start time, just a 12-hour window. The race director blows a conch shell to signal that the participants have one hour to get ready.>

    Reading that again... does he work for MIMS???

    NiekJenA

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    mjstaples said: I would love something like this! I'd never make a 6 hour cut off on each loop though :(

    Just suggestions/brain storming!!!

    FlowSwimmers
  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    @ssthomas said: Just suggestions/brain storming!!!

    Brainstorming is good! There are so many ways to slice and dice a challenge like this. The key hurdle could be, for example, water temperature instead of speed. Or it could be a combination of the two.

    I like the idea of the challenge being brutal (hehe), but also allowing a reasonably determined swimmer to (partially?) participate at their own ability level. Cutoffs could be a percent of a 1500 time, which would give everyone their own personal challenge.

    I should be clear: despite proposing the idea, I'm not a candidate for succeeding at 60 mile swim. :-) I'm more a candidate for attempting something super challenging, and then sharing a bottle of wine with my fellow drop-outs. :-)

    Maybe it could be a combination of brutal standards and some sort of social event for the 98%. Or social stuff intermixed with the swimming. The stage swimming would facilitate this nicely. Or, or, or... :) Maybe we have underwater glowing buoys to find and they have clues attached to them, so it's a swimmer's version of The Amazing Race, but in a lake. :) Maybe you can work as teams? Hehe. So many possibilities!

    FlowSwimmersrosemarymintgrappledunk
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    Swim-geocaching?

    Kate_Alexanderswimdaily
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    @FlowSwimmers this is quite serendipitous. I have been working on some plans for what I have been calling "expeditionary" swims. Solo, unsupported swims. Swims where the swimmer (e.g., me) would carry all supplies necessary for a multi-day (or multi-week) "expeditions". The idea would be like hiking the PCT, except swimming. Carrying 3-5 days of consumables with re-stocking stashes for swims longer than 5 days. I have a wake surf board (like a surf board, only much shorter) that I've re-purposed as a swim sled. I've got it to where it can hold enough for about 5 days (including a bivvy bag, stove, food, clothes, sat phone, first aid, flag, among others) without too much drag. I've mapped out a few lakes to experiment on. Haven't tried it out on rough water, yet.

    I had been working up some plans/sketches on a few lakes/rivers/island chains last fall when I saw your post about Driven. I clicked on your link and saw that beautiful lake and immediately identified it as well-suited lake for this sort of thing (reasonable circumference, accessible camping at reasonable distances). Then I saw the marine trail! I'd never even heard of one of those.

    Not only am I interested in what you are proposing, I actually put together a map for your lake several months ago! I had been meaning to reach out to you to see if you thought it was a doable plan. Here is a link to my map Each campsite appears to have public access camping. There is a big gap in the NW corner where I could not find camping. But it seems quite reasonable: 9-13 miles of swimming per day. 5 days swimming, 4 nights camping.

    I've been searching around for the last year to see if this was a "thing" and have not been able to find anything like it. Good to see I'm perhaps not alone...

    tortugaJenAFlowSwimmersKate_AlexanderSydneD

    "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..."

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    edited April 2016

    Alternatively, you could do the flathead swim much like a 24-hour ROGAINE.

    Everyone could have a campsite on one side of the lake, and you could have various controls around the lake. Swimmers go to as many controls as they can, punch a card (that they carry in their dry bag) to prove they've been there, then go on to the next control. Each control could have varying point values based on how hard it is to get to it. You can always return to the camp site to recharge (food, sleep...it's called a hash house in Rogaining). Then, like in a Rogaine, you lose penalty points based on checking in late at the end.

    Each swimmer could have a map of the lake (properly printed on water-proof paper and put in a plastic bag attached to the dry bag, of course) so s/he knows where the points are. You could throw some flip-flops in the dry bag (along with a spot tracker and emergency radio/phone) in case some of the points are on land. We could designate a standard, like the control can be no farther than X-meters from the water.

    Traditional Rogaines will have 4-, 6-, 8-, 12- or 24-hour races, and most are done in teams. I envision a swim rogaine offering shorter versions, too. And how about pairs? That could be challenging. One swimmer could wear "water shoes" and be the one to exit the water to punch the control card. (Hell, some controls could not require exiting the water, like maybe hanging from a tree? Then you gotta figure out how to get your dry bag open safely!) One could be the navigator. We can have a rule that as long as the pairs are in the water, they must be within X-meters of each other.

    Safety-wise, we could have kayakers roaming the lake with radios, doing random check-ins of swimmers/teams. Also we should require lights and maybe kayak escorts at night, or more simply just hold a 12-hour (or 18 in some latitudes?) to keep the swimmers out only while the sun is up.

    Damn, I beginning to like the idea...I may have to start researching this.

    This idea of mine is, of course, entirely different from the Barkley thing that @JenA brought up, but I think it would be enjoyable.

    If the Flat Head idea becomes reality, I'd definitely be interested, although I'd not be able to hit the 6-hour time limit for the 10-mile loop.

    (You know, there was a thing called "swim orienteering" or smthg like that on the DNOWS some years ago. Not sure it ever went anywhere, but sounded fun.)

    JenAFlowSwimmersSarah4140
  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USMember

    In the Barkley there are paperbacks (in plastic bags) at various points on the course. Each loop every participant gets a new number, and that's the page they tear from each book on that loop. At the yellow gate (start/finish point) everyone pulls out their pages for verification that they did the full course. The pages are given back as souvenirs.

    I do like the "punch" idea - elegant.

    @IronMike It's cool that in Rogaining they use the term "hash house". I had been wondering recently if it was possible to do a Hash House Harriers kind of OW swim. On land it's a great way to have a group run with people of widely varying running speeds. And it's a crazy fun...

    IronMike

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    Tearing pages out of books? What uncivilised horror is this?

    ssthomasmjstaplessuziedodstortugaNiekKate_AlexandertimsrootevmorosemarymintSydneD
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    @ssthomas What would you think about a shorter loop (2.5-miles) or a figure-8 around a couple of islands in middle of Flathead Lake? Swimmers (relays) could complete as many laps as they possible during the given time period (Summer Solstice -- 5:38am to 9:38pm).

    When a swimmer drops, he/she would never be too far from the starting location, and as @JenA suggested, there could be a "social gathering" at the start-finish point while other swimmers continued on.

    It would be much more manageable "safety-wise," and the random boat traffic could be controlled; even though there's not much on this lake.

    @Spacemanspiff Your expedition would be totally doable on Flathead Lake. I would certainly be concerned about random boat traffic: While Flathead Lake is not very busy, boaters would never expect nor be on the lookout for random swimmers.

    If you're serious about doing this sometime soon, let me know. I've been considering this staged swim myself, but thought it would be more fun to do it with someone...and, I would add our pontoon boat to the mix which would allow for additional camping options and safety. Here's how I had mapped out my expedition following the "Flathead Lake Marine Trail", but I might go in reverse order to take advantage of any currents.

    DAY ONE: Polson -Finley Point-Bird Island-Yellow Bay = 14.5 miles DAY TWO: Yellow Bay to Woods Bay = 10 miles DAY THREE: Woods Bay-Big Fork-Somers = 12 miles DAY FOUR: Somers-Lakeside-West Shore = 10.5 miles DAY FIVE: West Shore-Cedar Island- Big Arm = 9 miles DAY SIX: Big Arm to Bird Island = 11 miles DAY SEVEN: Bird Island-Finley Point-Polson = 8.5 miles TOTAL DISTANCE: 80 MILES

    Ultimately, Flathead Lake would be great spot for something like this. It's a big lake with lots of potential and not too much boat traffic. There are great camping spots all over.

    Increased adventure = increased risk

    suziedodsmjstaplesJenATMcQueenSarah4140
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    Tearing pages out of books? What uncivilised horror is this?

    They ARE runners....

    KarenTNiekrosemarymint

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    Sorry for the double post... but how can we/you incorporate the reservation into this? There are just sooo many possibilities!

    FlowSwimmers

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    @suziedods said: Sorry for the double post... but how can we/you incorporate the reservation into this? There are just sooo many possibilities!

    How do you mean...What are you thinking?

  • tortugatortuga Senior Member

    suziedods said:

    Tearing pages out of books? What uncivilised horror is this?

    They ARE runners....

    I resemble that remark

    suziedods
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    That's really amazing.

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    This whole thread may have to be split off into another one! So many fun ideas in here.

    Years ago...ok, decades ago, I really loved running, and always preferred running long and slow. I never cared about winning anything, I just liked going and going, racing against myself.

    I had read about 6-day runs, where some crazy ultra runners (they werent' called that then) would camp out somewhere and run incredibly long (20-ish mile) loops for days and days. I was in awe, and always wanted to do one.

    Then my knees went to sh!t and I became an adult onset swimmer.

    But these ideas we're discussing here are intriguing. I had an idea for a 24-hour (à la La Tuque or now @suziedods' 24-hour relay) swim in the Potomac around Roosevelt Island. Discussing the idea with the organizations in town that arrange triathlons and open water swims, we came to the conclusion that it would be impossible to arrange, what with the high cost of permits compared to probably the low number of folks who would sign up for such an event.

    I have hopes that these swims we're discussing here, whether expeditions, relays, rogaine (I'm not giving up on that idea), or what have you, do come to fruition. If I can manage it, I'll be there.

    FlowSwimmersJenA
  • timsroottimsroot Charter Member

    JSwim said: Netflix has a documentary on the 2012 running. Very, very engaging to watch. I'm not sure if the organizer is a genius or just a nut. Mostly the former, a sprinkling of the latter, I think.

    By all accounts that I've heard from people who have met the guy, Laz (real name Gary Cantrell) is a great person. Smart, personable, and engaging. With a little bit of backwoods craziness.

    gregocsuziedods
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited April 2016

    The 2015 race (for those without Netflix like myself).

    JenAAnthonyMcCarleyFlowSwimmersMvGsuziedods

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • JenAJenA Charter Member

    It occurs to me: although swimmers don't have hills to climb, we do have tides to face. If the geography were carefully selected, we could have an event where speedy swimmers consistently battled the tides, but slow swimmers would eventually stop battling the tides and receive tide assistance.

    Here's what I mean: Say you had two points along a tidally-influenced river: A and B. All swimmers would start at the same time, and would start out swimming against the tide. Fast swimmers would swim from A to B one tidal cycle, reaching point B at slack water. They'd then turn around and head back, facing the tide again. They'd always be swimming against the tide.

    A course like this would really benefit slower swimmers. They'd be part-way between A and B by slack water, but the tide would reverse, and would push the slower swimmers to the turn-arround point. For example, a slower swimmer might be fighting the tide for 6 hours, and getting pushed for 1 hour. The beauty is this: on the return loop, they'd already be an hour into the second tide cycle. They might swim against the tide for 5 hours, hit slack water, and then get, say, 2 hours* worth of push. On the third lap, they'd fight the tide for 4 hours, and get 3 hours* worth of push.

    The slower you are as a swimmer, the easier the swim you'd have. :) It would be an interesting way to keep speedy and slower swimmers together. You'd just have to set the turn-around point so that the fastest swimmer hits it at slack water.

    *Yes, I know these numbers are inaccurate because tides strength is sinusoidal, not linear. I'm just trying to create an understandable example. :)

    FlowSwimmersKate_Alexanderrosemarymintj9swim
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    timsroot said:

    JSwim said: Netflix has a documentary on the 2012 running. Very, very engaging to watch. I'm not sure if the organizer is a genius or just a nut. Mostly the former, a sprinkling of the latter, I think.

    By all accounts that I've heard from people who have met the guy, Laz (real name Gary Cantrell) is a great person. Smart, personable, and engaging. With a little bit of backwoods craziness.

    I have met Laz. He is kind of a chain smoking hippie. A lot like @Fil if @Fil smoked. He is a bit of a nut but very caring and always concerned for the runners which seems to contradict the fact that he came up with these sadistic events.

    JSwimtortugasuziedodstimsroot
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited April 2016

    I watched The Barkley Marathons documentary on Netflix last night... what a wonderful film! So well-made and engaging, with a hilarious cast of characters.

    I think I may like the ultrarunning culture more than its swimming equivalent... seemingly much less of the narcissistic self-promotional "Woo-hoo!"ing that's so prevalent in marathon swimming these days. Everybody was in it together. The ones who failed became the de-facto support crew of the ones who survived.

    One quote from Laz stuck with me:

    "You can't really tell how much you can do, until you try to do something that's more."

    gregoctortugaJenAslknightmjstaplesJSwimMvGSpacemanspiffTheosuziedodstimsrootSydneD
  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    Ideas keep coming to me. :) It would be hilarious to have a 0km swim. You could drop people off somewhere in a wicked tide, watch them get dragged "backward" until the tide slackened, and then make the finish line the start line. It wouldn't quite be a loop swim -- each swimmer would end up taking different amounts of time, and doing a different amount of distance. The tide would turn, and the slower swimmers would get pushed to the finish line, receiving some/far more assistance compared to the speedy swimmers.

    To @evmo's point, I think it would really knock down "woo-hoo"ing, and make for some hilarious conversation. You wouldn't know how far anyone swam -- only that the slower swimmers got more of a boost than the faster ones. Distance would be meaningless -- officially, the slower you are, the more you'd swim. :-) Even time would be fairly meaningless, since different swimmers would receive different amounts of assistance. It would still be a challenging event, though.

    Kelliedc_in_sfIronMikeJSwimrosemarymintKate_Alexander
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    JenA said: It would be hilarious to have a 0km swim.

    I'm in!

    rosemarymintJenA
  • MvGMvG Brussels (BE) and Lith (NL)Charter Member

    A Barkley Swim: this thing has @neddenison written all over it.

    NiekJenArosemarymint
  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Ventnor, NJCharter Member
    edited April 2016

    IronMike said:

    JenA said: It would be hilarious to have a 0km swim.

    I'm in!

    Me too. This sounds awesome, though I'm sure I'd end up swimming the longest because I'm so darn slow!!

    JenA
  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    @rosemarymint said: Me too. This sounds awesome, though I'm sure I'd end up swimming the longest because I'm so darn slow!!

    Hmm. Well, people could also have different jumping in periods. If you waited an extra hour, the tide would slow down, and then you wouldn't be swimming as far. You'd face less backward tide, and more forward tide. You could possibly finish ahead of others that way. It could be more of a fun race.

    Hmm. Maybe everyone could have staggered starts based on their 1500 times so that, if everyone performed as expected, everyone would be racing toward the start/finish line at the exact same time. Wow, now that would be a blast! A 0km swim where everyone should finish at the same time. I find this idea so hilarious. :D Additionally, an event like this would literally be open to everyone. Even if you could only swim 200 meters, you could still participate and come in at the same time as everyone else.

    It would be such good training too. Everyone would probably be all-out sprinting at the end of the swim. You'd be trying to pass literally everyone. :-) At the same time, too!

    There is good math to be done here. :-) @Leonard_Jansen?

    rosemarymint
  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Ventnor, NJCharter Member

    I think this needs to happen @jenA!!

    JenA
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    I imagine us all holding on to a line at the "start" and then at the horn we all let go. Maybe then, as we're all drifting backwards, the race director, on a follow boat tells each person when they can start based on their expected finish/1500 time. So the fast guys will have to wait and drift way, way back, while @rosemarymint and I get to start much earlier.

    JenArosemarymintsuziedodsKate_Alexander
  • JenAJenA Charter Member

    I like that, @IronMike. That way, everyone should spend the same amount of time in the water.

    rosemarymintIronMike
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    OMG, doesn't cover it but wowza. I love him, the event & the people.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited April 2016

    What are your ideas for replicating it in the swimming world, @suziedods? :)

    suziedods
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    edited April 2016

    OK, was bored today and came up with some ideas.

    1) Ride & tie: This is an event where two people share one horse. But only one person can be on the horse at a time. The pair complete a course 20-100 miles long. One person starts on the horse, goes a certain distance, ties the horse to a tree and starts running. The partner runs till s/he gets to the horse, then unties the horse and rides. So, my idea: Do the same, but with one kayak and two swimmers.

    2) Pentathlon. OK, I know there is a pool version of pentathlon, but hear me out. In Modern Pentathlon, in the final event (running and shooting), competitors start based on their point standing up to that event. If you're 10 points behind the leader, you start 10 seconds behind him/her in the run. That way, whoever crosses the finish line first is the overall winner. No need to wait around for the times to be figured out. So, my idea: Have four events in the pool (maybe, 50, 200, 500, 1000 free) and give a point per second (lower better, of course). Then follow that up with a 5K open water. (10K?) In each age group, the competitors start one second behind the leader for every second they are behind the leader. Then, the first person per age group that crosses the line is the overall winner.

    3) Swimming with obstacles. The Red Bull Neptune thing that went around recently, along with the swimming leg of the military pentathlon, led me to think about this. How about a 5K swim of 5 x 1000m laps. But each lap has a few obstacles that you must go through. For instance, there can be a pier where you have to climb out of the water, climb over a wall, then dive back in and continue. Each obstacle could have a small "penalty lap" of, say, 50m, in case the swimmer can't complete the obstacle or doesn't want to do the obstacle (too tired?). This concept could also work with teams. Then you can have more difficult obstacles that require teamwork, and subsequently the penalty lap could be longer, or perhaps require the team members to go thru the penalty lap one at a time.

    JenAtimsrootKate_Alexander
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