The 1-Hour Swim ePostal Championships is now “Virtual”, and there are club prizes!
The One-Hour Swim? How far can you swim in one hour? It’s the first USMS “Virtual” (formerly “ePostal”) swim each year, done only during the month of January. You can do it in your local 25-yard or 25-meter pool. It’s often the largest stand-alone participation event on the USMS calendar. It’s the oldest of the USMS postal swims, started in 1977. It’s a great team-building exercise. It’s not only a spirited competition, but also an excellent post-holiday, early-in-the-year fitness event suitable for EVERYONE. I repeat: EVERYONE! Did everyone hear me say EVERYONE?
Some Changes in the 1-Hour Virtual Swim: There are four big changes of which you should be aware:
- The name of this category of swims has been changed from “ePostal” (always awkward) to “Virtual” (as I recommended to USMS in 2008, but the world wasn’t ready yet). For full event info & materials, see https://www.usms.org/events/national-championships/virtual-championships/2022-virtual-championships/2022-1-hour-virtual-championship.
- The time window to do the 1-Hour Swim is January. January only! 31 days! That’s it! This is a change from recent years, but a return to the traditional time frame as it was for more than 40 years. I think that this is a good move because it concentrates our focus, always a good thing for us folks. Use the 1-Hour Swim to motivate yourself and your teammates: Get back in the pool after the holidays, work hard to get in shape, and show your fitness improvement with a strong 1-Hour Swim. Perfect!
- Swimmers (a.k.a. YOU) must register for the swim before you submit your performance. Knowing the value of a firm commitment, I registered long ago. You should register today.
- No lollygagging to submit your results. Last day to swim is January 31. Entry deadline for individual 1-Hour Swim entries is February 2, not the 10-day window that we’ve had before.
How have Oregon swimmers and the Oregon Club fared in the past? We’ve done very well recently (including second place in several recent years), but this is one of the few Overall Club Championships that we have never, ever won before! Considering our prominence in the ePostal/Virtual series of the past 20 years, I find this irritatingly short of our potential.
Is a championship run feasible? What about it? We have the pools. We have the swimmers. We have the experience. Do we have the will? Can we do it? Of course…if we want! We rallied to crush the rest of the nation when we hosted the Summer Pool Championships in 2008 and 2016, and we have dominated the other ePostal championships in the past ten years. But I estimate that it will take 400 swims to win this thing. That’s right, 400! Sure, that’s way more than we’ve ever had before. But I live by an annoying motto: “Go big or go home!” Think big! Together, we can do it…if we choose to do it!
Bonus thought: This year, for the first time, USMS promises financial rewards to the top clubs in participation. The Oregon Club—to which many of you belong—is usually one of the leaders in this category, but it’s not guaranteed—you and lots of others need to swim again THIS YEAR in order to earn this cash bonus! And the Oregon Club could always use a little boost in its treasury to fund its projects. So, this funding is up to YOU! Got the hint?
Bonus thought (and ultimately the most important one): The best build-up for a successful spring and summer season is to develop your aerobic swimming capacity early in the year so that you can then do your race training on a solid base. Oh, I should mention that it’s the best build-up for a long and satisfying life too. The 1-Hour Swim is one of the best tools to develop and measure your aerobic capacity. Use it that way!f