Long Distance Swimming: March 2017

Advanced Open Water Swim Clinic, featuring Olympian & World Champion Alex Meyer
At Juniper Swim & Fitness Center in Bend, Oregon – May 20, 2017

By Bob Bruce

Due to great venues, awesome events, hospitable hosts, and strong bidding, USMS has awarded Oregon teams two open water national championship swims in 2017 and three in 2018.  No LMSC has ever received such a large bounty in such a short time period!  Here’s the list of these championships for your planning pleasure:

  • The Two-Mile Cable Swim at the Foster Lakes Cable swims on June 24, 2017
  • The Five-Kilometer Open Water Swim at the Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival at Elk Lake on July 31, 2017
  • The Eleven-mile Open Water Swim at the Portland Bridge Swim on July 8, 2018
  • The Two-Mile Cable Swim at the Foster Lakes Cable swims on July 12, 2018
  • The Ten-Kilometer Open Water Swim at Applegate Lake on July 14, 2018

And expanding our horizon slightly, we note that our neighbors in Washington are also hosting the One-Mile Open Water National Championships at Angle Lake (near SeaTac airport) on September 23, 2017.  That makes THREE USMS national championship swims close to us in each of the next two years!  What an opportunity for national participation and glory!

To help prepare us for this exciting but challenging racing gauntlet, COMA will host an Advanced Open Water Clinic along with the annual pool open water swim in Lake Juniper.  This clinic will feature Alex Meyer, Olympian, World Champion, and long-time member of the U.S. National Open Water Team.  COMA Coach Bob Bruce will assist.  This will be an outstanding learning opportunity and value!

Alex started his youth swimming career in upstate New York, where he won state high school titles in the 500 free as a junior and senior.  At Harvard College, he was team captain, high point winner, and NCAA All-American in the pool.  He then hit the international open water swim scene, winning the 2010 25-km World Championship, finishing fourth in the 2011 10-km World Championship, placing tenth in the 2012 Olympic 10-km championship, and finishing as runner-up in the 2015 25-km World Championship.

Obviously a great swimmer, Alex is also an outstanding clinician.  He is very well-spoken, easily able to pass on his knowledge and experience to other swimmers.   He has offered many clinics—to unanimous raves—in the past few years.  For ease of instruction and swimmer comfort, Alex prefers to hold his clinics in a 50-meter pool, which we will honor.  Having chatted with Alex, I guarantee that he will teach you some things about open water swimming about which you have never even thought!  And he has even expressed interest in swimming the 1200-meter swim with us in Beautiful Lake Juniper on Sunday morning.

Preliminary Advanced Open Water Swim Clinic short outline:

  • Introductions & clinic framework (pool deck).
  • Basic skills review: swimming straight & navigating (water; breaks as needed)
  • Advanced skills: Pack swimming, drafting, buoy turns, starts, & finishes (water); feeding (discussion).
  • Videos (pool deck).
  • Q & A & poolside wrap-up (pool deck).
  • Social (brew pub to be determined).

Although COMA has yet to set the final clinic schedule, we tentatively plan to meet about 1:45pm on Saturday, May 20, 2017, and go at the pool until 5:00pm or so.  Maybe longer.  The Social will follow shortly thereafter.  Clinic fee will be $80, which will be an extraordinary value for you.  We’ll post the registration form and final details soon, perhaps even before you read this…

Good luck and good swimming!

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