I started to swim outdoor distances about twenty years ago with fundraisers focused on preventing Breast Cancer and the Provincetown Harbor Swim for life. Eight years ago, I successfully took on the Alcatraz Challenge to celebrate my 50th birthday!
After my Alcatraz experience, I decided to join the Cambridge Masters Swim Club and have been training with them since. Many swimmers with the club who will never leave the pool for open water are hugely supportive of my goal and have put in many extra hours helping me do my long swims indoors.
Outdoors, I swim with the Nahant Knuckleheads and also out of the L Street Bath House in South Boston. As the waters around Boston get too cold (below 50 degrees), I’ve planned trips down south to stay in touch with the open water.
Over the years I have gradually increased my capacity for distance and cold. I have received much help along the way includ Jen Dutton at Wayland Masters, who is an expert distance swimmer herself. My Channel swimming training plan is being designed by Eilis Burns from Cork, Ireland who has helped many swimmers of differing abilities cross the channel. She does this at no charge and only asks for very hard work, no whining and that a charity be supported.
This past year, as I have significantly and steadily increased my swimming distance, I have received invaluable expert strength training from Tad Sayce of Sayco Performance.
Last summer, I attended the Marathon Swim Camp at Sandy Cove in Cork, Ireland. If you haven’t had a chance, please check out the “60 Minute Sports” video that provides information about the sport of marathon swimming. The link is available on the Channel Swim page.
Maura in Boston Harbor on a rough day 2013