Coming Up Short In A Long River

Coming Up Short In A Long River

In certainly the longest, gutiest race of the year, Damián Blaum dramatically out-touched Alexander Studzinski after an exhausting 8 hour and 23 battle down the Paraná River at the 88K Maratón Hernandarias-Paraná, a FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix race in Argentina.

Alexander shared his thoughts on finishing a very close second in the longest competitive race in the world, “The race started at 10 am under really hot weather. It was 44°C (111°F) during the middle of the race – without clouds and a really strong sun.”

After 90 minutes, Damián was 60 meters ahead of the group. I decided to catch up to him because no one else wanted to do the work. So I caught him within 10 minutes. Then, nothing happened for the next 3 hours. We were swimming in a very small pack of five swimmers. After 4 hours and 30 minutes, Then Damián and I decided to push hard for 30 minutes. This left only 3 swimmers: Damián, the Italian Rodolfo Valenti and me.”

Due to the strong currents in the river and, due to the fact that you can catch a good current in diffrent spots in the river, the other Italian Andrea Volpini who was almost 200 meters behind us, caught us again after 5 hours and 30 minutes. Volpini was swimming really close to the shore and Damián, Valenti and me were swimming in the middle of the river. But again, Volpini joined our small pack. I decided to push again very hard and then everyone was on his own. I was leading by almost 100 meters in front of Damián. The situation [for the nearly the next 3 hours] was the same until almost 20 minutes to the finish. By then, I was completly dead and Damián was catching up to me. He overtook me with only 200 meters to go. I was very sad after the race because only 2 seconds separated me from first.”

But I will return next year for sure.”

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones