Expect The Unexpected In Tampa Bay

Expect The Unexpected In Tampa Bay

You just never know.

The mantra of the open water – expect the unexpected – nearly always rings true on the Earth Day marathon swimming extravaganza.

For 16 years, Ron Collins has organized the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim and experienced swimmers from around the world have gathered on the western coast of Florida to challenge themselves to the 24-mile marathon swim. But the conditions and weather are never a given.

This year’s Tampa Bay Marathon Swim was an outlier – an event where a large majority of the field did not finish.

On this year’s race day, we encountered a headwind and a tide that flowed against the swimmers still in the water after 6 pm,” explains Collins. “So, most of the field that withdrew, did so after completing about 2/3’s of the race course as darkness approached.”

Even triple Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett tweeted the conditions got the better of her, “[It was the] biggest challenge of my life…though there isn’t a part of my body that doesn’t feel completely broken, I will conquer more marathon swims.”

As will the other non-finishers in this year’s Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.

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