Learn About Gonzo Swimming with Matthew Moseley and Josiah Middaugh

Learn About Gonzo Swimming with Matthew Moseley and Josiah Middaugh

54-year-old Matthew Moseley completed a first swim down the Green River through Canyonlands National Park in Utah swimming 64.3 km in 14 hours 36 minutes. Moseley brought attention to the ongoing water issues in the American West as he escorted by kayaker Mark Williams, called the Green River Swim.

Moseley and Josiah Middaugh will discuss Moseley’s training program, mental conditioning techniques used for swimming his marathon swims, how to be successful in endurance sports, and how those strategies can also be applied to life on November 4th at 5 pm in the Westin Riverfront’s Gondola Ballroom in Avon, Colorado. Moseley trained in Avon with endurance athlete and coach Middaugh who helped put together a program to ready himself for the unprecedented adventure in June this year.

The presentation is free and open to everyone. Advanced registration is highly recommended, call +1-970-790-2051 to sign up.

On June 27th, Moseley brought media attention and public awareness to the shockingly low flows in the Colorado River Basin. Mosley is co-chair of the Colorado River Basin Council for American Rivers. “American Rivers shot a short documentary film called ‘Silent River’ that I’ll be previewing at the Westin, as well,” Moseley said who was first introduced to the possibility of river swimming 26 years ago by his wife. He remembered the opportunity, “I had been getting back into swimming, I brought my goggles and swim cap, and I was like, oh my god, there’s no lane lines, there’s no clock, there’s no coach. It was very liberating.”

In 2004, Moseley and Glynde Mangum swam 13 miles down the Colorado River from Moab to Potash Point during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Their swim was coined Gonzo swimming by Hunter S. Thompson who referred to their adventure as an open water swimming expedition performed in coordination with music events and festivals.

Moseley realized the potential in using Gonzo swimming to raise awareness for important issues surrounding water in seas, rivers, and lakes. He says both he and his wife view water as the most critical issue of this generation. His wife, Kristin Moseley, is a water attorney for the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.  “With water in the West, there’s a new normal now,” he said. “What do we do, and how do we create strategies to manage the river better, to collaborate about the uses of it, and what are the appropriate uses?

After swimming the Colorado River to its confluence with the Green River in 2015, Moseley made casual plans to swim the other side of the V-shape made by that confluence — the Green River to the Colorado River through Canyonlands, but he never got around to training for it. Then, he met Middaugh in the summer of 2020. He started his cold water acclimatization process in Colorado’s Horse Tooth Reservoir, literally stroke by stroke. He started with 5-minute training sessions, then increased his time-in-water to 12 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, etc.

Listen and learn about training for Matthew Moseley’s Green River Challenge on November 4th.
Matthew Moseley between St. John and St. Thomas in the Caribbean Sea on another marine awareness swim in the sea to compliment his river swims and lake swims.

Pete McBride/Courtesy photo

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Steven Munatones