Marcos Diaz, Un Nado Por Las Costas

Marcos Diaz, Un Nado Por Las Costas

Marcos Díaz celebrated International Coastal Cleanup Day with a 22K solo swim from Sosua Beach to the Malecon in Puerto Plata City along the north shore of his home country, the Dominican Republic.

Recently honored as a United Nations Development Program Goodwill Ambassador, Marcos wanted to create something special to do something as goodwill ambassador for the future and not just be recognized because of his marathon swimming feats in the past.

We knew of many National Government Organizations here in Dominican Republic organizing coastal cleanups all around the country for the International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 17th.

So we spoke to United Nations Development Program – Dominican Republic to create a solo swim that reinforces the message on Millenium Development Goal No.7 (Environmental Sustainability) while creating awareness about keeping our ocean and coastlines clean, especially since I live in a country that depends on tourism. Our plan was to promote and participate in the Coastal Cleanups on the 17th and the swim on the 18th

Marcos chose the north shore of the Dominican Republic facing the Atlantic Ocean because there had not been a marathon swim there before because of the large ocean swells, strong currents, winds, and the sea fauna.

The event was called the Marcos Diaz un nado por las Costas (“A Swim for the Coastlines”). “With the use of a Shark Shield, we started at noon and decided to go 2K north in order to take advantage of the waves and strong winds that pushed me towards the finish. It was a very fast swim with some big 2-meter ocean swells and 14-15 knots hitting us in the back for most of the swim. The time was 4 hours 5 minutes 35 seconds, certified by the Dominican Swimming Federation.

The support from the community was incredible, I couldn’t ask for more with hundreds of people packed at the start in the beautiful and calm Sosua Bay. We estimated there were up to 20,000 people along the Malecon in Puerto Plata at the finish. This was a huge number of people to support marathon swimming in our country that is only comparable to a baseball championship game, where baseball is our national sport.

From the standpoint of public awareness, public support, edification of the sport of marathon swimming and open water swimmer’s relationship to our marine environment, the event – as can be expected when Marcos is involved – was an outstanding success. “There was a lot of media attention. Every newspaper in the country had the event on its first page. We were pleased to be able to make this swim happen.”

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones