Roman Urbina's Record Swim In Costa Rica

Roman Urbina’s Record Swim In Costa Rica

Roman Urbina Crespo of La Ruta de Los Conquistadores set a world marathon swimming record 19 years ago in Costa Rica across the Gulf of Nicoya. “I raised awareness for the protection of the leatherback turtle and the creation of a new national park the Baulas Marinas National Park. It was a major splash and many people were moved by the swim and the reason behind it.”

The distance was 25 km which Roman did in a fast 4 hours 24 minutes. “I planned the swim so the outgoing tide helped me.”

But his unprecedented swim – like most other marathon swims around the world – spurred many others to also take up the challenge. “Since then more than 60 people have done the crossing with the current record of 3 hours by Franking Chavarria when he benefited from major tidal flows under perfectly glassy conditions.”

True to Roman’s goal, a park was created and his dream on two fronts was realized. “I like to think I put a few grains of sand towards this. The crossing of the gulf gave me more credibility as an athlete. I also used this as a springboard to start La Ruta de Los Conquistadores.”

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Steven Munatones