Marcia Cleveland is a 55-year-old American open water swimmer from Winnetka, Illinois. She lectures, coaches and provides leadership throughout the United States Masters Swimming community on all aspects of open water swimming, long distance swimming and marathon swimming.
Marcia Cleveland has been swimming fast, coaching extensively, writing descriptively, educating widely, administering selflessly, and inspiring many for decades. In particular, her cumulative time for the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in 24 hours 38 minutes (that includes a 9 hour 44 minute crossing of the English Channel, an 8 hour 56 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel, and a 5 hour 57 minute circumnavigation of Manhattan Island) is the fastest in history. Her year-end completion of the 38.6 km Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in 11 hours 19 minutes gave her the second fastest cumulative time of the Grand Slam of Open Water Swimming, men or women. The 55-year-old coach, author and mentor faced strong headwinds and navigated the 2-foot surface chop in Tampa Bay with the ease and composure of a veteran with several dozens of marathon swims under her cap. For her continued speed that she has maintained into her mid-50’s, for her December 31st attempt as a solo effort on the tidal Tampa Bay rough water course, and for sharing her enthusiasm for the sport despite taking a month to recover from the swim, the Grand Slam of Open Water Swimming by Marcia Cleveland is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
o Meet results for Marcia E Cleveland (77 swims)
o Top Ten achievements (72 individual, 2 relay)
o All American Honors (9 long distance, 2 pool individual swims)
o All-Star Honors (2 long distance honors)
o USMS Awards and Recognition Received:
o 2001 U.S. Masters Swimming Dorothy Donnelly Service Award
o Oral History contribution (Jul 19, 2000) honoring G Harold (Gus) Langner
o USMS SWIMMER magazine contributions and references:
o March / April 2005 Issue: Featured in “Going the Distance”
o May / June 2010 Issue: Featured in “Out in the Open: Marcia Cleveland”
o July / August 2008 Issue: Featured in “Recently Read: “Dover Solo” (2nd Edition)”
o March / April 2006 Issue: Featured in “Hardworking Committee Goes the Distance”
o March / April 2006 Issue: Featured in “Long Distance Postal Series Roundup”
o January / February 2006 Issue: Featured in “USMS Leadership Announces New Committee Chairs”
o November / December 2005 Issue: Featured in “Three Swimmers Cross Catalina Channel Together”
o May / June 2005 Issue: Featured in “Hats Off to Hall of Famers”
o March / April 2005 Issue: Featured in “Long Distance Postal Series Results”
Mark Robson wrote a review of Dover Solo, Swimming The English Channel. “Whenever I am asked my opinion regarding reading matter for open water swimming, I never hesitate to recommend two of my favourite publications one of which is Dover Solo. I first read Dover Solo in 2006, whilst gathering data for open water swimming in particular that relating to the English Channel. Since which time, I have read it numerous times. For me, it is one of the first items I pack when going on a lazy holiday.
The book is well written and in such a fashion that the reader can simply grasp the details of preparing for the Everest of open water swims. Marcia covers everything from her beginnings in the sport, the history of the swim, her needs, fears and inner most thoughts as she begins to set goals on this personal journey.
Whilst the book quickly brings the difficulties of such a challenge into sharp focus, it remains clear that this is in fact just one approach to Swimming The English Channel and not the definitive answer, the reader soon learns that Marcia is a regular person with a whole host of commitments and responsibilities including a full-time occupation.
As the almost diary-like information unfolds, it becomes clear that there is to be no quick fix, she emphasises her belief that the key to potential success is acclimatise acclimatise acclimatise. One is not over burdened with details yet there is sufficient particulars regarding training camps, goals, feeding, body changes, self discipline and psychology to remind any aspirant or indeed accomplished veteran of the task ahead.
The penultimate chapter covers the actual swim in and hour-by-hour account, leaving little if anything to the imagination.
In summary if you are an average man or woman with such a dream, then this book will inspire you to train, prepare and envisage your success. It is not the only book out there but in my opinion it is certainly one of the best, and a must for any marathon swimmers bookshelf.”
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