Thunderous Replay Of The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

Thunderous Replay Of The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

Television replays and archived videos of sporting events are the norm around the world.

But online race replays of open water swims are just beginning … and animated replays are really cool to analyze and view in fast motion. The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim is at the forefront of providing the real-time positions of its competitors online. Its distance (24 miles) and elapsed time are ideal for an online replay (shown here).

But with open water races throughout Florida being affected (from the Swim Miami race on the east coast of Florida to the 24-miler in Tampa Bay), no one wants to replay the actual weather conditions from yesterday. With heavy rains, winds and thunderstorms, open water swimmers simply ran out of luck today throughout Florida. The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim officially ended at 1:32 pm, 6½ hours after the 7 am start when race director Ron Collins and the swimmers knew there was a strong chance of thunderstorms.

Commentator Evan Morrison, who won last year’s event, summed up the race, “Much sympathy for the swimmers, but safety always comes first. Last ordering was, I believe: (1) Sarah Thomas [29 of Englewood, Colorado, USA], (2) Mauro Giaconia [40 of Palermo, Italy, shown above in the turbulence], (3) Chris Burke [50 of St. Petersburg, Florida], (4) Patti Bauernfeind [44 of Dublin, California], and (5) Mark Smitherman [54 of Clearwater, Florida].”

A massive storm had been brewing and was forecasted to hit around 2 pm,” Patti Bauernfeind described about the race from the swimmer’s perspective. “It did. There was a small craft advisory and everyone sought ‘safe harbor’. Tampa is notorious for lightening, so it was a huge concern. It settled down hours later. Everyone got back safely by late afternoon. I enjoyed swimming in Tampa Bay since it was very overcast from the start. We had the benefit of a flood tide, the wind and rollers from the southwest…[but] that is where the storm came from.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones