What Happens At A FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup?

What Happens At A FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup?

The second leg of the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup series (Copa Mundial de Natación FINA Maratón 10 km) will be held in Cancún, Mexico this Saturday, April 30th.

What happens when 76 top professional marathon swimming stars get together? Open Water Source will take you behind the scenes for a closer look.

The swimmers and their coaches are greeted at the airport by the local organizing committee and taken to the BeLiveHotel Viva Beach where their ocean-view rooms face the torquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. The local staff, so eager to please the superstars of the sport, handle their luggage and answer their questions.

As the athletes whiz through the check-in procedure, they frequently pour out to the shoreline and gaze upon their competition venue. Right outside the hotel, they can train and check out the conditions in which they will battle others from around the world including world champions, Olympic medalists, Olympic finalists, World Cup champions and Grand Prix champions.

The world the athletes live in is small. They compete against their foreign competitors, but they all understand the world in which they live, train and compete. So smiles, handshakes and hugs are ubiquitous when the athletes meet in the lobby, the shoreline and the dining areas.

Throughout the day, scenes where Yuri Kudinov (Kazakhztan) swim with his competitors from Valerio Cleri (Italy) and Sergiy Fesenko (Azerbaijan) to Thomas Lurz (Germany) and Mark Warkentin (USA). Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) and her husband/coach stroll the shoreline talking, strategizing and enjoying the lifestyle of a professional marathon swimmer. Swann Oberson (Switzerland) looks at the conditions and wonders what it will be like on race day. The athletes are also transported to a swimming pool in the morning in order to get their speed training in.

The athletes eat an enormously plentiful buffet where all kinds of main dishes, salads, pastas, fruits, vegetables, breads, tropical juices, drinks and desserts are laid out for them. Despite coming from all over the world on five different continents, their telltale goggle tan lines, need to constantly stretch and swing their arms and sunny disposition link them together.

The athletes swim in the ocean at any time of their convenience and in the pool at designated times when escorted by the local organizing committee. Quietly but surely, they check out their competitors, but are almost always smiling and enjoying mutually sincere and obviously friendly conversations. They all share a common bond and camaraderie that is evident to all as they taper to race day.

While the athletes train, talk and relax, the organizing committee confirms with the FINA Delegates about the race course, pre-race technical meeting, race information to the athletes and positioning and number of the safety personnel onshore and on the water. Details like media relations and the location of the awards ceremony have been in place for months.

Open Water Source will provide tweets and updates throughout the pre-race activities and during the 10K race from Cancún. Stay tuned!

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones