What If?  Lexie Kelly

What If? Lexie Kelly

We asked professional marathon swimmer Lexie Kelly from Long Beach, California a series of “What if?” questions.

Here are her answers:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if you saw a shark underneath you at an ocean swim? What would you do?
Lexie Kelly: I would get out immediately and probably have trouble getting back in the ocean for a while.

I usually don’t think about sharks when I swim, especially in a race but there are some days when I have an eerie feeling about them on ocean training days. Of course, I see an accident while driving on the freeway more likely than being attacked by a shark.


Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if you had a half body lead on Pilar Geijo with 100 meters to go in the Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean? What would you do?
Lexie Kelly: If I had a lead on anyone by that amount in a race any distance I would give it my all until the end. That is part of the fun of competing in marathon races.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if someone elbowed you hard without the referee seeing? What would you do?
Lexie Kelly:It happens but its definitely unsportsmanlike. I’d re-position myself in the pack away from that person or if it were just the two of us I’d swim my own line. I don’t see the point of being extremely physical in such long races.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if you were stung by a jellyfish in a race? What would you do?
Lexie Kelly: I would keep going unless it was an unbearable pain.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if Olga Kozydub attempted a breakaway at the 5 km mark in the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean? What would you do?
Lexie Kelly: I would stay in the pack. a breakaway at 5 km in a 32 km distance is quite early to pick up the pace.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if your goggles came off around a turn buoy in a large pack of swimmers? What would you do?
Lexie Kelly: I’ve actually had my cap come off completely in 30 km Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon when the pace was still comfortable. I had to stop completely and remained a consistent 25-30 meters behind the pack putting in a significant amount more effort than when I was in the pack. If my goggles came off around a buoy, I’d probably take a wide turn and have my coach throw me another pair the soonest opportunity possible once I were safely out of the chaos.

Photo of Lexie Kelly in Aquadeus swimwear by Don Le.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association