Wright On For The Cold Standard

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Harry Wright completed the 10 km Cold Half marathon swim in 2 hours 49 minutes on Saturday, but experienced knee issues during his 3 hour 20 minute Standard Chartered Marathon run on Sunday.

He completed the dual marathon swim and marathon run as part of the last weekend’s Cold Standard race.

It was his second year of just missing qualification for the Sub 3 Squared Club.

The Sub 3 Squared concept first came to mind in 1985 during the Honolulu Marathon. But 10 km marathon swims were not popular in the 1980s so the idea had to wait for the 21st century.

To date, Fran Crippen and Chris Palfrey are the only individuals who have completed a documented 10 km marathon swim and a 42 km marathon run under 3 hours. Crippen did it within one calendar year while Palfrey did it over the course of his career. Many triathletes say the Sub 3 Squared Club does not present a significant challenge – even if they attempt it in one day and even back-to-back. In our opinion, a back-to-back marathon swim and marathon run, both completed under 3 hours, is quite an accomplishment.

If an athlete is an experienced swimmer, it seems attempting the marathon run first might be the better strategic choice. In other words, an experienced open water swimmer can slug through a sub 3 hour swim quite easily – it is basically a warm-down, even in turbulent water. But a sub 3 marathon run for a swimmer is pushing it, especially for those over 35 years old.

In contract, it seems that an experience runner would be better off attempting the marathon swim first. In other words, an experienced marathon runner can cruise to a sub 3 hour run fairly easily, especially if their best time is in the sub-2:40 range. But usually sub-2:40 marathon runners are not capable of swimming 10 km, let alone 10 km without a wetsuit in turbulent or colder open water swimming venues.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones