These are a few of my favorite OWS blogs. 14 of them, for 2013. Because I couldn’t choose just 13. They are listed in order of when I first added the RSS feed to my Google Reader (oldest to newest):
1. Rob Aquatics
Rob D. is the godfather of open water swim-blogging, known for his comical prose stylings, his GoPro ninja skills, his seeming indifference to cold water, and his fearsome adventure beard.
2. Lone Swimmer
Donal is my Irish BFAM and fellow co-founder of the Marathon Swimmers Forum. He’s an English Channel and MIMS soloist known for his stunning photography and authoritative writing about cold-water swimming. We founded our blogs in the same month, literally (February 2010).
3. Penny & Chris Palfrey
Quite simply: Penny is a legend. After her nearly-70 mile Cayman Islands swim, an almost-completed Cuba-to-Florida swim, and six of the seven channels in the Oceans’ Seven, one wonders what box she could possibly have left to tick?
She’s not the most active blogger, but I include her on this list because her entries remain fascinating even years after she’s written them. She is still the only successful solo swimmer off San Miguel and Santa Barbara Islands, so her reports are required reading for anyone attempting to follow in her wake.
4. Chicken’s Nuggets
Amanda (a.k.a. “Chicken of the Sea”) is one of the funniest, quirkiest humans I know, and her missives are always good for a chortle or two. (Here is a classic.)
I miss a few things about living in the Midwest, but none more than swimming at Promontory Point in Chicago. These days, “Chicken’s Nuggets” are the closest I get to feeling the soft freshwater embrace of my beloved old swim spot.
5. Gords Swim Log
Gords is an English Channel soloist and the founder and race director of the Great Salt Lake Marathon Swim.
He is also famous for his super-human tolerance for long monotonous pool sets, and for being abandoned by Vito (along with Goody and Cathy) on the other side of Clear Lake, left to hitchhike back in a Rob Aquatics speedo.
Personally, I think it was Luigi’s fault.
Katie is an enthusiastic open-water swimmer and compelling writer hailing from Arizona — another up-and-coming open water area in the Mountain West region of the U.S.
She recently completed her first official marathon swim – Swim the Suck in Tennessee.
7. 10K Marathon Swim
When I first came across “Iron” Mike’s blog, he was an American living in Moscow. An unlikely location for an open water swimmer, perhaps, but one that allowed for occasional fascinating trips to nearby events.
He recently moved to northern Virginia, so it will be fun to see him tackle the more plentiful OWS offerings in the States. Like Katie, Mike, recently completed Swim the Suck.
8. Feel for the Water – the Swim Smooth Blog
Swim Smooth is one of several “schools of swim improvement” in the marketplace and, to my mind, the most sophisticated and worthwhile (especially for open water swimmers).
I especially enjoy the posts that are written with, essentially, a three-part structure (e.g., this recent one):
- Here’s something you may have learned from TI.
- Here’s why that makes you slow.
- Here’s what you should do instead.
Of course, Paul Newsome is a polite man (unlike me), so he never actually calls out TI by name. Always gives me a laugh, though.
9. The Long Swim
Karen is a sociologist from the UK, and as such, she often writes about marathon swimming from an academic perspective. Her posts are invariably thought provoking.
She’s also a successful English Channel and Catalina Channel soloist, and will complete her Triple Crown this June at MIMS.
10. Ollie’s Long Distance Swimming Blog
Ollie is an Aussie living in the UK, and a very fast swimmer. He and I had an exciting race a couple years ago in the Hudson, and he subsequently became the record-holder around Manhattan. Similar to me, Ollie’s marathon swims are often semi-masochistic experiences.
11. Shark Research Committee
Because you can never know too much about what’s swimming around below you. Or can you?
12. Throw Me In the Ocean
What Caitlin’s blog lacks in quantity, she more than makes up for in quality. In my opinion, the best prose stylist on this list.
13. Trent Grimsey’s Blog
Elite athletes’ blogs and/or Twitter feeds are often poor quality (or possibly not even written by them), but Trent’s is pretty good. And it appears that he actually writes it himself!
14. Fermoy Fish
A relative newcomer to the OWS blogging community, Owen is already making a name for himself, in his homeland of Ireland and beyond. In 2009, Owen swam the English Channel at 16 years old – the youngest Irish person to do so.
If young Owen is any indication, the future of marathon swimming is bright indeed.