Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Swimming doesn’t pause for Pioneers abroad

Rachel is just wrapping up her studies abroad in Chile before returning home for the holidays and rejoining us for Winter Training. In November she participated in III Copa San Alfonso del Mar in Algarrobo, Chile. The swim was contested in one of the largest pools in the world. Here is her story.............

The pool is over a kilometer long and is literally a few hundred feet from the ocean. Although the water is ocean water, it is crystal clear and maintained at about 28 degrees Celsius all year - that's cold for a pool, warm for the ocean, and perfect for an open water swim. I entered with a friend in the 3000 meters and we raced against over 150 other competitors from all over the world and all age groups. I finished in about the middle of the pack.

My friend won his division (he's the guy standing next to me with the medal after our swim). We all received participation medals, but the real prize was spending a perfect sunny day in San Alfonso, swimming in that incredible pool, and watching the sun set over the last group of swimmers racing the 5000 meters.

Swimming is a natural high, and the adrenaline and endorphins after that race were the best I've ever felt. At the end of the day, I was tired and happy and it was truly an unforgettable experience.

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