Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why employers want to hire marathon swimmers

Employers love workers with attributes that make the company profitable.  Many of these attributes are likely to be held by not only marathon swimmers but any athlete that puts a significant amount of time and effort into their sport:

  • Dedication/Commitment

Athletes know that it takes commitment to do hard things.  They don’t give up.  Not succumbing to laziness is an attribute that employers value.

  • Handles stress/failure well

Ever see a child throw a tantrum when they need a nap, or don’t get their way?  It’s amazing how often similar behavior can be observed in adults as well.  Many athletes know what it is like to fail.  The act of failing can be considered a good thing if something is learned from it, and then behavior is modified to achieve a different result.  That’s the scientific method.  

  • Time management

Many jobs require objectives to be met while following a timeline.  This takes prioritization, goal setting and multitasking.  All skills that are developed while following a training program.  

  • Mentally focussed

Speaking from personal experience, as well as reported studies on the topic.  Exercise reduces stress, and helps brain function.  Creativity can be improved when an employee is sharp.  In my experience, It’s ironic that failure to exercise, can actually increase fatigue in the work-place.  But after a good workout, I feel energized and ready to have a kick-butt day.  

So get out there, have a great workout!  Then keep that momentum going throughout your day.  You just might get that pay raise as well!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015, welcome 2016!

Congratulations to those who completed the 2015 Checkoff Challenge:

Josh Green
Sarah Jones
Gordon Gridley
Chad Starks

For SLOW members,
Swim 250 miles in 2016
and this baby is yours!
New for 2016, is an online tracking system for members to post their progress throughout the year.  USMS offers this as a Go The Distance Program.  But we are going to do our own.  No need to be a member of SLOW (unless you want the milestone awards):

100 miles: SLOW swim cap
250 miles: Kayak Trolley
500 miles: One free entry in your choice of GSLOW, Bear Lake Monster or Deer Creek races.
750 miles: Free Splish "Got Salt" Swim Suit
1000 miles: Free entry to next year's UTC events

Starting Jan 1st, 2016 please update your yardage on this spreadsheet.  If you are interested in participating, please request edit permissions and you will be added as an editor to this tracker.

Monday, September 28, 2015

He did it!

Chad's English Channel swim was a success!

He encountered some pretty serious wind and chop, as well as dozens, if not hundreds of stinging jellyfish.  He completed the swim in 16:54:55.

Here is Chad's summary of the swim.
Here is coach Gords' summary of the swim.


And Congratulations to Matt Gerrish for coming the closest to guessing his time.  He guessed 16:35 and won a $50 gift card to

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chad's English Channel Swim Contest

Marathon swimming takes a good deal of mental toughness.  When things get hard, it helps to have some encouragement from others.  This is where you come in.  Your participation in this contest will provide that encouragement.  No purchase is necessary and you will not be added to any annoying email list.  Simply fill out the form below and if your projected completion time is the closest to the official actual time, you win:

$100 Gift card to

Contest Rules:  Only one entry per household.  Submissions are free.  If Chad's swim is aborted for any reason, the contest will be void.  Submissions will close the moment he starts his swim.

Where: English Channel (England to France) 22 miles
When: Tidal window September 19 - 25th, 2015
Swimmer: Chad Starks
Pilot: Paul Foreman (CS&PF)
Coach: Gordon Gridley
Swim Rules: CS&PF rules - basically no wetsuit, wearing only a speedo, cap, goggles, start on the beach in England and swim to France ending clear of the water without touching the boat.  More on the widely accepted marathon swimming rules.  The rules will be enforced.

Want to base your time submission on something more than a blind guess?  Here are some recent stats:

2015 marathon distance swim times (following the EC swim rules):
2014 marathon distance swim times times:
Check out his English Channel Qualifying swim

His "Spot" page
(Available in September)
Be sure to stay informed on facebook on his exact swim date.  Starting Saturday, Sept. 19th

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Annual Bear Lake Length Relay

reported by Sarah Jones

The ladies team for 2015 Bear Lake Relay consisted of:
Lisa Gentile
Sarah Goldberg
Joelle Beard
Dominique Maack
Chelsea Carmichael
Sarah Jones

Our time was 8:27

Drivers: Maury (Steiner swimmer) and Tom (Dominique’s boyfriend)
We met up Monday morning at 5:30 at the First Launch boat ramp on the east side of Bear Lake. Maury showed up with the boat and got it in the water very quickly. Before we knew it we were on the south side of the lake, wrapped up in coats, blankets, jackets and huddling together, waiting for the other teams to arrive. It was chilly and dark; it took some deciding to see who would be the first brave soul to get it. This person had to be particularly tough because she had to swim to the shore, get out in the cold, and then reenter the water to start. Chelsea Carmichael was everyone’s hero for volunteering, and we all winced a bit while she took off her warm clothes and lowered herself into the water. She’s awesome!

Earlier, we had decided to swim in 30 minute increments. Our order was Chelsea, Dominique, Sarah G., Lisa, Joelle, and Sarah H. The water temperature was warmer than the air temperature for the first part of the swim, so swimming was great but getting out and trying to get dry and warm afterwards was a challenge. Maury and Tom did an excellent job navigating the boat, managing to stay near the swimmer and also guide us in a very straight line to the north shore. They switched off every swimmer so they each got a break.

One of the best parts of the swim was watching all of the different swimming styles each woman has. Each member of the team had an efficient, effective stroke, but they were all very unique. We also had time to talk and get to know each other, which was a real treat. The water changed throughout the day; there were times it was smooth with slight swells, and then other times when it was quite choppy and the wind picked up.

We had planned on each team member getting three swims and one member getting a fourth, but we finished so quickly that I had to swim together with Joelle at the end so I could get my swims in! All of the team members are fast, but Dominique and Chelsea in particular are FAST. It really was so much fun to see them swim. This was the last summer swimming fun for most of us (with the exception of Sarah Goldberg, who is competing in an IronMan in two weeks) so finishing was bittersweet. Driving away from Bear Lake and knowing that it will be the last time to swim there until next summer had me feeling a bit sad. Good thing Bear Lake will be there next year!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Goody's swim across Lake Tahoe

The 21 mile swim route across the length of Lake Tahoe has been standardized over the years to be:

From Richardson beach on the south end
To Hyatt Beach on the north end

Or Vice Versa.

Update August 6th:

He made it!  17:45:21. 

Posts on his swim:
Nice job Goody!  First Utahn to swim the length of Lake Tahoe (Jamie Patrick to confirm...)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Salt Lake Open Water Summer Swim Camp was a success!

This year's summer swim camp (held every year over the 24th of July weekend), was held in Cache County, Utah.

We stayed at Gridley's cabin up Logan Canyon on Thursday night.  The kids enjoyed a noodle war folloed by a polar bear plunge in a shallow stream that empties into Logan River.  The water temp was 55°F!  One minute in the water for three mini candy bars and a dip in the hot tub afterwards.

Lauren has this under control.

Evie and Lexi earning their candy bars while Clair considers it.

Oliver would rather "plank", but slowly bends those elbows for a full immersion.

Isaac Gridley shows the girls how it's done.

Lucy Gridley does her dip in the river.

The future of Salt Lake Open Water.

On Friday morning we all went to Tony Grove Lake, located 15 miles from the cabin towards Bear Lake.  This is a small lake about 70% the size of Bountiful Lake, but much cleaner and with beautiful mountain cliffs and surrounded by pine trees.

The group of SLOW members: Lisa Gentile, Sarah Jones, Chad Starks and Gordon Gridley all preparing for a big swim on Saturday decided for a short 3/4 mile swim around the perimeter of the lake.  There was a lot of underwater plants.  The kids enjoyed paddling all over the lake with the three kayaks that we brought along.

On Friday evening we enjoyed visiting and had a barbecue of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and the kids played night games.
Caleb with Sarah

Chad and CJ

Most of the Jones' are having fun.

Sarah and Lisa discuss their swim plans for Bear Lake tomorrow.

CJ enjoys the rope swing.

New buddies, CJ and Oliver.

Chad's kids: Emma, CJ and Max.
Caleb with Mom and Dad

Chandra and Chad enjoying a quite moment on the patio.

Watching the kids run around 

Chad and Emma and Max

Everyone ready for S'mores?

Evie and Dad, Steve enjoying the campfire with Clair's blanket.

Sam declares the night games have begun!
Saturday at 0020, swimmers Gordon, Chad, Sarah and Lisa along with supporters, Chandra, Sophie and Max left the cabin for Cisco Beach.  We unloaded the boat and got prepared.  Swim started at 0220.

Gords piloted the boat during the night crossing since Chandra had never piloted the boat before.  The night swim was a little wavy and the crew endured seasickness and lack of sleep, but was able to keep all three swimmers safe and relatively close together.

Once we got about 4 miles into the swim Chandra took over and learned the ropes of navigation and piloting.  Gordon was able to get about 45 minutes or so of sleep and overcome a headache and nausea.  The sun came out and by the time the first width was completed Gordon was greased up and ready to go for the return leg.

The return leg was calm and not much of a breeze.  The sun was out in full force and it was good that we were all layered with sunscreen.

About a mile before the finish Chandra was able to contact the land crew of all the kids and they were all waiting for us at the finish.

What a view of the sunrise!

Max chills while the swimmers swim.
Gords and Chad finish up at Cisco Beach.

Lisa and Sarah swim in to the beach with the kids glad to see Mom, but apparently more interested in rocks.

Sarah and Lisa share a victory together.

Lisa, Sarah, Gords and Chad all glad its over.

Lauren and Claire enjoying the beach!

That's what I call a good sized support at the finish!

Sarah and Lisa zonked out while the kids had lunch.

Cute Clair
So a double width swam by Sarah and Lisa in approximately 8:31

While Chad came in about 10 minutes later at 8:41:58.  Gords swam the one width in 4:07:50.

What a fantastic time we all had!  Hope to have a bigger party next year.