Resource to search all marathon swims past and present?

I know how to use google but I am aware that not everyone has documented their swim into a webpage and would like to see any resource like this.
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Comments

  • There have been discussions... but nothing concrete accomplished that I'm aware of.

    Anyone out there with PHP/mySQL coding chops? We'd be glad to host such a database here at marathonswimmers.org, but I don't have the bandwidth to do it right now.

    The channel swimming community is a little... "old school." The most comprehensive E.C. database is literally an Excel spreadsheet. Catalina lists their swims in an HTML table. NYC Swim has a great database, but is limited to swims that can be independently verified, and is generally only used by entrants to their events.
  • There is a source for EC swims, but have not seen a recent discussion as to it's thoroughness and accuracy...maybe some one know...here it is below:

    http://www.dover.uk.com/channelswimming/swims/
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • The combined EC database is pretty accurate afaik. Of course it's only completed swims.
  • The EC data only shows swimmers by country. I wish it included cities and, for the U.S., which states people are from.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • edited February 2013

    Anyone out there with PHP/mySQL coding chops?

    No need for that. with Drupal or Joomla a database is easy set.
    Joomla I'm not familiar with but with making a site in Drupal I can help if needed.

    Filling the database with facts. That's work for monks and that I'm not. Also with my two finger typing skills that would take centuries.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited February 2013
    Yeah, I guess we could use a CMS. Hand-coding it in php just seemed cleaner. But yeah, actually populating the db would be a chore. I don't have time to do it solo, but am happy to be involved in the effort.
  • I assumed with all the swims and different swimming bodies that a comprehensive list would be out of reach.
  • edited February 2013
    No the thing that makes it gigantic is to enter all the data into the database.
    In which form is not really a issue. That can be worked at. Not all data is kept in the same way.
    Are all the different sanctioning bodies willing to provide their data?

    Besides the crossings the site could keep a database of all the different sanctioning bodies and their rules and regulations.
    A database of pilots, observers, local authorities etc. openwaterpedia is a meager attempt.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • I am a technophobe... so what I ask might not make sense, but I’ll ask it anyway.

    Is it possible to create a site to host the data... construct an office building.
    Make suites available to all sanctioning bodies who would then be responsible to assign someone to enter their own data in a standardized format? This would seem like an easy way to reassign what has been described here as the tedious work... no?
    Could this forum dedicate a thread to each sanctioning body with only authorized reps able to enter data?

    thinking out loud.... then there is the question of how to pay for it.....
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • edited February 2013
    Yes that's possible.
    A main site and every sanctioning body gets its own sub site. The submitted data gets stored into 1 database. They can even have their own theme shown.
    With (different) views and filters the data can then be retrieved and viewed in different ways.
    Like I do with all the different date views future, past, last changes
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • This is one of the things I do for a living and am just about to start a new job centralizing AIDS/HIV data for the state of PA.

    Dave's/Niek's approach(es) would be a decent first step. By doing this at least the data would be accessible.
    After that, I would do this:
    2) Come up with a common reporting app that would send a standardized report back to the central database in XML or JSON and send it to all the people/committees/etc who might input data. They might even use it.
    3) Come up with a program that would extract the information from the above form and put it into a standardized database.
    4) As time permits, go back and extract the data from the original "suites" of each sanctioning body and put that into the database. This is somewhat time intensive since a custom program or programs would have to be written for each suite's extraction.

    As a proof of concept, I'd use the following software (this reflects my own prejudices and did NOT come off the mountain on tablets with Moses):
    SQLite as the database. This is much easier to deal with than MySQL. Eventually, MySQL would probably be necessary, but not at first.
    R - Can be used for a host of things, like data reporting, conversion, data loading.
    Talend or openstructs - data conversion.
    Awk or Perl - converting text documents

    I'm not a front-end guy, but Drupal is seems a reasonable choice for taking some of the pain out of that and administering the database.

    I'd be willing to help with the technical end of things, but am not organized enough to actually lead something like this - I couldn't organize a 3 house paper route.

    -LBJ
    "Ordinarily he is insane, but he has lucid moments when he is only stupid." - Heinrich Heine
  • edited February 2013
    Summary of Tasks:
    • Find a project manager.
    • Install CMS (Drupal or Joomla, with necessary add-on modules) on marathonswimmers.org domain.
    • Design form for self-reporting of swim data. Need to distinguish between established swims for which there are official data (EC, CC, MIMS) and non-sanctioned solo swims.
    • Connect form to SQLite database with necessary fields. Self-reporting of swims can begin immediately.
    • Design search interface so website visitors can search the database and view custom results.
    • Design form for batch reporting of official swim data by sanctioning organizations.
    • Liaise with representatives of sanctioning bodies of established swims.
    • Allow these representatives to choose between (a) submitting data in a standardized format through our batch-reporting form; or (b) sending over whatever data they have, and letting us do the work of converting it into a standardized form.
    • For organizations that choose Option B, we must convert original data into format that matches our database (R and Perl).
    • Official swim data from sanctioning bodies, once obtained, will "override" self-reported data for those swims.
    • Design process for verifying self-reported data.
    Did I capture everyone's suggestions? Other ideas?
  • With respect to bullet #3, didn't someone in these forums some months ago design a word document form for self-reporting swim data?
  • Yes, there was this:
    http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussion/284/voluntary-reporting-of-a-swim-the-peer-pressure-of-social-media-inspiring-cleaner-swims

    Seems like a good start... but it'll need to be in web format and probably have some conditional routing included.
  • edited February 2013
    I think a (Managed) Virtual Private Server would be necessary if the idea with all the sub sites is used.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • I started a draft blog/wordpress website for self-reporting swims of any type. Only @evmo & @owenswims93 have seen the draft and I haven't worked on it for a while. The idea was pretty basic though, with no CMS or database. I started work on a standardised form that people could use but never went further.

    We have a bunch of interested people here. I was hoping to start moving further in this direction this year, I think @evmo was also.

    I'm happy to volunteer to put my name against a non-coding task such as contacting the various bodies or doing some writing or forms etc.

    With Evan's task list can we consider forming a working group?

    I have a dream, as I know others do, of information-sharing across the world. This I think is the big task of our swim generation, that can most help swimmers and swim organisations across the globe. Evan and I have always hoped that we can use this forum to achieve further support and community for swimmers.

    If anyone is interested in this, PM or email Evan & I and we'll see it we can get it rolling? (This is NOT a claim by myself to be in charge or Project leader). Or am I jumping the gun? Further discussion can and should of course happen here.



  • edited February 2013
    Thanks @loneswimmer, I was hoping you would chime in. I remember your wordpress site, and hope we can use some/all of that work as a launching pad.

    I think we're close to being able to form a working group here. At some point we should probably take this off the public forum. There are certain unscrupulous individuals... [I will leave the rest of that sentence unspoken.]

    For now, let's keep this thread going.

    If you're interested in being part of the working group, either "Like" this post, or send a PM to me or @loneswimmer.
  • I'm sorry I don't have technical talents to share with this project, but BRAVO! I am one of just many, many swimmers who would appreciate this resource. I'm disappointed we don't have more detailed information about the swimmers who have accomplished marathon swims. Specifically, I am interested in the number of swimmers from various states, male and female, who have swum the English Channel. Turns out that's more detail than any EC organization has collected.
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • I think they have that info but they only have that on paper from the observer reports.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • You can also post your marathon swims with details at www.worldswimmingmajors.com that already has thousands of certified swims and swimmers listed. While there are limitations to this database, it does list thousands of swimmers who have completed the swims listed below.

    Please feel free to add your swims to this list:

    Boston Light Swim, Cadiz Freedom Swim, Catalina Channel, Clean Half Marathon Swim, Cook Strait, Ederle Swim, English Channel, Ijsselmeerzwemmarathon, Indian National Long Distance Swim Championships, International Marathon Swimming Beltquerung, International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim, North) Channel, Jarak - Šabac Marathon Swim, Jersey Solo, Kalamata - Koroni Marathon, Lake Ontario, Lake Tahoe, Lake Windermere, Loch Lomond, Lough Erne, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, Maratón Patagones Viedma, Maui Channel, Molokai Channel, Pennock Island Challenge, Rottnest Channel Swim, Santa Barbara Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Swim Across The Sound, Swim Around Key West, Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Traversee Internationale du lac St-Jean, Tsugaru Channel, and World 25K Championships.
    Steven Munatones
    www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.
  • edited February 2013
    evmo said:


    If you're interested in being part of the working group, either "Like" this post, or send a PM to me or @loneswimmer.

    While I don't have any experience with web pages and online databases, I do have experience pushing around data in spreadsheets. I am also willing to do more menial tasks. Bottom line is I think its a great idea so count me in and I'll do what I can to help.
  • edited February 2013
    I was away all day, was pretty excited when I saw this thread late. Like @Mike_Gemelli I have no objection to being a data entry clerk if that's required at some point.

    Thanks @Munatones, that's really useful for building an association list, we can look at that. We'd have to populate with appropriate contact details for communication, that should be easy given the combined knowledge here, I can certainly look at that, unless Steve already has something you wouldn't mind sharing with us? I imagine the greater interest/agreement we have from the various associations early on, the easier further down the road?
  • @Munatones, how does one recommend marathons be added to the World Majors? I was thinking swims like Swim the Suck and END-Wet.
  • I am hoping to be able to add any swim to the World Majors database. It will take a bit more programming. In the meantime, people can also self-report their marathon swims in Openwaterpedia (www.openwaterpedia.com). There are already 4,602 swimmers (marathon swimmers, ice swimmers, channel swimmers, professional swimmers, and open water swimmers of all ages and abilities) and 527 open water swimming coaches listed in Openwaterpedia. This are a few examples of entries in Openwaterpedia of well-known marathon swimmers:
    http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Kevin_Murphy
    http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Dave_Barra
    http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Donal_Buckley

    Anyone can freely report their swims and exploits in Openwaterpedia, along with hyperlinks, photos and videos.
    Steven Munatones
    www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.
  • edited February 2013
    The World Majors site is a good example of why "the devil is in the details" with a project like this. @Munatones, a couple of questions:

    - What measures have you taken to verify the accuracy of any of the data in the World Majors database?
    - Have you coordinated with the sanctioning bodies of these events, to obtain official swim data, and to verify self-reported data?
    - Is there any ongoing process of adding data for the latest/most recent swims, or is that entirely dependent on the motivation of the swimmer to self-report?

    I love the World Majors idea as a "bucket list." As a reliable, accurate database... not as much.

    I also love Openwaterpedia for many reasons, but wikis are a completely different technology than databases, with different purposes and strengths.
  • evmo said:

    The World Majors site is a good example of why "the devil is in the details"

    I love the World Majors idea as a "bucket list." As a reliable, accurate database... not as much.

    I also love Openwaterpedia for many reasons, but wikis are a completely different technology than databases, with different purposes and strengths.

    I have had trouble entering/editing data into the ocean's majors database. I am not the most tech savvy individual, so the process is cumbersome for me. Some of the dates and times are incorrect.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • edited February 2013

    I have had trouble entering/editing data into the ocean's majors database. I am not the most tech savvy individual, so the process is cumbersome for me. Some of the dates and times are incorrect.

    It's not you - it's them.

    My sense based on the evidence is that when the World Majors database was first launched, it was "pre-populated" with swim data for a few well-known swimmers such as yourself, Penny Palfrey, Kevin Murphy, Alison Streeter, etc. However, they didn't consider what would happen if one of those swimmers actually wanted to edit their own data.

    So if you, David Barra, tried to create your own account and edit the pre-populated data, this would actually create a second account associated with your name, meaning your name would show up twice in the database.
  • edited February 2013
    Another very basic functionality missing from the World Majors database: password recovery.

    When the World Majors database first launched a couple of years ago, I signed up for an account to add my swim data. Then I forgot about it until @Munatones brought it up on this thread. Of course, by now I had forgotten my password. As far as I can tell, there's no way to automatically recover/reset passwords via email, an option that is available on the vast majority of other websites (including this one).

    In other words, I'm now blocked from editing my data, unless @Munatones can reset my password manually. @david_barra, you are not alone!
  • I also think that the data on http://www.knzb.nl/wedstrijdsport/openwaterzwemmen/open_water_congres is to meager.
    Water temperature, observer report boat+skipper etc.

    And why are there only the records. The other swims should be entered also.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • I would be extremely interested in helping out with a project like this. I have worked on data heavy websites/apps etc and also do work on data visualisation so hopefully I could be of help.

    I am primarily a UX/IU and visual designer but I have pretty good hands on skills with PHP/MySQL as well as open source frameworks like WordPress, Bootstrap, JQuery and many of the visualisation tools like Google charts/maps, Kendo Visualisation etc.

    Obviously a much smaller dater set but recently did this website for my local swimmers to track our swims through the winter months. All dynamic content running off a MySQL database.

    http://lab.zoho.co.uk/lab/ice-miles/

    Regarding data entry there are ways to simplify this if the information is already online somewhere. I have built page scrapping scripts as well as data bridges that will allow for spreadsheets etc to be ported over.

    So as long as someone else is happy to be in charge I am more than happy to help. :-)

    Philip
  • My Fellow Sharks et al....

    Recent post from Channel Swimmers Google Group relating to swimmer stats:
    Fellow swimmers:

    Thanks to Julian Critchlow's efforts we now have an updated solo Channel
    swims database on CS&PF website:

    http://cspf.co.uk/swims-database

    We hope it is the most comprehensive list of Channel swims that includes
    both CSA and CS&PF swimmers. And if you like statistics, we have

    http://cspf.co.uk/solo-swims-statistics and
    http://cspf.co.uk/solo-swims-statistics-2

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • edit on my previous post:
    meant http://www.openwaterswimming.com instead of http://knzb.nl

    That happens when you're multitasking. :(
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited May 2013
    I don't like to say I'll do something and leave it fester, so Ok, we were all agreed ...

    I started a Google Docs spreadsheet of 36 Organisations: Websites, Presidents, Secretaries, Contact info, Rules, Membership, Relevant Swims as a baseline.

    There are a few extra swims in there, and few still to add, a few are unclear. I figure we'd need this as a first step. I used @Monatones Openwaterpedia.com, Google and even a few links from here!

    What's the minimum distance? (I'd suggest 10 miles and if so I have more to go in).

    Right now those with edit access are @Evmo, @Niek, @phodgeszoho, @Mike_Gemelli & @Leonard_Jansen as you've indicated interest in involvement. Anyone else wanting access can request but I'll only grant it to those who post in this thread.

    At the least it'll be a useful resource for all forum members here to have in one place (I've gone through a lot of websites so far) once we polish it up.

    EDIT: BTW, I haven't included any pro swims. Open to debate but since most of us aren't pros nor ever will be... Where there is a solo amateur option available I've included it (Napoli-Capri, Memphre, St Jean)

    EDIT 2: Obviously some Associations regulate more than one swim.

    I think once I/we have the contacts populated we could make initial inquiries whether the associations would be willing to participate?
  • I've added the http://dldsa.nl Dutch Long Distance Swimming Association.
    The association isn't fully operational till the end of the year but one can ask our help with (ratifying) an IJsselmeer crossing or any other crossing in the Netherlands.

    10 miles as minimum? I can't agree. You try crossing a water with a strong side current with a precise start and landing point. Than less miles can be harder than 10 miles with the currents.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Thanks @Niek, I don't disagree in one way, there's a 200m wide stretch under the cable-car between Dursey island and the beara Penninsula that I'd defy any swimmer to get across but...

    We need some cutoff point. We could have 10k as the minimum but once we drop to below 10 miles the list would become much larger. It's based on practicality for now. We need to concentrate on the large associations. If at some future point we have most of those, then we can look at others?
  • edited May 2013
    Hi Donal- I would be keen to have a look ...I hope all well from your end !


    thanks

    Paul
  • @paulm click on the link and a request should go through to me to approve and I'll add you. I've already added a few more people to view.
  • Thanks Donal ! We appreciate all the work you & others have put into this.
  • Maybe everything above 10 km to teach the FINA not to only call 10 km a marathon and everything longer only a 'Grand Prix'.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • @Niek, Haha. I had FINA in the list and though "why bother"! @paulm let's see how far we get first, :-)
  • I've added anyone who sent me an access request through GoggleDocs overnight.
  • Good job @loneswimmer. I added @jcmalick 's C3 swim.
  • edited May 2013
    I added a few more down to the 10 mile mark and included Julian's combined EC database at the start.

    In the case of some swims, participant records are actually available on some websites, but I need to go back through the whole list to check again since I didn't do this first time around.

    The Iist now stands at 43 swims/organisations with data, another 4 that I can't find info for, one of those (Bangla) has been swim by forum member @MvG who can help. Duplicate swims by the same organisation are not entered since for now the purpose is data collection. We could expand it for those organisation's multiple swims later (e.g. NYCSWim, Kingdom, BLDSA, ILDSA).
  • oxooxo
    edited May 2013
    Is this database of swims going to be downloadable free of charge by the general public in an open format, such as CSV or JSON or XML, for, for example, subsequent analysis? If so, at what point in time will it be made available to the general public for downloading?
  • edited May 2013
    oxo said:

    Is this database of swims going to be downloadable free of charge by the general public in an open format, such as CSV or JSON or XML, for, for example, subsequent analysis?

    IF the database ever gets off the ground THEN it will be available free of charge in an open format.
    oxo said:

    If so, at what point in time will it be made available to the general public for downloading?

    Given that you know what JSON and XML are, it would probably be available sooner with your help than without it. Are you offering to help, @oxo?
  • oxooxo
    edited May 2013
    My bad: I had mistakenly thought the project was to develop a central database of 'swim attempts' (likely just 'swim successes'), which is how this thread started. The current google spreadsheet of 'contacts' is awesome, btw. There would not seem to be any need to make it downloadable in any form, so please disregard my above post.
  • oxooxo
    edited May 2013
    Edit: deleted as being irrelevant, see above.
  • My bad, also. I forgot about this when I got laid off (again - the life of a IT consultant), but I'm working again, so no excuses.
    If the goal is a centralized database of swims, I'd suggest the following (after re-thinking it):
    1) Come up with an Excel or other spreadsheet that can be used to record either individual swims or larger multi-person races/attempts. Lock the format so that fields can't be moved (only exception might be to allow the first name and last name columns to be switchable). If it centrally located and will be filled out via web page, the format doesn't much matter. If it will also be sent to people to fill out, Excel or Open Office Document formats are probably the best bet since most people can read/write these.
    2) Make the Spreadsheet publicly available on a website, but you may want to also email it to various people/races to get things kick-started.
    3) Pick a database that will run on your server. There are free ones like SQLite or the one that comes with Open Office and ones you pay for like Microsoft Access. Or, the server might already have this capability.
    4) Depending on your environment, you could import the data to the database in several ways:
    a) In an all-Microsoft environment, you can use Powershell to extract Excel data and put it in Access (or Sql-Server). (I have code for this, BTW.)
    b) In a non-Microsoft environment, things might be more (or less) complicated, but at WORST, you could export the data from the spreadsheet into a CSV (comma separated values) file and import it into the database. In most environments, this could be automated. You can also take this approach in a Microsoft environment.
    5) Depending on the server environment, extracting the data dynamically and presenting it will be anything from "out of the box" to a custom piece of code. However, it shouldn't be too hard unless you want insanely fancy pages.
    6) For bulk downloading, I suggest XML. As much as I prefer JSON, there are alot more things that work with XML, and people who know it, than JSON.
    7) The user interface for queries for 5) and 6) will take a bit of thought since you are not likely to require users to learn SQL query syntax.

    I will try to dummy up some things by the end of this coming (long) weekend to demo some of this.

    Another approach might be to see if Google or some other website has the tools to host & pull this off. I work with highly confidential data (HIV/AIDS clients) so don't go the public route, but for something like this, I don't see a problem. The only thing would be to occasionally be able to dump the entire database locally to always have a backup copy. I'll look into this as well, but if anyone knows of a reliable site with the necessary tools, sing out.

    I'm not trying to be the techno-cszar here, just making some suggestions and offering to help on the technical side of things - I can pretty well work in any environment (Windows, Unix, Linux, but NOT Macintosh - I don't have one) and with almost any language, database, or package.

    -LBJ



    "Ordinarily he is insane, but he has lucid moments when he is only stupid." - Heinrich Heine
  • I'd love to check it out ... Can I access it?
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • edited May 2013
    DB, I just added you and Rondi.

    Just to clarify for everyone, as there was some confusion earlier. Currently this project only consists of a basic spreadsheet with a list of marathon swimming organizations & contact info. The eventual goal is a searchable, interactive database of all historical marathon swims - but we are a long, long way from achieving that, as of right now.

    To request access, please PM either me or @loneswimmer and include an email address. Thanks.
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