Do you wear a wristwatch in marathon swims?

gregocgregoc Member
edited March 27 in General Discussion
I just noticed that wristwatches are considered “nonstandard performance-enhancing equipment” in the newly released MSF definitions and rules for marathon swimming.
By definition in the MSF rules, the use of nonstandard equipment in a swim puts the swim in the “assisted” category.

I have worn a watch in all of my past marathon swims and would not consider the swims assisted swims.

I am just curious, do you / have you used a wristwatch during marathon swims?


5. Examples of nonstandard performance-enhancing equipment
Swims using nonstandard, performance-enhancing equipment cannot be considered unassisted. Examples include:

* Equipment that may retain or increase warmth – e.g., wetsuits, neoprene caps, booties, gloves.
* Equipment that may increase speed – e.g., flippers, paddles, shark cages.
* Equipment that may increase buoyancy – e.g., pull buoys, wetsuits.
* Auditory pacing aids – e.g., music players, metronomes.
* Electronic devices attached to the swimmer, which transmit information to the swimmer – e.g., wristwatches, navigation aids, biofeedback monitors
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Comments

  • @gregoc how do you use your watch when you swim? I can't think of looking at the little numbers when I'm out there. Also I try to get as streamline as possible and the watch probably adds at least a second to my 10 mile swim. :)
  • gregocgregoc Member
    @Leprechaunturd, I have worn a Timex Ironman watch that has large numbers and is specially designed to sit on the side of the wrist. I can view the time in clear water without losing a stroke. I tend not to look at it often, but I find that it helps in coordinating feedings when I am working with an inexperienced support kayaker.
  • gregoc said:

    @Leprechaunturd, I have worn a Timex Ironman watch that has large numbers and is specially designed to sit on the side of the wrist. I can view the time in clear water without losing a stroke. I tend not to look at it often, but I find that it helps in coordinating feedings when I am working with an inexperienced support kayaker.

    I see. That sounds like something I should check in to.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I don't wear one, but only because for some reason I keep breaking them. I've gone through 3 Timex Ironmans (Ironmen?) and they just keep dying. So I've given up on them. I do, however, put a Garmin under my cap, and as far as I can tell from the rules, that's legal as it doesn't tell me anything until I'm done.
  • IronMike said:

    I don't wear one, but only because for some reason I keep breaking them. I've gone through 3 Timex Ironmans (Ironmen?) and they just keep dying. So I've given up on them. I do, however, put a Garmin under my cap, and as far as I can tell from the rules, that's legal as it doesn't tell me anything until I'm done.

    I also wear my Garmin under my cap, but mine is currently set to vibrate every mile. I'm thinking that's not allowed.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 7
    This was intended as a future-proofing rule against wrist-worn "superwatches" that might offer real-time pacing, navigation, etc., features. Streamers on a wrist. Think Google Glass-enabled goggles.

    It may have been overzealously written, as I don't personally think a $10 Timex is performance-enhancing.

    This document is intended to create consensus, not fights, so if people feel strongly that they want to wear their watches, what might be some language that would allow them, but at the same future-proof against super-watches?
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    Before I started losing a bunch of them, I used to train with a 310XT under my cap that would chirp every 500m and beep at 10min intervals. With this, I could fairly accurately gauge my pace and feeding schedule. I always loved knowing that much while training, but also considered it to be TMI for a Swim. If I wanted to know my pace, I should be stopping to ask my kayaker, not getting it beeped into my brain at regular intervals.

    I'd support something to the effect of "non-auditory chronograph with no additional functions, such as GPS positioning, stroke counting, bio-feedback, etc". After all, marathon swimming does have a history with the watch (see Rolex Oyster), so it doesn't feel right to eliminate them completely.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • gregocgregoc Member
    @evmo, I am not necessarily challenging the rule. If necessary, I will not wear a watch in future swims. I was just curious if others wore one.

    I agree the technology is advancing quickly and soon a swimmer will have all the info they want (if allowed) on their wrist, in their ear, or implanted in the eye. I agree that anything more than a timer should not be allowed and I can deal with it if my $10 Timex isn't allowed either.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    N.B., I will not wear my Garmin with the beep every XXXX meters function enabled, as I agree that is an aid that transmits info to the swimmer.
  • FrancoFranco Member
    @grecoc
    I wear an Ironman with large numbers primarily for tracking feedings as well. I always ask Race Director/ Governing Body prior to swim for approval. I have never been told it is not allowed.

    I respect these new/standard MSF rules and the effort put into making them but this was one of the first things I noticed.

    If a Race Director says it is okay to wear one, I assume I am playing by the rules. If they say no, I wouldn't wear one.

    I see response from @evmo and appreciate it.

    I wouldn't say I feel strongly about wearing a watch but it is a preference to wear one if allowed. I have had inexperienced support kayakers in the past who really want to help as much as they can but had trouble managing the feedings.

    To answer question about language, I think you would have to come up with definition of what is an acceptable watch.

    I like the wording suggestion from @malinaka.


  • I sometimes use a watch for races where I don't have a personal escort. Something like the Chesapeake Bay Swim. But I have only ever done one of those that was 10k and therefore could be termed a marathon swim.

    If I have an escort I always rely on them to keep track of time. I haven't had the issues Franco has had with support kayakers.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    It seems like most folks these days use their cell phones to tell time... I still wear a watch. When I'm doing a casual swim, or training, I find it useful.
    When I'm doing "a swim" I find it useful to hand it off to those who are responsible for keeping time and tracking feeds.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • kotjmfkotjmf Member
    I've worn my Garmin 910 for almost every swim in the past year, including races such as Boston Light, during which I had it set to vibrate (and note my position) every 500m. While I don't believe I gained an advantage from it (the information was interesting to look at later, but I never gave it much thought during the swim beyond being reassured that I was still making progress) that feedback does violate the newly stated rules. I think the restriction is fine. Given the inevitable advances that are coming in this area, a line has to be drawn somewhere.
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    I wear a watch and train with one, but when it's the real deal, I take it off. One more thing to rub the wrong way and to worry about. Also, sometimes, not knowing the time is better for me mentally. I have a hard time seeing a regular old wrist watch as performance enhancing, though.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    ssthomas said:

    Also, sometimes, not knowing the time is better for me mentally.

    I'm with you! For Swim the Suck, I told my kayaker under no circumstances tell me how far I've gone. If I use a "safe word" (armadillo) AND I'm more than halfway, then he could tell me. I did NOT want to know how far (or how little) I'd swum up to any feeding!
  • KevinKevin Member
    I always wear my timex while swimming and would feel lost without it . If that rule could be modified I would be very happy , but if not I will follow the rules , My own opinion is that I think a standard wrist watch should be allowed .
  • I always use my Garmin 310 for training swims, just to keep a log of distances, during a race I prefer not to as the extra drag and weight may add second or two to my times :\">
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer Admin
    edited January 7
    A few people raised the question with me privately also.

    I wore a wristwatch in the EC against all advice. "You'll always be looking at it, it will make your swim longer" etc. (@evmo even mentioned it once when he saw a pic as it looks & is, big & heavy).

    It was a standard analog chronometer (i.e. timekeeping function only, min/sec/hour/date) not even a stop watch. I only looked at it once and that was inadvertently, at 7pm when I was stuck in the tide outside Calais (yes, folks, Calais).

    However, my reason for wearing it weren't functional reason in any way, not even for time, but for sentimental reasons, to remember my Dad while I was swimming.

    Personally I do not consider a chronometer or chronograph (extra but basic functions such as stopwatch) as performance enhancing. I agree that this is an item for review of our language.

    We could specify chronometers or chronographs, digital or analog as acceptable. excluding What about watches with GPS, medical, entertainment or other features? (It's a bit wordy). Many if not most see GPS as acceptable. Some watches have barometers, tide graphs, heart rate, temperature inbuilt as we know.

    My question: Should we specify individual functions to be excluded or acceptable?

    When we were writing, our concern, as we approached the end, was to future proof the rules, to avoid some Frankenstein watch of the future and to have to avoid having an emergency meeting to address some digital item we haven't previously considered, (as arose when waterproof MP3 players became available in the 00s).


  • gregocgregoc Member
    @IronMike, I totally agree with you. I never want to know distance (how far I have gone / how much is left) until I am within a half mile of the goal.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    My kayaker, about 2 miles out from the finish at StS, said, "Well, only a couple more miles." I hadn't asked him anything. I asked, "How do you know?" Turned out a boat came by a bit before and told him I was 2 and a quarter from the finish.

    What really did it for me was his pointing, at the next feed (30 min later), at the finish buoy. I then put my head down and swam like the wind.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    The one and only race I've ever (successfully) got a GPS track from was Swim The Suck and on that I miscounted the buzzes so thought I was a mile ahead of where I was :P In any case did firmly convert me to not wanting to have the auto-lap function turned on for my next swim.

    I've worn watches on a lot of my swims, and to be honest never really looked at them - it was often more a convenience thing for keeping track of time at the start. Subject to the same inability to count (I really suck at leading sets at Masters because I often end up swimming an extra lap due to losing count), I generally know how much time has passed anyway based on the number of feeds.

    I know that the idea here is to keep things simple, but it seems a bit silly to deny a swimmer a device that tells them directly the same sort of information that could be (and has been) written on a whiteboard.
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    I like to time my swims for training and time in the water in the winter...but when a long training swim is done or "the swim" done it comes off and is not needed..better for my "Sharko" head
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • HaydnHaydn Member
    edited January 7
    The question that needs answering is whether an accessory becomes an artificial enhancement which assists your swim? And if it does assist it, do we wish to allow the assistance?

    Does music help? Does it keep your mind off the drudgery and hardship? Does it help pass the time, does it motivate you? Well, someone believes so, and it is accepted as a performance enhancing aid.

    I believe a watch can perform a similar function. "Swim to the next feed" , a glance at the watch says its only 6 minutes. It helps.

    Do Ned Dennisons Torture swim and you have to remove your watch for the few hours.

    Try an experiment: remove your watch for your next two or four hour swim, (or other duration which would be a rough swim for you), and see if you mentally struggle to get through it. Then ask whether your watch might have helped you?

    For me, I think it is an assistance even without fancy functions and certainly a great training aid. If it were banned, i would happily support the decision, but would not otherwise stop wearing one.

    With a purpose of adopting stricter rules, I believe banning a watch would be a useful direction to go. (One thing that has always seemed pointless to me, is why the CFPF allow jammers while the CSA insist on Speedos). Why have such a discrepancy? Why not simply take the purest position?

    Certainly there will be many new accessories that will aid training and swims. Wearable technology will become huge business in the coming year or two.

    I would accept any governing body in their rulings to bring in the purest rule changes and for me, removing my watch will remove one comfort blanket.
  • KaneKane Member
    We are seeing nearly every other sport embrace tech advancements in someway, so in my opinion marathon swimming should not be any different. We must remember which generations are the long term future of our sport...they are not the us (40+ year olds) they are the younger generations who are using and embracing a connected tech life hundreds of times every day. We need to find that balance between 'awareness stats' and 'analysis stats' derived from a watch.

    For me, i love the tech and use every swim it to enable and enhance my enjoyment and love of marathon swimming. Does it make me a better swimming during the actual race...I don't think so! However, what it does do is make me a more situationally aware swimmer which, results in a safer swimmer.

    In my opinion tech is making a great sport even greater. Embrace it early, become leaders in governing the 'analysis' functions, because tech is coming to our wonderful sport like-it-or-not!!!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 7
    Ages of MSF Rules authors:

    27, 33, 35, and 40-something

    Not sayin' who is who.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    Kane said:



    In my opinion tech is making a great sport even greater. Embrace it early, become leaders in governing the 'analysis' functions, because tech is coming to our wonderful sport like-it-or-not!!!

    There is no limit to the information that ones crew may dispense to a swimmer... Give them any devices necessary to keep you (over)informed. My experience is less is better during a swim. A good crew and observer will compile enough data to keep you busy for weeks.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    edited January 7
    Music is assistance. OK, I get it (although I'm more along the lines of swimming with a swimp3 or headphones in your ears is more of a safety issue).

    So, what if my kayaker pumps music for me? Is that still assistance?
  • NiekNiek Member
    Yes it's still assistance.
    You next want your boat to carry a big live screen with your the time, distance travelled, temperatures?

    It all falls under 'not in the spirit of'.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • May they sing to me Niek? Softly?
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    Most marathon runners wear watches, no one accuses them of "assisted runs". In fact no non swimmer would even think this question is worth asking, which is part of the perception problem I think that the sport faces.

    If we ban things that provide marginal utility (wristwatch) then it puts the other things that are banned (wetsuit) in question in the mind of the non swimming community.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    I always wear a watch when I swim in OW. Just an analogue dive watch with a bezel. There's a really nice Swiss Army model on the bottom at The Point. I think if it as my fee.
  • I personally don't see the difference between wearing a watch/stopwatch to check times or when a support member tells you how much time is left. I think we must be careful of becoming too strict on some of the smaller issues.

    For example, the jammer/speedo issue. I can't see how the jammer can have any significant advantage over a speedo. I do understand that there might be a sentimental/traditional argument but that should be a personal choice.

    Technology is increasing at such a rate that I think it is impossible to hold it back completely. If we are too petty on something this minor, it has the potential to cast a bad light on the rules as an entirety.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited January 7
    JBirrrd said:

    May they sing to me Niek? Softly?

    Yes of course. But only if it's not false. :)

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • I think the question should be framed around whether the watch is doing anything the crew can't.

    While you might not want them to, a crew with a chalkboard can easily tell you the time, how many miles, time to next feed, stroke rate etc. With a 5 khz receiver and right strap they can tell you your heart rate.

    So then what's the difference between having the crew tell you or the watch tell you?

    As others noted, in other sports your current pace, hr, power output, time etc are all available to marathon runners and long distance cyclists and it isn't even a question of whether they should be allowed.
  • I wore a watch during my first open water race in 2010, but not since. One reason is the chance of injuring someone near me with an accidental hit. I have to admit that after learning more about our sport, I have choosen not to as it seems like the swimmers in years past have not used them.
    <))><
  • For training the watch helped me, but after a couple hours my wrists rebelled against the watch. I didn't wear the watch for Catalina.

    In the spirit of Matthew Webb's swim, we should be in wool suits and probably not have a latex cap nor plastic goggles. A kayak is also pretty modern and goes against the spirit of a marathon swim.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Niek said:

    You next want your boat to carry a big live screen with your the time, distance travelled, temperatures?

    It all falls under 'not in the spirit of'.

    @Niek, I know you're being pithy, but a white board with temp, distance and time can be shown to the swimmer from the boat, and that's not considered assistance.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited January 8
    pithy- I had to Google the word. :)

    So then what's the difference between having the crew tell you or the watch tell you?
    As others noted, in other sports your current pace, hr, power output, time etc are all available to marathon runners and long distance cyclists and it isn't even a question of whether they should be allowed.

    -You better get used to swimming without a watch e.g. if you also want to be able to compete at events done under FINA rules.
    -Reading a whiteboard is more difficult than a watch.
    -Other sports also use modern materials compared to in the past.
    We stick to the speedo and latex cap. Want to modernize that also? And if not why not?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 8

    I think the question should be framed around whether the watch is doing anything the crew can't.

    While you might not want them to, a crew with a chalkboard can easily tell you the time, how many miles, time to next feed, stroke rate etc. With a 5 khz receiver and right strap they can tell you your heart rate.

    So then what's the difference between having the crew tell you or the watch tell you?

    The key distinction here (IMO), for the purpose of crafting a solid rule, is:
    - Verbal communication between crew and swimmer is part of the standard operating procedure of a marathon swim. There is no possible information, when communicated in this fashion, which would violate the spirit of the sport.
    - However, there are potentially numerous forms of information, when communicated via electronic device attached to the swimmer, which would violate the spirit. For instance, high-resolution navigation information (streamer on a wrist), or second-by-second pacing information.

    in other sports your current pace, hr, power output, time etc are all available to marathon runners and long distance cyclists and it isn't even a question of whether they should be allowed.

    I categorically reject the notion that marathon swimming should be obliged to take guidance from running, cycling, or triathlon in defining the norms of the sport.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    For example, the jammer/speedo issue. I can't see how the jammer can have any significant advantage over a speedo.

    There is no issue. Jammers are allowed.
  • There's a clear distinction between what you might use during training & during an actual marathon swim, & I think some commenters are missing that --- technology is great for some types of training assistance but can be really counterproductive during long swims...

    Reliance on technical data can be a serious drawback - anyone who's been stuck in a negative tide a mile off the coast and finish of a long swim knows that! You are much better off following Freeda's advice - " Head down, first one arm, then the other!" - than trying to figure out how much longer you'll be out there.

    And the fact that other endurance sports are using increasingly sophisticated technology really has little relevance to me during a marathon swim - runners & bikers do not have to deal with the realities of tides & currents...which can negate or enhance your past performance, making it largely irrelevant. Conditions rule in Marathon Swimming, and addiction to data ultimately seems like a drawback.

    I use a timer for training swims, but I don't wear it in the water ...I turn on the stopwatch function on my phone, lock it in my car & go do my swim. When I come out I check it - mainly as a reference to how the conditions affected my swim. The most important thing to me is to cultivate the mental (& of course physical) toughness to stay in it no matter how rough the day turns out - and over reliance on data works against t his in my view.

    It's your crews job to work these details, and to communicate the relevant data as you & they see fit. Two thirds of the way through my Cape Cod swim last year, during a rough patch, I asked Dave Barra how far I had to go - he knew I was struggling a bit so he told me 'About five miles" I knew he knew I was struggling, so I added back in about 50%, and came up with about 7-8 miles.

    Not only was that about right, and it actually cheered me up, but it reminded me of Dave's real underlying response - "Why the f*ck are you asking me how far it is - just keep swimming!"

    That's the difference between our sport & most others - the right answer to the data hungry swimmer is usually - "you're not there yet - keep swimming!"

  • sharkbaitzasharkbaitza Member
    edited January 9
    evmo said:

    For example, the jammer/speedo issue. I can't see how the jammer can have any significant advantage over a speedo.

    There is no issue. Jammers are allowed.
    Not by CSA... Which raises an interesting point... If someone swam a WR Channel crossing with CS & PF in jammers, would CSA recognize the time or would there be 2 WR's? I'm guessing that's a whole other can of worms thread

  • @sharkbaitza One of the forum members here swam the Channel with the CSA some years ago. The hi-res YouTube video clearly showed him wearing jammers.

    The CSA as an organisation don't recognise any CS&PF records or Channel swims regardless. Most individual CSA swimmers and members are different but I don't want to go down that avenue on this thread as you note.
  • I have worn a Garmin so I have a record of the swim (not a record of the boat's course). Not all swims give you a nice chart of your course or even the coordinates so you can chart it out at a later time. With that said I have not worn it on every swim because it could be one more thing that could cause issues during the swim since I wear it on my goggle straps. Even if it were to vibrate/alarm every mile I would not always hear it or feel it and if I did I would lose count very quickly. I ask my support crew to not tell me how far or how long I have been swimming. Of course by my feeds I know exactly how long I have been swimming because I know what feed I get at what time during the swim.
    Since I wear my Garmin on my goggle straps if I want to see it I would have to remove my goggles and I assure you that has never happened during a swim, only in training when I am trying to figure out how much longer I have to swim to reach 6 hours...
  • flystormsflystorms Dallas/Ft Worth, TXMember
    I've been reading through these deciding whether or not to jump in. While largely it appears the population is for eschewing technology on these swims, but why? I understand not having a metronome or music, but outside of that, really, what does it matter if people are getting information or not?

    This statement really got me thinking though...
    "And the fact that other endurance sports are using increasingly sophisticated technology really has little relevance to me during a marathon swim - runners & bikers do not have to deal with the realities of tides & currents...which can negate or enhance your past performance, making it largely irrelevant. "

    Sure they don't have currents, but they do have hills (tides), wind (currents), and other weather (consider rain to cyclists) which are also performance inhibiting. Even adventure racers can't use GPS for obvious reasons, but they can use altimeters, watches, pacers, etc. I think it's time for the sport to start thinking about the future of where technology is and where it's going. You shouldn't stay back in last century's technology, whether it's electronic or within the improvements in suits/goggles etc.

    The question is, do these products really assist or do they enhance the experience? There's a difference in the terminology.
    KK
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    @flystorms: Some of us might argue that anything that enhances the experience is assistance. (And yes, I know that might make us totally insane.) Part of the joy of open water swimming is pitting our minds and bodies against the elements. Swimmer vs Water, Wind, and Waves: and all we have is a support boat to pull us out when the elements win. When you start adding in technology, fancy suits and goggles, etc, some of that experience is lost. Once you've stared into the black depths of an ocean, river or lake in the middle of the night for hours on end, you might understand what I mean. It’s the highest high. And, sometimes, the lowest low.

    I think what draws so many of us to this sport is that it is relatively unchanged over the last 100 years. As a community, we have a respect for what others have done before us, and this list of rules is an attempt to preserve that spirit and the sense of adventure our predecessors had. When you start adding “stuff” to a swim, you lose some of that challenge and adventure. You lose the ability to say, “I faced the same elements as Captain Webb and Gertrude Ederle and conquered just the same.”

    I have a huge amount of respect for the minds that created these rules, not because someone finally got their act together and told us all what was up, but because a group of people came together to try and preserve the spirit of marathon swimming, and then opened it up for everyone. This is a set of rules called “Marathon Swimming Rules”, not just “English Channel Rules” or “MIMS Rules” or “Cook Strait Rules.” This is finding common ground, making it easy for new swimmers, old swimmers, observers, reporters- and still allowing for reasonable, local exceptions. Our community needs this. And what’s even better is that these rules aren’t hard and fast- they are open for discussion. This community’s ability to discuss and argue and share and encourage is part of what makes it great. Most of what was published, we do all agree upon, and those pieces won’t change. But, of course there are questions, clarifications, discussions. All of that adds value to this really fantastic group of people who swim through oceans, across lakes, and down (or up!) rivers.

    Does wearing a watch that keeps time go against that spirit- probably not.
    Does wearing a GPS device that helps navigate and pace go against the spirit- yeah, probably.

    Wow…that got long. Clearly, I don’t have enough to do at work today. And it’s January in Colorado, and all I can really do right now is dream of a large body of water that isn’t frozen… :-)
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    evmo said:

    I categorically reject the notion that marathon swimming should be obliged to take guidance from running, cycling, or triathlon in defining the norms of the sport.

    As I see it there are roughly four "audiences" who might care what set of rules you operate under:

    1. Yourself (and/or your immediate friends)
    2. An event organizer or local governing body
    3. The larger community of marathon swimmers
    4. The public

    The rules you choose for your swim will be impacted by the audience you anticipate for your swim.

    By audience then

    1. You are free to choose whatever you want.

    2. You need to do whatever is proscribed.

    3. You can operate under the standards of the community who are perhaps a little more sophisticated and better able to determine if something is in the spirit of marathon swimming or not.

    4. You can do whatever you want at the moment if you have a decent PR machine because the public doesn't understand what marathon swimming is.

    It seems to me that the effort here is to influence the rules that swimmers choose for this fourth audience (i.e. the public) by setting a standard that where no clear standard existed before and sufficiently publicizing and circulating it so that when a swimmer chooses not to follow them, the appropriate questions are asked. (There is of course a secondary benefit to codifying the tribal knowledge for the second and third audiences and perhaps removing the some of the odder disparities between local rule sets)

    As such I think that it is kind of important that the rules make sense to the public, and I think the public are somewhat influenced by their previous experience with endurance sports (running, cycling, triathlons etcetera).

    We already have a hard time convincing people that wetsuits/stinger suits/neoprene caps/streamers are indeed cheating, but I think we will have a hard(er) time convincing the public that wristwatches are in that category as well and risk losing the acceptance of the public of the rules as a standard.

    my 2c :)
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited January 9
    @ssthomas well written as always.

    And to help you with your dream.
    image
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember
    @ssthomas very eloquent!
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    @niek- you're mean! that looks just lovely!
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