Tackling the English Channel as part of a relay
Marcia Anziano, a 64-year-old woman and a member of Colorado Masters, is not scared of the treacherous waters or intimidating water temperatures and other uncontrollable conditions associated with the English Channel. She, along with five friends and fellow Masters swimmers, will swim the English Channel as a relay team in September in nothing more than a practice suit, cap and goggles.
Marcia, who is also chair of the U.S. Masters Swimming Fitness Education Committee, loves to swim, has experience in the open water and is always up for a challenge. "The six of us met the other night with another friend who had already swam the English Channel. She was giving us tips and nuggets of important information as we begin our training." Marcia had always wondered what it would be like to swim the English Channel, but the thought never came to fruition until a few friends invited her to become a member of their relay team. "I swam in Lake Tahoe with them and after the swim they told me that they would like to invite me to be a part of the Channel swim. Well, I was flattered and of course said yes."
Marcia and her teammates, Kathy Garnier, Mark Johnston, Chris and Susan Nolte and Nicole Vanderpoel, will begin training after the U.S. Masters Swimming Short Course Championships. "The English Channel is challenging not only because of the distance, but because of the conditions. The conditions are really what we'll have to train for," shared Marcia. The six-swimmer relay will have to acclimate themselves to the water temperatures that historically floats between 58 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit, the active tides that have been known to take a 22-mile swim up to a 33-mile swim or more and the other "things" that may be lurking in the waters. "I was told to swim with my mouth closed," joked Marcia.
Marcia and her teammates have rented a boat fully equipped with a captain and staff for their grueling swim. "We will establish our order and get started. The first person will swim for one hour. When he or she is finished with the 60-minute swim, the next leg of the relay will jump in and get going," explained Marcia. She continued, "One of our biggest challenges will be staying warm and motivated as we wait for our turn. I was told to bring four bathing suits and four changes of clothes for each time I jump out of the water." Marcia and her team will also be fully prepared with snacks and other nutritional aids during their swim.
Marcia isn't intimidated by the training, either. Though she is 20 years older than her teammates, Marcia welcomes her much-anticipated training with open arms. Marcia and the others will practice in cold water reservoirs, lakes and pools to prepare themselves for one of the greatest swims in history: the English Channel. Marcia already swims up to 18,000 yards per week and is confidant that, though she may be a little bit slower than her teammates, she will be successful and an important member of the team.
"It's really fascinating," shared Marcia when asked about the rules, regulations and procedures of the historic swim. "It's very specific, but we're up for the challenge."
Challenge: a word Marcia Anziano seems to invite warmly. "I enjoy swimming and I am always up for something new. I have swum in the Maui open water swim before, so why couldn't I do this one?" she asked poignantly. How will she celebrate successfully swimming the channel as a member of a relay team? Marcia's husband will join her in Europe for a vacation after the swim... yeah, we think she'll deserve it.
Click here to read about the English Channel relay team from Colorado, The Swim Dogs.
Click here to learn more about the English Channel swim... do you have what it takes?
- Open Water