Next Potomac Valley LMSC Meeting 11/14/04
The third and final PVLMSC board meeting for 2004 will be held on November 14th prior to the JCCNV Lox and Bagels meet at 10:30AM.
Clay Britt Swim Clinics: Oct 23 & Nov 13
Upcoming Clinics in 2004: Oct 23 & Nov 13 at the Lab School in DC. (2005 dates include Jan 22, Feb 12, Mar 12, Apr 16, May 14, and Jun 18.)
For more information contact Clay H 301-320-4694, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.claybrittswimming.com.
Awards Chair Needed
If you are interested in serving as Potomac Valley Awards Chair contact Eric Nordlund at
Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Tip of the Month
Save the Bay Tip of the Month: Drive Less for Clean Air and a Clean Bay!
Nitrogen pollution from vehicle tailpipes washes into the Bay and contributes to algae blooms that cloud the water and absorb oxygen, creating 'dead zones" and keeping the Bay on the EPA's list of impaired waters. So the next time you need to make a short trip, try biking or walking. The less you drive, the better our air and the Bay will be!
Alexandria Masters Swimming Fall Schedule
Alexandria Masters Swimming announces its fall-winter workout schedule:
Team members and USMS-registered swimmers are invited to join us starting September 13. More information and directions to the pools can be found at
- Mt Vernon Rec Center - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6:00-7:00 am.
- George Washington Rec Center - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 7:30-8:30 pm.
- Lee District Rec Center - Saturday, 8:00-9:00 am.
30 Minute Postal Swim
The 2004 30-Minute Fitness Swim Challenge is sponsored by the USMS Fitness Committee and is presented by O*H*I*O Masters Swim Club. You can take the challenge anytime in 2004 in any pool 20 yards or longer. For more information, contact Tom Spence at email@example.com or click on:
Winter Ideas for Multisport Athletes
by Kenton Pattie
703 280 4622
While the last triathlons in our area have come and gone, there are still
some in states to our south where the triathlon season continues. The US Triathlon Association (http://USAT.org ) maintains a list of all sanctioned events such as the Duke Blue Devil iron distance October 16 in Raleigh, NC (http://dukebluedevil.org). The organization which stages the Duke Blue Devil is Set-Up, Inc. (http://set-upinc.org) which offers various multisport events in the Carolinas. Another organization to contact is CFT Sommer Sports, Clermont, FL (http://greatfloridian.com) which among other warm weather events sponsors the popular Great Floridian iron distance event in Florida October 23, 2004.
In November, 2004 you could compete in Half Ironman Mexico (1.9K swim, 90k bike, 21k run) in Huatulco and the nine bays of Oaxaca
Or, maybe the Treasure Island Triathlon November 6-7 San Francisco,
California (http://tricalifornia.com ). The Treasure Island Triathlon is one of the official destinations of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program (http://teamintraining.org).
But say you want to keep up your training with an early Spring 2005 event goal. How about a vacation trip south to where you can spend one morning competing and the rest of the week snorkeling and exploring tropical islands?
Bay Islands Triathlon Honduras is Saturday, March 5th, 2005 at 7:30 AM (www.bayislandstriathlon.com). In 2004 22 countries were represented in this International Triathlon Union (ITU) sanctioned triathlon. While most participants are amateur athletes seeking to get their season started early, in 2004 pro athletes came as far away as Tokyo and New Zealand. Most of the pro athletes who attained points at this event in 2004 represented their countries in the 2004
Summer Olympics. The race is small (300 athletes), international distance, and challenging.
"The Bay Islands swim is spectacular with crystal clear waters over coral gardens that can almost be touched at times. The bike is truly the most challenging part, but the most fun with 3 significant hills of 18, 19 and 20% grades. They are steep, but not very long except for the first hill just off the first transition. The run was made easier this year, and runs over paved and grassy and dirt paths overseeing the water," writes Leslie Poujol Brown (Aug 9, 04 e-mail).
Or how about in the spring the Florida Half Ironman at Walt Disney World in May 2005? This event which will be in its second year in 2005, offers 30 qualifying spots for the 2005 Ironman World Championship, Kona, Hawaii. But, it also offers 1,970 athletes a May goal race with great summer-like weather.
Spring also offers the CaliforniaMan ironlength and the CaliforniaMan Half Triathlon by J and A Productions in Folsom CA May 2005 (japroductions.com).
Yet another approach to the winter is to attend clinics and training sessions which could improve your triathlon, open water swimming and long distance cycling skills. For example, I have attended triathlete camps by http://Multi-Sport.Com in Encinitas California and have learned much from the pros and from other serious adult athletes. There are others who offer training camps during the winter including John Howard (http://johnhowardschool.com), former US Olympic cyclist, who is an excellent teacher for all levels and puts on a first class winter camp in California. Or, you could stay at home, clean your bike chain, wash your wetsuit, and watch reruns of the 2004 Tour D'France.
(In 2004 Kenton Pattie was on the USA team to the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Sater Sweden. In 2005 this event will be held in Fredericia, Denmark August 6-7 (www.fretri.dk). Fredericia was the site of the 2003 European Championships. If you are interested in Kenton's report on the 2004 ITU World's, e-mail KentonP1@aol.com)
||Dee of St. Mary's Skipjack
The Dee of St. Mary's, an environmental and educational Skipjack, is available for hire for wedding receptions, dinner sails, and other events. See their fall classes, tours, and schedule of events at: www.thebaylab.org
|Patapsco River Swim/Wade-in with Joe Stewart
reprinted from the Patapsco Riverkeeper©
On Sunday, May 23, Joe Stewart, activist-extraordinaire for both the Patapsco Riverkeeper and the Patapsco/Back River Tributary Strategy Team, successfully completed his third annual swim across the mouth of the Patapsco River, raising thousands of dollars for the Patapsco's grass-roots watershed organizations. Coinciding with Joe's swim, Patapsco Riverkeeper and the Patapsco Trib Team hosted the Patapsco's first "wade-in" and "teach-in" on the river's water quality. Proving the bipartisan breadth of support for the Patapsco's renaissance, both Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin and Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest addressed the record crowd on the beach.
Wade-in photo (Joe Stewart in bathing suit)
Joe swam from North Point State Park to Venice on the Bay, accomplishing the 4.4 mile crossing against stiff south-west winds in 3 and a half hours. Joe was accompanied by 3 kayakers from the Chesapeake Paddlers Association, a member of the Chesapeake Boston Whaler Club, a Baltimore County police boat, and a Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol boat. Citizens from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Howard Counties and Baltimore City (which make up the Patapsco watershed) were present and engaged in the day's activities, including the beach clean-up and wade-in.|
While Joe was swimming the river, water quality tests were performed along his swim route and secchi disk readings were called in from across the watershed. Waiting on the beach to welcome Joe and hear the results of this year's tests was a record crowd of more than 50 river enthusiasts. In addition to Congressmen Gilchrest and Cardin, Joe's supporters included: Rebecca Hanmer, the Director of the EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program, State Senator Philip Jimeno, State Delegate Joan Cadden, Anne Arundel County Councilman Ronald Dillon and Anne Arundel County Sheriff, George Johnson. Assistant Department of Natural Resources' Secretary Mark Bundy deputized for both Governor Robert Ehrlich and DNR Secretary Ron Franks, Catherine Tyzak represented US Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, and Chief of Staff Alvin Collins was on hand to speak for Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens.
Other VIPs on hand were Superintendent of Fort McHenry National Park Greg McGuire; North Point State Park Manager Charles Simmons; Patapsco Riverkeeper Board Chair Mark Wilson, and Patapsco Riverkeeper Lee Walker Oxenham; Paul Farragut, President of the Friends of the Patapsco Valley State Park; Rebecca Kohlberg, North County Land Trust; the Baltimore Sun's Bay columnist Tom Horton, and Fran Flanigan, Patapsco/Back River Tributary Strategy Team chair along with numerous members of the Trib Team. Representatives of all the watershed organizations who will be sharing the donated funds - the Curtis /Marley/ Furnace Creeks Watershed Association, the Herring Run Watershed Association, the Jones Falls Watershed Association, the Gwynns Falls Watershed Association, the Baltimore Harbor Watershed Association, and the Baltimore Sanitary Sewer Oversight Coalition - also participated in the event.
The day's highlight was the Patapsco River's first official wade-in. Volunteers waded out as far as they could go into the river until they could no longer see their white sneakers. Noted Chesapeake Bay activist Bernie Fowler originated this low-tech water quality test as a way to measure sediment and nutrient pollution loads and as a way of comparing current river conditions with those of his youth when he could wade out into the Patuxent River and still see his sneakers when he was neck deep. The Patapsco's waders managed to still see their shoes when most had just passed their knees - a depth of approximately 22 inches.
Congressmen Ben Cardin and Wayne Gilchrest addressed the crowd, praising the outstanding work of Joe Stewart, PaRk and PBRTST, the river enthusiasts present, and all the watershed organizations engaged in restoring and protecting the river and its resources. The day's "teach-in" included presentations on Maryland's new Tributary Strategies from Trib Team chair, Fran Flanigan; the array of water quality challenges confronting the River and its associated ecosystems from the Patapsco Riverkeeper, Lee Walker Oxenham; and a comprehensive "snap-shot" of turbidity results from secchi disk tests around the Patapsco River basin and its tributaries, by Trib Team member and 2003 Watershed Hero Stuart Stainman.
Notes from the Registrar
By Jeff Roddin
- The year 2004 has brought two new clubs to the Potomac Valley LMSC: Marymount Masters (MMST) and Carson Aquatics Swim Club (CASC). The contacts for these clubs are listed on the PV website. On behalf of the Potomac Valley LMSC, welcome to our organization!
- f your household is receiving more than one copy of The Swimmer's Ear and you would prefer not to receive the extra copies, please contact me (301-603-0528, firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know which registered PV swimmers wish to be "unsubscribed."
- Replacement USMS cards cost $5.00.
- Tidbit: your USMS number is printed on your SWIM address label.
PVLMSC Meeting attendance policy reminder:
The following clubs have not yet attended a PVLMSC Board meeting and face a doubling of their team dues if not represented at the final board meeting: Arlington Ageless, Carson Aquatics*, Curl-Burke, DCRP, Fairfax Area Aquatic Team, Howard University, Marymount Masters*, Masters Aquatics at Spring Hill, National Naval Medical Center, Northern VA JCC, Reston Masters, Riptide Masters and Rockville Masters (* these two clubs registered after our first board meeting and are therefore exempt from the attendance by-law this year but are strongly encouraged to attend and express their opinions). The third and final board meeting of 2004 will be November 14th at the Northern VA JCC (prior to the Lox & Bagels meet). Since we are a non-profit organization we would appreciate your participation much more than penalty fee revenue.
Did you know that in a 1-year period USMS receives approximately 2,500 address changes from SWIM Magazine, Local Registrars and Individual Swimmers? The majority is from SWIM Magazine who receives the returned magazine. They in turn send them on to the USMS National Office. This is over 200 per month and 6% of our membership. By the time USMS receives this information and updates the database, the swimmer may already have missed the next issue.
LMSC Registrars send their monthly registrations and any address changes they receive to the National Office. The National Office in turn creates the labels for SWIM Magazine. If the swimmer does not inform their local registrar of their change in address, the national database is not updated and the magazine is sent to their old address.
THEREFORE SWIMMERS SHOULD CONTACT JEFF RODDIN (301-603-0528, email@example.com) WITH ANY ADDRESS CHANGES.
Unofficial PVLMSC Board Meeting Minutes - July 11
Submitted by Debbie Morrin-Nordlund
- Reviewed evaluators for upcoming meets and past swim sanctions.
- Awaiting final results of OEVT registration issues for Reston.
Top Ten -
- 1648 swimmers registered as of June 30 (slightly less than last year).
- OEVT for Reston Lake swim did not run smoothly. Forms and payments not yet received from on-line registrants. Discussion followed on whether to allow future OEVTs - will wait on final report and see if requested in future.
- Compensation of PV Registrar discussed. MSA to raise compensation of PV Registrar to $2.50 per swimmer.
- SCY times submitted.
- Reminder that pools certified under the old rules (3 lanes measured) may need to be recertified.
- Accounts are holding steady.
- Contract with GMU signed for the PV LCM meet on August 29.
nothing to report
- Deadline for next newsletter is August 15
- PV 2003 swimmer of the year awards will be presented at DCRP LCM meet.
- A USMS Officials newsletter will be produced 3 times a year.
- USMS Convention Delegates - PV delegates for the 2004 convention Eric Nordlund, Ray Novitske, Myriam Pero, Jeff Roddin, Ann Svanson. Dave Diehl, Lynn Hazlewood and Debbie Morrin-Nordlund attending as well in other capacities.
- PV Last Chance Meet - Myriam Pero will be handling the awards (ribbons for 1st - 3rd with PV logo). Ray Novitske is working on t-shirt design. Tim Timmons will approach GMU and Maco USA swim team regarding working as timers.
- Coach Training - Tom Denes will contact Coaches Chair Dave Diehl regarding possibility of reimbursing PV USMS coaches for training
Next meeting: Nov 14 prior to the JCCNV meet.
- Annandale Masters considering offering a postal swim.
Swimmer Goes the Distance Without a Wetsuit
By Cari Shane Parven from the Washington Post, June 9, 2004
Nick Olmos-Lau loves to show off his potbelly. It's quite a surprising attribute for the 58-year-old doctor, considering his addiction. Olmos-Lau is a swimmer. Actually, he's more than a swimmer. He's a man who finds peace in cutting through the waves of the ocean and in the windmill motion of his arms propelling him through the water.
Over the past four years, Olmos-Lau has crossed the English Channel, swimming more than 30 miles, and the 21-mile Catalina Channel off the coast of California. He also swam the 28-mile Manhattan Island Sound three times. Each time, he wasn't wearing a wet suit.
In August, he'll be one of 15 international swimmers to compete in an invitation-only 21-mile swim across the Long Island Sound. At the last minute, he decided to forego this weekend's 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim to focus on longer-distance swimming. "Why does anyone do any kind of ultra-endurance athletics?" Olmos-Lau said. "Because of the challenge. Long-distance swimmers are a different breed of athlete."
Though Olmos-Lau racks up 40 miles per week swimming at the Montgomery Aquatic Center in Bethesda, Hains Point in the District and the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, he doesn't have the six-pack abs expected from a swimmer (think Olympic hopeful Michael Phelps). But Olmos-Lau, of Washington, is okay with his round belly. He says the extra weight keeps him warm when he hits the cold, open water. He has hit a lot of it.
Olmos-Lau, who came to the United States from Mexico in 1969 as a medical intern, decided to give up the safety of a chlorinated lap pool for the aquatic jungle of oceans, rivers and lakes purely by accident. In 1997, he was helping a friend train for a 12-mile swim in the Florida Keys when the friend got sick; Olmos-Lau swam it for him. "It was a great sensation of achievement. I swam with world-class swimmers, and I was right there up with them," he said. "I felt like I could do this."
Though busy with a neurology practice in the District, during the winter of 1998 Olmos-Lau started preparing his body for cold, no-wet-suit swims. "I soaked in ice-filled bathtubs for 20 minutes every day and took ice-cold showers to get my body acclimated," he said.
With ice baths and 40 pounds added for insulation, he was ready the next summer for the Potomac River Swim and a 12.5-mile swim from Quebec to Vermont in icy Lake Menphremagog.
His wife, Nancy Thomas, "made him promise he wouldn't do the English Channel." But he found other swims to challenge his body and his mind. "In open water your mind is in a super-alert state," Olmos-Lau said. "It is strange for your body to be out there. You are always trying to concentrate. Is there a boat near you, is there a creature behind you?"
In the summer of 1999, the "creature behind him" was the decaying docks of Manhattan Island. "There are no dead people, no mattresses, no nothing; but you need to swim in between a boat and a kayak to protect you from pieces of wood and nails," Olmos-Lau said. He came in second in his age group at 7 hours 38 minutes and would go on to swim around Manhattan Island two more times (in 2000 and 2001).
That same summer, Olmos-Lau also swam a 15-mile course around Wye Island near St. Michaels on Maryland's Eastern Shore as well as a nocturnal swim in Catalina Channel. Though the stormy, moonless night was scary for Olmos-Lau, he finished the 21-mile swim in 12 1/2 hours. "After Catalina," his wife recalled, "I told him, 'If you could do this, you might as well go for the glory [of the English Channel].' We figured, how much worse could it be?"
So in August 2000, Olmos-Lau and his wife traveled to England for the biggest challenge of his swimming career. As of 2002, 7,000 people had attempted to cross the English Channel, but only 630 have crossed it 900 times over the past 125 years, according to statistics about the swim.
Olmos-Lau hired a pilot (or captain) and boat, a mate and a judge for his 21-mile swim from Dover, England, to Cap Gris-Nez, France. Despite careful planning, poor weather forced him to wait nearly four weeks. The sun came out during a spring tide, and Olmos-Lau, not understanding the complexities of the tides, decided to make his first try.
It was the wrong decision. Like a dam break, the spring tide brought 18 feet of water rushing into the Channel, pushing him 15 miles off course. Olmos-Lau had already been in the water for nine hours, and, only two-thirds of the way across, he knew he'd have to swim through the night. "I told my wife, 'I'm finished,' and right there sitting in the boat, she signed me up for the next year."
He was back in the English Channel the next summer. But after one hour in the water, Olmos-Lau was overcome by severe vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. He quit before it turned dangerous. Still, he would not be deterred. He stayed in England and continued to train. Two weeks later, in July 2001, he received a phone call from his pilot about a no-show swimmer. The boat was available the next day if Olmos-Lau wanted to try again.
"What they told me is to go from one feeding to the next, every half hour," Olmos-Lau said. During each feeding, he was given a cup of tea, sugar and complex carbohydrate powder from a long pole. If Olmos-Lau touched anything other than the pole and cup, he would be disqualified by the judge who was on the boat.
In between the feedings, he concentrated on his stroke and the water around him. "There were tremendous boats, so big and massive. They came so close that they had to put the boat in between me and the [ships'] wakes, which can actually snap your back." In addition, he had to make sure not to ingest the salty water polluted with oil and other contaminants.
Halfway across the channel, a videotape shows Olmos-Lau's spinning arms and sputtering legs suddenly freeze. "I saw a sea of jellyfish the size of umbrellas. They were at the bottom of the ocean, about 15 feet down. I just kept saying to myself, 'Stay down, stay down." With hundreds of tentacles swaying under him, he knew he would be killed if they rose to the surface.
For Olmos-Lau, the 21-mile swim turned into a 30.5-mile journey because of the tides; "not bad," he says, considering the average channel swimmer puts in 30 to 40 miles before hitting the beach in France. "The last hour and a half was really nerve-wracking," he said. "The tide was pulling me out instead of in." In a show of solidarity, his daughter, Lisa, jumped in the water and swam the rest of the way with him. When Olmos-Lau climbed onto the beach in Cap Gris-Nez, he had completed the swim in 13 hours 41 minutes. He plans to make the crossing again in 12 years, when he's 70.