Sunday, August 07, 2011

Diana Nyad is swimming from Cuba to the USA today!

103-miles or ten 10k-swims 16-plus 10k swims is what she is doing today NOW! See live map sent to us by Glenn Mills of [Link]

Though on paper it is a 103-mile swim; both sighting & current issues will add a few more miles to the swim.

If she completes it, they should build a whole new wing of the Swimmers Hall of Fame just for her for she will be untouchable as far as swimming accomplishments go; Pantheon untouchable! No swimmer has done that we know of.

To put this into a real world perspective, and I have to call it it a "real world perspective", for when you say you are going to swim 103-miles, it's like trying to explain what a light-year is to someone in the first grade. It becomes simply a abstract number with no physical meaning.

For instance: swimming one-mile in the ocean is probably impossible for 90% of the world's population so when you say you are going to swim 103-miles, what would that mean to someone if there were going to drown as soon as they set foot in the water?

So here is my real world perspective. If you are female and have mastered swimming, you will use 3.5-times more energy to swim a mile than to run a mile; for men the number is 3.75-times more energy. So, with Diana Nyad swimming 103-miles with no rest is like challenging a runner to run 350-miles without stopping or running from New York City to well passes Washington DC in Virginia. It has never been done. Not even ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes has topped 300-miles yet in a single run. I think his personal best is 262-miles.

My reference regarding the proportional effort comes from the New York Times:

The human body, it seems, simply was not meant to move quickly through water. Dr. Wainer's study found that champion runners can go about three and a half times farther than champion swimmers in the same amount of time. But in that time, the less efficient swimmers burn 25 percent more calories.


Today is the day for Diana Nyad and hopefully the record books. From MSNBC:

"... The swim has been done before, by Australian Susan Maroney in May 1997, but Nyad's claim to a world record will be that unlike Maroney, she is doing it without a shark cage in the strait's warm, shark-infested waters.

Maroney was only 22, but Nyad said her comparatively advanced age is one of the reasons she will try the swim.

"I retired when I should have, when I was young, and a couple of years ago, turning 60, I didn't want to feel old yet. I started thinking 'what if I went back, what if I went back to the elusive dream of Cuba," she said at a news conference at Marina Hemingway, where she will begin her record attempt. ..."


Though impressive, a shark cage to me provides drafting issues in my opinion.


Glenn said...

Here's the link to her live progress:

Tony Austin said...

Thank you, I am going to try and embed it.:-D

Lisa said...

I'm in my early 40's and admire her so much. Off to the gym to do my 10 minute mile on the treadmill.

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but 103 miles is more like 16.5 10K swims.

Tony Austin said...

I got her age mixed up with the mileage. I will correct, thanks for the catch.

Tony Austin said...

Corrected! I also added Glenn's link and his website to the post.

Thanks again.

Tony Austin said...

Well, She is definitely not of this world to do some of the stuff she has done but I actually admire how she was able to parlay her swim successes into a sports reporting career and remain employed at it for decades.