Channel Swimmer Vasanti Niemz participates in this year's swim, and gives the following report:
44 solo swimmers and 18 relay teams representing 18 nations headed off early on Sunday morning of July 26, 2015, in Rapperswil, Switzerland, to conquer the length of Lake Zurich (26,4 km) in the 28th annual international Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen organized by the Swiss Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team (SCMT).
Solo swimmers - without and with swimsuit - started at 7 am, followed by the relay teams at 7:15 am, each swimmer or team accompanied by either a rowing, sailing or motor boat (trying to find your boat or your swimmer is always the first challenge!). Weather conditions were excellent. Although there were storm warnings on the lake the evening before, it calmed down and the lake was incredibly peaceful most of the way (maybe because it had been rededicated as a Peace Lake just a few weeks before?), with just a tiny bit of chop for some time after Meilen, the halfway cutoff point. The water was a comfortable 24°C and the air 23°C (not good for training for the English Channel!). The morning was sunny, later it became nicely overcast with the sun peeking out here and there again. Only close to the cutoff at 12 hours the usual bit of rain came, so helpers of the slower swimmers also got a bit wet. Only three soloist did not make the 6 hour cutoff at Meilen and had to stop.
The fastest finishing times were 6 h 14 for the relays (Uusschwümme :), CH), 6 h 52 (Felix Lenz, GER) for the wetsuit men, 7 h 40 for non-wetsuit (bioprene) men (John Zemaitis, USA), a new woman`s wetsuit masters record with 7 h 53 (Frederike Wachs, GER), and the fastest woman sans wetsuit was 8 h 21(Jo Yetman, GB).
SCMT members participating (again) were: Abhejali Bernadova (CZ), solo, 3rd place women main category (8 h 39)
Vasanti Niemz (GER), 2nd place women masters (10 h 19)
Pataka Spacek (CZ, 11 h 15, wetsuit)
And our boys relay: Kallol, Harkara, Sukinkar (GER, 10 h 41).
All the finisher faces were beaming as usual, every finisher received a medal and a flower garland. The huge buffet with Chi and tofu sponsored by the Secrets of Perfection Flames (http://www.soyana.ch) was amazing as always. Knowing there is some great food waiting always helps to make it across the last almost never-ending stretch from Küsnacht to the finish!
Gratitude to all the organisers and helpers and congratulations to all the finishers! For all the results and photos visit: http://ch.srichinmoyraces.org/zürichsee-schwimmen-marathon-swim/previous-results/2015/ Maybe we will see you in Zurich August 7th 2016, for the next Lake Zurich Swim!