Both solist Karen Rogers and the Night Train relay of Vito Bialla, Phil Cutti, Paul Lundgren (shown on left), Matt Davie, Joe Locke and Michelle Deasy will take to the cold, rough, Great White Shark-filled environs between the Farallon Islands and San Francisco Bay on two major marathon swims coming up.

The Night Train Swimmers will begin their swim on June 19th at 6:00 am while Karen Rogers will have a window from July 2nd – 7th.

With the water temperature falling below 50°F (10°C) and currently hovering around 48°F (9°C), the 30-mile (48K) open ocean swim will not be easy to say the least.

But talk of using neoprene hats were unanimously and quickly squelched by all the swimmers. “We’re all going bare knuckles,” said team captain Vito Bialla. “I will follow Channel Swimming Federation rules,” echoed Karen. “Yes, no neoprene,” agreed Paul Lundgren, one of the Night Train Swimmers.

What makes Paul‘s adamant position on the use of neoprene interesting is the fact that he is the owner of Fit2Race, a maker and seller of triathlon apparel and wetsuits, including neoprene swim hoods.

You have to greatly respect someone who is going to do a 10-14 hour swim in 48°F (9°C) water and sells neoprene swim hoods for a living, but does not want to use his own products for himself. Gutsy swimmer with character and high integrity.

But Paul decided to give others a 25% discount on his Steelhead Neoprene Swim Hoods. Inspired by his 465-mile staged relay swim down the Salmon River in Idaho, Paul named the Fit2Race neoprene swim hoods Steelheads and screen-printed them with fish eyes and gills to look the part.

Paul – and his teammates – definitely will look and play the part of real tough marathon swimmers as they tackle the turbulent tidal flows of 48°F water in the world’s most congested area for aggressive Great White Sharks.

These are truly men and women of steel.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association