Other than the world championship 10K race, is there a more competitive race than the RCP Tiburon Mile?

We think not.

To determine the world’s best distance freestyler, the RCP Tiburon Mile is the perfect compromise for the elites in the pool swimming world and the open water swimming world.

On one hand, the distance favors the pool guys.

On the other hand, the venue – the cold waters of San Francisco Bay – favors the open water guys.

The need to start off fast and close with a sprint favors Olympic gold medalists like Ous Mellouli. The need to navigate the tidal flows and surface chop in the Bay favor world open water champions like Thomas Lurz.

The start favors the open water swimmers who understand that getting out in front and not getting clobbered is critical for success. However, the pool swimmers understand drafting and often tuck right behind the leaders, bidding their time to make a move at the end of the race.

Defending champion Kane Radford of New Zealand is back. Canadian Ryan Cochrane, the hottest pool distance swimmer in the world, will also showcase his massive aerobic capacity. Former world 10K champion Chip Peterson is also ready to go, having either won or placed in the top two from the La Jolla Rough Water Swim to several FINA 10K World Cups.

But it is going to be tough to beat Thomas Lurz (shown above) who is motivated to win the US$10,000 first prize. “This is the only major race that I have not won,” said Thomas. “I have been training well.”

Sounds like the gauntlet has been thrown.

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