When Bering Strait Swim is halted in the middle of the relay, what do you call it?
This brings up an admittedly minor linguistic issue, but one in which some marathon swimmers somewhere are discussing how to define such an exploit.
What do you call a relay in which each swimmer does 10-minute legs, then is halted for 10 hours, and then the relay is resumed? The swimmers are attempting the relay while abiding by the rules of the English Channel, especially the swimwear and swim cap rules. But they are attempting a swim under extraordinarily extreme conditions that would never occur in the English Channel with huge ocean swells and water temperatures under 7ºC. Therefore, if the swim was halted, it was temporarily stopped for good reasons.
But the issue remains: what is this type of relay called among the marathon swimming community? Is it a channel relay? Under Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation rules, the swim would have been disqualified because there was no swimmer in the water for 10 hours. Is it a marathon relay? Perhaps since the total distance 53 miles (86 km). Is it a stage relay? It would certainly qualify as a stage swim. Is it an adventure relay? That is certainly true, but the term adventure implies that neoprene is used.
Our thought on how best to define this extraordinary relay is that it is an extreme relay. This unique extreme relay sets a different standard for human adventure. It is certainly extreme and the distance certainly qualifies it as a marathon swim, especially since the swimmers are doing the swim with no neoprene.
At its very essence, the Bering Strait Swim is an adventure that significantly expands the mindset of swimmers and pushes them to reach their true innate potential.
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