Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Merle Liivand has been a competitive pool swimmer, training in pools all her life. The personable CEO of SWIMERA is a elite breaststroker focused on breakouts, technique, pool drills, and pacing as a specialist in 100-200 meter races at the World Youth Championships, the European Olympic Festival and the FINA World Cup Series.

But Liivand splits her work time between Estonia and Florida, she gradually became drawn to the open water.

It was my 24th birthday weekend and I decided to swim my first 10 km,” she explains at the end of her 2 hour 31 minute Swim Miami marathon where she placed 20th out of the 63 finishers. “I wanted to do something different. It was rough. I lost my bottle holders and lost so much time for looking around for them. After 3 miles, I finally got to my drink and food.

I learned so much about swimming the 10 km and definitely feel I want to do it again. I just need to work on the details. But I am happy that I did it
.”

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