Paul Asmuth To Speak At 2019 Open Water Summit
One dominant figure on the marathon swimming scene in the 20th century was American Paul Asmuth.
Asmuth won 7 World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation titles in the 1980’s and is an inductee in both the International Swimming Hall of Fame (Class of 2010) and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Class of 1982) for winning several dozens of long and difficult marathon races from Canada to Italy.
When asked to describe his toughest workout over the course of his career, Asmuth recalled a long day in the office at the Mission Viejo Nadadores pool under the helm of USA Swimming Olympic and National Team Head Coach Mark Schubert.
“We had just put in two long, hard workouts totaling about 22,000 yards [a little over 20,000 meters]. We were exhausted. Then Mark told us that we had to go 10 x 75 [yards] on 45 seconds before we could get out.” [note: approximately equivalent to a 47-second pace in a 25-meter pool] “I was only able to make 4 of them on the first set. But he made us do it again. So I had to try again. But, I only made 6 or 7 on the second set.
Mark STILL didn’t let us out. But, I finally made all 10 on the last set. That was REALLY, REALLY hard.”
Asmuth will speak at the 2019 Open Water Summit in Redondo Beach in Southern California on October 5th about his career, how young athletes can map out a path to national teams and an international career while forging an open water swimming career.
Asmuth will also talk about his recently published book, Marathon Swimming: The Sport of the Soul.
In the book, he described his own path to success as the 7-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion in the 1980s, “The story of my marathon swimming journey is how the hand of God directed me throughout my life, to put me in the right place and, more importantly, with the right coaches and teammates who would build my mind, body, and spiritual path to achieve great success, as improbable as this was in my early days.
Looking back on life, it is easy to see how the decisions we made impacted our future. For me, the links between these choices have been Divine inspirations and appointments. Without my belief that God has a plan for my life, the odds of success seem very low.”
Marathon Swimming: The Sport of the Soul was published in 2018 by Elm Hill, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, and can be purchased here.
Asmuth competed in 59 professional marathon swimming races and crossed the English Channel three times over a lengthy career that coincided with a career as a CPA in California. While winning his World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation titles, he set course records from Canada to Italy.
As the dominant figure in professional marathon swimming during the 1980’s, he struck fear in the hearts of his competitors. But deep down in his heart and soul, God played a major role in his success. Marathon Swimming: The Sport of the Soul was nominated for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
Steven Munatones, a fellow competitor, talks about Asmuth, “Paul wrote his first book like he swam as a professional marathon swimmer: with passion, faith, and grit. Paul introduces readers to the journey of his prolific marathon swimming career that took him to races in the Pacific Ocean in Mexico, lakes in Quebec, Canada, in the Italian waters of the Mediterranean Sea, around Manhattan Island in New York City, and three times across the English Channel: 8 hours 12 minutes and 8 hours 34 minutes in 1985 and 9 hours 5 minutes in 1989.
He recognizes the guidance of God and the people who helped him attain his achievements in his many victories including the 42 km Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog, the 32 km and 64 km Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean, the 45.9 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, the 36.2 km Atlantic City Around the Island Swim, and the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli.
Throughout the book, Paul recounts many memorable races in some of the world’s toughest marathon races. ‘The story of my marathon swimming journey is how the hand of God directed me throughout my life, to put me in the right place and, more importantly, with the right coaches and teammates who would build my mind, body, and spiritual path to achieve great success, as improbable as this was in my early days.”
Asmuth describes the doubts, uncertainties and struggles with the cold, currents and conditions that he had to overcome in his races to succeed. The three-time NCAA All-American swimmer and team co-captain at Arizona State University had his dreams of competing in the Olympics dashed by the 1980 boycott.
But that disappointment ultimately led him to showcase his swimming prowess on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation where he was the dominant swimmer throughout the 1980’s while working as a California Certified Public Accountant.
Asmuth has long retired from accounting, but shared his knowledge of the sport while coaching the USA Swimming national team between 2007 and 2016. He currently serves as the general manager of The Napa Valley Reserve, a private winery and club in St. Helena, California.
Elm Hill describes Marathon Swimming: The Sport of the Soul as a chronicle of Asmuth’s rich experience in his swimming career and spiritual journey. The Sport of the Soul refers to how marathon swimming diminishes all five senses — hear, feel, touch, smell, and sight — where he is moved deeper into his soul to the very essence of who he is and who God has made him to be.
The 244-page Marathon Swimming: The Sport of the Soul is available in eBook, paperback and hardbound formats. The book has already been translated into French. The French-language edition will be released later this year.
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