Swimming Fast In Desert Heat

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Guaymas is a coastal town in the Mexican state of Sonora. It is located 389 km from the southern U.S. border and sits on the Sea of Cortez and the western edge of the Sonoran Desert.

It has 117 km of beaches, lots of marine life, and a very hot and dry climate for much of the year. It was also site of professional marathon swimming races in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

On May 29th 1971, the III Marathon Internacional de Natacion was held. The 42 km marathon swim held from point-to-point in along the coast of Guaymas. “When you think about it, it was a remarkable race for a few reasons,” says Steven Munatones. “The prize money was significant and swimming 42 km at the end of May in Guaymas must be tough – the swimmers would have been racing under cloudless skies in water that would have been nearing 30°C. If the desert winds would have been blowing offshore, the water would have been choppy and the air would have parched their throats dry.

But when you are racing for a US$20,660 first prize – the value of the prize money in today’s dollars, there is a lot of incentive.”

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