SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's swimmer Marc Blumberg finished first out of 481 competitors in the men's division of the 2013 Annual Alcatraz Sharkfest open-swim competition which occurred on Sunday, May 19.
The Alcatraz Sharkfest is a well-known 1.5 mile open-water swim that starts from the east side of Alcatraz and spans outward across the San Francisco Bay. Apart from being challenged by the current, swimmers must also face water temperatures that can easily drop into the mid-50's.
For Blumberg, the strategy for winning races like the Alcatraz swim is to get in the lead early and hold it.
"I broke away from the main pack within the first 5 minutes and then settled into a rhythm for the middle chunk of the swim," Blumberg said. "About 2/3rds of the way in, a younger swimmer caught up to me and passed me, but I kept to my rhythm that I established. Eventually he burned out and I passed him and charged the last 500 yards into the beach."
As a repeated SCIAC champion in the 500-yard freestyle and a two-time honorable mention All-American at the 2013 NCAA Division III Swimming Championship, it is no surprise that Marc is a strong open-water competitor.
Head coach Charlie Griffiths describes Blumberg as "a tenacious trainer and a clutch racer." Griffiths attributes Blumberg's success to his ability to maintain mental focus through lengthy practices and his versatility as an athlete which marks Blumberg as a strong competitor both in and out of the pool.