Early in 2012, Evan Morrison, myself and a small group of well-known swimmers corresponded to discuss the possibility of initiating a global marathon swimming award.
Our desire was to focus exclusively on swimmers and swims which followed the traditionally accepted marathon swimming guidelines; single, non-stop, non-assisted swims over 10 kilometres. Our concern was that with the proliferation of new and alternative types of swims, all acceptable on their own merits, the long-established sport of unaided marathon and Channel swimming was losing visibility and confusion was growing. We believe in fact that in 2012 this problem has grown to an even greater extent, as I have written about previously.
This discussion led in turn to the creation of marathonswimmers.org, the first forum to support and promote traditional marathons swimming, for all abilities, from beginners to Aspirants, to experienced marathon and Channel swimmers. After seven months in operation, with a steadily increasing membership, including hundreds of Channel swimmers, Evan and I we feel comfortable that marathonswimmers.org is healthy and that now is an apt time to announce the First Annual Global Marathon Swimming Awards.
This first year, there will be three categories.
- Solo Swim of the Year (Female) – the single most outstanding solo marathon swim by a female in 2012.
- Solo Swim of the Year (Male) – the single most outstanding solo marathon swim by a male in 2012.
- The Barra Award – the marathon swimmer (male or female) with the most impressive body of work, considered as a whole, in 2012.
The Barra Award is named after forum Charter Member* and valued part of all our discussions and all-round funny guy, David Barra, who in one season completed English Channel, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, Maui Channel, Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Ederle Swim, and the Boston Light Swim. Dave’s email and forum signature is typical of a marathon swimmer’s ethos. “Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing“.
The awards selection will be by a nomination and vote process of the forum members, followed by a committee decision. Nominees do not have to be forum members. Only members of the marathonswimmers.org forum are eligible to nominate and vote, and with only one vote and nomination per category per member.
- We will only consider swims for the calendar year of 2012. (Any meritorious swims occurring after the announcement in 2012 will instead be eligible in 2013).
- We will not announce running totals, so there will be no leading of votes.
- There will be no multiple votes possible per member or IP address.
More details are on the link.
It’s worth reiterating therefore that these awards will be: By Swimmers. For Swimmers.
* Forum Charter member were those involved in the early discussions who signed up early in the first round. It’s our way of recognising and thanking them for their help and early participation.
The announcement on Evan’s freshwaterswimmer.com.