So, this just* happened: Seems yours truly has been nominated for Solo Swim of the Year (male) as part of the 2016 Global Marathon Swimming Awards. I was nominated by Jaimie, probably one of the most incredible non-professional marathon swimmers out there, with dozens of seriously long-distance swims to her name.
These awards are different than other similar marathon swimming awards in that only members of the Marathon Swimmers Forum can vote. There is no way for a nominee to enlist family and friends to go join the forum and vote for them as there are deadlines for membership and forum participation requirements, both of which remain a mystery to all of us. Any of us members can nominate someone, and the top 3-4 in each category (based on “likes” received) move on to the final voting round. For that round, each forum member is emailed a special voting token that can only be used once. Compare this to another well-known marathon swimming award and their “vote early and vote often” rule, and you’ll see why the MSF Global Marathon Swimming Awards are much more respected by marathon swimmers. And what do you get? Absolutely nothing, but the most important award possible: the respect and acknowledgement of your peers.
What an honor! I never expected it. I was nominated for my Issyk Kul crossing in July. I never thought a measly 8.5 mile swim would get me nominated. In her nomination, Jaimie said
Although it may be one of the shorter swims nominated in this category, this is a meaningful, challenging, and beautiful swim. Swimming at altitude is always tough unless you live at altitude, and this is a swim that had never been done before so logistics and planning were relatively difficult.
It truly is an honor to be nominated and I have no expectation of winning. (Just look at my competition. Oy!) What I do like about this, though, is the exposure Kyrgyzstan and lake Issyk Kul is getting. It is my sincere hope that this will inspire one or more swimmers out there to take the leap and go swim in that beautiful lake among the incredibly hospitable Kyrgyz. (And my Guide to swimming the lake is available here, if you’re interested!)
*It didn’t “just” happen. I was nominated earlier in the month and voting started about a week ago, but I’ve been debating on whether or not to even write about this. Vanity won out.