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Bob Burrow

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English Channel 2017

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Bob Burrow

This past weekend was the New England Masters Short Course Championships at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool. It is a huge annual meet and draws swimmers from all over New England.

Despite the dedication of showing up at practice on a regular basis a majority of the morning MIT Masters rarely swim in meets-much to Coach Bill’s chagrin. Why do we torture ourselves by getting up when most people are asleep, jump in cold water and swim up and down a monotnous black line if we aren’t going to see the fruits of our training by swimming in a meet? This weekend I think I figured part of the answer out.

Thanks (I think) to what started as gentle prodding by Jeff and Josh that morphed into some type of positive peer pressure we decided to enter the meet. We would only do one day (except for Josh) and swim a couple of events. 

We all swam the 200 free, 100IM and the 400 medley relay and 200 free relay. I threw in the 500 free for good measure.  Between the four of us we had some darn good individual swims. 

(Hubbard staring down the pool)

(Jeff 100 IM)
(Josh 100 IM)
I must say I think I had the most fun in the 400 medley relay. The combined age of our relay was 192 years. We led off with a solid backstroke by Hubbard, I followed with a painful breastroke and we hammered it home with strong fly and free performances by Josh and Jeff.  In fact, this motley band of mature swimmers (except Josh-not saying he is immature though) got third in our age group. Not too shabby.
We were in and out of the water multiple times from a warm up before each race, the race and then a post race warm down. By the end I was sick and tired of jumping in cold water.

It was a very long day however I must say it was a fun day too! A couple things came to mind as we sat in the bleachers for nearly 12 hours!!!!!

First, I think what makes masters swimming so inspiring was to see the variety of swimmers at the meet from young to old and people of all different shapes and sizes. Seeing a 75 year old man swim a 500 free and then to back it up with a 200 fly that is pretty damn inspiring. I guess I better start swimming more fly.

And second, speaks to why I get up early in the mornings to jump in a cold pool to stare a dumb black line…it is the people!  I am not sure what it is like at other masters teams but what I do know is the reason I show up at MIT nearly everyday is the people. It sets the tone for and makes my entire day. To steal Coach Bill’s phrase-It’s not any one of us…it’s all of us.


Thank you Jeff, Hubbard and Josh for making it a great Saturday.


500 free 6:00.26-felt good about the swim in particularly the way I paced it.

100 IM 1:08-fun swim. Short and sweet.

200 free 2:12-end of the day felt ok about it. Room for improvement

400 medley relay-100 breast 1:14

200 free relay-50 free sucked

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