Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gertrude-Ederle-Award II

Some additional background information:

The Gertrude Edele Award "for the most meritorious CS&PF English
Channel swim by a woman" is a very special award. It is named after the first woman who "conquered" the English Channel in 1926, after only 6 men had succeeded, when people thought it very unlikely for a woman to be physically capable of completing such a challenge. "Trudi", by the way, was a German immigrant with a U.S. passport.

One biography says about her:
"Ederle was among the first real sports heroines to prove that women were not physically inferior or incapable of strenuous activity.... With determination and hard work, she illustrated the potential for women who practiced hard and maintained their dedication... The accomplishments of Gertrude Ederle will always serve as evidence for the endless possibilities for women in sport."

This award is a very fitting tribute to Vijaya's determination, faith, perseverance and true "never give up"-attitude in a spirit of self-transcendence - qualities which make her one of the shining female athletes of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and which also support her in her challenging work at the United Nations.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gertrude-Ederle Award 2008 to Vijaya Claxton of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team

(photo courtesy of Nick Adams)

At the annual Channel Swimmers' Dinner a few days ago, hosted by the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (CS & PF) in Dover, a number of channel swimmers were honoured for their various achievements during the season of 2007.

Among them Vijaya Claxton (USA), swimmer friend and fellow member of the International Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, who received the very special Gertrude Ederle Award "for the most meritorious CS&PF English Channel swim by a woman in 2007", along with the Cape Storm Award 2007 for the longest solo swim of 2007. Vijaya had to brave and battle the waves, the currents and continuing seasickness for 22hrs 27 mins. Amazingly, she looked extremely good after her swim and was shining with inner satisfaction. It had taken her several attempts over a couple of years to finally succeed - while working a responsible fulltime-job at the United Nations, making her a glowing example of Sri Chinmoy's motto of "never give up".
More about her swim

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Welcome! The countdown has started!

Welcome to this new blog for a new challenge: my Channel Triathlon Dover-Heidelberg 2008!

Only 5 months to go until the big event which is scheduled for the tide of 7th to 16th of August. High time to note down some of my experiences and thoughts on the way. I consider it a special blessing to have Alison Streeter, the Queen of the Channel (43 crossings!) and good friend of some of our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team swimmers, as my pilot, which came quite as a surprise, since she got her own boat only this year! (Before I was forth place for early July - very iffy!)

After the international 12 h indoors swim in Zurich 2 weeks ago on Feb. 24th, where I completed my 27.2 k quite happily and kind of easy-going ("she is still smiling"!) with enough time for lunch, coffee and massage, the next longer training session is the 6 h Self-Transcendence Race in Nurnberg on March 15th, which will give me an opportunity to also meet my parents and my sister's family. My parents usually come towards the end to help at the food table, pick up cups from the ground or to give me a push on the uphill section - and to enjoy the great atmosphere.

In Zurich it was quite inspiring to meet Arthur Puckrin (born 1938, photo below) in my lane, swimming very steadily and obviously enjoying himself all the way. He finished two Deca-Ironmen (10x ironman distance) in 2006 and is still going strong. Made me feel like a youngster. He is a perfect example of my teacher Sri Chinmoy's motto: "Age is in the mind, but not in the heart."