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jueves, 6 de octubre de 2011

· Teresa Planas · WR · Menorca Channel · 'Marathon swimming alone, to be remembered is perhaps the real secret to immortality'·

Teresa Planas
·WR Menorca Channel·

Menorca Channel a large unexplored marine corridor for the vast majority of swimmers and fans around the world open water swimming with great potential in this fast expanding sport discipline.Teresa Planas get this impact with a new world record at the famous islands known worldwide as the Mallorquinas, a spot reliving favorite memories for some of the brave swimmers who fulfilled dreams in Spanish Mediterranean waters.

The channel's history was written in the silver sea at night, while the ships sailed to accompany the adventurous swimmers from the radiant shores of Spanish coastline.The 36 km that separate the sister islands of Menorca to Mallorca through the sandy deserts adorned by large sheets of Posidonia, re-emerging from the splendor thanks to the bravery of the swimmers as Teresa Planas.

She then negotiated with her soul, contained and controled her fear in order to head for Mallorca to swim through the canal, with her team looking to conquer the great marine corridor.
Hours of swimming, accompanied by songs and the free pass deep thoughts clear waters of the jewel of the Spanish channels, Canal de Menorca.Teresa is now the fastest swimmer of the channel, to conquer and set a world record which she has picked up as a beautiful and unexpected priceless treasure.Little was known of the channel, the great unknown and almost undocumented history of the great swimmers as Teresa, who are enriching its history through their achievements and contributions to the media.Teresa found her passage, without giving up, arm in arm subjecting the channel to a new récord.In the dark of night, nor the battle that she had to fight with her fears that she had to surrender ...

Now and for all followers of Nadandolibre, Teresa tells us about this great episode , honoured with our attention, how she conquered the Grand Canal in Menorca.

 Jose Diaz • It's really a honor for us Nadandolibre to interview you and to write a short story about your history and your start in competitive swimming and the origin of your career in open water swimming.
How is your openwater story from beginning to the days where you got to conquer the Canal de Menorca and set a new world record?
Teresa Planas • For starters, thank you for your interest and attention. I feel very flattered that a blog like yours, with interviews with world-class swimmers, is interested in the challenge made, Swimming in Illes (Swimming between Island).
I started competing in swimming at the age of eight years, with the sole purpose of having fun playing sports, what is typical at that age. At ten I started out a little and at 13 entered the School of Sport Balear (EBE), now called Centre de Tecnificació Esportiva de les Illes Balears (CTEIB), which allowed me to combine school and sports. Obtained good results, achieving podium finishes at the state level at 100 and 200 butterfly for several years, was selected for several international competitions with the junior team and obtaining the qualification for the European Junior Championship 2003 in Glasgow, aged 16. My results were good (though compared to the times that the girls make today on the 200 butterfly I would not be getting in the A final) but even so, my coach and I both agreed that I fell short in speed on the 200 butterfly.
Every year I enrolled in the Travessa de Formentor, held in September in Mallorca. It's 7km and I used to always win with good times, in addition to enjoying a long swim in the sea. I was good at it and assimilated it even better. But I did not plan anything.
At age 19 I stopped competing. First, because I dragged a serious shoulder injury since I was 17, and second, because I wanted to focus on college. But I kept training, making the journey I have ganándola.Today I'm 24 and have never ceased to swim, although workouts have never been a priority, since I focused on finishing my studies.

Jose Diaz • How is the dream born within you of wanting to swim across the difficult channel, that reasons that have led you to want to conquer this Menorca's channel?
Teresa Planas • After several years of non-stop train (at my own pace) but without competing, I decided that I wanted to have extra motivation. I knew that as he had never stopped swimming, it cost me to get back into rhythm. I remembered that I really like the sea, I'm good swim in it and wanted to do something big, unusual and Balearic Islands. Thus arose the idea of ​​crossing the Canal de Menorca. Heard he had not made any Spaniard before (neither male nor female) was a extra motivation.

Jose Diaz • What are the main problems that a swimmer find across this channel? Do you have anything special?
Teresa Planas • biggest difficulties you find is to find the time to train! No, seriously. It is a complex channel. No problems with water temperature (I found it about 25 degrees), no dangerous animals (as long as you take a few jellyfish stings), the weather is usually good (you must be aware of the wind), but ocean currents are a sensitive issue in this channel. If a swimmer wants to cross, you must be very aware of the currents, since they are the biggest problem will be found. It was my biggest concern because I knew that the currents can force you into the boat and stop the attempt.

Succesful crossings before her were:

Kendall Mellor in October 1968 with a time of 16 hours and 18 minutes.
The second successful attempt was performed by Montserrat Tresseras on July 16, 1969 with a time of 21 hours and 7 minutes.
The third successful attempt was made by Kevin Murphi on October 8, 1972 with a time of 15 hours and 41 minutes
The fourth successful attempt was made by Miquel Suner on July 19, 2009 with a record time of 12 hours and 19 minutes 00 seconds.
The fifth successful attempt was made by Selina Moreno on July 3, 2010 with a time of 18 hours and 20 minutes.
Theresa was the sixth that succesfull crossed the Grand Canal in Menorca in a record time of 12h, 18m, 42s on September 11, 2011.

Jose Diaz • Now you improved the record time set by Miquel Suner with a few seconds.
- Did you have thought about breaking this record?
- How do you feel knowing that only a few seconds have been enough to get recorded in the history of the Canal de Menorca with a new historical record?
- You have the current record .... Did you expected to break the best record Murphi Kevin?

Teresa Planas • The tought of beating the record was something that even I had not thought of. Didn't thought about. Figured I could do, as best time, 14 hours, going so good. Didn't think about  Miquels record.
Of course, I have to say I am very proud and happy knowing that I have defeated a world-best record, but I must also say that the sea is no pool and one can not calculate everything. It is true that during the journey the team told me that I was below the record time and there they started to take it into account. And in the end I sprinted for 200 meters and I beat that time, but do I think that is 100% relevant, since in the sea a lot can happen and those 18 seconds I have broken the record with can be the result of coincidence, chance (a shorter supplies or longer, stretching 5 times instead of 6 ...).
To be honest, though, as I said, I am very happy for the record, there is an issue that concerns me more. I would like it to be considered by all open water channel swimmers in the world. If you beat a record soon it means that you're considering equally levelled people, but our goal is to come, enjoy the challenge and if you break the record, more joy for all.

Jose Diaz • How many months of preparation you had to achieve a feat like this? What have you done in total training volume to confront this distance, how many hours did you devote to acclimatization? What temperature swam, What group of human beings have formed your team?

Teresa Planas • I began preparing last February, but had to stop many times for exams, so it was difficult to have consistency in training until the end of the course, which was in July. I started then training consistently. I used to do a morning session about 7km in the pool and trained about 4 days a week at sea, with sessions of at least 6km. Maybe I got a 60/65 km weekly peaks, which is not much for a test of this type.
For acclimatization I took no time because the temperature would not be a problem. As I said, the water was 24-25 degrees. I did not feel cold at any time. I did have to train swimming at night, because I had never done that. The first time made a big impression. I left exhausted from the tension during the training.
About the team, I had the best I could have. Two patrones, Toni Contestí (of Xtrm Events Sports and Adventures), a doctor, my coach, my father and my boyfriend accompanied me. A fantastic team. Each one did their assigned role. I feel very fortunate to have had them with me.

Jose Diaz •Can you narrate for the global community of open water, like a captain would in a logbook, how your great adventure  development... What time you started to swim, how many aid stations you had to do, or what were the main sources of energy you use in your food or in the water?, What was the thought that was repeated more times in your head as swimmer in the channel? ... Do you always hum a song while you swim a long distance?
Tell us your great story.

Teresa Planas • I jumped into the water from the Cap d'Artrutx at 3:45 am. It was very dark. I was swimming at night for three hours, until dawn and picked up strokewith the security that light gave me. I really had a hard time with the dark, because in addition to several jellyfish that stung me during the night I got a little nervous the first few miles. It was about 3.2-3.3 km / h, a slower pace than I wanted, but at dawn, with the confidence I gained, I began to swim 4.5 km / h, well above what we had planned. So I held that pace until kilometer 34, I started having some current against and got a slower pace. Besides the energies were exhausted, of course. I arrived almost at 16:05, two hours ahead of schedule.
The issue of food went as we had well learned, well planned, but the supplies provided complied with the first 10 km only. Then I drank and ate erratically whenever I felt the need, without getting thirsty or hungry (only the last 3km, which I did not stop). I'm not a good example, I only ate two Nutella sandwiches, two or three chocolate chip cookies, half a banana and some 4 gels. Not wanting to eat something else (there was no way for me to enter anything) I began to dilute the energy gels can of drink, and obtained a higher caloric intake without eating, just drinking. Just drank 4 liters. As I said I'm not a good example, you have to eat and especially drink more! Do not stop me now, Queen. Do not stop me now, 'cos I'm Having Such a good time'. I was thinking and singing that for 40 km. That was my spirit. I had a hard time, but never stopped reminding me how much I was enjoying for doing what I had planned more then year and a half. You have to stay mentally strong, but above all stable.

Jose Diaz • As current holder WR in the channel what are your intentions in order to promote this great international crossing, this great journey in the Spanish Mediterranean?

Teresa Planas • More Later on we will set up an association called Swimming Menorca Channel. It is a nonprofit organization that tries to find companies interested in working with swimmers who want to cross the channel. On one side is the association and other enterprises. We seek to provide the swimmer with the fact of coming to the islands, stay, get support craft, helpers, energy supplements, etc.. So that he can focus on training and the channel crossing would entails the least possible expense.
In addition, the Menorca Channel Swimming is seeking ways to collaborate with the Spanish Association against Cancer, so we can give visibility to the work of this association and also dedicate some money, thus bringing together two beautiful reasons: solidarity and sports.
My role in Menorca Channel Swimming is the ambassador of it, that sounds very pompous, but it is a simple and rewarding work. From the Association, we want a channel that has a name with swimmers at local, national and international level, since it is a relatively unexplored test. As a swimmer who has made, I'll look forward to make it known and try to encourage as many swimmers, the more the better. In addition, try to facilitate contact with the Association because then the swimmer who wants to cross the channel will have everything you need in one place. The Association can facilitate this andone would not have to go "looking for life" when the only concern should be to train. It is further noted that the Balearic Islands offer a unique territory in the world and is excellent for sports.

Jose Diaz • If a swimmer wants to swim and conquer this beautiful canal where you can get all the necessary information? With whom are you speaking?

Teresa Planas • To receive more information can contact Toni Contestí Coll. Email: toni.contesti.coll @ gmail.com(Tel: 634 513 543). Until we launch later project of the Association, it is he who can organize such trips, the product of his company Xboss Xtrm Sports Events and Adventures.
In addition, soon will open the website with all the information:

Jose Diaz • A crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar will cost approximately € 1500 for a maximum of 4 swimmers to cross the Strait to swim .. How much will crossing the Canal de Menorca cost?
Teresa Planas • The costs will be approximately between about 2500 and 3000 euros depending on what services the swimmer want to hire . The costs of what we offer consist of certified companies that perform services (boat, fuel, helpers, doctor, etc.).. Only one annual membership fee must be paid to the association of 250 euros in respect of the certification work, observer, processing permits and so on. However, the Menorca Channel Swimming Associationwill offer some services to help swimmers to afford these challenges. It's an innovative idea and they have come to an agreement with a hotel company to get the swimmer a discount on their stay in exchange for carrying the company's advertising and participating in press conferences before and after the trip. On the other hand, the  Menorca Channel Swimming Association give swimmers an overview of all the press clippings and impact of their journey in the media to show to their sponsors and get help. The Channel Swimming Menorca will put on their web these summaries of the other swimmers who have made the attempt for swimmers to have a material with which to look for sponsors.

Jose Diaz • What is the relation between your challenge and the Spanish Association Against Cancer?
Teresa Planas • I wanted to collaborate with the Spanish Association Against Cancer at first to give visibility to the work of this Association. Furthermore, from the beginning we thought we could find values ​​similar in the fact necessary to swim a journey of this nature and having a disease like cancer. We talked about a process (both the disease and a crossing) which we do not know the ending, but always based on values ​​such as effort, perseverance, positivity, strength and perseverance keep stroking and struggling every day to our process has a happy ending . Of course, I can not my intention to lecture anyone, because I am one and because I can not put in the shoes of someone suffering from cancer, but our intention was to try to convey a little motivation and hope through the AECC . The experience has been very, very good and both sides are very proud.
We are the first team to collaborate with this association. In the summer of 2010 Selina Moreno a swimmer from Valencia uccessfully crossed the Menorca Channel, with a time of 18 hours and 20 minutes, collaborating with the Spanish Association Against Cancer.

Jose Diaz • What is your future as a solo marathon swimmer? What future projects do you think about?
Teresa Planas • at the moment I'm trying to absorb everything that happened this past month. I'm really enjoying this moment because I managed to actually realize a dream born in my head with little chance of materializing, and I feel privileged. I also want to learn from all that has happened on this journey. While, of course I'm imagining possible challenges, but I have no exact and clear idea. What I can say with certainty is that this has been a wonderful starting point, so if all goes well and the sea and the circumstances will allow me, I will go gradually building a future in this world of ultra distance.

Thank you very much my friend Niek, of Open Water Europe, for its publication and translation into English.

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