The FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix traditionally kicks off its season in Argentina with a series of races in Argentina. Santa Fe, Rosario, and Viedma are held in February on back-to-back weekends.
Another one is these early FINA Grand Prix races is the 88K (54.6 miles) Hernandarias-Parana race, known as the longest professional race in the world.
Erica Rose, who finished 3rd in 9 hours 40 minutes in 2007 and 6th in 10:05 2005 in the Hernandarias-Parana, says, "The race itself is incredible. It is challenging, for sure. There are some points when the river is narrow and you feel like you're moving quickly, but there are other points where you can't see either bank of the river at all and you have no idea where you are or if your rowers are taking you in the right direction."
"The people in Parana and Hernandarias are amazing. They get so excited about the marathon that they celebrate the week leading into it and line the banks of the river when you're swimming. They're incredibly supportive of the swimmers and treat us like celebrities."
Photo of Erica swimming in the Hernandarias-Parana race.
Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association