Kimberly Plewa (shown swimming in New York on left) is the only American entered into the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix in Sumidero Canyon race on April 18th in México.
The Sumidero Canyon race, #27 in the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims, is known formally as XX Maratón de Natación Cañón del Sumidero and is one of the world's most scenic marathon swims.
The 15K Maratón de Natación Cañón del Sumidero takes place on the Grjalva River and was started in 1989 as a memorial for first swim in 1960 by the Pañuelo Rojo (Red Handkerchief) team. The water temperature is approximately 25ºC (77ºF).
Iván López of México and Britta Kamrau of Germany are the defending champions. The Mexican national 25K trials for the World Swimming Championships will be held concurrently with the race.
In the 2009 race, Iván will be competing against Diego Nogueira of Spain, Emilio Angel Fransen of Argentina, Marcos Pinheiro of Brazil, Aleksey Akatiev of Russia, Damian Blaum of Argentina, Fouad Shaikh of Syria, Saleh Mohamed of Syria, Gasper Bohihc of Slovakia, Michael Dmitriev of Israel, Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria, Rodolfo Valenti of Italy, Gabriel Villagoys of Argentina, Rostislav Vitek of the Czech Republic, Rodrigo Elorza of México, Daniel Delgadillo of México and Luis Escobar of México
Kimberly and Britta, who has already won two races on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit this year, will be competing against Yurema Requema of Spain, Esther Nuñez of Spain (shown on left), Ana Uvarova of Russia, Pilar Geijo of Argentina, Nika Kozamernik of Slovakia, Angela Maurer of Germany, Marinela Mendoza of Argentina, Patricia Castañeda of México, Odette Saldivar of México, Alejandra González of México, Lily Anzueto of México and Zaira Cárdenas México.
Esther, who was third overall in the 2008 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, had some good advice for newcomers into the sport, "Enjoy every moment, every movement in solitude, and every goal you reach even if it is small, as only you know how difficult it was to achieve it."
Photo of Sumidero Canyon by Dr. Jim Miller.