Oceanman World Championship - The Grand Finale
The Oceanman World Championship series took place in 16 countries in 2019 and was/is one of the largest open water swimming championships in the world- culminating with The World Championship Grand Finale in Cancun December 14-15. I am so happy to have qualified for the grand finale and became 7th in my age category in 10km among all the best swimmers from all over the world. I had a great experience despite my health issues. Almost all the swimmers stayed at the same hotel. It was an amazing organization and a great team spirit.
Great people all over the world
I met so many great people from all over the world, including Oceanman CEO Fermin Egido, who is also a psychologist and sports enthusiast like me. He followed his passion and started a great business with sports. In addition, I also met the organizer of Oceanman Turkey Abdurrahman Acikalin, who organized the first Oceanman in Alanya last year with his partner Alper Sensan, Oceanman Greece’s Armandos Linardos, Oceanman Egypt’s Cherif Fathy, who will cross the English Channel this year, and many more. We discussed the idea of organizing Oceanman in Germany. I am in talks with some clubs as well as checking some possible locations. Let’s see what comes out.
Estaban Rica Palacio from Mexico City, whom we had met in Dover during our and his mother’s English Channel swims, was also there and joined our Turkish group of around 15 swimmers. It was great to represent both Turkey and Germany in this race.
The beautiful City Cancun, Mexico
We had so much fun with our group and also visited some touristic locations before the race. We went to the Isla de Mujeres (wonen’s island), Chichen Itza, the most famous of all the great Mayan cities, and also to Tulum, where we saw the beautiful ruins with views of the Caribbean. After Tulum, we spent some time in the nearby Paradise Beach. It was also great to meet Oceane Frappa and Fabien Le Goff. I trained with them and Emre Deliveli, my best friend and teammate, for our race, and during our swim, Oceane and Emre saw a shark. Thankfully, I didn’t see the shark and enjoyed the swim with this friendly group.
The Grand Finale – Full Oceanman 10 km
The day before the race, we had a ceremony, where we represented our countries and had a race briefing session. Unfortunately, I was feeling very ill and weak. I had some stomach problems, a flu and chronic pains in my foot because a piece of my bike lamp from my bicycle accident at the end of September was in my ankle bone. Despite all the pain, I decided to swim and took painkillers. I know it’s not the healthiest thing to do before a race, but I had no other option.
The route was well-planned. We swam against the current during the first half of the race, and it was challenging to handle the hot water and weather. The water temperature was about 27 degrees and the outside temperature about 29 degrees. I drunk water only once. After 1.5 hours, I started to feel pain in my body. The effect of the painkillers was off, and my foot was also hurting. The swimming route was so beautiful. I saw beautiful fish and swam along other swimmers. The feeling of not being alone in the water and feeling the nature motivated me and gave me the power to continue. The current was really powerful and took all my energy. The return was much easier, but I was dehydrated and felt the illness in throughout my body. I tried to focus, watching the nice houses on the beach and swam with two Mexicans next to me. I followed the red buoys, but it was hard to see the finish line. I continuously fought with my pain. One of the Mexicans started passing me, which was a sign that I was getting slower and slower. Thankfully, I had one energy gel with me and took it for the last minutes. After 3h 11 minutes, I finished the race. When I went out, I couldn’t walk with my right leg; it was so painful. Thankfully, Fermin gave me ice for my leg, and Özkan D. from Turkey, who also swam in the grand finale and had 5th place in his age category, gave me water and a banana. I was really at the end of my limit, but really happy to have had this experience, and finished the race as the 7th fastest woman of in my age category. Despite the pain and dehydration, it was worth every second!
Congratulations to all the winners and Ahmet Nakkas, who had the 1st place in his age category in the 5 km Half Oceanman race.
I love swimming, I love Oceanman, I love the people with whom I shared this experience. Thank you all, congrats to all!
Follow your passion – share your passion and feel the experience!
Check all the Oceanman events here: http://oceanman-openwater.com/