Welcome to the next installment of Meet Your ‘Mates – your lane mates, that is. In the last installment, we met Molly Jackson. This time, we turn our attention to the world of open water racing, triathlon, and ultra marathons as we meet Kevin Smeltzer.
Swimming primarily in the mornings at Butler, Kevin is not only an avid open water swimmer, but a triathlete and ultra marathon racer as well. In fact, Kevin swims primarily to increase his swimming fitness level, which then increases his triathlon fitness level. While you won't see Kevin doing fly or breast any time soon, he does value all the guidance Dean and Mel have given him to strengthen his freestyle. "Dean and Mel have provided me with soooo much great advice, it’s hard to pin point just one as being the best…" Kevin counts the Big Shoulders 5K Open Water Swim and the 10K Swim to the Moon and Big Shoulders Open Water Swim as his favorite open water swim events. His favorite swimming moment came when he looked up and saw the second of 2 green buoys and knew that his first 10K open water swim was "in the bag."
Kevin's personal motto is that he is "in it for the long haul." You can definitely tell that by the open water swims he competes in - 5K and 10K events. Out of the water, he also chooses distance events. In fact, Kevin just completed his first ultra marathon since 1996! He competed in the Antelope Canyon 50 miler / 55K in Page, Arizona. The first 23 miles had Kevin running on 2-3" deep sandy trails in the desert and took the competitors high along the Colorado River, around Horseshoe Bend, up walk ladders thru the water cut gorges before running the last 11 miles along Page Trail overlooking Lake Powell. Sound like fun? Kevin is already looking forward to his 2017 venture out west for the Monument Valley 50K.
Away from the pool, Kevin works as a Program Manager for Roark Custom Titanium Bicycles and also part-time at the Runners Forum. When not working or competing, he can be found gardening, working in the yard, and spending time with his Labs.
What's the one thing Kevin wants his lane mates to know? "That I consider it an absolute honor and privilege to share a lane with so many amazing and talented swimmers. Each practice, I try my hardest to prove I belong swimming with them." The next time you see Kevin, go over, say "hi", and meet your mate! You'll be glad you did!
By Karen Gernert
Indy Aquatic Masters
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