Welcome to the next installment of Meet Your 'Mates - your lane mates, that is. In the last installment, we met open water, triathlon, and ultra-marathon runner, Kevin Smeltzer. This time, we turn our attention to the world of long distance open water racing as we meet Mark Spratt.
When most people think "long distance" open water racing, they are thinking 5K max. Maybe a 10K. Not Mark. Earlier this month, Mark completed the Catalina Channel Crossing (only 20.1 MILES) on September 8, and followed that up 3 days later with a 3rd place male overall finish at the Spuyten Duyvil 10+K in the Hudson River. Counting Hudson River swims among his favorite in the open water racing world, Mark's counts his favorite swimming moment as when he swam under the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge in New York Harbor during his 2013 Ederle Swim.
In the pool, Mark considers backstroke to be his favorite (and most frustrating) stroke. His favorite pool event? The 200 IM. Swimming to relive stress, he enjoys the companionship of his teammates and wants you all to know that he really can do flip turns. The best coaching advice he's received? “Don’t focus on swimming fast; focus on what makes you swim fast.”
Away from the water, this 61 year-old works as the Controller for PEN Products, a division of the Indiana Department of Correction. He also loves reading, buying shoes, and eating hamburgers.
Known for his colorful racing suits, Mark lives by the words of Rene Descartes, "I think, therefore I am." Think you know Mark? Be sure to introduce yourself the next time you see Mark and meet your mate! You'll be glad you did!
By Karen Gernert
Indy Aquatic Masters
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