The simple answer is that I want to officially accomplish an ultra-marathon distance swim following the rules adopted by the community to represent the spirit of marathon swimming.
"MSF Rules are guided by the traditions and spirit of unassisted marathon swimming.
Marathon swimmers embrace the challenge of crossing wild, open bodies of water with minimal assistance beyond their own physical strength and mental fortitude. There are ways to make the sport easier, but marathon swimmers consciously eschew them.
Marathon swimmers take pride that their achievements can be meaningfully compared to the achievements of previous generations because the standard equipment of the sport has not changed significantly since 1875."
Marathon Swimmers Federation, " The Spirit of Marathon Swimming"
I have not completed a marathon swim in the full spirit of marathon swimming. I've always used a buoy and swam with as many people as I want. I like the idea of pushing through the mental challenge of not being able to high-five buddies or being surrounded by a pod. Documentation of these sorts of swims is essential for building a marathon swim resume that will open doors to future long swims that require qualifying swims(s); such as the English Channel, or 20 Bridges (formerly Manhattan Island Marathon Swim).
For convenience, the sections below reproduce information from the Marathon Swimming Federation Rules section. Links will open to specific documents as indicated.
"The swim observer documents the facts of a swim and verifies the swim’s adherence to the declared rules. Documentation produced by a qualified observer is the single most important source material for authenticating a swim claim." - Marathon Swimming Federation Rules: Observers
If you are interested in observing, PLEASE see MSF website for more information.
If you observe, we will go over everything in more detail.