Q: When did you start swimming competitively?
A: About 25 years ago when I was recovering from breast cancer. I was getting my lifeguarding recertification when I ran into this woman 25 years older than me who swims competitively and was looking for someone to swim with. I became a breaststroker, which is what I excel in. I was on a medley relay that set a world record but they say that records are made to be broken and ours has. In 1996, I went to a Masters swimming camp at an Olympic training center in Colorado. That was an experience.
Q: Can you do all the strokes?
A: I did have to learn the butterfly. I don't do that too much.
Q: What is the trick to the breaststroke?
A: It is all a matter of timing.
Q: What about your individual records?
A: Age groups are broken into five year increments and I would rank in the top 10 in most of the events when I would age up, so like when I was 60, 65, 70, etc. When you get to be a senior, you don't want to be the oldest in your age group but the youngest. In 2017, I will be swimming in the 80-to-84 age group. I am thinking it might be a good time to re-enter the competition world.
Q: You haven’t been swimming competitively?
A: I just haven't been interested in going to meets since my husband, Sam, passed away in April 2015. I went to Ireland a year ago to see my daughter, Amy, swim the Liffey River race and I decided I was going to do it. I never had been a distance swimmer but now I have fallen in love with open water swimming.
Q: What was it like swimming the Liffey?
A: The race has been going on for 97 years. The men dive in first and a half hour later, the women dive in. Before each section begins, we sang, "Molly Malone." The race is 2,200 meters, just like a mile and a half. We dove in right where the Guinness Brewery is and we swam under 12 bridges. I swam the race in about 35 minutes and I was really happy with that.
Q: What the water cold?
A: Oh my gosh but not as bad as the Irish Sea. I found that after about 20 or 40 strokes, you get used to the coldness.
Q: What it is about the Liffey Swim that you liked so much?
A: I liked swimming it with my daughter. I liked that there weren't any pool walls. I just loved it.