Wednesday, February 15, 2006

ORC meeting

The Orlando Runner's Club had a general meeting in nearby Winter Park, FL. The club met once a month last year (I was around for two of the meetings), but that changed when the president moved away and leadership transferred. Like many clubs, about 10% of the membership actually shows up for things.

About 15 of us showed up at Spatz's Billiards, which has a nice deck area in the back. We went for a run (this is a running club after all) along a course marked with chalk and flour. The course wound around through Winter Park for a nice 3.3 mile run.

Later, I talked to a woman named Sarah who had an interesting career - she was a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld! She had a background in veterinary science (pre-vet major) and was one of the successful applicants. Sarah said the toughest requirement is passing the swim test, and everyone at the table asked about that.

She said the test was several parts, and what she remembered was lifting a 20 pound weight from 20 feet underwater, treading water and all the usual stuff, and swimming 125 yards underwater. My mind boggled at this - that is 5 lengths of a pool! It would take me about 2:15 to 2:30 to swim 125 yards with my normal crawl, and I know I can't hold my breath that long. I asked her about that, mentioning swim speed and pool lengths, and that I couldn't imagine swimming that far without breathing... and she laughed and said she meant 125 feet, not yards. So that's 1/3 of the distance but still very impressive.

Next time I swim I'm going to try one length underwater, which is 25 yards or 75 feet in the YMCA pool. ;)

We did cover club business briefly, and that was mostly a few questions about what the club should do. I gather the club is in a state of flux, where the board wants to see more people involved but isn't sure how to make that happen. It's tough, my running club in Washington would wrestle with the same issue. On the other hand, my friend John in NYC is a member of the New York Flyers and they seem to have huge participation in everything from races to social functions.

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