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Getting Up Early By The Zombie Patrol

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Swimmers know the feeling well.

It is dark; the sun is not close to rising. It is cold outside; it is difficult to get out of bed. It is too early; so easy to sleep in.

But the desire to slumber back to sleep is countered by a deep commitment to train. They push the covers away, stagger out the door and head off to workout.

The students at the Arch Academy in San Diego who call themselves the Zombies know the feeling well.

They especially know the feeling well when they head their way to La Jolla Cove at 4 am. Members of the Zombie Patrol, they are led by Arch Academy founder Cheryl Zak and ocean swimming coach Dan Simonelli.

The Zombie Patrol is a pod of 14 students of the Arch Academy who focus on open water swimming. They first did two swims in California, the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim and a crossing of the Catalina Channel in 2014, and are now training for a crossing of the English Channel in June 2015 with a combination of pool workouts and ocean swims in the La Jolla Cove.

The Zombies include by Zach Irvine (15 aka “Popsicle”), Faith Irvine (14 aka “Squeaky”), Kaylee Kussman (17 aka “K-Po”), Matt Georgy (15 aka “Sweats”), Diana Linney (17 aka “Sonar”), Paul Lindberg (17 aka “Shortcut”), Maddy Israel (17 aka “The Machine”), CJ Fotinos (16 aka “Soup”), Lauren Weinreb (16 aka “Honey Badger”), Wesley Metcalfe (17 aka “Joker”), Parth Desai (15 aka “Lotus”), Noah Rowan (17 aka “Turbo”), Betzi Lindberg (20 aka “Mantis”), Cheryl Zak (52 aka “Joan of Arch”), and Dan Simonelli (49 aka “Swimonelli”). They swim at La Jolla Cove three times per week.

The Zombies are being supported by a crowd funding effort and over 100 donors. To participate, visit here.

Photo by John Gibbins.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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