A definitive quote (Claus Koch - 55-59 - Ontario):

Yes I guess some people think I'm fast.  I keep looking behind me and I see
40 year olds swimming a LOT faster and I ask myself "Why can't I swim that
fast?  What makes them swim faster than I do? What do I have to do to get
there?"  Then it becomes a goal to get faster rather than a goal to stand

A very thougtful quote (David Ellis - 55-59 - Alberta):

People talk about all the advancement in sports for women and it is true but
I think Masters is even worse (better ?). At the end of an age group, I
start to look what the records in the next age group are and I think that I
can get them. However, before I get there they are improved beyond my ability.
Last year Ron Burns lowered the 400 fr from 5:26 to 5:10, the 800 from 11:35
to 10:59, and the 1500 from 22:?? to 20:44 and Graeme Reynolds lowered the
200 from 2:29 to 2:26. Now Ken Ransom is lowering these times. In 5 years
Mike Morrow will erase all these.

And another one by David:

I'm either too old (I can beat the 10 yr olds), too young (I can beat the 65
yr olds), or the wrong sex (I can beat the women my age). The other
possibility is that I am just not fast enough.


A few days ago, my editor (irate as always) phoned me to remind me of the
coming deadline for my next book. " We at Harlequin books, we treat our
readers seriously. If we do not have your draft script by tomorrow, you're
no longer on our payroll".

As this sort of reminder allows to concentrate more intensely, I decided to
stop staring at my blank sheet, and perhaps give my next novel a brand-new
setting ...


Shirley Gore-Jones, all of 22 years old, had finished buying another smashing-
looking bathing suit and decided to try it out immediately. So she went to the
nearby downtown swimming pool, went to the change room, put the new bathing
suit on, and walked out on the deck.

Something was amiss. As her ready smile slowly gave way to a frown, she
started to realize that .... she just wasn't the center of attraction ! Guys
were milling about her, making loud noises and whistling at ... at some other
people, swimming in the pool !

Completely taken aback by this strange behaviour, Shirley grabbed a deck
chair, and sat near a quiet corner of the pool and started watching the action,
all the while tugging at the straps of her bathing suit. (This normally set
other guys nervous, but no one seemed to pay attention this time).

There was a great roar from the crowd. She turned her head and saw some
furious thrashing at the end of the pool. Heads emerged from the water,
some people looked at the clock and someone said (in a nearly hushed tone):
"All right, Ron Watson has just swum 100 m IM in under a minute !" Whatever
that meant !

Hum, thought Shirley, these guys seem in great shape. She made a mental note
to attract their attention (especially the blond guy in lane 2 who looked so
cute, although the one in lane 5 - tall and muscular - looked OK too).

But now a curious thing happened. Another race was getting underway, and these
guys were even more chiseled  and sported abs like you see on late-night TV.
Well actually there was a pretty old guy, not much hair left and a a notice-
able pot among them. This must be some kind of error, Shirley said to herself.
She leaned forward to grab her comb from her bag. She felt someone looking
at her. Putting on her best smile, her eyes swept the crowd, but
realized that the one person staring at her was the lifeguard sitting
across the pool from her. He was crouched and his chair and looked bored
beyond belief.

Moments later, a very old gentleman was finishing his race, much slower than
the "Ron Watson" of the earlier race. Yet, inexplicably, he was being cheered
much more wildly ! When it was over, the same person as before, again said
(in a very deferential manner): "Harry Class .... 85 years old ...
50 free in under 46 seconds ..." and then shook his head as if to chase away
some bad illusions and come back to reality.

That had been a pretty exciting ace. The applause started to die down. There
was a moment of silence, and then the weirdest thing STARTED TO HAPPEN.

Some girls were on the starting blocks. Actually older women. Ha, thought
Shirley, there is no competition there for me, and (as she took a big breath -
always an interesting experience for some people to observe), she saw these
- well older ladies - dive in, and by gosh - they were swimming pretty
fast too ! (Deep down, Shirley wasn't so sure she could have kept up with
them !).

There was another great commotion, this one even louder than anything before
it. A race was underway, but funnily, someone was way out in front. Hey, if
you dive early, of course you will be ahead ! That's not fair. Anyway,
nobody semeed to mind the huge impossible lead. Instead the winner (a certain
Lynn Marshall if she heard the name right), had swum 400 free in 4 minutes 33",
a World Record, the announcer was saying. The rest was being drowned in noise
again but she though she heard the announcer say that it was Lynn's 6th World
Record of the meet. Hum, something big must have been happening because it was
as if the cheering would never stop.

A few races further, a final group of women took their stances. Shoot said
Shirley, some of these sure were competition ! Firm bodies, nice tans, perfect
lungs, great legs, Shirley started to half-promise herself she would have to
go the gym a little - all right maybe next month. At the gun, the gals knifed
through the water, were at the pool-end in what seemed like a split second,
and were on the way back with some thrashing in the water with what seemed
like very smooth arm action.

The race was very tight between lanes 3 and 4 (she wondered why most
swimmers were always in these 2 lanes. Maybe coincidence ?). She did not
know why she was rooting for lane 3, the one with a pretty neat all-blue
swimming suit, but lane 4 (the one with the white cap and the burgundy-red
suit) finally seemed to have won. Seemed because while both of them looked
exhausted, the burgundy-red suit was smiling more and it seemed the all-blue
suit semed to be doing the congratulating. 29.93 was on the scoreboard.
Whatever that meant.

Hey this looks like fun, thought Shirley. I wonder if .... Oh no I could
never do it. These girsl must have done this all their life. Besides I might
ruin this new suit I just bought. And if I were to dive in, well, er, the suit
just might better indicate where my tan finishes...

Now things were becoming stranger and stranger, a bit like Alice in Wonderland.
They were announcing that Cliff Barry, 55 years old had just broken the
national record for the 1500 freestyle in 20 minutes and 15 seconds, but why
was this 30 yr old looking young man waving to the crowd instead ? And if he
was 30, how come he was as bald as a 55 yr old would be ? Curiouser and
curiouser !

As she put her gaze back at what was happening on the "starting blocks:", she
heard the announcer say that the next race was the 100 m breaststroke,
and that Robert Stoddart, now 51, had been on the "National Team" (swimming
close to 1'10" the announcer was adding). As the race progressed it seemed like
Robert would be reasonably close to that time (more than 30 years later).
Indeed the final time read 1:15.47 (a new national record).

Now she was being overloaded by more and more fast races ("Claus Koch, 55-59,
has swum 200 fly in 2:37.43, a time younger men could be proud of"), and more
and more blaring announcements (... and now near-unknown Janet Mayville, 27
has swum 100 IM in 1:08.39, completely unexpected).

Although there was less cheering, some people seemed to better appreciate the
feats of Dave Town, 40-44, 100 IM in 1:02.16 and 400 IM in 4:57.16. The 200
IM ? 2:14.64. Here was a very tidy, very systematic person it seemed.

She was interrupted from her thoughts. A good-looking guy with a great smile
(and a pencil and folded pad of papers in his hand - with plenty of
scribblings -) was telling her:"Hi I'm Mike Todd of the Madison Mad Sharks.
Seems you've enjoyed the meet so far as you've been watching closely
for half an hour now. Why don't you join us for the lunch break. He added
(in a mysterious way): Maybe you can join the club too, you know !

His suave voice was sending shivers down her spine. Her stomach was in knots.
He continued. Also Jenny over there would like to know where you bought your
bathing suit. And Thomas back there (you know the one who won that 50 free
earlier) just wants you to know he LIKES your bathing suit ....!

Well sure Shirley said. Just let me get my things And I will join you for
lunch. You seem like a great gang.

And that's how Shirley Gore-Jones (who would break her first national record
in May 2007) started her career !