Meet Kristen Stroud: Odyssey Swimmer Profile

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Kristen Stroud is an athlete and adventurer who loves swimming in the open water. Asked what drives her to swim, Kristen says, “I‘m training for my next life as a whale.” She has completed over 20 Berkeley swims with Odyssey Open Water Swimming, and she recently finished the tough 6-mile Bridge to Bridge swim and the world-famous Alcatraz swim held in October.

When Kristen isn’t in the open water, she spends her time lifting weights, camping, motorcycle trips or snowboarding, which she is excited to do over the next few months.

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When asked why she swims in the open water with Odyssey, Kristen says:

“I love swimming in the Bay, and Odyssey is such a warm, welcoming group. I get excited for every Sunday swim. For the bigger annual events they always make sure they have enough kayakers and support that I have never worried about safety, although that does make them fill up fast so sign up early!”

Preparing for a Swim

Each of our swimmers have different swim-day routines. For Kristen, she keeps warm and loose with some light stretching. After each swim, she makes sure to eat a great meal.

While she takes swimming seriously, she advises those just getting started swimming outdoors to “take their time.” “The water will always be there and it’s easy to be intimidated your first few open water swims. Just keep getting out there,” says Kristen. Kristen doesn’t worry about improving her times or increasing her distances, she’s just “looking for fun swims!”

Asked for additional pieces of advice to share with fellow swimmers, Kristen jokes, “Don’t trust anyone who’s doesn’t wear a wetsuit and thinks it’s warm at 68.” We’ve seen Speedo-wearing swimmers at sub-60 degree weather swims who are more comfortable in their tiny trunks than a warmer wetsuit. Kristen, however, prefers the comfort of a wetsuit.

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On what’s been here favorite or most memorable swim, Kristen says, “It’s probably a tie between the Bridge to Bridge swim and the Portland Bridge swim. Apparently, I have a type. It’s crazy being able to swim through a city and the views throughout are amazing.”

Next for Kristen are the TransBay and night swims.

Thank you to Kristen for joining us on so many swims and for sharing with the Odyssey Open Water Swimming community. If interested in taking a dip with us, please consider joining an upcoming Berkeley swim.

Warren Wallace