The Swimmer's Biopedia

Posted by Scott Zornig, 5 July 2016

What every marathon swimmer should give to every person on their support team

By Scott Zornig

I was a member of a support crew for Forrest Nelson (CCSF President) many years ago. As I boarded the boat for his attempted swim, he handed me a laminated paper. He explained to me that it was his “Swim Bible.” It was an “everything you need to know” document about Forrest, his swimming and his health. It included his desires and wishes and was full of useful information for his attempted swim. He said he was given the idea from Penny Palfrey and has used it on every marathon swim since.

I thought this was a wonderful document to share with a support crew so I adopted it myself. I call my paper a “Biopedia and give it to every person who boards the vessel. I believe providing this information to my observer and support crew is the courteous and smart thing to do. I would encourage every marathon swimmer to do the same. It is one thing to verbally communicate your vitals and desires to your crew, but it is so much better for them to have a document to refer to throughout the swim.

I believe the document should constantly evolve and contain useful information such as:


Support Swimmers


The Swim




Odds and Ends


Emergency contact info

This is a small sample of useful detail for everyone on board the vessel. Remember, your safety is the number 1 priority and sharing this information can help not only have a safe swim, but also a successful swim. Feel free to build your own “Biopedia.”

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