Soon the Chesapeake Bay Swim, once the longest swim Prezioso had ever done, was the shortest race of his season.
“As a triathlete, when he started doing 3-mile swims, you know in the back of your mind, ‘I can do that,'” Walker said. “Once he gets up to ‘Hey, by the way, I'm doing a 27-mile swim,' you completely put it out of your mind. … That's just ridiculous. You weed out the folks who think they can.”
Prezioso didn't feel nervous as he began the longest swim of his life in North Dakota in July.
In his fourth season and after more than 25 races of 3 or more miles, he has moved beyond comparing himself to others or being afraid of not finishing, as he's dropped out of only one race.
“If I fall short because I gave it all I have, I have no problem with that. I'm out here to have fun,” Prezioso said. “But if I fall short because I was goofing off, then I have to blame myself.”
Soon into END-WET, Prezioso's kayaker, responsible for carrying his food and keeping an eye on him, capsized. About an hour later, the inexperienced paddler returned. And he flipped again.
Prezioso went about four hours through the race without eating, a requirement in open-water swimming. He was planning on eating about twice an hour. He finished after just less than nine hours.
“A lot of us, if we lost our kayakers, it would have been like losing our pacifiers as a baby,” Joubert said.
Prezioso, who has no plans to stop, says his broad shoulders help him stay on course in open-water currents — such as off Cape May, where he was one of just four finishers in a 10-kilometer swim in July 2012. But it isn't just Prezioso's physical stability; he's also mentally grounded.
“He's just unflappable,” Joubert said. “He just keeps going. He's not the fastest guy out there, but he's not going to stop.”
Prezioso's next race
Cape Circumnavigation Challenge
Cape May, N.J.
Distance: 15.1 miles
When: Sept. 14
Some people do laps; Franco Prezioso does rivers and oceans
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.