Brian Suddeth

From Openwaterpedia
Oxford-Bellevue Sharkfest in butterfly 2015
Oxford-Bellevue Sharkfest in butterfly 2015.
Thumbs Up Picture
Completing the Oxford-Bellevue Sharkfest in butterfly 2015
Mark Terry Brian Picture
Blind multi-sport athlete Mark Rew, Total Immersion founder Terry Laughlin and Brian Suddeth in March 2014
Brian and Dan Projansky Swimming Butterfly
Butterfly training with Dan Projansky 2015 Grayslake, IL. Danny flies like a dolphin, I'm more like a sea turtle...
Brian and Dan Projansky Picture
With Dan Projansky 2015 Grayslake, IL
Brian and Mark Pre-Race Picture
Brian Suddeth and blind swimmer Mark Rew ready for the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim 1-mile event 2014
Blind swimmer Mark Rew and open water butterflyer / swim guide Brian Suddeth (nicknamed The Odd Couple) completed 3K at Swim for the Potomac in September 2016
Thumbs Up Picture
Brian & Dave Barra - NY Open Water @ Terry Laughlin Celebration 2018
Thumbs Up Picture
Brian & Shane Eversfield - Zendurance @ Terry Laughlin Celebration 2018
Brian swimming butterfly Picture
Brian Suddeth swimming butterfly in the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim 1-mile event 2011. Photo by Margaret Suddeth
Brian Suddeth swimming butterfly in the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim 1-mile event 2011. Photo by Margaret Suddeth
Brian Butterfly at Camp Rodney Picture
Completion of Mile Swim BSA in Butterfly stroke at Rodney Scout Reservation in Northeast, Maryland in 2010. Open Water swim in Chesapeake Bay.
Brian completing Chesapeake 4.4 mile swim Picture
Brian Suddeth on completion of the 4.4 mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in mixed strokes 2012.
Brian's first mile swim Picture
Completing BSA Mile Swim Challenge freestyle 2007. (Note the clear water flow - A Total Immersion hallmark)
Butterfly pool practice
Butterfly pool practice.

Brian Suddeth alias Fly Guy or Honu is an American open water swimmer who specializes in open water distance butterfly, coaching / guiding blind and low vision swimmers, and coaching active military swimmers from any Branch for free (and thank you for your service). Called "one of America's premier butterflyers" by Steven Munatones (though near the bottom of a very small group of such open water athletes in the world), he is a Total Immersion stylist, registered with Mensa, and a computer security specialist who lives with his wife Margaret and their two Eagle Scout sons in Bowie, Maryland, USA. Suddeth researches the swims of other open water butterflyers, and has compiled a list of Open Water Butterfly Swims with speed comparisons.

Open Water Swimming Career

Suddeth started beginner swimming lessons in 2006 at age 45 as an adult onset swimmer, and has had surprising success at open water distance butterfly swims in a short "open water swimming life" with unprecedented swim completions in multiple swim events, and all non-wetsuit. He has joined a very short list of international athletes who compete in the specialty of open water butterfly for distance. A Century swimmer with multiple 10K+ pool swims, he pool trains at the Prince George's Community College natatorium in Largo, Maryland, USA, with the Arundel Breakfast Club Masters group in open water, and has received invaluable support and coaching from distance butterfly master Dan Projansky. To date he has completed two of America's Top 100 Open Water Swims (neither in butterfly yet) and plans to continue to do more. His goals are to move into longer open water butterfly swims, set "first butterfly" non-wetsuit records in new events around the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere, and earn a place in the [Half Century Club] when he passes 10K in open water. He is is a volunteer tester for the Swimmit app, and a frequent volunteer content contributor, spam fighter, and editor for Openwaterpedia including authoring the page How to Edit Openwaterpedia Pages.

His first completed open water mile butterfly was performed at Rodney Scout Reservation in 2010 during a Scouting mile swim challenge.

He was the first person to complete the One Mile Bay Challenge swim at the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in butterfly in (2011), completing the swim in 42:46 (shown below). He repeated the achievement in 2013 with a time of 43:00. (Suddeth is to the right at the beginning of the 2011 GCBS video where they show the start of the 1-mile swim event).

He has completed several other open water events including several all-butterfly mile events, the 4.4 mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in 2012 in mixed strokes where Craig Dietz also competed. A traditionalist (i.e. naked or non-wetsuit swimmer), he prefers to wear Jammer style suits. He has only worn a wetsuit in an open water event when serving as a swim angel guide for a blind or low vision swimmer when the water temperature was too cool for concentrating on safely monitoring the escorted athlete without one.

He has made friends with other distance swimmers and open water Butterflyers, including master butterfliers Dan Projansky*, John Batchelder, Vicki Keith, and Julie Bradshaw, Penny Palfrey, Brenton Williams, Total Immersion founder Terry Laughlin, Craig Dietz* (the Limbless Waterman), Steven Munatones, Frazz comic artist Jef Mallett, Zendurance founder Shane Eversfield*, Charlie Tupitza, international swimming star Jaimie Monahan, the Frequent Flyers, Triple Crown Bill Shipp*, Dave Barra, and triathlete Brent Kynaston, and hopes to one day swim with each of them or even with Michael Phelps (*=swim completed). He has been researching and reading about the exploits of the Tiger Twins, twin brothers Jonathon di Donato and James di Donato who set amazing open water butterfly distance world records in the 1980's and who also inspired Vicki Keith, and hopes one day to meet and even swim with either or both of them.

Suddeth started swim classes in 2006 partly to be able to pass a basic Scouting swim test so he could enjoy more activities at scouting summer camp with his sons, and partially as rehabilitation for arthritic knees, one of which was traumatically injured in an childhood accident. The sedentary nature of a desk bound computer related occupation had taken a toll on his health and mobility. He said "I swim, do Tai Chi, and ballroom dance with my wife so I can walk." Adding swimming and other exercises became a source of basic mobility and pain management for him, and has allowed him to walk without frequent use of a cane for the first time in many years. This physical transformation lead to him being recognized as a wellness inspiration by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) in 2014, who published an article in their National "President's Challenge" newsletter describing his achievements [Get Inspired Link). Suddeth has since earned the Presidential Champions PLATINUM Award in 2015, the highest level awarded through the PCFSN. His decision to specialize as a butterflyer came after he progressed quickly in freestyle following the Total Immersion program, and chose to purchase the "Betterfly" or "Butterfly for Boomers" DVD from Terry Laughlin, wanting the challenge of the hardest stroke, and wanting to see if he could survive it.

Coaching Blind Swimmers

In 2014 he was coach and swim angel guide for blind untethered swimmer Mark Rew in Mark's first unprecedented swim, accompanied by kayaker Peggy Connor, an event which they repeated in 2015 with Mark cutting nearly nine minutes off his previous mile time. Mark and Brian have been nicknamed The Odd Couple at their gym and among local open water swimmers as it is unusual to have a partnership of two athletes, each setting unprecedented swim records in separate disciplines. Suddeth is currently coaching an additional limited vision athlete Denna Lambert who completed her for her first sprint triathlon in 2015. He has signed up with Athletes Serving Athletes as a "Wingman" to help coach other blind swimmers in how to achieve their goals and is a guide swimmer volunteer with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Suddeth's coaching of blind swimmers and leading them in open water swims has earned him the additional nickname the Guide Fish. Suddeth and Rew are also fans of a specific swim tether for guiding which they came across in 2019. The Lending Sight Swimmer tether system by Perceptual Positions is a professionally made guiding tether sold by a small LLC to raise money for awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder. The company is the brainchild of Deb Conley who is an amazing person. They are also fond of the Safer Swimmer float system which gives an additional layer of confidence for any open water swimmer who needs the safety of being easily visible to lifeguards, boaters and others along the shore.

Coaching Military Swimmers

Mr. Suddeth frequently meets at pools with military personnel training for SEAL, Rescue Swimmer, and similar specialties. He's provided informal coaching, guidance, tips, and video feedback to improve their swimming in Combat Swimmer Stroke, Total Immersion Freestyle, and even escape and evasion drills. Thank you for your service. Come back to us.



Open Water Swimming Timeline

External links

Total Immersion Swimming Links

Daily News of Open Water Swimming References