Too Many Jellyfish in the Water: Beach Brawl Kicks Off, Removes Swim Event

September 23, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Carlos Bown (@bownmedia)
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The sun is out in Pensacola this weekend, and apparently so are the jellyfish. Beach Brawl kicked off Friday, September 23rd for the 11th year in a row, and the bi-annual competition had to change its first event of the day due to the overwhelming amount of sea jellies present.

It’s quite common to see an abundance of jellyfish in coastal waters in the summer months, and the Florida city with some of the whitest sand beaches in the world is no exception.

The 3-day competition for individuals and teams is programmed by Mayhem Athlete, and the first workout that originally involved an open-water swim in the Gulf of Mexico was changed by event organizers to:

  • 50 kettlebell front rack squats (53/35)
  • 1 mile run
  • 3500m row
  • 1 mile run
  • 50 kettlebell front rack squats

Laura Gonzalez-Marin won the event for the elite women with a time of 43:18, and Will Bennett for the elite men with 41:36. Gonzales-Marin, who is competing here for the third year in a row, actually got stung all over her body in the swim event last year, causing her to get severely ill going into the rest of the weekend. Despite that, she was willing to dive in again if needed.

Photo Credit: Laura Gonzalez-Marin (last year’s stings)

“Last year the jellyfish was nasty, so I wasn’t mad about it (being changed). I knew it was going to be harder because of the heat, at least with the water you can jump in and cool down so I knew it was going to hurt more (with rowing), but at the same time I didn’t want to get stung by jellyfish. I wasn’t scared, I just didn’t want the inconvenience of the jellyfish,” Gonzalez-Marin said.

With four events to go, there’s still plenty of fitness to happen beachside for the approximately 1,300 athletes competing this weekend.

“I’m going to approach every event with my best,” Gonzalez-Marin said.

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