Erin Churchill

Karla Schulze

Posted on January 13 2020

Erin Churchill

Meet Erin Churchill, an Ice and Marathon Swimmer. She's been reppin' Q for years now and might just have the biggest selection of prints outside our warehouse. We've been watching her grow from a masters swimmer who wanted a new suit, to a swimming conquerer who is always training for the next adventure. We asked her a few questions to get a little more detail on what drives her swimming adventures!

Current location? Albuquerque, New Mexico 

How long have you been swimming? I swam on the swim team as a kid but wasn’t really into it.  I quit around 6th grade and didn’t start back up until my late 20’s when I became interested in triathlons, and really struggled with open water- I found it super scary!  I swam the bare minimum to survive the swim portion of triathlons for a few years.   Then, I started doing a lot of swimming in late 2016 when I got a really bad chronic running injury and swimming was the only pain-free activity I could do.  I swam to stay in decent shape but missed the epic adventures I used to have as an ultrarunner, and then I discovered marathon swimming which I never knew existed, and I was hooked!


What is a typical workout?  They vary quite a bit.  In open water, I just swim- that’s my favorite.  But for training, I do swim with a really awesome Masters group.  I usually do the workout and then stay afterward and swim extra if I’m training for something long.  Typically I do mostly freestyle, but I’m learning I need to vary my workouts more to save my shoulders a bit so have started to do more kicking, backstroke, and breaststroke (I’ve given up on the butterfly). 

What is your greatest swimming achievement?   Swimming has forced me to step way out of my comfort zone and face my fears.  Just getting in open water was a huge struggle for me for many years, and I’m also terrified of sharks and especially cold water.  I’ve done swims over the past few years where I’ve faced all of these, so every swim when I manage to make myself get in is a great achievement.

What are you looking forward to this year in swimming?  I’ll be returning to Newport VT for the third time to do the Memphremagog Winter Swim, which his an ice swim in the only 25 meter pool cut into a frozen lake in all of North America.  It sounds miserable but it is so much fun and an event I wouldn’t dare miss (obviously, as I’m returning for the third time)!  I’m also signed up for SCAR, a four-day stage swim in Arizona which I’m really excited about but my shoulders have been injured so we’ll see if I can pull it off.  I did Apache last year (one of the four lakes) and enjoyed it so much I knew I had to come back to try the whole thing.  Finally, I’m doing a tandem Tahoe “Godfather” swim with one of my good swim buddies, Jessica in August which I’m really looking forward to!

What's your favorite Q print?  It’s so hard to pick a favorite- I have a huge collection because I love so many of the prints.  If I had to pick a few that I have a soft spot for, I’d have to go with Alice Dreaming (Megan Darrough), You Are My Penguin (Jinny Zola), and the Pizza suit!

You can follow Erin on Instagram @erinrunsultras

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  • Christopher : January 24, 2020

    Erin is a huge inspiration to me and the whole ice swimming community: sets her mind to a goal and chases it.

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