FCC English Professor Swims in Sharkfest

Story By: Victor Rizo

A Fresno City College instructor will be swimming with sharks this October.
Rebecca Benas, an English instructor, will be swimming with 500 others in a Sharkfest competition at the Fifth Avenue Landing behind the San Diego Convention Center.
Actually there will be no sharks in Sharkfest, and the San Diego Harbor is not known for sharks. Mrs. Benas said she is not really in Sharkfest to compete.
“I’m just going to just to do my best and have fun,” said Ms. Benas who has been swimming since she was 2-years-old.
Benas swims four mornings every week. She swam competitively in college for Arizona State. This is her first time in Sharkfest, but she said already knows she will be doing this again next year, but wearing a wet suit in a 1.5-mile-swim in Alcatraz where the water is a bit colder.
Sharkfest is not for novices but a swimming competition for swimmers who can complete one mile in less than 40 minutes. The competition is set up for a maximum of 500 contestants. So there should be quite some tough competition for Mrs. Benas.
As for swimming hazards, there won’t be too many. Benas expects she will have to get used to the waves and jostling with the 500 other contestants. Additionally, she anticipates some difficulties because it is her first time in a Sharkfest competition. She is used to swimming only in swimming pools.
Sharkfests are not well known in the Fresno area; so far, Benas is the only registered swimmer from the Fresno area; there are a lot of registered swimmers from all over the Valley including Madera Modesto, and Clovis. Because she is the only swimmer from Fresno, Benas said she feels she even inspire swimmers here at Fresno City College to compete in other upcoming Sharkfest events.
Competitive swimmers like Mrs Benas get a lot from swimming; for example, swimming is known as a great exercise because it requires using almost all of you muscles in the body. In additional, most swimmers will admit that they have a lot of fun swimming.
“Swimming helps keep me stay in shape and it releases stress,” Mrs Benas said.
Mrs. Benas is an adjunct instructor of English at FCC; she teaches 17 units; she also teaches in Porterville. Mrs. Benas has children and is pretty busy during the week. Mrs. Benas said she uses swimming for time management and to keep her daily schedule on track, so she doesn’t waste any time during the day.