BRATTLEBORO — Masters swimming returns to Windham County after a six-year hiatus. Professional Coach Hank Lange, in concert with the opening of the new pool at the Colonial Spa in Brattleboro, will again lead the fitness swim program which starts the first week in January.

"With the addition of the new four-lane lap pool at the expanded Spa facility and the orientation of Spa management to serve the wellness needs of community, the moment is right for Masters Swim to splash back," Lange said in a press release.

Initially, Masters Swim will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for five-week sessions. Lange will coach two classes to best meet the needs of adult swimmers.

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., fitness swimmers with basic proficiency in three of the four competitive strokes can sign up to swim a WOW Workout. Swim distance ranges from 800 to 3,500 yards per workout depending on lane assignment. The first five weeks of WOW Workouts will focus on freestyle stroke rhythm, improving stroke count, flow drills, core strength development, and aerobic conditioning sets.

From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., for swimmers who struggle to gasp their way through just a few laps, Lange's Sink or Swim Class will guide them to glide past their hyperventilating habits to discover a tranquil comfort zone beyond their sputter and self-mutter. Through a series of "Stupid Hank Tricks," drills, and games, sinkers will learn how to move more easily and efficiently through the water to master swim stroke fundamentals in (mostly) fun ways. Ten classes of Lange's reality-based hydro-therapy is all that it will take to convince one that he is either meant to float or destined to drown.


Lange has coached swimmers, from beginners to Olympians, over a career that spans five decades, teaching each student to splash through and surf the waves of mastery towards one's personal best. For his innovative methods in helping people learn to move well in engaging, enjoyable ways, he has twice been honored as USA Triathlon's Coach of the Year.

Locally, Lange first organized Masters Swimming at the Living Memorial Park and Northfield-Mt Hermon pools from 1983 to 1993. The Colonial Spa hosted the program from 1994 through 2010. During the summer months, Lange orchestrates open water swims for the aquatically inclined. Through his company, Personal Best, Lange coaches aspiring athletes and those who seek to transition well through the circumstances life presents and the healthy changes they wish to make. Lange has coached local residents through their first sprint triathlons, full-moon swims, and epic quests such as running the Boston Marathon, cycling cross continent, competing in Ironman championships, skiing across Finland and swimming the English Channel.

The New Year session of Masters Swim begins this week. A current spa membership is required for participation. Enrollment is limited to ensure that each swimmer can stroke towards her personal best. For fee information, contact the Colonial Spa at 802-254-5040. For program questions and to register for either class, contact Personal Best at 802-257-1208.