To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. Over 12,725 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics, exploits and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors. Sponsored by WOWSA.org.
Monday, May 17, 2010
La Tuque, A 24-hour Race in 15°C (60°F) Water
As is natural, the younger generations tend to brush off the talk and any mention of the difficulties that older generations faced, believing that these situations are exaggerated.
However, there are exceptions.
In the case of the 24-hour La Tuque Swim, the older generations of marathon swimmers do not exaggerate when they describe the difficulty of this race. In fact, if anything, they downplay the tremendous efforts that they put themselves through in this famous race in Canada that is no longer held.
The first 24-hour La Tuque Swim was held in 1965 in Lake Louie, a spring-fed lake in Quebec, Canada. Lake Louie is a small circular lake surrounded by a sidewalk and grass areas that provided excellent viewing of the entire lake.
The course itself was also circular and marked by buoys along the ⅓-mile length.
One full circumnavigation of the course was ⅓ mile. The race was a 2-person relay where one swimmer could swim as many laps as he/she choose as long as at least one lap was completed. The relay members could only change at the partner-changing dock.
The Swim was inspired by the famous 1963 60-mile (96.5K) race across Lake Michigan when Egyptian Abo-Heif beat Chicago’s Ted Erikson. The Who's Who of open water swimming in the 1960's and 1970's flocked to the incredible race of endurance. The International Swimming Hall of Fame honor swimmer, Horatio Iglesias of Argentina won the race a record six times.
In 1980, Paul Asmuth and James Kegley finished 1-2 in the professional Around-the-Island Swim in Atlantic City, New Jersey and were invited to Lake Louie as the team to beat.
Asmuth, an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame, described their race strategy:
"James and I each swam a mile at a time. The day was cool and raining and water low 60°s. The night was very cold and there was a bunk house to go into to try and warm up in the twenty minutes between shifts."
In a typical display of stamina typical of those pioneering days, the race organizers paid for an Egyptian swimmer to swim by himself for 24 hours. Paul fondly remembers his stout competitor, "…the cold did not affect him. He had those old style scuba goggles on and he would smile and wave under water each time James and I passed him; it was a very funny sight. It was something to look forward to during the monotony of the night when the spectators went home around 2 am."
Because the race was organized as a commercial venture by the local chamber of commerce, there was a festival next to the lake and many spectators throughout the race except for 2-6 a.m. Labatt Brewery was the main sponsor and, as Paul and James recall much beer was consumed.
As Paul and James pushed themselves to exhaustion, there was not much competition so they focused on breaking the record of Olympian John Kinsella and his Indiana University teammate Bill Heiss. Kinsella and Heiss had previously swum 203 laps. By the 24th hour of the 24 Heures La Tuque, Asmuth and Kegley had swim 207 laps of Lake Louie or about 69 miles total (34.5 miles or 55K each).
Paul recalled, "James ended up swimming one lap further than me because I needed a little extra rest during the night and he was a great friend for that."
Throughout the race, Paul and James never let up and relied on each other to motivate each other. "We wrote notes to each other to communicate how we felt and there was a lot of humor as I recall," said James, also an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and All-American from Indiana University. "I think we questioned our sanity at some points, particularly at around 3 or 4 am when the bands had stopped, the people had passed out or gone home and the only sign of life were the few officials and other swimmers."
But, the men were serious about breaking the Kinsella-Heiss record and never let up during the lonely hours of the late night/early morning. "We had to tag each others hands before plunging in off the floating platform and since we were going for a record, we didn’t stop to chat," said James. "The hard part was just beginning to get warmed up and then hopping back in. It was surreal watching the sun come up and seeing people around 7 or 8 am drift in, all the while painfully aware we had been swimming all day and night. I seem to recall someone brought in donuts in the wee hours."
In-and-out, in-and-out…of 15°C (60°F) water...for 24 hours The race is no longer held, but remains legendary among the pioneering professional marathon swimmers.
Photo of Lake Louie by AnaB*.
Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Source
A Thank You Gift from WOWSA
|WOWSA is celebrating the|
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.
Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB
Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.
CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.