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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sarah Thomas, The Double-Crosser

After becoming the first person to complete a two-way bioprene crossing of Lake Tahoe earlier this summer, Sarah Thomas has accepted another double-crossing challenge: a 50-mile two-way crossing attempt of Lake Memphremagog between the U.S. state of Vermont and the Canadian province of Quebec.

That is a tough, tough double in a high alpine lake and a notoriously whip-whipped narrow lake. Even Thomas admits that she thinks differently. "Why [I am doing this]? Because I'm crazy? Also, I think Memphre put Phil up to it as a way to torture swimmers who don't have the good sense to say no to a challenge sent her way."

The Triple Crowner from Colorado should be able to pull it off given the amount of training that she has done and the success she enjoyed in Lake Tahoe. "I think the experience in Lake Tahoe helped prepare for Lake Memphremagog...so long as my shoulders are recovered from Tahoe, we should be all set."

But unlike the Tahoe swim that straddles between California and Nevada, Thomas is doing an international, cross-border swim. "Phil has [crossing the border] under control. There's a chance that over the course of the weekend, we could cross up to 8 times by car, boat, and my own arms." Phil White, the In Search of Memphre event organizer, explains, "Canadian border officials have graciously agreed to come to the Newport Gateway Center and pre-clear the 4 swimmers and 22 support persons as they head out so that we don’t have to check in at the border [on the water] when we cross [from Canada to the U.S. on Lake Memphremagog. We give a list of all participants with their dates of birth and citizenship so they can check them in advance. Both sides of the border have been extremely helpful in facilitating passage and in supporting this swim and we have an incredible group who have assembled to support this swim."

Thomas' two-way swims are always interesting to see, as she seems to really pick up the pace coming home. Lake Memphremagog's double may be no different, although Thomas is always the first to make guarantees. "I have no plan [to negative-split the two-way swim], but if the wind gives me a push on the way back, it's possible. I'm feeling pretty lucky to have Phil's support, and that of all the people he has rallied together. The swimming community is pretty amazing."

For more information on Thomas's attempt and the In Search of Memphre event, visit here.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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