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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Elizabeth Fry Blows The Minds Of Veterans

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Imagine a sport where a 57-year-old women sets the bar. Imagine a sport where a 57-year-old blows the mind of some of the best endurance athletes in the world. Imagine a sport where a full-time financier is considered among the very best in the sport.

That sport would be open water swimming and that athlete would be Elizabeth Fry.

Fry took one of the world's longest open water swimming competitions, the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge, a 4-day stage swim in Arizona, and just completely obliterated all sense of time and distance. Instead of doing the already-tough, obligatory 41.7 miles (66.9 km) in the race, Fry simply double downed 83.4 miles (123.8 km). She two-timed S.C.A.R. She went two ways instead of just one way.

While some of the world's toughest marathon swimmers were aching for massages and fatigued after swimming 66.9 kilometers against the wind and under difficult conditions, Fry simply looked at the challenge as something within her potential. Smiling before and smiling after, she managed to blow the minds of her peers in the sport, raising the bar to improbable heights.

Not that anyone was surprised, but it was still an achievement that may never be replicated. Fry gathered in the midst of seasoned marathon swimmers and went double the distance of what the rest of the hardened swimmers did. In the company of heroes, she was more than heroic.

On Day One, she swam back and forth 19 miles (30.4 km) in Saguaro Lake in 7 hours 32 minutes.
On Day Two, she swam 18 miles (28.8 km) two ways in Canyon Lake in 7 hours 27 minutes.
On Day Three, she two-wayed 34 miles (54.6 km) Apache Lake in 15 hours 47 minutes.
On Day Four, she double-crossed 12.4 miles (20 km) Roosevelt Lake 6 hours 18 minutes.

Race founder and director Kent Nicholas wrote, "[It was] an unthinkable feat and an accomplishment for Liz and [escort kayakers] Peggy [sister] and brother-in-law Peyton Gaskill. Proof that open water swimming is a team sport."

S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge Overall Female Results (Days 1-4 Cumulative Times)
1. Cheryl Reinke 16:42:46.3
2. Anna Delozier 17:01:38.6
3. Kathleen Wilson 19:58:15.2
4. Becky Jackman-Beeler 20:22:58.2
5. Helen Conway 20:28:02.9
6. Kelly Gentry 20:40:07.1
7. Ann Von Spiegelfeld 21:20:14.6
8. Janet Harris 21:46:11.8
9. Colleen Blair 23:16:33.6
10. Elizabeth Fry 36 hours 55 minutes

S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge Overall Male Results (Days 1-4 Cumulative Times)
1. Cole Gindhart 16:13:14.8
2. Stefan Reinke 17:14:37.3
3. Chris Greene 18:02:18.3
4. Jacob Miyauchi 18:03:51.4
5. Mark Spratt 18:43:25.9
6. Jason Overbaugh 19:02:32.0
7. Graeme Schlachter 19:45:24.5
8. Dan Simonelli 20:07:28.1
9. Matthew Hills 20:23:19.4
10. Scott Blietz 20:35:42.1
11. Roger Finch 20:42:45.8
12. Brad Lundblad 20:55:57.8
13. Stephen Key 21:05:55.7
24. Mark Sheridan 22:00:22.7

S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge Overall Results (Days 1-4 Cumulative Times)
1. Cole Gindhart 16:13:14.8
2. Cheryl Reinke 16:42:46.3
3. Anna Delozier 17:01:38.6
4. Stefan Reinke 17:14:37.3
5. Chris Greene 18:02:18.3
6. Jacob Miyauchi 18:03:51.4
7. Mark Spratt 18:43:25.9
8. Jason Overbaugh 19:02:32.0
9. Graeme Schlachter 19:45:24.5
10. Kathleen Wilson 19:58:15.2
11. Dan Simonelli 20:07:28.1
12. Becky Jackman-Beeler 20:22:58.2
13. Matthew Hills 20:23:19.4
14. Helen Conway 20:28:02.9
15. Scott Blietz 20:35:42.1
16. Kelly Gentry 20:40:07.1
17. Roger Finch 20:42:45.8
18. Brad Lundblad 20:55:57.8
19. Stephen Key 21:05:55.7
20. Ann Von Spiegelfeld 21:20:14.6
21. Janet Harris 21:46:11.8
22. Mark Sheridan 22:00:22.7
23. Colleen Blair 23:16:33.6
24. Elizabeth Fry 36 hours 55 minutes

Upper photo shows Liz Fry swimming into the sunrise at Apache Lake with her sister Peggy Gaskill and brother-in-law Peyton Gaskill.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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