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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Alex Cape, Swimming Side-by-Side With Simmons

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Alex Cape had a huge goal: to swim for the longest known distance in a freshwater setting together with her friend and training partner, Susan Simmons.

Simmons had gained great acclaim for her 32-hour 70 km two-way crossing of Canada's Cowichan Lake in 2014 because of her multiple sclerosis. But Cape was right at her side as the two of them entered the 24-hour Club with their efforts. But after completing a one-way 34 km crossing of Cowichan Lake in 2013 and then completing a two-way 70 km Cowichan Lake crossing in 2014, the duo wanted something more. Much, much more. So they decided on attempting a three-way 105 km crossing.

During the final days before their 105 km attempt, Simmons set the stage for the third straight year, but she barely slept and ate leading up to the event. Organizing, promoting, interviewing, and coordinating took a lot of energy and time in the last few days leading up to the swim.

Unfortunately, it was all too much for Simmons who was overcome with nausea due to some rough conditions. At 44 km, the MS sufferer exited the water under her own resolve after 21 hours 18 minutes [see above].

But Cape kept going.

She swam past the 50 km mark, past the 60 km point, past 70 km, past 80 km, and past 90 km. Cape continued to forge on nearing the marks set by Vicki Keith (104 km in Lake Ontario in 1987) and Ted Erikson and Abdul-Latif Abou-Heif (96 km in Lake Michigan in 1963).

But she eventually and voluntarily walked up Cowichan Lake's shore after 50 hours 36 minutes at 94.2 km (58.4 miles) - the 12th longest marathon swim in human history: (see global historic list here).

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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