Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Century Swim That Took 41 Years

Courtesy of G. Trevor Smith and John K. Slater of the British Long Distance Swimming Association.

In the 1976 British Long Distance Swimming Association annual report [see here], produced by G. Trevor Smith and John K. Slater, they noted the first of three mano-a-mano races between International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductees Kevin Murphy and Des Renford.

"Kevin Murphy again hits the headlines as the winner of the challenge swim in Sydney Harbour, against Des Renford, the Australian champion. Full details are awaited, but I understand that it was a most exciting race with only minutes separating the two. Apparently the challenge is now extended to a 100-mile swim to take place in a few weeks time and we await the details with much interest. That is, so far as I am aware, the longest "Championship" ever contemplated.

If the course is successfully completed...what next...!
"

It took 41 years for that Century Swim to be attempted.

Ultimately, Sarah Thomas achieved a 104.6-mile solo swim on August 7th 2017. She recruited a team of fellow marathon swimmers and administrators to complete the 168.3 km swim in Lake Champlain where she started in an island loop route at Rouses Point, New York, proceeded south and around Gardiner Island near Charlotte, Vermont, and then returned to the start 67 hours 16 minutes 12 seconds later on August 9th.

Photo above shows Desmond Robert Renford, M.B.E. (his marathon swimming career summary is posted here).

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