50 Marathon Swims in 25 Days across America - Joe and John Zemaitis Complete the Unbelievable

50 Marathon Swims in 25 Days across America – Joe and John Zemaitis Complete the Unbelievable

The Swim Brothers Joe Zemaitis and John Zemaitis completed their unprecedented 50-state 50 marathon swim tour across America – starting in Hawaii and Alaska and touching all 48 continental states in a remarkable 25-day jaunt in an RV.

Aided by volunteers in all 50 states and finishing in the home state of Arizona, the Swim Brothers touched the hearts of many from shore to shore. Joe said this morning, “We’re [now] home in Phoenix and 3TV is covering our swim [in the early morning with some of his] Swim Neptune kids.”

The Swim Brothers did ocean swims, witching hour swims, late night swims, rough water swims, and lake swims of all kinds (shore-to-shore, out-and-back, geometric, point-to-point, island circumnavigations), always careful to swim a minimum of 10 kilometers during their Ultimate Swim-a-Thon.

Their longest swim of the journey was 17.16 km in the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Several times, they swam in the same body of water (e.g., Lake Tahoe, Lake MichiganLake Erie, Lake ChamplainSouth Holston Lake, Toledo Bend Reservoir, and Lake Powell), but each time they started and finished in a different state. On several days, they did more than one 10 km marathon – and they were constantly on the road, driving over 11,000 miles (over 17,700 km) on the highways across America, not including air miles to and from the states of Hawaii and Alaska.

Their original plan called for 24 days to complete the 50 marathon swims, but there were weather problems and logistical hiccups along the way. They adjusted their schedule based on what Mother Nature gave them and were within one day of hitting their plan spot on.

Each marathon was done in tandem. They swam stroke-for-stroke the entire 500,000+ kilometer distance – without a doubt, history’s longest tandem swim.

They also set a fundraising goal of US$10,000 and exceeded that, too.

The Swim Brothers’ campaign was done on behalf of USA Swimming Foundation: visit here. Updates from the road are posted on Instagram @SwimBrothersUSA and their Ultimate Swim-A-Thon website: www.swimbrothers.com. The brothers explain the why of their adventure here.

Ultimate Swim-A-Thon Schedule:

  • Done: Day 1 (July 20th), Swim 1: 10.2 km from Makaha Beach to Keawaula Beach on Oahu, Hawaii
  • Done: Day 2 (July 21st), Swim 2: 10.33 km in Big Lake, City of Anchorage, State of Alaska
  • Done: Day 3 (July 22nd), Swim 3: 10.41 km in Lake Tahoe, City of Reno, State of Nevada
  • Done: Day 3 (July 22nd), Swim 4: 10.06 km in Lake Tahoe, State of California
  • Done: Day 4 (July 23rd), Swim 5: 17.16 km in the Willamette River, Portland, State of Oregon
  • Done: Day 4 (July 23rd), Swim 6: 10.32 km in Yale Lake, City of Yale, State of Washington
  • Done: Day 5 (July 24th), Swim 7: 10.00 km in Coeur d’Alene, City of Coeur d’Alene, State of Idaho
  • Done: Day 5 (July 24th), Swim 8: 10.43 km in Flathead Lake, City of Elmo, State of Montana
  • Done: Day 6 (July 25th), Swim 9: 10.38 km in Lake de Smet, City of Sheridan, State of Wyoming
  • Done: Day 6 (July 25th), Swim 10: 10.30 km in Belle Fourche Dam, State of South Dakota
  • Done: Day 7 (July 26th), Swim 11: 10.35 km in Lake Ashtabula, Valley City, State of North Dakota
  • Postponed due to Lightning: Day 7 (July 26th), Swim 12: 10.08 km in Lake Minnewaska, Glenwood, State of Minnesota
  • Postponed: Day 7 (July 26th), Swim 13: 10.05 km in Spirit Lake, City of Spirit Lake, Iowa
  • Done: Day 8 (July 27th), Re-do Swim 12: 10.08 km in Lake Minnewaska, Glenwood, Minnesota
  • Done: Day 8 (July 27th), Re-do Swim 13: 10.05 km in Spirit Lake, City of Spirit Lake, Iowa
  • Done: Day 9 (July 28th), Swim 14: 10.22 km in Lake Michigan, City of Kenosha, State of Wisconsin
  • Done: Day 9 (July 28th), Swim 15: 11.97 km in Lake Michigan, City of Waukegan, State of Illinois
  • Done: Day 10 (July 29th), Swim 16: 10.08 km in Lake Michigan, Michigan City, State of Indiana
  • Done: Day 10 (July 29th), Swim 17: 10.21 km in Lake Michigan, New Buffalo, State of Michigan
  • Done: Day 11 (July 30th), Swim 18: 10.12 km in Lake Erie, City of Conneaut, State of Ohio
  • Done: Day 11 (July 30th), Swim 19: 10.24 km in Lake Erie, City of Erie, State of Pennsylvania
  • Postponed: Day 11 (July 30th), Swim 20: 10.24 km in Lake Erie, City of Westfield, State of New York
  • Done: Day 12 (July 31st), Swim 20: 10.24 km in Lake Champlain, State of New York
  • Done: Days 12/13 (July 31st/August 1st), Swim 21: 10.20 km in Lake Champlain, State of Vermont
  • Done: Day 13 (August 1st), Swim 22: 10.13 km in Lake Winnipesaukee, State of New Hampshire
  • Done: Day 13 (August 1st), Swim 23: 10.08 km in Lake Sebago, City of South Casco, State of Maine
  • Done: Day 14 (August 2nd), Swim 24: 10.16 km in Narragansett Bay, State of Rhode Island
  • Done: Day 14 (August 2nd), Swim 25: 10.04 km in Buzzards Bay, Pocasset, State of Massachusetts
  • Done: Day 14 (August 2nd), Swim 26: 10.08 km in Long Island Sound, Norwalk, State of Connecticut
  • Done: Day 15 (August 3rd), Swim 27: 10.06 km in Silver Bay, City of Toms River, State of New Jersey
  • Done: Day 15 (August 3rd), Swim 28: 10.18 km in Rehoboth Bay, Rehoboth Bay, State of Delaware
  • Done: Day 16 (August 4th), Swim 29: 11.12 km in Eastern Bay, City of Stevensville, State of Maryland
  • Done: Day 16 (August 4th), Swim 30: 10.46 km in Summersville Lake, State of West Virginia
  • Done: Day 17 (August 5th), Swim 31: 10.62 km in Lake Wylie, Charlotte, State of South Carolina
  • Done: Day 17 (August 5th), Swim 32: 10.43 km in Lake Norman, Denver, State of North Carolina
  • Done: Day 18 (August 6th), Swim 33: 10.22 km in South Holston Lake, Bristol, State of Virginia
  • Done: Day 18 (August 6th), Swim 34: 10.64 km in South Holston Lake, City of Bristol, Tennessee
  • Done: Day 18 (August 6th), Swim 35: 10.44 km in Laurel River Lake, Morehead, State of Kentucky
  • Done: Day 19 (August 7th), Swim 36: 10.62 km in Lake Burton, City of Clayton, State of Georgia
  • Done: Day 19 (August 7th), Swim 37: 10.22 km in Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, State of Alabama
  • Done: Day 20 (August 8th), Swim 38: 10.14 km in Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin, State of Florida
  • Done: Day 20 (August 8th), Swim 39: 10.14 km in Bay St. Louis, Bay St. Louis, State of Mississippi
  • Done: Day 21 (August 9th), Swim 40: 10.48 km in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Florein, Louisiana
  • Done: Day 21 (August 9th), Swim 41: 10.16 km in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Fairmont, State of Texas
  • Done: Day 21 (August 9th), Swim 42: 10.14 km in Broken Bow Lake, Broken Law, State of Oklahoma
  • Done: Day 22 (August 10th), Swim 43: 10.26 km in Beaver Lake, Bentonville, State of Arkansas
  • Done: Day 22 (August 10th), Swim 44: 10.58 km in Table Rock Lake, Branson, State of Missouri
  • Done: Day 23 (August 11th), Swim 45: 10.09 km in Wilson Lake, City of Russell, State of Kansas
  • Done: Day 23 (August 11th), Swim 46: 10.62 km in Harlan County Lake, Alma, State of Nebraska
  • Done: Day 24 (August 12th), Swim 47: 10.30 km in Navajo Reservoir, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
  • Done: Day 24 (August 12th), Swim 48: 10.00 km in McPhee Reservoir, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Done: Day 25 (August 13th), Swim 49: 10.13 km in Lake Powell, Wahweap, State of Utah
  • Done: Day 25 (August 13th), Swim 50: 10.38 km Lake Powell, State of Arizona

The Swim Brothers’ had 3 sets of crew members across the 50 states. Volunteers included Steve Minaglia, MDBrandon Johnson, PhDWendy KolbergJeff MoessingerTom LinthicumAlex WebsterBraxton BilbreyRoric FinkSteve BilbreyJerry GeorgeJacqui Lockwood, and Henry Palmer. John Zemaitis, Roric Fink, Joe Zemaitis, RV driver Braxton Bilbrey, and Steve Bilbrey (left to right) are shown below:

The support crew from left to right below: Escort pilot Henry Palmer, observer Jerry George, Joe Zemaitis, RV driver Jacqui Lockwood, and John Zemaitis.

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