Annaleise Carr's Traverse Across Lake Erie, Part Two

Annaleise Carr’s Traverse Across Lake Erie, Part Two

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Annaleise Carr started July 25th on her attempted 75 km Lake Erie swim from the American shores at Erie’s Presquile Point in the state of Pennsylvania.

Eventually, she cut her unprecedented swim short, finishing the first 42.2 km around midnight at Long Point in Ontario, Canada 22 hours 20 minutes later. But her swim was not over. The audacious Canadian teenager wanted to swim across Lake Erie as she always intended. So on August 31st, she set off on the second half of her swim.

Over that second half of the crossing, her coach Paula Jongerden followed her closely as Great Lakes Crossing Organization Swim Masters Rob Kent and Miguel Vadillo documented what happened in an Observer’s log.

As midnight approached, the ambiance on Long Point was excited. Carr had a 30 km traverse to complete her Radical Crossing 2.0 as the swim was dubbed.

Like the previous first section of her swim, the water temperature held steady at a comfortable 23ºC (73ºF). Carr was geared and greased up to go after a pre-race dinner of pasta and chicken. She shot off from the shore at 70 strokes per minute and increased her stroke rate to 73 over the first 90 minutes.

At 1:30 am, she briefly stopped for water, 200 mL water, 2 bites of pancakes, and green yogurt mix in the 1-foot swells at night. At her next few feeding stops, she had grape juice, some greek yogurt, strawberries and a pancake. At 2:30 am, she tried a chocolate protein mix that she said “tasted gross” with 2 watermelon slices By 3 am, the water temperature dropped slightly to 21.6ºC as she munched on a half muffin, 2 ounces of iced tea, and a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich. “She looked good and was good spirit, swimming along at 67 strokes per minute,” recalls Kent.

Nearly 4 hours into the swim, Carr drank 210 mL of iced tea and was back up to her starting pace of 70 strokes per minute. On the next stop, she downed a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, 2 strawberries and 150 mL of iced tea. She only briefly stopped for a drink of Boost, a small drink of ice tea with strawberries, and 180 mL of fruit punch on the next 3 stops as she was feeling good.

At 6:30 am, she asked for strawberries and went on her way after completing 18 km in 7 hours. Her pace over the 18th kilometer was 25:50 as she chugged along at 64 strokes per minute. When she felt an upset stomach coming along, she had an urge to vomit. But it was not terrible as one of her pace swimmers jumped in to swim alongside her.

She swam through the sunrise as her stomach improved and was able to consume 40 mL of iced tea, yogurt and a strawberry as her pace swimmers rotated. By 7:30 am, she drank 70 mL of iced tea and joked, “Maybe I should slow down so my mom will let me miss the first day of school?”

At 8:00 am, things were back to normal as Carr was laughing and joking with her support crew and was able to down 100 mL of iced tea, Greek yogurt, a strawberry, a blueberry, and a Skor bar. Over the next 3 scheduled fees, she stopped for 50 mL of iced tea, 200 mL of Boost, and 150 mL of iced tea as her spirits remained positive.

She reverted to a taste of fruit – a raspberry – on her next stop along with 100 mL of iced tea. With 2 kilometers left, she saw the shoreline and was confident that the swim would be seen to completion. She celebrated a bit with some cherry candy with chocolate.

After Annaleise’s first Lake Erie swim and her previous Lake Ontario Crossing, she has become a very strong marathon swimmer,” commented Kent. “Her physical endurance is exceptional, as is her mental stamina and attitude. She is able to stay positive for extended periods of time and she finished in Port Dover in Ontario after 12 hours 12 minutes.”

Photo by Mark Ghesquiere.

For more reading, visit articles below:
* Annaleise Carr’s Traverse Across Lake Erie, Part One is here.
* Annaleise Carr Swimming With A Purpose interview is here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones