Cliff Lumsdon, An Open Water Luminary Up For A Vote

Cliff Lumsdon, An Open Water Luminary Up For A Vote

Cliff Lumsdon is up for consideration by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. The five-time world professional marathon swimming champion whose career ranged from 1949 – 1964 was honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1969.

His track record is impressive:

1949-1954: 5 consecutive world professional marathon swimming titles
Atlantic City 22 mile (35.2 km) professional race: 1st in 1956 and 1959, 2nd in 1954, 1955, 1958, 1960 and 1962, 3rd in 1961, 4th in 1963 and 1964)

10-mile Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) professional race: 1st in 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1953, 3rd in 1951, 5th in 1948

1955 32-mile Canadian National Exhibition professional race: only finisher in field of 35 swimmers in 1955

1956: second crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Cliff was renown for his cold-water ability, once going 32 miles in 18+ hours in water temperatures ranging between 48 and 52°F (averaging 10°C) and going 11 hours 35 minutes across the Straits of Juan de Fuca between Washington State and Vancouver Island in Canada where water temperatures averaged 48°F (9°C). Cliff was the second person to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca after Bert Thomas in 1955. In 1949, he won the Lou Marsh Trophy for the outstanding Canadian Athlete of the year. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Ontario Aquatic Hall of Fame in 1993.

As a lasting memory of his legacy, the Cliff Lumsdon Award is presented for outstanding achievement in marathon swimming in the province of Ontario, Canada.

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