Great Swims In The Great Lakes

Great Swims In The Great Lakes

Great Swims In Great Lakes

Courtesy of WOWSA, Great Lakes.

Josh Heynes swam 24.3 miles across Lake Erie two times, five years apart.

In 2006, he finished his first swim in the Great Lakes in 11 hours 53 minutes to set the record. It was subsequently beaten by Randy McElwain who lowered the bar across Lake Erie to 11 hours 23 minutes.

But Heynes came back in 2011 to regain the record in an 11 hour 16 minute effort from Long Point in Ontario, Canada to North East Township’s Freeport Beach in Pennsylvania, United States.

This was a lot tougher than the first time. I was taking in too much water, and my stomach couldn’t handle it. More cramping came in, but we fought through it, and my team kept pushing me. I got real sick six miles in. I didn’t think I was going to make it. Around mile nine, I was ready to call it quits, but the team stuck through and pushed me along. We got better and hung in there. We kept pushing and pushing.

It’s not just for me, it’s their record, too. Without those [five escort kayakers] pushing me as hard as they did, I probably wouldn’t be here right now

Heynes spent 10 months, training more than 2,400 hours and 1,000 miles of swimming for the charity swim that raised money for the John Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation.

Photo of Josh Heynes by Janet Campbell.

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Steven Munatones