Michael Rice Sets The Standard In S.C.A.R.

Michael Rice Sets The Standard In S.C.A.R.

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Michael Rice tore up the field at the unusually cold S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona that culminated yesterday.  The S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge is a 4-day stage swim in Arizona in the Saguaro LakeCanyon LakeApache Lake, and Roosevelt Lake. It is one of the longest competitive marathon swims and is part of the Triple Crown of Stage Swims.

Rice shattered the existing male record of 14 hours 57 minutes 11 seconds held by Ireland’s Ned Denison who passed on his congratulations, “Michael, well done – you destroyed my male record time after 7 years.   The combination of youth and talent saw you through the 4-day event.  Wear the SCAR belt buckle with pride [see buckle above].”

Denison set his record in 2013 when the overall record holder Grace van der Byl completed the 4-stage 66.9 course in 13 hours 7 minutes 56 seconds. Rice’s splits over the four-day race were as follows:

Race director Kent Nicholas said, “SCAR 2021 is in the books with a great turnout. Champion SCAR buckles were awarded to Michael Rice and Sarah Thomas. Saguaro was stormy and challenging. Canyon proved to be chilly, but beautiful as always. Apache had its coldest start, but very favorable conditions with water being released from the start, combined with a tailwind. Roosevelt was nothing short of a beautiful sunset and shooting stars.”

Final Results of the 4-Stagers:

  1. Michael Rice, 13 hours 20 minutes 9.2 seconds
  2. Sarah Thomas, 14 hours 43 minutes 17.4 seconds
  3. Kelly Harrigan, 14 hours 53 minutes 25.8 seconds
  4. Rocio Mora, 15 hours 11 minutes 39.0 seconds
  5. Heather Roca, 15 hours 53 minutes 36.6 seconds
  6. Mike Herrmann, 16 hours 39 minutes 57.4 seconds
  7. Brian Campbell, 16 hours 50 minutes 42.8 seconds
  8. Edie Markovich, 17 hours 16 minutes 49.3 seconds
  9. Steve Sutton, 18 hours 55 minutes 39.0 seconds
  10. Sarah Bird, 19 hours 3 minutes 16.4 seconds
  11. Natalia Chuich, 19 hours 40 minutes 30.2 seconds
  12. Jamie Tout, 21 hours 43 minutes 16.9 seconds
  13. Kate Howell, 23 hours 10 minutes 9.8 seconds
  14. Gabriella Rishel, 23 hours 39 minutes 22.9 seconds
  15. Gina Harden, 24 hours 10 minutes 58.4 seconds
  16. Gigi Goesling, 25 hours 24 minutes 31.7 seconds
  17. Tom Linthicum, 25 hours 39 minutes 55.1 seconds
  18. Joe Zemaitis, 36 hours 20 minutes 31 seconds for a Double SCAR with an 8 hour 18 minute 58 second two-way crossing of Saguaro Lake, a 7 hour 35 minute 21 second two-way crossing of Canyon Lake, a 14 hour 26 minute 31 second two-way crossing of Apache Lake, and a 5 hour 59 minute 41 second two-way crossing of Roosevelt Lake.

Zemaitis completed only the second Double SCAR after 56-year-old Liz Fry pioneered the feat in May 2015 with a 26.6 km double crossing of Saguaro Lake in 6 hours 42 minutes 48 seconds, a 28.2 km double crossing of Canyon Lake in 6 hours 26 minutes 40 seconds, a 45.6 km double crossing of Apache Lake in 15 hours 46 minutes 4 seconds, and an 18 km double crossing of Roosevelt Lake in 6 hours 18 minutes 49 seconds for a cumulative time of 35 hours 14 minutes 21 seconds.

For the complete results of all swimmers on all stages, visit here.

The historical winners include:

  • 2021 overall winner: Michael Rice in 13 hours 20 minutes 9.2 seconds (44 swimmers)
  • 2019 overall winner: Jessica Kieras in 14 hours 43 minutes 56.8 seconds (51 swimmers)
  • 2018 overall winner: Jamie Ann Phillips in 15 hours 15 minutes 20.6 seconds (56 swimmers)
  • 2017 overall winner: Stephen Rouch in 16 hours 48 minutes 49.2 seconds (46 swimmers)
  • 2016 overall winner: Stephen Rouch in 15 hours 45 minutes 31.1 seconds (48 swimmers)
  • 2015 overall winner: Cole Gindhart in 16 hours 13 minutes 14.8 seconds (48 swimmers)
  • 2014 overall winner: Kristin Jones in 15 hours 56 minutes 53 seconds (31 swimmers)
  • 2013 overall winner: Grace van der Byl in 13 hours 7 minutes 56 seconds (21 swimmers)
  • 2012 overall winner: Kurt Dickson (8 swimmers)

Race visionary and director Kent Nicholas talks about the event:

International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame chairman Ned Denison talked about the 4-day S.C.A.R. event and the importance of giving back with Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming member Kent Nicholas on WOWSA Live.

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