Myrtle's Maternal Motivation Redux

Myrtle’s Maternal Motivation Redux

It is never to early to plan ahead in the open water world.

With 522 days to go and 12,528 possible hours to prepare, Jamie Patrick announced the 1st annual Myrtle Huddleston Honorary Swim in Lake Tahoe on August 17th 2013.

Ms. Huddleston was the first person to swim the width of Lake Tahoe back in 1931. This 11-mile open water swim will trace her historic swim. It will be open to solo and relay swimmers in both non-wetsuit and wetsuit divisions.”

The event’s namesake not only took 22 hours 53 minutes to cross the width of the high-altitude lake in 1931, but she was also left without escort or boats in the middle of the lake for hours in the dark. From midnight to just before dawn, Mrytle swam alone. Imagine the feeling: swimming alone in the middle of an uncrossed lake under pitch-black skies? But with a 15-year-old son, her maternal instincts did not fail her.

When she was finally found, it was her son in a rowboat who provided her with renewed energy and the will to finish. “Mother, hold fast. We are only two miles from shore,” reportedly said her son Everett.

Fast forward 82 years and the safety net around the swimmers will be significantly greater. With the water temperature on race day expected to range from 55-65°F (13-18°C) and the air temperature between 40-80°F (4-26°C), swimmers must be hardened to withstand much. “This event was thought up by marathon swimmer Karen Rogers. Space is limited and will be offered first to those who sign up to receive notification,” explains Jamie who will be one of the swimmers honored at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach.

In the spirit of Mark Twain, Myrtle‘s 1931 exploit was described here.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones