The Improbable, Incredible, Inspirational Life of Maarten van der Weijden

The Improbable, Incredible, Inspirational Life of Maarten van der Weijden

Maarten van der Weijden did it again.

From coming back from leukemia to winning the 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing to raising millions of euros in his 195 km Elfstedentocht Swim, world champion swimmer and cancer charity fundraiser Maarten van der Weijden never fails to achieve the improbable and inspire others.

On November 21st, he set a new record for the longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool with a time of 32 hours 20 minutes 50 seconds in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Beginning on November 20th at 9:00 am, he continued until after 5 pm the next day, breaking the record of Mayra Santos who had set the existing world record in Caniço, Madeira Island, Portugal in 31 hours 7 minutes.

He swam over 32 hours to raise money for an important cancer study in people with intellectual disabilities.  To donate, visit www.mvdwfoundation.nl.

Next month, Maarten will continue swimming. He will swim again in the Elfstedentocht on another major charity swim.  Given the cold of winter and the pandemic restrictions, he will swim from December 10th to 13th in a pool at Hotel de ABDIJ in Dokkum.  He plans to swim 50 kilometers each day for 4 straight days as hisElfstedentocht Swim training regimen. 

His team at the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation invite collaborators, “There is a pool next to him in which people can swim together with Maarten for a while to raise money for cancer research. You can sign up quickly to grab the limited number of places available. Registration costs €11.”

Time lapse video of Maarten van der Weijden’s continuous swim in a counter-current pool of 32 hours 20 minutes

The world records in this category include the following progression:

  • February 2014: Chloë McCardel of Australia set the Longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool in 16 hours at the SPASA Victoria consumer Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo in Australia.
  • May 2018: Dennis T. Seiler-Holm of Denmark set the Longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool in 17 hours 7 minutes 1.82 seconds in a Swim Spa in Denform Expo in Aarhus, Denmark.
  • October 2019: Yuko Matsuzaki of Japan set a Guinness World Record for the Longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool conducted in an Endless Pool in Seaside LagoonRedondo Beach, California in 24 hours 1 minute.
  • May 2020: Pablo Fernández Álvarez of Spain set a Guinness World Record for the Longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool conducted in an Endless Pool in Madrid, Spain in 25 hours.
  • November 2020: Mayra Santos of Brazil/Portugal set a world record for the Longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool in Caniço, Madeira Island, Portugal in 31 hours 7 minutes.
  • November 2021: Maarten van der Weijden of the Netherlands set a world record of 32 hours 20 minutes 50 seconds for the Longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Maarten van der Weijden’s 195 km Elfstedentocht Swim in 2019
Maarten van der Weijden on WOWSA Live in May 2020

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