When Women Achieve, Men Believe

When Women Achieve, Men Believe

Vicki Keith did it. Many times. Non-stop. For many long hours, sometimes days.

So does Julie Bradshaw. Across channels, in lakes and down rivers.

What have they done?

Butterfly marathon swims. Mix two difficult endeavors together and the outcome is something nearly impossible.

Chicago banker Dan Projansky is going to tackle his longest butterfly marathon swim to date when he attempts the 26-mile END-WET (Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test) swim down the Red River between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Oslo, Minnesota.

On July 21st, Dan will join freestyling open water swimmers, kayakers, surf skiers and stand-up paddle boarders in the extreme race where every mile will be clearly marked. And doing butterfly mile and mile is what Vicki and Julie know very well.

Vicki swam butterfly across the 35K (20.4-mile) Catalina Channel in 14 hours 53 minutes, 51.5K (32 miles) in 31 hours across Lake Ontario, 28.9K (18 miles) in 13 hours in Lake Winnipeg, 32K (20 miles) in 14 hours in Juan de Fuca, 23 hours 33 minutes across the English Channel, and 22.5K (14 miles) in 13 hours and 30 minutes in a circumnavigation of Sydney Harbour to put her double-arm swimming in the annuls of marathon swimming.

Julie (shown below around Manhattan Island) crossed the English Channel butterfly in 14 hours 18 minutes in 2002 and 16.8K (10.5-mile) across Windermere in 6 hours 7 minutes in 1991. Past the age of 40, the British butterflyer also crossed Lough Erne in Ireland, 10½ miles in 5 hours 41 minutes and completed a 2-way crossing of Lake Bala, 6½ miles of butterfly in 5 hours 2 minutes.

I must admit, I am kind of nervous but the challenge totally excites me,” explains Dan about the prospects of swimming 26 miles butterfly. “I have swam plenty of four-mile pool swims butterfly for training this winter. I have laid low on the weight lifting so I will be nice and limber. This will be definitely the hardest event I will ever attempt. I am game though.”

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones