Open water swimmers around the world continue to trudge to the seashore or lakeshore day after day, month after month, year after year. They share a love of the outdoors and the joys and challenges that oceans and lakes bring. Mike Harris, a former winner of the Lee Swim in Ireland, who is perhaps typical of these open water stalwarts.
Mike has completed over 1,000 roundtrip swims of Sandycove Island (shown below), totaling over 1,931K (1,200 miles) during the past 15 years while never missing any one of the monthly swims.
Even a second knee replacement was not enough to stop Mike during 2008. 25 of his colleagues recently got together in the 9.4°C (49°F) water around Sandycove Island to celebrate Mike’s return to the sea, only a few weeks after Mike’s surgery. Mike had the honor to lead the pack out to the island, although his circulation was not back to normal.
One English Channel swimmer commented, "Mike was clearly struggling, but I sure wasn't going to try to pass between him and the rocks of the Island – I tried it once a few years ago in a race and still have the scratches to prove it."
We smile at the thought – because we know better than we take the best line from an passionate open water swimmer – no matter his age or physical condition.