Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Frank Pritchard, Pioneer Marathon Swimmer

Dale Petranech announced Frank Pritchard, formerly of Buffalo, New York as a member of the Class of 2009 in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Pritchard was active in marathon swimming between 1927 through 1938. During his early career, he finished second in the 1927 National A.A.U. 4.5-mile championships and fourth in the 1928 Olympic Trials in the 1500-meter freestyle.

During his marathon swimming career, Pritchard out-swam several of the better known marathon swimmers of his era. He beat swimmers as Americans Marvin Nelson and Clarence Ross, Canadian George Young, Italian Gianni Gambi and German Ernest Vierkoetter.

Between 1930 and 1937, Pritchard participated in the most prestigious marathon swimming event of the time, the Canadian National Exhibition swims in Toronto, Canada. In 1931, he finished fourth. In 1933, he finished third. In 1934, he finished second. In 1935, he finished second again. In 1936, he finally won. In 1937, he defended his title and his race record that lasted more than 10 years.

He also won the 1934 Hearst 15-mile Swim in Lake Michigan in Chicago, the 1934 and 1935 Blue Water Carnival 12-mile Swims from Sarnia, Ontario to St. Clair, Michigan.

In an era when life and transportation was generally much more difficult than contemporary times, Pritchard epitomizes the sacrifices, joys, challenges and obstacles that everyone marathon swimmer faces in subsequent eras. He was named a Pioneer Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

2 comments:

Chris said...

Steve - this is a great site. Keep up the excellent work. Chris

Steven Munatones said...

Thank you very much for the kind words. On this post, I apologize for not having any photos of Frank.