Ted Erikson, one of the toughest marathon swimmers in history and a 1978 inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, has a great motto...
Old swimmers never die, They just wade away!.
Ted started marathon swimming at the age of 33 in 1961 when he became the first person to swim across Lake Michigan in the USA. He swam from England to France in 12 hours and 25 minutes in 1964.
His career peaked in 1965 with a record double crossing of the English Channel in 30 hours and 3 minutes on his third attempt. His record stood for 10 years until it was broken by his, Jon. Ted still holds the record for swimming 50.6K (31.5 miles) in 14 hours and 35 minutes from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA across frigid shark-infested waters in 1967.
He participated in eight professional marathon swims in Lake Michigan, Atlantic City, the La Tuque 24-hour relay with Dennis Matuch in Canada and the Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada.
His Lake Michigan swims included a 59K (36.75-mile) swim from Chicago, Illinois to Michigan City, Indiana, USA in 1961 in 36 hours and 37 minutes, a 80.4K (50-mile) swim from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA in 35 hours and 37 minutes in 1962, and a 96.5K (60-mile) swim from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, USA in 37 hours and 25 minutes in 1963.
He also guided four protégés across the English Channel, did a 19K (12-mile) Chain o' Lakes swim from Winter Haven, Florida to Cypress Gardens in 1961 and a 64K (40-mile) pool swim (of 3,520 lengths) at Illinois Athletic Club in Chicago in 1963 in 22 hours and 17 minutes.
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