We recently posted an article about the 35 individuals who had completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.
While all the individuals are incredible endurance athletes in their own right, one individual stands out in our opinion.
James Pittar is blind. Not only did James complete the Triple Crown by doing the English Channel, Catalina Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, but he has also completed numerous marathon swims all over the world.
James did a 21K swim in Phuket, Thailand, an 11K swim in Anzac Cove, Turkey, a 25K swim in the Vaal River in South Africa, a 60K swim down the Parana River in Argentina, a tough 27.5K swim across the Cook Strait in New Zealand, a 22K swim across the Rottnest Channel in Australia and a successful crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar.
While the rest of the us lift our heads to navigate through the surf, swells and surface chop, James is entirely dependent on his team and a whistle system with 1 blast for left and 2 short blasts for right.
As James explains, "Marathon swimming for me is being free, openness, feeling currents, feeling tides, feeling winds, bluebottle jellyfish, waves crashing against me and hearing friendly whistle blows."
A documentary on his swim around Manhattan can be seen here (Swimming with Skyscrapers)
Our hats and goggles off to you, James.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association