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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > January 2018 > DEEP-SEA DERBY


William Wrigley Jr.’s $40,000 race across the Catalina Channel offered the largest prize purse in marathon swimming history


In 1891, a 29-year-old budding businessman named William Wrigley Jr. moved from his native Philadelphia to Chicago with just $32 in his pocket. Having been thrown out of school at 12 years old, Wrigley sold newspapers in New York City, worked as a sailor, and toiled in his father’s soap factory, eventually graduating to travelling salesman. He had a knack for connecting with customers and soon led the company in sales. But after 16 years’ effort in his father’s business, it was time for Wrigley, Jr., to strike out on his own. Thus, he headed west toward the Windy City and a bright future as the founder of the company that produced Wrigley’s Scouring Soap.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Whether your New Year goal is an epic challenge or your first open water swim, our 2018 Race Guide is the pick of the year’s must-do events. Elsewhere in the magazine, we have inspiring stories of more personal challenges: learning to ocean swim, 50 castle swims and a new English Channel record. Plus, advice from Olympians, record breakers and swim coaches on how to max your motivation without going nuts.