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Christmas Presents

A MERE 24 HOURS

The annual 24-Hour Relay in San Francisco’s Aquatic Park honours the La Tuque Relays of the 1960s and ’70s. By Elaine K Howley
Herman Willemse of Holland (left) and Rejean LaCoursiere of Canada (right) won the 1966 La Tuque 24-Hour event covering 170 miles or 55.5 miles and earning $3,500 for their troubles. Image courtesy of Breakaway Books

If you’ve ever trained hard only to have a big swim event not go according to plan, you’re definitely not alone. But not all of us can say that disappointment led to creating new and exciting swimming opportunities for others. But Suzie Dods, 56, certainly can.

The San Francisco-based Triple Crown marathon swimmer had been sitting on an idea and a potentially amazing event for some 13 years when in 2013 she decided to channel the frustration of her second failed attempt to swim around Manhattan Island that year (marking a second near-miss of achieving swimming’s Triple Crown) into a community-building event that honours a unique aspect of marathon swimming history.

“I needed something to focus on,” Dods says, so she set out to create an inexpensive event that would bring together some of the top names in the sport to swim and enjoy each other’s company over a weekend in February. The 24-Hour Relay Swim in Aquatic Park was born.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Outdoor swimming is not just about sport. It is about being part of a community, about fun and challenge, travel and escape from the day-to-day grind. It is about the thrill of feeling alive. It is being sat at your desk and dreaming of next weekend’s swimming adventure. If you find it hard to keep the thrill going through the dark days of winter, we’ve got 12 ways to help keep you motivated, including six top tips for cold water swimming. If you need something to look forward to, check out our Travel and Events sections for races and holiday destinations for summer 2017. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from the Wild Swimming Brothers about their trip to Norway to tackle the world’s biggest whirlpools, and the truly inspirational Sarah Thomas talks to us about her mammoth 80-mile swim in Lake Powell. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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