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How about 24 miles of butterfly?

If this swim was dated a day earlier, it may have been taken for a joke. On 2 April this year, John Batchelder took on the famous 24-mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim and completed the entire distance using only butterfly. The 36-year old from Littleton, Colorado, took 14 hours and 41 minutes to finish the crossing, which meant he started and finished in darkness.

The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, which crosses the entire length of Florida’s largest estuary, was first staged in 1998. It has drawn swimmers from around the globe and is one of the world’s longest marathon swims. The main race is held annually in April, in celebration of Earth Day, but is occasionally tackled by swimmers separately on different dates. This year’s race is on 22 April.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to our training special! Whether you have signed up for your first open water event or are planning an endurance challenge we have a plan for you – turn to page 44 for our one mile, 5k and 10k training schedules. We also have an intensive 10k DIY training camp for more advanced swimmers, as well as advice on how to successfully swim 24 miles in 24 hours and train for a swimrun event. Plus, our resident Olympian Cassie Patten answers your training queries and Total Immersion head coach Terry Laughlin trains your brain as well as your body. And if you haven’t yet signed up to an event to train for, check out our full listings starting on page 80. Outdoor swimming isn’t all about chasing that PB though. We hear from self-confessed dipper Joe Minihane about how wild swimming helped cure his anxiety and Ella Foote swims with Tessa Wardley, the author of a new book on mindfulness and swimming. And Jenny Landreth delves into the history books to explore the advice given to female swimmers in the 19th century. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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