We've been very blessed at the North Shore Challenge to have some very excellent #swimbuddies who have come out to join us as Celebrity Starters. In 2015, we had open water swimming royalty, Vicki Keith, to help us kick things off. Last year, Olympian Zsofi Balazs swam the 10km and shared her expertise with us. This year, we are proud to welcome a real superhero, the IceMan himself: Madhu Nagaraja!
Madhu's list of accomplishments reads like a bucket list, or a "Top 10" list of really hard stuff:
- English Channel Crossing, 2004
- Maui Channel Crossing, 2008
- 250km Marathon des Sables, 2010
- Lake Ontario Crossing, 2012
- Straits of Magellan Crossing, 2017
This most recent crossing may have been Madhu's most challenging, because it had bested him once before. After a valiant attempt in 2015, only to be pulled within sight of the finish, due to hypothermia. With his successful crossing in 2017, Madhu became the 23rd person ever, and the first Canadian and first Indian swimmer to swim the Strait, which boasted 2m waves, 50km/h winds, and 4 degree Celsius waters.
"The experience of failure is a tricky thing, and it's all so massive. How do you face that? How do you build a support system to make yourself believe in the things that you've done and get back and focus on getting across?"