There are so many amazing stories of courage, determination, and absolute insanity when it comes to Open Water Swimming and the Great Lakes, someone ought to write a book!
Well, guess what? Somebody already has!
Meet Laura E. Young. Laura is an award winning journalist, endurance sport enthusiast, lifelong swimmer, race director of the Ian McCloy Island Swim (more about that in a moment), and the author of “Solo, Yet Never Alone: Swimming the Great Lakes.” In this open water swimmer’s humble opinion, it is the quintessential history of Great Lake Swimming, and you should own a copy.
The book covers practically every key moment of solo swimming in the Great Lakes, from Marilyn Bell’s triumphant crossing of Lake Ontario in 1954, to Vicki Keith’s Herculean feats of the summer of 1988, to Norfolk’s own Paula Jongerden and her crossing of Lake Erie in 2002. It is complete up to 2013, and as such, contains our race founder and co-director, Annaliese Carr’s triumphant 2012 crossing of Lake Ontario (at the time, she was the youngest to accomplish the feat).
“The object is is not to think, to space out as fast as possible. Time goes faster that way.”Laura E. Young
Many current and former North Shore competitors are included: Carr, Jongerden, Carlos Costa, Miguel Vadillo, Madhu Nagaraja, and Rob Kent are all featured, AND have competed (or will be competing) in the North Shore Challenge. Vicki Keith was our Year One special guest starter. And Lake Erie and Ontario (x2) swimmer, John Munro was on hand that first year as well.
We are very pleased to have copies of this excellent history of our sport available for purchase at the Pavilion during the North Shore Challenge, for the special event price of $20. 40% of every book purchased this weekend will be donated to Camp Trillium as well. Thanks, Laura!
Ian McCloy Open Water Swim
We wish that Laura could be on hand at the North Shore Challenge to sign copies of her book. Alas, she is busy with her OWN open water event, the Ian McCloy Island Swim. In what has to be the busiest weekend (and the worst planning) in Ontario Open Water swimming, the Ian McCloy Island Swim (Sudbury) is the oldest OWS in the province, Bring on the Bay (Ottawa) is the largest, the North Shore Challenge (Norfolk) is the fastest growing, and Vicki Keith’s own Swim 4 Kids (Kingston) is the newest, and all four land on the same weekend!
If you live in Northern Ontario, and can’t make it to the North Shore Challenge, we encourage you to sign up for Laura’s race. You can learn more at their Facebook page.
We promise to plan better next year, and space these four races out, mostly so that we can swim all four!
Laura cycles, too!