Triathlete strokes to marathon, 105-km, lengthwise swim of Okanagan Lake

By The Canadian Press
July 27, 2016 - 7:01pm Updated: July 28, 2016 - 12:24am

VERNON, B.C. — A Detroit man is celebrating with friends and supporters after completing a gruelling, 41-hour endurance swim along the entire length of British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake.

Adam Ellenstein said he was inspired to attempt the 105-kilometre, non-stop swim after his aunt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last fall.

“It’s a swim to honour those with living with Parkinson’s disease and encourage everyone, especially those with Parkinson’s, to take up the challenge of exercise,” Ellenstein said in a phone interview from the Okanagan.

The 39-year-old endurance swimmer began early Monday in Vernon and completed the feat Tuesday night when he arrived to a crowd gathered at the beach in Penticton. The non-stop swim was more a mental battle than a physical endurance, he said.

Last year, he swam across Lake Winnipeg.

Ellenstein said he’s been training over the last year for the mental challenge of swimming Okanagan Lake on top of the physical swim because he knows that such long endurance events can start playing tricks on your mind.

“I didn’t waste time thinking about the negative. When those challenges arose I just reframed them into a positive way of thinking,” he said.

“It’s also a great way to live, to just get out of your comfort zone a bit, embrace that there are obstacles and challenges in the future that you won’t know about until they happen, and then learn to manage those in positive ways.”

Ellenstein was accompanied the entire way by a support team, which included his wife and crew chief, Amelia Ellenstein.

Ellenstein and his crew hope the feat will set a new Guinness World Record. They plan on submitting GPS tracking data, video evidence and witness testimony to the world-record authority in the coming days, he said.

The Canadian Press

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