During the dog days of summer, many folks find it appealing to spend some time splashing around in the water. August 19th, 2011 one San Francisco man and Endless Pool owner completed one of the longest river swims in history.
Jamie Patrick, a sales manager at an office supply company by day, swam nonstop, taking only small floating breaks for food and check-ins with the crew along his journey, completing the swim in 31 hours and 16 minutes. "All in all, I feel pretty good. I'm very excited to be done," said the ultra swimmer, amid the cheers of sponsors, spectators and loved ones who greeted him when he reached the Tower Bridge at about 7:15 p.m.
"I had a difficult night, and didn't think I'd get through it, but here I am. It was a pretty magical swim," said Patrick.
This won’t be the first (or last) ultra-swimming challenge that Patrick has taken up. In addition to completing multiple Ultraman races (6.2 mile swim, 260-mile bike, 52.4-mile run), he’s completed more than 75 long-distance, open-water swims, with his most recent accomplishment a double crossing of Lake Tahoe last summer – he was the first person to complete the 44-mile trip. The only question is, where will Jamie swim next?
So how does Jamie prepare himself for such grueling swims? He spends a lot of time in his Endless Pool of course, tucked neatly in one bay of his two-bay garage. According to Jamie, convenience is key when you're swimming more than 10,000 yards a day. In fact, his training pool saves hours in commute time to the local pool; a must when he's juggling his own business and fatherhood too.
So how does Jamie define Ultra Swimming?
def. to move through or across any body of water by the use of arms and legs. The act of embarking upon a swim of extreme lengths and time. A swimming event of exciting and dramatic proportions, usually but not limited to oceans, lakes, and rivers. Swimming may be done with or without the use of aids. Ultra Adventure Swimming is derived from the true meaning of the word adventure - an exciting and unusual experience with an uncertain outcome. It is done not for records, but for the experience. One person’s adventure may not be another’s. Ultra Adventure Swimming is self-created and self-designed. It is about going beyond limits, exploring abilities, experiencing the world through swimming. Blazing new paths in oceans, lakes, and rivers just for the simple reason of adventure. There are no record books, just memories, lessons and personal accomplishments.