Mark Rew

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Mark Rew, Terry Laughlin and Brian Suddeth in March 2014.
Brian and Mark ready for the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim 1-mile event 2014.
Got the T-Shirt in the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim 1-mile event 2014.

Mark Rew is an American swimmer who may be the first totally blind person to ever complete the one-mile challenge event in the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim which was his first official open water swim event, completed in 47:10. He lost his sight in his early teens and learned to swim by informal practice. As an avid runner, he had the endurance for distance swimming, but didn't have a smooth style with it until he began studying Total Immersion with his college friend and open water butterfly swimmer Brian Suddeth in early 2014. Mark improved quickly due to the ease and quality of the Total Immersion drills although the drills had to be modified, and some new ones invented since Mark couldn't see his partner, nor the many excellent videos available for training. Mark and Brian met with Terry Laughlin in March 2014 to share some ideas and enthusiasm for open water swimming. They swam together on June 8, 2014 unteathered, and Mark was proud to complete the event.

Other blind athletes have completed the full 4.4 mile crossing of the Chesapeake Bay, including Butch Arnold who did an informal fundraising crossing in 1978, and James Pittar of Syndey, Australia who became the first blind competitor to complete The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim event in 2003. Like many other swims, there are others who have attempted this swim and not completed it, sometimes just due to being unlucky with the weather.

Open Water Swimming

6/1/2014 Severn River shakedown swim with U.S. Masters group Arundle Breakfast Club.

6/8/2014 Great Chesapeake Bay Swim - One Mile Bay Challenge - #1492 Wave 4 - 47:10 guided by Brian Suddeth.

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