Marilyn Korzekwa

From Openwaterpedia
Marilyn Korzekwa
Dr. Marilyn Korzekwa, a psychiatrist from Hamilton, Canada

Dr. Marilyn Korzekwa is a 60-year-old psychiatrist, mother of three, Lake Ontario swim master, and an open water swimmer. The native of Hamilton, Canada is a member of the Half Century Club and has completed three Oceans Seven channels who serves as a Marathon Swimming Mentor.

Open Water Swimming Career

  • She swam across Lake Rosseau in Canada in 2019.
  • She has served as Solo Swim of Ontario president for several years.
  • she completed the 33.5 km English Channel in 16 hours 28 minutes in 2011 with Fred Mardle and Kevin Sherman as the Channel Swimming Association pilots and as a charity swim for Good Shepard
  • she completed the 32.3 km Catalina Channel (CM) in 14 hours 24 minutes on 40 August 2014
  • she completed the 45.9 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 10 hours 2 minutes on 12 July 2014 to become the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
  • she has twice crossed Lake Ontario and is a member of the Half Century Club.
  • she crossed Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto in 1984 (south-to-north direction).
  • she crossed Lake Ontario from Toronto to Port Dalhousie (north to south against the powerful Niagara River current) in 1984 in 21 hours, a Canadian record. She was the first person to swim Lake Ontario in both directions.
  • she came out of retirement in 2011 to swim 45 km across Lake Simcoe km from Barrie to Orillia in Canada in 18 hours 44 minutes with the water at 14ºC for the first 4 hours
  • she completed the 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West in Florida in 2012
  • she completed an unprecedented two-way crossing of the Northumberland Strait in Canada called the 4 Provinces Swim. The Three Provinces Swim is 44 km across Baie Verte and the Northumberland Strait, touching the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in 16 hours 41 minutes in July 2015
  • she completed a crossing of the Cook Strait in New Zealand in 11 hours 44 minutes on 18 March 2016 from the South to North Island in 15-16ºC water. She became the first Canadian and the oldest female at 59 years to complete the crossing, eclipsing Pamela Dickson's previous record as a 55-years-old
  • she has swum across all 4 Muskoka Lakes in Canada
    • 16 km Lake Rosseau in 6 hours 48 minutes from Rosseau to Port Carling in 2009
    • 28 km Lake Muskoka in 11 hours 44 minutes from Gravenhurst to Port Carling in 2014
    • 22 km Lake Joseph in 9 hours 40 minutes from Port Cockburn to Port Sandfield in 2014
    • 22.5 km Lake of Bays in 9 hours 49 minutes from Baysville to Dwight in 2016
  • from 2011-2015 she raised money for the Good Shepherd Centres in Hamilton, Canada
  • starting in 2016, her swims are fundraising for Sashbear, a charity founded by the parents of a 20-year-old swimmer who died by suicide from borderline personality disorder
  • she has served on the board of Solo Swims of Ontario since 1985 and is currently its President
  • she serves as a swim master in Lake Ontario including for the youngest swimmer to have completed the traditional Lake Ontario crossing, Trinity Arsenault
  • with Solo Swims of Ontario, she helped Brenda Lussier, a deaf swimmer, swim 44.4 km across Lake Ontario in 26 hours 16 minutes in a crossing that was called short of the finish due to high waves
  • 42 km [[P2P Swim (or the Cape Cod Bay Swim between Provincetown and Plymouth, Massachusetts in 14 hours 6 minutes
  • On 20-21 August 2016, she completed a lengthwise crossing of 21.25 miles (44.2 km) of Lake Tahoe from the southern coast in Camp Richardson to the northern coast on Hyatt Beach, Incline village in 16 hours 2 minutes as the oldest woman and first Canadian to complete the swim at 60 years 146 days.
  • In 2015, Korzekwa was the first person to swim between three Provinces - Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (44 km in 16 hours 41 minutes in 16.5°C).
  • On 18 March 2016 she became the first Canadian and the oldest woman to swim the Cook Strait between South Island and North Island in New Zealand in 11 hours 44 minutes in 15-16°C.
  • On 11 August 2016, she swam 40.4 km across Cape Cod Bay from Plymouth to Provincetown, Massachusetts in 14 hours 6 minutes as the first Canadian, oldest woman and 9th person to do so.
  • On 19 August 2018, she pioneered the Edmund Fitzgerald route, a 29 km cross-border swim of Lake Superior from Whitefish Point, Michigan, USA to Pancake Bay, Ontario, Canada that she pioneered in 12 hours 9 minutes at the age of 61.
  • On 12 September 2018, she crossed the Santa Barbara Channel from Santa Cruz Island to the California mainland north of Los Angeles in 18 hours 45 minutes, raising money for The Sashbear Foundation on her second attempt at the age of 61. Her first attempt was stopped by a Great White Shark that showed predatory behavior towards her. She became the first Canadian and oldest woman to swim across the Santa Barbara Channel.
  • She is the first Canadian and oldest person to complete California Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming: Catalina Channel + Lake Tahoe + Santa Barbara Channel.


  • she is a recipient of the Cliff Lumsdon Award
  • she is a member of the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame.
  • she won the Channel Swimming Association's Van Audenaerde Endurance Cup for the Greatest Feat of Endurance for 2011 in 16 hours minutes. Michael Read, President of the Channel Swimming Association, recognized Dr. Korwekwa, "The greatest feat of endurance encompasses everything, age, length of swim, weather conditions...the person who battled on against all odds in spite of what was thrown at them. The time taken is clearly one aspect, but 20 hours on a flat calm day would not in our view beat 16 hours in a Force 4. And you had 12 hours in F4 and occasionally F5 and you had 14 hours of a head wind. In our view you had the hardest swim of the year."

English Channel Video


"For me, marathon swimming is the ultimate mental, physical and emotional challenge."

External links