Lake Erie

From Openwaterpedia
Abigail Fairman crossing Lake Erie in a record-setting 15 hours 27 minutes. She is the first person to complete the Pennsylvania Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming which also includes the Three Rivers Marathon Swim in Pittsburgh and the Bender Memorial Marathon Swim in Norristown, Pennsylvania

Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes. It is bounded by Ontario to the north, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York to the south, and Michigan to the west. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore. The outflow from the lake provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the U.S. as it spins huge turbines at Niagara Falls.

Governing Bodies

  • A solo crossing of Lake Erie between Canada and the U.S.A. is one of Canada's Top Open Water Swims.
  • Marathon swims across Lake Erie on the United States side were previously governed by the (LEOWSA) Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association between 2012 and 2023, managed by Josh Heynes.
  • Marathon swims across Lake Erie on the Canadian side are governed by LOST Swimming managed by Rob Kent and Solo Swims of Ontario managed by Greg Taylor.
  • The Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association was established by Josh Heynes in 2012 and discontinued in 2024. It was established upon the recommendation of multiple local United States cities, municipalities, and other local government organizations (US Border Patrol, US Coast Guard), due to the increasing popularity, interest, and number of swim crossings of Lake Erie. With its main focus as a safety organization, the LEOWSA was recognized as the provincial swimming body for observing, monitoring, and providing services for individuals/relays participating in long distance solo swims in Lake Erie. Any swim conducted between July 2012 and March 2024 without the knowledge/consent and or participation of LEOWSA, LOCO, and or Solo Swims Ontario, was considered unsanctioned and unofficial by LEOWSA. For safety reasons, local authorities, the US Border Patrol and the US Coast Guard did not permit a marathon swim in Lake Erie without the swimmer(s) to be involved with and insured with any of the previous mentioned proper sanctioning/monitoring group(s). LEOWSA’s mandate was to independently insure, observe, sanction, and verify all individual open water swims across Lake Erie, and to endure that such swims are conducted safely according to strict guidelines according to the Rules of Marathon Swimming as established by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.
  • LEOWSA established a standard course which is from the tip of Long Point, Ontario Canada to Freeport Beach in Northeast Twp, Pennsylvania, a distance of 24.3 miles. However LEOWSA was willing to support any course and distance and swimmer chooses.
  • For more information, email Josh Heynes at jheynes1@gmail.com.

Marathon Swims Across Central Lake Erie

  • 1975: Pat Budney swam 41.8 km in 25 hours 52 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Presque Isle State Park - Beach 10, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA on 20 August 1975. Note: his finish beach is now named Budney Beach in his honor.
  • 1989: Bob North and Harvey Snell swam 39.1 km from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach, North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 12 August 1989
  • 1992: Bob Weir 49, Canada swam 43 km in 23 hours 41 minutes from Dunkirk, NY, USA to Mohawk Point, Ontario Canada 26-27 August
  • 1993: Halli Reid swam 39.1 km in 17 hours from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach, North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 9 August 1993 as the first woman. Note: Nearby Park is now named in her honor.
  • 1995: Greg Sarbak swam 39.1 km in 13 hours 30 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 21 August 1995
  • 1998: Paula Stephanson: swam 43 km in 18 hours 23 minutes from Dunkirk, New York, USA to Rock Point Provincial Park, Ontario Canada 18-19 July
  • 2002: Paula Jongerden swam 39.1 km in 23 hours 36 minutes from Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA to Long Point, Ontario, Canada on 21 August 2002
  • 2005: Sara McClure swam 39.1 km from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 8 August 2005
  • 2006: Josh Heynes swam 39.1 km in 11 hours 53 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 9 August 2006
  • 2007: Dan Nichols swam 51.4 km in 20 hours 45 minutes 57 seconds from Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA to Abigail Becker Parkway, Long Point, Ontario on 5 August 2007
  • 2007: Sonya Pyle swam 39.1 km in 14 hours 9 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 6 August 2007
  • 2009: Randy McElwain swam 39.1 km in 11 hours 23 minutes 33 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 24 August 2009
  • 2010: Mitch Ranzenberger swam 39.1 km in 17 hours 47 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 1 August 2010
  • 2011: Josh Heynes swam 39.1 km in 11 hours 16 minutes 40 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 9 July 2011 (course record time)
  • 2011: Melanie Reade swam 39.1 km in 13 hours 35 minutes 33 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 31 July 2011 (course record time for women)
  • 2011: Randy McElwain swam 51.5 km in 16 hours 26 minutes 6 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Dobbin's Landing - Erie, Pennsylvania, USA on 30 August 2011 (longest distance across Lake Erie)
  • 2012: Eric Mizuba swam 39.1 km in 14 hours 34 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 29 July 2012
  • 2013: Mike Ferritto swam 39.1 km in 15 hours 20 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 1 August 2013
  • 2013: Steve Wargo swam 39.1 km in 19 hours 7 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 1 August 2013
  • 2014: Elliot Spaeder swam 39.1 km in 11 hours 28 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 22 July 2014
  • 2017: Chuck Beatty swam 39.1 km in in 11 hours 48 minutes 51 seconds from Long Point in Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach, Pennsylvania, USA on 26 July 2017 observed by Thomas Spence and piloted by Dave Runser with Kevin McCardle, Mark Schenk, Fristen Bergman as support crew members.

Marathon Swims Across Eastern basin of Lake Erie

Ratified by Solo Swims Ontario

Eastern Lake Erie

  • Vicki Keith, 27 from Canada on 1-2 July 1988 in 10 hours 24 minutes, 26 km from Port Colborne in Ontario, Canada to Sturgeon Point in New York, USA
  • Kim Middleton, 27 from Canada on 7 August 1988 in 18 hours 0 minutes, 35 km two-way crossing from Point Abino in Ontario, Canada to Sturgeon Point in New York, US returning to Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada
  • Rick Wood, 32 from Canada on 25 August 1990 in 16 hours 46 minutes, 35 km two-way crossing from Point Abino in Ontario, Canada to Sturgeon Point in New York, USA returning to Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada
  • Ashley Cowan, 15y 223d from Canada on 7 September 2001 in 14 hours 20 minutes, 19.2 km from Sturgeon Point in New York, USA to Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada (note: quadruple amputee paraswimmer)
  • Terri-Lynn Langdon, 20 from Canada on 31 August 2002 in 12 hours 55 minutes, 19.2 km from Sturgeon Point in New York, USA to Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada (note cerebral palsy paraswimmer)
  • John Munro, 52 from Canada on 13 July 2009 in 9 hours 33 minutes, 19.2 km from Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada to Sturgeon Point in New York, USA
  • Chris Stockdale, 62 from England on 21 September 2006 in 14 hours 15 minutes, 26 km from Port Colborne in Ontario, Canada to Sturgeon Point in New York, USA
  • Susanne Robinson, 36 from Canada on 30 July 2007 in 8 hours 14 minutes, 19.2 km from Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada to Sturgeon Point in New York, USA
  • Natalie Lambert, 14y 341d from Canada on 6 July 2008 in 7 hours 47 minutes 30 seconds swimming butterfly & Ladie]s north-south freestyle record, 19.2 km from Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada to Sturgeon Point in New York, USA
  • Jade Scognamillo, 14y 217d from England on 12 July 2008 in 5 hours 40 minutes 35 seconds setting the south-north freestyle record, 19.2 km from Sturgeon Point in New York, USA to Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada
  • Natalie Lambert, 15 from Canada on 9 July 2009 in 6 hours 40 minutes 59 seconds, 19.2 km from the Boat Ramp, Crystal Beach in Ontario to Beach east of harbour, Sturgeon Point in New York, USA
  • Thie Convery, 43 from Canada on 4 July 2010 in 7 hours 20 minutes, 18.5 km from 1 km east of Sturgeon Point in New York, USA, 42.69635°N, 79.030767 W to Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada 42.8602166°N, 79.0593°W
  • Greg Willoughby, 40 from Canada on 15 July 2011 in 6 hours 17 minutes 40 seconds setting the north-south men's freestyle record, (19.2 km from Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada 42° 51' 42" N, 79° 03' 50" W to Sturgeon Point in New York, USA 42° 41' 30" N, 79° 02' 36" W

Annaleise Carr

Annaleise Carr completed her Annaleise Carr's Radical Crossing 2.0 in two stage swims, the first was 44 km and the second was 33 km in Lake Erie]] on 31 August 2014.

RE7 North Shore Challenge for Camp Trillium

Norfolk County on Lake Erie is site of the RE7 North Shore Challenge for Camp Trillium that is part of the Canadian Open Water Swim Series.

Sub-32 Marathon

Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie was the site of Darren Miller's sub-3 marathon attempt in 2015.

Youngest Butterfly Crossing

Michaela Arsenault is a Canadian swimmer who became the youngest to swim Lake Erie all butterfly in 2016 at the age of 14, just two weeks younger than the prior record holder, her sister Trinity Arsenault. This swim is not shown as certified by LEOWSA.

Ultimate Swim-a-Thon

The Ultimate Swim-a-Thon is a 50-state, 50-swim extreme charity swim by American open water swimmers and brothers Joseph Zemaitis and John Zemaitis from Arizona (also known as the Swim Brothers). The Ultimate Swim-a-Thon requires the completion of a marathon swim of at least 10 km in distance in all 50 states. The charity swim benefits USA Swimming Foundation.

  • Day 1 (20 July 2022), Swim 1: 10.2 km from Makaha Beach to Keawaula Beach on Oahu, Hawaii
  • Day 2 (21 July 21st), Swim 2: 10.33 km in Big Lake, City of Anchorage, State of Alaska
  • Day 3 (22 July 22nd), Swim 3: 10.41 km in Lake Tahoe, City of Reno, State of Nevada
  • Day 3 (22 July 22nd), Swim 4: 10.06 km in Lake Tahoe, State of California
  • Day 4 (23 July 23rd), Swim 5: 17.16 km in the Willamette River, Portland, State of Oregon
  • Day 4 (23 July 23rd), Swim 6: 10.32 km in Yale Lake, City of Yale, State of Washington
  • Day 5 (24 July 24th), Swim 7: 10.00 km in Coeur d’Alene, City of Coeur d’Alene, State of Idaho
  • Day 5 (24 July 24th), Swim 8: 10.43 km in Flathead Lake, City of Elmo, State of Montana
  • Day 6 (July 25th), Swim 9: 10.38 km in Lake de Smet, City of Sheridan, State of Wyoming
  • Day 6 (July 25th), Swim 10: 10.30 km in Belle Fourche Dam, State of South Dakota
  • Day 7 (July 26th), Swim 11: 10.35 km in Lake Ashtabula, Valley City, State of North Dakota
  • Postponed due to Lightning: Day 7 (July 26th), Swim 12: 10.08 km in Lake Minnewaska, Glenwood, State of Minnesota
  • Postponed: Day 7 (July 26th), Swim 13: 10.05 km in Spirit Lake, City of Spirit Lake, Iowa
  • Day 8 (July 27th), Re-do Swim 12: 10.08 km in Lake Minnewaska, Glenwood, Minnesota
  • Day 8 (July 27th), Re-do Swim 13: 10.05 km in Spirit Lake, City of Spirit Lake, Iowa
  • Day 9 (July 28th), Swim 14: 10.22 km in Lake Michigan, City of Kenosha, State of Wisconsin
  • Day 9 (July 28th), Swim 15: 11.97 km in Lake Michigan, City of Waukegan, State of Illinois
  • Day 10 (July 29th), Swim 16: 10.08 km in Lake Michigan, Michigan City, State of Indiana
  • Day 10 (July 29th), Swim 17: 10.21 km in Lake Michigan, New Buffalo, State of Michigan
  • Day 11 (July 30th), Swim 18: 10.12 km in Lake Erie, City of Conneaut, State of Ohio
  • Day 11 (July 30th), Swim 19: 10.24 km in Lake Erie, City of Erie, State of Pennsylvania
  • Postponed: Day 11 (July 30th), Swim 20: 10.24 km in Lake Erie, City of Westfield, State of New York
  • Day 12 (July 31st), Swim 20: 10.24 km in Lake Champlain, State of New York
  • Days 12/13 (July 31st/August 1st), Swim 21: 10.20 km in Lake Champlain, State of Vermont
  • Day 13 (August 1st), Swim 22: 10.13 km in Lake Winnipesaukee, State of New Hampshire
  • Day 13 (August 1st), Swim 23: 10.08 km in Lake Sebago, City of South Casco, State of Maine
  • Day 14 (August 2nd), Swim 24: 10.16 km in Narragansett Bay, State of Rhode Island
  • Day 14 (August 2nd), Swim 25: 10.04 km in Buzzards Bay, Pocasset, State of Massachusetts
  • Day 14 (August 2nd), Swim 26: 10.08 km in Long Island Sound, Norwalk, State of Connecticut
  • Day 15 (August 3rd), Swim 27: 10.06 km in Silver Bay, City of Toms River, State of New Jersey
  • Day 15 (August 3rd), Swim 28: 10.18 km in Rehoboth Bay, Rehoboth Bay, State of Delaware
  • Day 16 (August 4th), Swim 29: 11.12 km in Eastern Bay, City of Stevensville, State of Maryland
  • Day 16 (August 4th), Swim 30: 10.46 km in Summersville Lake, State of West Virginia
  • Day 17 (August 5th), Swim 31: 10.62 km in Lake Wylie, Charlotte, State of South Carolina
  • Day 17 (August 5th), Swim 32: 10.43 km in Lake Norman, Denver, State of North Carolina
  • Day 18 (August 6th), Swim 33: 10.22 km in South Holston Lake, Bristol, State of Virginia
  • Day 18 (August 6th), Swim 34: 10.64 km in South Holston Lake, City of Bristol, Tennessee
  • Day 18 (August 6th), Swim 35: 10.44 km in Laurel River Lake, Morehead, State of Kentucky
  • Day 19 (August 7th), Swim 36: 10.62 km in Lake Burton, City of Clayton, State of Georgia
  • Day 19 (August 7th), Swim 37: 10.22 km in Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, State of Alabama
  • Day 20 (August 8th), Swim 38: 10.14 km in Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin, State of Florida
  • Day 20 (August 8th), Swim 39: 10.14 km in Bay St. Louis, Bay St. Louis, State of Mississippi
  • Day 21 (August 9th), Swim 40: 10.48 km in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Florein, Louisiana
  • Day 21 (August 9th), Swim 41: 10.16 km in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Fairmont, State of Texas
  • Day 21 (August 9th), Swim 42: 10.14 km in Broken Bow Lake, Broken Law, State of Oklahoma
  • Day 22 (August 10th), Swim 43: 10.26 km in Beaver Lake, Bentonville, State of Arkansas
  • Day 22 (August 10th), Swim 44: 10.58 km in Table Rock Lake, Branson, State of Missouri
  • Day 23 (August 11th), Swim 45: 10.09 km in Wilson Lake, City of Russell, State of Kansas
  • Day 23 (August 11th), Swim 46: 10.62 km in Harlan County Lake, Alma, State of Nebraska
  • Day 24 (August 12th), Swim 47: 10.30 km in Navajo Reservoir], Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
  • Day 24 (August 12th), Swim 48: 10.00 km in McPhee Reservoir, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Day 25 (August 13th), Swim 49: 10.13 km in Lake Powell, Wahweap, State of Utah
  • Day 25 (August 13th), Swim 50: 10.38 km in Lake Powell, State of Arizona

Pennsylvania Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming

The 24.3-mile crossing of Lake Erie is part of the Pennsylvania Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, a three marathon swim series that requires three solo unassisted marathon swims including the 30 km Three Rivers Marathon Swim in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the 8-mile Bender Memorial Marathon Swim in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and the 24.3-mile crossing of Lake Erie.

External links