Go­ing swim­mingly

Record holder will at­tempt to swim across the Northum­ber­land Strait and back again, touch­ing all three Mar­itime prov­inces

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY MAU­REEN COUL­TER mau­reen.coul­ter@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/Mau­reenEl­izaC

Long-dis­tance swimming comes sec­ond na­ture to Dr. Mar­i­lyn Korzekwa, who has been set­ting records in the wa­ter since she be­gan com­pet­ing at age 13.

Now 58 years old, the Hamil­ton, Ont., psy­chi­a­trist is gear­ing up for the most chal­leng­ing long dis­tance swim of her ca­reer.

Korzekwa is aim­ing to com­plete a dou­ble-cross­ing of the Northum­ber­land Strait from Nova Sco­tia, to Prince Ed­ward Is­land, then to New Brunswick.

If she suc­ceeds, Korzekwa will be the first per­son to swim be­tween three prov­inces.

“I’m up for the chal­lenge. I have done all my train­ing and I’m ready to prove that I can do it,” she said.

The swim is about 47 kilo­me­tres and Korzekwa es­ti­mates it will take about 24 hours to com­plete. She will pick the nicest days be­tween July 23 and 28 to set out.

Korzekwa plans to start off one of the points along the Amherst Shore, N.S. She ex­pects the tide will spit her out near Bor­den-Car­leton. She then hopes to con­tinue on to Cape Tor­men­tine or Cape Jouri­main in New Brunswick.

Some chal­lenges with this swim in­clude the chilly wa­ters, the tides — which are ex­pected to change three times dur­ing the swim — and jel­ly­fish.

She ad­mits she is ner­vous, and has ex­pe­ri­enced some aches while train­ing.

“The chi­ro­prac­tor is cost­ing me a for­tune,” she laughed.

Chi­ro­prac­tor bills aside, Korzekwa says next year she plans to cross the Cook Strait in New Zealand, which is ap­prox­i­mately 32 kilo­me­tres.

“I thought this (Northum­ber­land Strait) would be a good test of how I do in cold wa­ter and tidal cur­rents,” she said.

Dur­ing her tough mo­ments, her crew has a list of in­spi­ra­tional quotes that they write on a white­board. One of her favourites is, ‘One stroke at a time’.

Also dur­ing those times she will be able to think about a re­cent lunch that she had with Mar­i­lyn Bell, whom she was named af­ter. Bell was the first per­son to swim across Lake On­tario in 1954.

Korzekwa said meet­ing her was an awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence. Bell gave Korzekwa hugs, flow­ers and well wishes for this swim.

“I will be think­ing about that... That will be a big mo­ti­va­tor.”

Korzekwa also has a fundrais­ing goal of $15,000 to go to­wards Good Shep­herd, which is an agency that has a net­work of shel­ters and ser­vices for ev­ery kind of so­cial need in the Hamil­ton area. To make a do­na­tion visit www.good­shep­hed­cen­tres.ca

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mar­i­lyn Korzekwa, 58, will be the first per­son to swim be­tween three prov­inces if she suc­ceeds in her at­tempt later this month to swim be­tween Nova Sco­tia, Prince Ed­ward Is­land, then New Brunswick, cross­ing the Northum­ber­land Strait twice.

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