Lake George solo swims

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited August 2017 in General Discussion

Documentation of @Jaimie Monahan's and Jen Dutton's ( @jendut ) Lake George swims last August is now available for viewing:

Including David Dammerman's swim (previously published), all three of the "modern" Lake George swims are quite well-documented - setting an awesome example for future Lake George aspirants.

I'm guessing there will be a few of those this year, so for the record, here's the list of nine swimmers to have completed the 32.2-mile / 51.8-km length (between Ticonderoga and Lake George Village) since Diane Struble in 1958:

Date Name Gender Country Route Time
1958-08-23 Diane Struble F US N-S 35:30:00
1962 Bill Stevens M US N-S 31:27:00
1967-08-18 George Dempsey M US N-S 32:15:00
1977-06-13 Stella Taylor F US N-S 26:51:00
1981 John Freihofer M US N-S 21:26:00
1983-08-12 Jerry Ferris M US N-S 29:15:00
2016-06-19 David Dammerman M US N-S 18:49:22
2016-08-07 Jaimie Monahan F US S-N 21:13:00
2016-08-09 Jennifer Dutton F US S-N 22:51:00




  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member
    edited January 2017

    Congratulations Jaimie Monahan for successfully swimming the length of Lake George !!!! She left the Village Saturday morning and swam to Diane's Rock in 21:24.12. She kept up a remarkably steady pace and reporting being happy the entire journey! Her crew was entertained by fireworks, a meteor shower, and the Milky Way on the darkest of nights. The logs will be submitted to MSF for review and verification.

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    And only days after swimming lago d'orta in Italy. Congrats, jaimie!


    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USSenior Member

    Good gosh, Jaimie, you are a beast!! Awesome swim!

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    Jaimie is just an amazing swimmer and an amazing person. Congrats on this one!

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    Aww thanks so much guys and huge thank you @j9swim for being there the whole time - your support means the world to me.

    For anyone still looking for a fun and challenging swim I hear they still have a spot open for the big September 17-18th event...

  • Good gawd woman .. you do not stop do you!! ???

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    edited January 2017

    Just two days after Jaimie Monahan took on Lake George and won, Jen Dutton is also getting it done in that waterway today! She's just past Hague on her way to Ticonderoga. She launched last night at about 7pm local time. Based on her current, incredibly consistent pace, I think she'll be done by about 7pm local time tonight. Jen's being crewed by husband Andy and daughter Emery, and Janine Serell is aboard as observer. J9 says Jen is looking strong and swimming well. Here's her tracker:

    Go, Jen, Go!

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • There is a whole lot of swimming going on in that lake!!
    Question.. why does everyone go South to North? wind ? currents?
    Enlighten me please...

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    They don't always go south to north--prevailing winds usually dictate.


    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    Hey all - Jennifer Spencer Dutton is in the midst of another Lake George Solo with @j9swim as observer. You can track the last bit of her swim here:

    Send her some good wishes!

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    Go Jen, Go!!

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    Just got a report from @J9swims that Jen has about 3 miles to go and is head down focused on the finish. YOU CAN DO IT! :-)


    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    She made it!!


    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    She did it! unofficial time of 22 hours 51 minutes per @j9swim !!! Yay!

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    Woohoo! Sorry @emkhowley - for some reason I didn't see this one until now and put my comments in the wrong place! xx

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber
    edited February 2017

    Thanks @evmo! Very happy to be on this list - it's a great swim. If anyone is interested in doing it I'm happy to answer any questions. One note - I think Stella Taylor was English although she lived in the US much of her life. Not sure how these things are counted though..

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber
    edited June 2017

    Congratulations to @thelittlemerwookie for an awesome first Lake George Solo of the year! 19 hours, 21 minutes in water temps of about 59-61F/15-16C. 10th swim that we know of, and new female record.! Awesome job!!!

  • jendutjendut Charter Member

    Congratulations Caroline!

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    My friend and MSF forum member @Bridget is in the middle of her Lake George attempt and going strongly. Tracker is here:


    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COSenior Member

    Lots of swimming going on in the Lake Champlain Watershed right now.

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    @Bridget and @IronMike how did it go?

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    Come on @Bridget, enough rest for you. Come tell us how your swim went!


    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    IronMike said:
    Come on @Bridget, enough rest for you. Come tell us how your swim went!

    Sorry! Slow on the uptake-- it has been quite an adventure, both the swim and the astonishing community response-- In a nutshell, as the dreaded Dicken's said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." ;-) The lake had dropped a few key degrees, which I had trained for, so I was hopeful. The first night was cool, but beautiful. Clear sky, I watched the moon rise over the mountains, and made good progress. I did look forward to the sunrise, in hopes that it would make me a bit warmer. As beautiful as the sunrise was, and the day as it progressed, I did not notice an increase in warmth-- in fact, daylight just let me see more clearly the goosebumps on my arms under the Desitin. I did a few sunrise strokes of Butterfly for my friend Doris Russell back in Maryland-- in her mid 90s, and USMS record holder for a few fly events in her recent age groups. ;-) I knew it wasn't going to be an option at the end.

    The first night was so calm and clear, I thought a lot of Sarah Thomas, one lake over, making her way north after her first night was so wretched. I wished there were a way to find out how she was doing, but I loved the fact that we were swimming together. :-) Matching diaper cream!!! Everyone should take on that style.

    We had a second boat to shuttle in a morning kayaker, and two overnight kayakers departed-- while I started daydreaming about warm soup and pizza, one of the men on the boat mentioned bringing a Bunsen burner! He warmed up some of my son's blue Gatorade for me-- totally disgusting, but warm. ;-) It offered momentary comfort-- and showed how very supportive Team 32 was. I could tell it was a beautiful day from the sunshine, and the fact that the team kept taking off jackets and lounging in t-shirts.

    Mid-afternoon of August 9, we hit a squall. I worried about thunder, and swam harder to manage the waves and wind. The boat had to back away a bit, but my son Quinn hit his stride as a kayaker- navigating the waves, keeping me on course. I could see him really come into his own, and was so glad he had come to be part of the team. The silver lining of the storm was that I was warm, but knew I could not maintain that pace and warmth for long. When Jim C. paddled to the group to take on the last leg of my swim, he had two water bottles of chicken noodle soup!!! YES!!!!! Warm, warm, warm. He said to take the cap off to get the noodles and chicken, but I had ingested enough lake water by that time (and the first thing I teach beginners is NEVER drink the water- it has feet in it.), and I only drank the broth through the squeeze cap. I was aware of people boating and paddling closer to see what was going on, and Quinn waving people away so they didn't cross my path.

    Knowing I was in the Hague area was a mixed blessing. I had paddled from the Hague beach to Ticonderoga weeks prior in 4:20, and figured I'd need an extra hour to get totally to Diane's Rock, and more to account for tiredness. I could see Anthony's Nose (a sort of peninsula I had to go around) in the distance, and thought I might still finish by full dark. But I just couldn't make progress toward Anthony's blasted Nose. My original training plan involved a progression past 15 miles to 20 and 25, but life happens, and I wasn't able to do more than split a 25 mile swim across about 36 hours. I knew it was a risk, and the last section of the swim might have gone better had I realized a few things would shift for me beyond a certain point.

    Things that changed in the second half, or at least last third- I wanted the paddlers much closer, and didn't care where the main boat was. I wanted to throw up often, but worked at keeping steady to not alarm my very novice crew. Letting it go and starting with fresh food might have given me a bit of a boost. My feeding plan was great in the first half, as it mirrored training. Having more time for longer swims would have been smart, but I certainly learned a lot in this swim. Happy to share, not doing it again. ;-) I was very aware that I was hallucinating, but figured that as long as I knew it, I was ok. I'd take a breath and see black spray paint graffiti on the sky over a paddler's head, and it would be gone in the next breath. My eyes started closing before darkness fell on the second night.

    When I finally passed that blasted Nose, and was at Rogers Rock, I knew I was within what should have been two hours. I have no idea of the real time, but it was likely closer to four by the time I got to Diane's Rock. I was shifting to breaststroke and side stroke periodically, and my freestyle count had gone from 55 at the start to in the 30s at the end. But I was moving, and although people who had seen me swim could tell I was very slow, I felt solid for the last stretch while doing freestyle. Odd. But I was flanked by Quinn on my left, and Jim C. on my right. Quinn would yell (I had earplugs), "MOM! Eat this- you need solid food." and hand me a small bite sized piece of a protein bar. Sassy lad, eh? ;-) And I was a good Mom and did not spit it into the lake, no matter how my stomach felt. Alternately, Jim would just reach a soup bottle toward me, and I'd roll over to drink some and then go on.

    Rogers Rock to Diane's Rock passed in a muddled blur, and I had no idea that people were following me in boats, on docks, lining the beach to cheer, and posting all over Facebook about my progress. Many people told me of going from one point to another to keep up. I remember the bright lights of the Baldwin boat launch, and very little else. When I got to Diane's Rock, I slipped and climbed and scrambled my way clear of the water, and hit the stop button on my watch. 28:06. Quinn was kayaking to the end, the boat with his iPhone was back a bit in deeper water to avoid rocks, and so the tracker kept going until he got to it.

    I had to scramble back into the channel to climb out a few feet away onto my friend Joan's property-- where family and friends had gathered at her "point" nearby. I was bundled up, someone said it was after 1:15am, and I saw Jim Beaty's boat just past where I was sitting, but did not see any of my team beyond Quinn that night. It was late, everyone needed to get sleep, and I think we were all glad to be in Ticonderoga, and not have to drive from Lake George Village. I had a lovely shower in Joan's house, stopped by a few days later with all sorts of cleaning supplies to make up for the totally rude way I sprayed lake water all over it (although Mom and my aunt, Martha cleaned it up, and Joan said not to worry about the carpet). Really???? How to be a good guest? Ew. Once I was home, my own garden took a hit before I was settled on that front. Yes-haw. TMI? Your turn may come.

    I was up and about the next day, and my son was my driver, as I was feeling a bit loopy. I had jet lag for most of a week- couldn't sleep at night, tried to nap. Got really hungry, but couldn't eat much. Weird.

    I was thrilled to hear about Sarah's astonishing triumph-- and glad to see familiar faces at the Betsy Owen's swim in Lake Placid the following Saturday. I wasn't setting any personal best times, but I did the 2 & 1 mile swims and felt great. I knew I needed to keep moving, and going to that swim helped. I really hope I can pull off a 10K this weekend. ;-) It's a grudge swim-- it turned into a 7.5 K last summer, but I'm hoping I've done the miles at such a consistent pace for up to 10 miles that I make the cut off for the last loop.

    There has been an overwhelming outpouring of support, and I'm still hearing stories of people who came out at all hours to be a part of it. Even this post from Mike, I just saw this morning. In a town where high school football is king, I was on the McDonald's sign, and had August 10 proclaimed Bridget Simpson Day. (No break on my taxes, but there were pretty flowers!). Someone I teach swimming with is planning to focus her daily swims and work toward a 5 or 10K next summer. How cool is that?

    I likely had the single most inexperienced team to undertake a swim of this magnitude since Webb swam the Channel in 1875, but we did it!!!! Happy dance!!!! Team 32 got it together and set the bar high. And they were very good sports when I took so much longer than hoped. ;-)

    Happy Mike? ;-) Look what you started. . .

    Have a great day, everyone-- and get some good swimming in!

  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    Ok, trying to post a photo-- this is my elder son, Quinn, kayaking for me. Morning- around 9:50am, after Marsha came on board. This is her photo, taken before her turn in a kayak. Almost 13 hours in. Still sort of on track, based on projections. Miles to go. . .

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    Great write-up @Bridget and I'm so happy for you. Monumental achievement and something for many of us to strive for. And tell Quinn good job!


    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

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