CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2018 Monahan Award

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited December 2018 in General Discussion

We are pleased to announce a new annual MSF Award category - the Monahan Award - recognizing a diverse and original oeuvre of marathon swims achieved over several years. This award is inspired by longtime Forum member @Jaimie Monahan, who has pursued an incredibly diverse, original, and prolific variety of swim challenges over the last few years (see

Criteria: Nominations may list up to eight marathon swims (solo, documented, unassisted) completed during the previous four years (2015 through 2018), and should emphasize the quality and diversity of swims above sheer quantity, with a focus on interesting, less common routes.

Jaimie joins David Yudovin, Freda Streeter, and David Barra as MSF Award namesakes, and we believe this fulfills an important niche in our coverage of achievements in marathon swimming. On behalf of my MSF Awards co-admins Caroline and Elaine -- congratulations, Jaimie!

The MSF Global Marathon Swimming Awards, now in their seventh year, are the only peer-nominated, peer-voted awards for the sport of marathon swimming.

ArikslknightthelittlemerwookierondiSueDysonemkhowleyCopelj26JaimieRaniejendutand 3 others.


  • JaimieJaimie NYCCharter Member

    Thank you so much @evmo , @emkhowley , and @thelittlemerwookie for this incredible honor!

    Since I was one of the few who knew about this new award before this afternoon, I'd love to start the ball rolling on nominations for this exciting new category!

    MSF Member @katiebun also known as Kate Robarts, is one of the warmest, most helpful and supportive swimmers, both in person and here on our MSF forum. When I learned that there would be a new award recognizing swimmers who have pursued a series of meaningful and interesting swims over several years, Kate’s multi-year “2 Lakes, 2 Channels, & 2 Circumnavigations” personal challenge immediately came to mind. Her swims from 2015 to 2018 include the following (also including 2 swims of the Jubilee River):

    • June 30, 2018 - 20 Bridges Around Manhattan New York, USA (46k in 10 hours, 9 minutes, 56 seconds)
    • June 10, 2018 - Jubilee River Swim, Taplow to Eton, England (10 km in 3 hours, 54 seconds)
    • May 31, 2018 - Colonia Classic, Mallorca, Spain (10k in 3 hours, 33 minutes)
    • September 28, 2017 - Catalina Channel California, USA (32k in 16 hours, 3 minutes, 47 seconds)
    • July 25, 2017 - Round Jersey Circumnavigation, Jersey, Channel Islands (66k in 10 hours, 56 minutes)
    • August 7, 2016 - Lake Zurich Marathon Swim New York, USA (26k in 11 hours, 45 minutes)
    • June 5, 2016 - Jubilee River Swim, Taplow to Eton, England (10 km in 3 hours, 7 minutes, 21 seconds)

      (The first swim of this challenge, Kate’s English Channel Swim, was in 2014 so falls outside the parameters of this award but I wanted to mention it just to round out the fulfillment of her goal.) I love how Kate created her own personal challenge instead of pursuing someone else's arbitrary list.
    evmothelittlemerwookierondicaptainhaddockCopelj26MarkSheridanKarenWRanieJustSwimDaveOand 3 others.
  • RanieRanie Orinda, CAMember
    edited December 2018

    I'd like to nominate Amy Appelhans Gubser for the Monahan Award.

    Amy is known for doing many of the world’s toughest and nervewracking swims with a smile on her face. Over the past few years, Amy has compiled an impressive resume of interesting swims, many of the rarely swum (due to cold water and jellyfish!) including:

    • July 22, 2018 - North Channel Solo, Scotland (35k in 14 hours, 10 minutes)
    • April 2018 AND 2017! - SCAR Swim Series, Arizona, USA (65 km total each year!)
    • September 23, 2017 - Monterey Bay Solo, California, USA (a rarely swum, cold, and jellyfish-infested 43k in 17 hours, 49 minutes, 5 seconds)
    • July 28, 2017 Kingdom Swims “Border Buster”, Vermont, USA (25k in 8 hours, 26 minutes, 16 seconds)
    • June 23, 2017 - Santa Barbara Channel California, USA (20k in 6 hours, 2 minutes and 59 seconds)
    • September 22, 2016 - Catalina Channel California, USA (32k 14 hours, 56 minutes)
    • July 22, 2015 - Lake Tahoe Length California, USA (34k 14 hours, 35minutes)
    • April 17, 2015 - Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco (14k in 4 hours, 1 minute)

    In addition to all of her amazing swims, Amy is also a frequent crew member, kayaker, mentor, and/or just general moral support to so many fellow swimmers. Her sense of zen is infectious and she is welcoming and supportive of everyone she meets.

    evmocwerhanerondiCopelj26JaimieMarkSheridanJustSwimLynnkubedwardMpoland 3 others.
  • RanieRanie Orinda, CAMember
    edited December 2018

    Caroline Block aka @thelittlemerwookie has been a quietly inspirational force in the MSF community and beyond for the past several years. In addition to taking tackling huge unprecedented challenges, she also does traditional swims in nontraditional ways or in months that would be too cold for most swimmers:

    • October 8, 2018 - Santa Barbara Channel First Female and 2nd swimmer ever (Santa Rosa Island to Goleta), California USA (44k in 20 hours, 36 minutes)

    • July 6, 2018 - North Channel #3, Ireland to Scotland (35 km in 16 hours, 45 minutes) during this 2-way attempt covering 88 km in 28 hours 55 minutes in 12C water with shoals of jellyfish throughout the entire swim.

    • June 11, 2018 - Lake Cayuga, New York, USA (56k in 21 hours, 28 minutes, first swim in this direction)

    • August 5, 2017 - North Channel #2, Ireland to Scotland (35 km in 15 hours, 32 minutes during a 2-way attempt) This 2-way attempt lasted 26 hours 11 minutes and covered over 75 km where she swam halfway home on the return leg after hours of battling thousands of jellyfish.

    • June 11, 2017 - Lake George, New York, USA (52k in 19 hours, 21 minutes, new female record and earliest swim of this lake)

    • October 1, 2016 - 20 Bridges Around Manhattan New York, USA (46k in 8 hours, 48 minutes)

    • August 1, 2016 - North Channel #1, Ireland to Scotland (35 km in 14 hours, 31 minutes just 2 weeks after her English Channel solo)

    • July 14, 2016 - English Channel from England to France (34k in 11 hours, 52 minutes)

    Most swimmers can't imagine swimming the North Channel, but Caroline did it with ease and dared to try for an unprecedented 2-way crossing not once but twice! With these attempts she completed three crossings making her the Queen of the North Channel. In addition to her impressive swims, Caroline is also a moderator on the Marathon Swimmers Forum, a frequent observer for New York Open Water, and often attends Infinity’s “Hit the Wall weekend” and Cork Distance Week.

    evmoKatieBunrondiJSwimCopelj26JaimieKarenWJustSwimBetsyedwardand 9 others.
  • RanieRanie Orinda, CAMember

    One last nomination from me, I promise:
    Between 2015 and 2018, Cameron Bellamy completed over 8 major marathon swims on 6 continents in a huge variety of conditions and water temperatures around the world.

    These swims included 6 of the “Ocean’s Seven” (his English Channel was completed a few years prior) as well as an incredible unprecedented 96k/59 mile Swim Around Barbados on his second try:

    • 13 November 2018: Swim Around Barbados, 96km in 40 hours, 43 minutes
    • 20 June 2018: Tsugaru Channel, Japan, 20km in 11 hours 7 minutes 28 seconds
    • 11 March 2018, Cook Strait, New Zealand, 23km in 12 hours and 44 minutes
    • 28 September 2017, Round Trip Angel Island, California USA, 16km in 7 hours and 28 minutes
    • 26 February 2017, Kaiwi Channel, Hawaii USA, 45km in 17 hours and 1 minutes
    • 14 July 2016, North Channel, Ireland to Scotland, 35km in 12 hours and 22 minutes, 30 seconds
    • 8 November 2015, Catalina Channel, California USA, 32km in 11 hours and 53 minutes
    • 17 April 2015, Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco (14k in 4 hours, 1 minute)

      In between marathon swims, Cameron completed several Robben Island crossings in his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa while also raising money for the Ubunye Challenge Foundation, an initiative to raise funds for sustainable development in the poorest areas of Africa through sports challenges. His other hobbies include rowing across oceans (Indian Ocean) and cycling across countries (China, England, and Colombia.)
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    edited December 2018

    I would like to nominate Craig Lenning for the Monahan Award. Between 2009 and 2015, Craig completed 5 of the Ocean's 7 swims, plus Tampa, Manhattan, Tahoe, the Farallons, Memphre, Flathead and Loch Ness, plus a few Horsetooth 10Ks. He completed the Triple Crown over a span of 51 weeks. He also was a pioneer in winter and ice swimming, and was part of the Bering Strait relay team.

    • 2009: Catalina
    • 2010: Tampa Bay
    • 2010: Manhattan Island
    • 2010: English Channel
    • 2011: North Channel (first American)
    • 2012: Tsugaru Strait
    • 2013: Cook Strait
    • 2013: Lake Tahoe
    • 2014: Farallons (first person to swim it in 47 years)
    • 2015: Lake Memphremagog
    • 2015: Flathead Lake (first solo male)
    • 2015: Loch Ness (first American male)

    In addition to his own impressive resume, he has been a strong supporter of other marathon swimmers, helping found a thriving group of open water swimmers in an unlikely, landlocked location--Denver.

    Though Craig is swimming a little less these days and has transformed into a formidable mountain climber, I don't expect he's done with the water for good. Look for him to come back when the challenge is impressive enough to grab his attention.

    Karl_KingeryevmoJaimierlmlakesprayLynnkubtimsrootJSwimFlowSwimmersjendutand 4 others.

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
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