2013 Barra Award: Sarah Thomas and Darren Miller

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited March 2015 in Admin Communications
This year's Barra Awards - for most impressive overall year of marathon swimming - go to Sarah Thomas and Darren Miller.


Sarah ( @ssthomas here on the Forum) kicked off her legendary season in May by completing @KNicholas' S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona.

On July 20, she completed the first-ever two-way crossing of Lake Tahoe: 44.5 miles in 22h35m at 6,200 feet elevation.


On September 7, she completed another first-ever two-way crossing - of Lake Memphremagog in Vermont. 50 miles in 30h1m.


Two of the most impressive swims in our sport's history... in six weeks. Mind-boggling stuff.

(Photos courtesy of Sarah Thomas.)

With his March 21 Cook Strait crossing (10h42m) and his August 29 North Channel crossing (11h16m), Darren Miller ( @ForeverSwim on the Forum) became the first American man to complete the Oceans Seven challenge - and the first overall to achieve it in only seven attempts.

Darren with Craig Lenning in the Cook Strait

The Barra Award considers not just swimming achievements but also the person's full "body of work" in the sport of marathon swimming. Like the award's namesake @david_barra, Darren is incredibly active in our sport - both in and out of the water. He has been an invaluable supporter and mentor to other marathon swimmers. His fundraising prowess has provided swim opportunities not just for himself but for fellow marathon swimmers. And he leverages the attention his swimming achievements generate to give back to his local community through his charitable organization, Team Forever.

I am pleased that Forum members decided to honor Darren for another reason. He was the anonymous donor who purchased the plaques for last year's Global Marathon Swimming Awards winners. Darren insisted that his donation be anonymous, but I decided to use my discretion as Forum co-founder to publicly recognize his generosity at this time. Thank you, Darren!

(Photos courtesy of Darren Miller)

With deep admiration and respect from the global community of marathon swimmers - congratulations to Sarah and Darren, and to their fellow finalists.

This concludes the 2013 MSF Global Marathon Swimming Awards. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.


  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited December 2013
    Forgot to mention: Sarah is also the author of a Forum post that @loneswimmer and I considered so valuable that we gave it its own page:

  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    Thank you so very much - I am humbled!
    A true honor indeed to be mentioned next to Sarah Thomas for this year's 'Barra Award'. I know I, as well as so many, are amazed at her perseverence to pursue, and conquer, two incredibly difficult swims (aside from others) in 2013. For those of you who do not know her, she is a kind and powerful individual who is always willing to help others achieve their goals. I am honored to call Sarah a friend. Now if I could just keep up with her in the water...

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member
    I am incredibly honored to have been recognized for this award, and very surprised. There were so many amazing swimmers nominated next to me- I didn't even vote for myself on this one! It's also pretty incredible to be listed next to Darren, who is one of the greatest, and receive an award inspired by David Barra. Wow. And a huge thanks to Evan and Donal for all they do for our community! Happy swimming- I can't wait for 2014!
  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaMember
    Well deserved, @ssthomas! You are an inspiration to many of us getting our feet wet in marathon swimming. I'm so pleased to see you win this prestigious honor!!!

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

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