Courtesy of Erich Meltvedt, Tecate, Mexico.

It is always fascinating to learn what open water swimmers do on dryland.

Ray Meltvedt, an American open water swimmer from California who completed a Catalina Channel crossing at the age of 50 in 15 hours 25 minutes, was the only swimmer to complete all 27 pier swims in the 2013 Fear No Pier stage swim in California.

In addition to channel relays and a slew of other 10 km swims, Meltvedt founded Club Dust in 1980. The charity in Mexico was started in Malibu, California where Meltvedt takes volunteers and donors throughout the year into Mexico and builds small, decent homes for poor families living in the hills surrounding Tijuana.

Over the years, we have built over 750 homes focusing on families with young children. The teams that build these homes are primarily families and youth groups wanting to help their Mexican neighbors. We just took 40 people into Mexico today and built another home for a family and paid for a surgery needed by young local boy. It was a wonderful day for all as we built alongside the families living there in Tecate.”

When Meltvedt crossed the Catalina Channel, the names of four children were written on his shoulders as he swam. “It reminded me that I needed to finish even in the long hours of 15 15+ hour swim. It funded school for the kids in the neighborhood.”

For more information about Meltvedt’s dryland charity group, visit www.clubdust.org.

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