Once I get going in the water, I am ready to go,” explains Dave Barra who cracked a rib hiking down to the start of the first swim on Day One of last year’s inaugural S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge.

I can withstand a lot. Besides the rib only hurt when I breathed.”

It is that kind of mentality that is pervasive – indeed almost mandatory – among the hardy marathon swimmers who have gathered around the world to participate in the 2013 S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona.

With marathon swimming superstars like Barbara Held (California), Ned Denison (Ireland), Roger Finch (South Africa), Liz Fry (Connecticut) and Mo Siegel (New York) taking part, the field of 25 will participate in 4 stage swims over a 4-day period in the Saguaro, Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt lakes in the desert oasis 6 hours east of Southern California. The two dozen swimmers and their support teams will hike to their starting point tomorrow morning in Saguaro Lake to begin Day One, a 9.5-mile (15.2 km) swim at 1529-feet (466m) elevation in a reservoir rimmed with canyon walls.

The brainchild of Arizona attorney Kent Nicholas, S.C.A.R. stands for Saguaro, Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt lakes.

Day Two will feature a 9-mile (14.4 km) swim in Canyon Lake at 1,660 feet (505m) elevation, followed by the 17-mile (27.3 km) swim across Apache Lake on Day Three, and the 6.2-mile (10 km) swim in Roosevelt Lake on Day Four to culminate the Arizona S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge .

The four-day, 66.9 km (41.7-mile) stage swim organized by Kent Nicholas will leave an indelible mark on all its participants.

Photo above from inaugural S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge shows some of the crew and a few competitors including Dave Barra, Janet Harris and Kent Nicholas.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association