Former professional marathon swimmer Yuko Matsuzaki of Tokyo, Japan has traveled throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia doing a variety of solo marathons and professional races.
With dozens of swims and adventures – many hilarious and some scary – under her swim cap between 1988 and 2008, she wrote a well-received book in Japanese called Marathon Swimming: My Fun Journey.
Despite her retirement, her passion for open water swimming has never wavered. She is an integral part of the Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association and regularly swims in various locations including an 83 km solo swim in Lake Cane, Florida. This summer, she will attempt what no one has yet attempted in Turks & Caicos.
The personable Japanese author will swim from the island of North Caicos to Grace Bay, Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands on July 2nd. The 21 km (13 mile) adventure is called Swim Marathon Turks & Caicos. Located 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, Turks & Caicos is an archipelago of 40 mostly uninhabited islands (or cays) surrounded by warm, clear, turquoise Waters and abundant marine life.
The 51-year-old Matsuzaki estimates the swim along white-sand beaches and gorgeous cays will take her over 5 hours. While swimming inside the third largest barrier reef in the world, local swimmers will join her for the last 800 meters to the finish at Grace Bay Club Resort.
Originally from Tokyo, the only Japanese inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame has record of major marathon swims includes swims as varied as the 25 km in Lac du Bourget (France), 30 km from Kalamata to Kroni (Greece), 36 km from Capri to Naples (Italy), and many other professional marathon races in oceans, lakes and rivers from Canada to Argentina.
Organized in combination with the annual Turks & Caicos Race for the Conch Eco-SeaSwim (held on July 5th) and Provo-based Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures, the swim will support the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund environmental initiatives and the Turks & Caicos Islands Swim Federation.
“We are all proud to be part of making TCI sports history with Yuko,” said event manager Ben Stubenberg. “This challenging open water swim captures the imagination of anyone who ventures past the shoreline and will be a tribute to what the human body and spirit can do. We hope to make it an annual marathon swim event.”
The popular Race for the Conch Eco-SeaSwim has put Provo and Grace Bay on the map as a world-class destination for swimming and open water distance swim training. Matsuzaki’s Swim Marathon Turks & Caicos will undoubtedly enhance that reputation.
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association