Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901 miles or 40,075 km.

It would take a lifetime to swim the equivalent of this distance, but it is our guess that many veteran open water swimmers have either swum this equivalent or are really close.

Swimmers like Jim McConica (USA), Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey), Claudio Plit (Argentina), Kevin Murphy (Great Britain), Michael Read (Great Britain), Djan Madruga (Brazil), Yuko Matsuzaki (Japan), Kris Rutford (USA), Spyridon Gianniotis (Greece), Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia), Irene van der Laan (Netherlands, shown above), Thomas Lurz (Germany), Marcy McDonald USA), Paul Asmuth (USA), Theodore Yach (South Africa), and hundreds of other swimmers have combined a lifelong career of swimming in the pool and open water that boggles the mind.

The distance of “Swimming the Globe” is steadily achieved especially by those who start off in the competitive swimming world and then continue on either doing masters swimming and/or open water swimming. But there are many others who have achieved this distance by really focusing on marathon swimming beginning as a young adult, continuing through middle age and culminating in constant swimming through and past their retirement.

A typical achievement of “Swimming the Globe” is swimming the equivalent of 5,000 meters per day an average of 5 days per week for 40 weeks per year during one’s teenage years (10,000 km), followed by an intense few decades of the equivalent of 8,000 meters per day an average of 5 days per week for 45 weeks per year (36,000 km), followed by 3 decades of mellow fitness swimming an equivalent of 2,000 meters per day an average of 3 days per week for 40 weeks per year (7,200 km), or a lifetime total of at least 53,000 km or 1.3 times around the earth.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association