Joe Zemaitis’ 2020 Season Culminates In Roosevelt 4.5

Sponsored by KAATSU Global, Huntington Beach, California.

Roosevelt Lake is known among marathon swimmers at the last leg and last stage of the Arizona S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge. The 10 km night swim culminates the 4-stage, 4-day SCAR Swim Challenge and is hosted in Roosevelt Lake that is 25.3 km from length-to-length at its furthest point.

It was in Roosevelt Lake where Joe Zemaitis culminated his 2020 year that saw him swim across the Santa Barbara Channel, Lake Tahoe, Round Trip Angel Island, 40 Bridges a double circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island, and Monterey Bay.

In today’s WOWSA Live, Coach Zemaitis talks about his 47 hour 23 minute 33 second 112 km shore-to-shore quadruple-and-a-half lake crossing:

* He admitted the Roosevelt 4.5 Swim, expected to take him 36-40 hours, was “definitely the hardest athletic event I’ve ever done”
* He swam nearly 1448 km in the last 7 months during the global pandemic
* He expected water temperatures in the upper 70°F’s, but dropped to the upper 60°F’s (19-20°C)

He wrote, “If there was ever a time to push the limit of what I could do, this was it. I originally planned on a four-way crossing of Roosevelt Lake, east of Phoenix. At 25.3 km per length, that would put me at 101 km. I realized that the longest current neutral men’s swim recognized by Marathon Swimmers Federation was 106 km [so] I figured I couldn’t possibly stop that close to a record so found an 11 km route that finished near the Roosevelt Lake Marina for a 4.5-way crossing. When ratified, this will also be recognized as the World Record for Longest Lake Swim (Multi Segment). It got pretty cold especially overnight, and the end seemed a lot like trying to finish a long drive at night when you’re falling asleep. I was desperate to stay awake and alert even as that last 11 km seemed like an eternity.

His support team included:

Observers: Dan Simonelli, Kent Nicholas, Susie Bender Paul
Support team: John Zemaitis , Stephanie Mindlin, Jon Ford, Marni Gerber, Braxton Bilbrey, Steve Bilbrey, Helen Casseday, Rebecca Campbell

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