Back in 1998, long distance swimmer Ben Lecomte became the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without using a kick board, covering 3716 miles (5996 km) in 73 days. That was a grueling exercise in endurance and determination that cemented his place in the record books. But now, Ben is looking to take on an even more impressive challenge. In July, he’ll set off on an even longer swim, as he attempts to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean, a journey that will cover more than 5500 miles (8851 km) between Tokyo and San Francisco.
The Longest Swim, as Ben has aptly named this project, will be undertaken to help raise awareness of climate change. In order to accomplish this feat he’ll need to swim 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for 180 days, burning as much as 10,000 calories per day. A support will be with him at every stage of the journey of course, and he’ll rest and take his meals aboard that boat as he progresses. In a recent interview with Red Bull, Ben says that his boat will be a special one too. Made completely out of wood, and 24 meters in length, it was built back in 1940, and fits well into his mindset of protecting the environment and recycling.
In that same interview, Lancomte talks about how he trains for such a long distance swim, how he manages to keep pushing himself forward for hours on end, and for days at a time, and what his goals are for the project. Namely, he hopes to attract as much attention to the challenges our planet faces due to climate change, and he thought the best way to achieve that was to undertake this massive challenge.
The Longest Swim is still a few weeks away from getting underway, and Ben will wait for the optimal conditions before he starts. You’ll be able to follow his progress on his website, through Twitter, and on Facebook. It should be quite the journey to say the least.
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