a true solo swimmer
On 11th September 2017, at age 58 years 315 days Elizabeth Fry from Connecticut, USA, registered the fastest American Female time for the traditional crossing to Marilyn Bell Park. She completed the swim from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto in a time of 15 hours 46 minutes 16 seconds. The start of the swim was at 12:31 am. This was the latest in the year swim-date recorded so far for this course on Lake Ontario.
The swim is of particular note since Elizabeth did not have any pacer swimmers accompany her in the water.
Water temperature was 17-19 degrees C, and the winds, as forecast, remained calm throughout the swim. She had a perfect course and maintained such a great pace that she was well on time to break the Female speed record; however, due to the current from the Humber River, she was slowed in the final approach to Marilyn Bell Park.
Elizabeth's core-temperature was measured at various stages throughout the swim via a radio-frequency CorTemp® pill located in her intestines. The recorded data show that her core temperature just before entering the water was 37.32-degrees C. The observers were impressed, that despite lengthy stretches of the water temperature at 17 degrees C and “brain freezing” patches in the 50’s, Fry’s body temperature did not fall below 36.54-deg.C. She finished at 36.56-deg.C and only showed a minor "after drop" to 36.25-deg.C 10-minutes after exiting the water.
After touching the wall to finish, Liz climbed up the ladder at Marilyn Bell Park without difficulty (see photo).
Prior to her Lake Ontario crossing, Elizabeth had completed a number of very impressive swims around the world, including the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.
On 10-11 Aug 2018, Liz became the oldest woman (at age 59 years 287 days) and first American to cross Lake Huron without the aid of a wetsuit. Her time of 20:53:53 also set a new record and was faster than both the men's and women's time for this course from Port Sanilac (Michigan) to Port Franks (Ontario).
The Swim Master, John Bulsza reported that the east-south-east swim started at 17:17:32 and, contrary to expectations, the northerly (NNE) wind did not die-down and remained at a challenging 7-9 knots (13-16 km/h) for the first 7 hours to create rolling swells up to 0.67 m in height.
The water temperature ranged from 21.7-22.7 degrees C throughout the swim, .
Her stroke rate settled at 64 strokes per minute until the last 8 hours where it was 60-61/minute. The crew reported that the sunset, stars, planets, constellations and sunrise were particularly clear and memorable.
After being informed of the arriving swimmer, a crowd gathered at the finish. This included Jeffrey (Red) George, who is a local Ojibway artist of international fame, who presented Liz with a Sweat Lodge painting. An SSO Board member and swimmer, Bryan Finlay, not only came out to greet Liz but kept the media and onlookers informed.
Video of the Lake Huron swim
Liz talking about her love of Huron's Blue Waters. YouTube link