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Loren King
True Solos

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Lake Ontario 2016

At age 48, on August 1-2, 2016, Loren King crossed Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park (MBP) in a time of 18:35:08.

The swim started at 8:38:10 pm with excellent weather conditions, with the air temperature in the 30s deg.C and water temperatures around 22-deg.C.

Loren used a mixture of zinc oxide cream and Vaseline to protect against sunburn and to control chafing. He maintained a stroke-rate of 63-72 per minute throughout the swim and finished strongly with no problem climbing the ladder at MBP, as can be seen in the linked video.

He also completed the swim without the aid of any Pacers !

Video of Swim

The background music for the video is taken from Ontario's group Great Lake Swimmers first album in 2003. With its chorus "It's such a long swim. It's such a long swim, It's such a long swim", the song has a haunting sound that is so reflective of a long night-and-day in crossing the lake. 

English Channel, 2019

After an aborted swim in 2018, Loren got everything right in 2019 and completed an England-France swim on August 12 in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes. Leaving Abbot's Cliff and landing at La Sirene just east of Cap Gris Nez.

His pilots were Marilyn Critchley and Simon Ellis on "High Hopes". The swim was near the end of our neap tide (8–14 August), after several days of storms and strong winds. The temperatures were in the 17C range for much of the swim, although an hour or so of heavy rain caught up with them after about seven hours on the water, dropping the air temperature significantly. There were moments during the rainstorm when he was shivering rather violently, affecting his legs and kicking, but he was able to pick it up again. The tide started to turn when Loren had another hundred meters left, so he swam hard and made it into sheltered inshore waters and on to shore at the La Sirene restaurant.

The Merman image was created by Jodi DiLascio (Marilyn Bell DiLascio's daughter) to honour Loren's Channel crossing.

Catalina Strait 2021

Loren swam the San Pedro Strait from Catalina Island to the mainland on 28 September 2021, accompanied by the Pacific Star, with one of the official observers being Jodi DiLascio. "The Catalina Channel beat me up, but let me across in 11:50:47". Water temps started around 19-20 degrees C at the island and stayed warm for a few hours, then dropped through 18C until about 7 or 8 hours, when they dropped to 16-17C. The upwelling near shore was 15-16C but thankfully didn't actually stay that cold for long. It was a bit patchy the last hour, which Loren found emotionally draining ("oh yeah, that's warmer! aaaaaah, that's not!" ... over and over). Through the night the colder air did chill him. Aside from a nasty cross-shore current for a few hours before sunrise, it was weirdly calm, flat, and still. After the cross current, the channel was kind and let him finish without misery. A big sea lion joined them at the start, and they saw some dolphins toward the finish. "I was so lucky to have a fantastic team keeping me on track, especially through the grave doubts I had around 6-7hrs as we wrestled with a cross-current for a few hours - so grateful to everyone who made this swim possible."

Great Lakes Trust

A PhD graduate from MIT and an Associate Professor in Political Science at Wilfred Laurier University, Ontario, Loren has strong academic qualifications and takes great pride in applying his talents to projects to improve the welfare of Ontario's Great Lakes through a body established as the "Great Lakes Trust" with its objectives to:

  • Advance scientific understanding or public awareness of issues affecting the Great Lakes.

  • Work to improve the quality of the Lakes and their shoreline ecosystems.

  • Promote more equitable and sustainable public access to the shores and waters of the Lakes.

A 4-minute interview with Loren on the Watermark project provides even further insights to what motivates him.

Solo Swims

Loren has served on the Board for several years, including serving

as Vice-President and as a Swim Master.

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