*Lake Erie Record-Holder (Fly & Free)
*Youngest Lake-Ontario Crossing
With Vicki Keith as her Coach, and John Munro as her Swim Master, Natalie was well-positioned to meet her open-water swimming dreams. And, of course, Natalie had her own motivations that were driven-on by the determination shown by her own sister Jenna who in 2007, at age 15, with her limitations of Cerebral palsy, battled adverse weather conditions to become the first female with a physical disability to cross Lake Ontario from New York State to Kingston, Ontario.
In a two-year period, Natalie Lambert established a number of records in her target to become the youngest swimmer to cross Lake Ontario. With her August 1st birthday, Natalie was well-set to corner a record where swimmers must be over 14 years of age.
On 8 Aug 2007 at age 14y 7d, Natalie attempted Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto. Battling headwinds and waves up to 1 m for the first half of the swim and then east/south-east winds averaging 16-17 knots, gusts of 21 knots, swells up to 3 m, she had to withdraw due to ongoing stomach sickness after 41 km and 20:18 hrs.
Later that summer, on August 27-28 Natalie became the youngest swimmer (14y 27d) to conquer any marathon-swimming course on Lake Ontario, with her 23:15, 54 km, crossing from Sackets Harbor (NY) to Confederation Park, Kingston (Ontario).
On 6 Jul 2008 at 14y 341d she swam butterfly across the 19.2 km course of Lake Erie from Crystal Beach (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (NY). She has the Butterfly Record and it was the youngest Erie crossing at that time. Ladies N-S Record 7:47:30
On 22 Jul 2008 at14y 357d of age, she again attempted Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto. Natalie was heartbreakingly close after swimming 42 km in 14:57 hours when the boats had to be evacuated due to thunderstorms that were about to engulf them.
On 23 Aug 2008, at 15y 22d, she again attempted Lake Ontario from Niagara to Toronto, but her sore throat and chills got worse and she decided to abandon the swim.
Natalie's last big swim was 9 Jul 2009 at 15y 343d of age, she swam lake the 19.2 km Lake Erie course again in a blistering 6:40, setting a N-S Freestyle Record.
Natalie's 2007 swims alone raised over $44,000 to support the Kingston Y Knot aquatic programs. She is a respected leader on the Kingston Y Penguins Aquatic Club, and is a dedicated athlete who has achieved regional standards in competitive swimming. Her team-mates have honoured her with the nickname "Bulldog" as she is known for her persistence and determination.