On July 26, a 58-year-old Ontario woman became the first person to complete a three-province swim of the Northumberland Strait. Marilyn Korzekwa swam from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick to P.E.I. in just under 17 hours.
An experienced marathon swimmer, Korzekwa was the first Canadian to complete what is commonly known as the Triple-Crown of marathon swimming: the English Channel, the Manhattan Island marathon swim, and the Strait of Catalina in California. The Northumberland Strait was the longest swim she’d ever attempted, and offered unique challenges.
“The hardest part was when I came out of the relatively warm Baie Verte into the main strait near Cape Tormentine and that cold water hit me and it was like three in the morning and it was pitch black,” Korzekwa told the CBC. Temperatures dropped to 14 C during the early-morning portion of her swim.
While she had planned to loop back to New Brunswick, the combination of frigid waters and jellyfish stings prevented her from continuing on. Korzekwa estimates that she was stung 22 times by jellyfish while swimming between New Brunswick and P.E.I.
Korzekwa plans to take the rest of the summer to relax before she begins training to swim the Cook Strait, which lies between the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
When she’s not busy swimming the world’s many waterways, Korzekwa works as a psychiatrist in Hamilton, ON.