Marilyn Korzekwa, when she’s not swimming. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Korzekwa

Elements, jelly fish can’t stop swim for Good Shepherd

  • July 28, 2015

Cold waters, an overnight storm and countless jelly fish were not enough to slow down swimmer Marilyn Korzekwa during her historic three-province Atlantic Ocean swim to raise funds for the Good Shepherd in Hamilton, Ont.

In the early morning July 26, Korzekwa completed her swim from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island and then south to New Brunswick in 16 hours 41 minutes — significantly faster than the expected 25 hours. The Hamilton-area psychiatrist is the first person to complete the feat, but it wasn’t easy.

“The swim was second in difficulty to my English Channel swim,” she said. “The water was even colder but the waves were not as high. I was shivering in the water throughout most of the swim. It was a fight to stay warm.”

Jelly fish, a hazard for swimmers in the northern Atlantic, added another challenge.

“The jelly fish stung my face 22 times and my body countless times,” she said.

Korzekwa went on to say faith in God and knowing people were supporting her gave her the strength to persevere through the night as a storm rained down upon her and her support team.

Through her historic swim Korzekwa sought to raise awareness and money for the Good Shepherd, whose services provide support for many of her patients. Prior to embarking on the 47-kilometre swim, Korzekwa told The Register she hoped to bring in $15,000. To date, she has raised just over $2,000.

This is not the first time Korzekwa has swam in support of the Good Shepherd. Back in 2013 the veteran long-distance swimmer completed the 32-kilometre Catalina Channel in California. She’s also crossed Lake Ontario twice, Lake Simcoe and the San Pedro Strait from Catalina Island to the California mainland.

At 58, Korzekwa said she will soon have to hang up the towel on marathon swimming.

“My joints are starting to show the burden of wear and tear and injuries,” she said. “I only have two or three more years of world-class marathon swims.”
But she isn’t quitting just yet. Early next year, either in February or March, Korzekwa will attempt to conquer the Cook Strait in New Zealand.

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