UPDATE — Guinness World Record attempt on Okanagan Lake

Ultra-distance triathlete Adam Ellenstein is attempting a Guinness World Record.

ADAM ELLENSTEIN is attempting a Guinness World Record for the fastest north-to-south non-stop swim of Okanagan Lake in Penticton

ADAM ELLENSTEIN is attempting a Guinness World Record for the fastest north-to-south non-stop swim of Okanagan Lake in Penticton

American Adam Ellenstein and his “VictorySwim105” unofficially established a Guinness World Record Tuesday night for the fastest, non-stop, lengthwise swim of Okanagan Lake in Penticton, Canada.

The 39-year-old ultra-distance triathlete from Detroit, Mich., completed a 105-kilometer swim (65 miles) in an unofficial time of 40 hours and 47 minutes. He stepped out of the water to the cheers of a crowd estimated at more than 200 people at SS Sicamous Heritage Park at 10:46 p.m. PDT.

“The swim exceeded my expectations and it is all because of my crew,” Ellenstein said. “My job was to swim and eat – the crew did everything else. During the most challenging moments, my admiration for my aunt, Susan Scarlett, and her commitment to live well with Parkinson’s, was the motivation to continue. Each stroke was a demonstration of my love and support of Susan.”

More details on this story to come.



UPDATE: Adam Ellenstein’s is expected to arrive at the SS Sicamous between 9 p.m. and midnight.

Ellenstein, who is attempting a world record swim attempt of the fastest north-to-south crossing of Lake Okanagan, is swimming at a slower pace. At just before 5 p.m., Allenstein was just north of the point at Trout Creek, which is fewer than 15 kilometers from the finish.

On the VictorySwim105 Facebook page, it was reported that rain and fatigue would not stop Allenstein from reaching the finish line.


UPDATE: Ultra-distance triathlete Adam Ellenstein successfully completed the first 24 hours of his Guinness World Record attempt to swim 105 kilometers in the fastest north-to-south crossing of Okanagan Lake.

As of Tuesday at 7:07 a.m. PDT, the 39-year-old from Detroit had swam 72 kilometers (45 miles) of the 105-km distance. He set off from the shores of Vernon on Monday at 5:49 a.m. and is projected to arrive at the beach at SS Sicamous Heritage Park sometime after 5 p.m., local time.

Ellenstein is making the attempt – dubbed “VictorySwim105” – to raise awareness and support to benefit those with Parkinson’s disease through a partnership with the Davis Phinney Foundation. Before beginning what was expected to be about a 40-hour swim, he described his inspiration for the record attempt – his aunt, Susan Scarlett, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

“I wanted to honour and celebrate Susan’s extraordinary courage and life in general,” he said in a press release. “She is a remarkable woman with characteristics and traits that have shined since her diagnosis last fall. This is an opportunity for our family to share an adventure together and honour her life and livelihood. The opportunity to partner with the Davis Phinney Foundation is a tremendous opportunity and an added bonus for us to share the message of ‘why.'”

Scarlett left one of the support boats to join Ellenstein for part of his swim on Monday morning.

“This has just been an awesome experience,” she said. “Adam’s support crew has been incredibly successful in satisfying any and all of his requests. He stops only to take on nutrition or when someone else is joining him in the water. Other than that, he has been pretty much moving non-stop since he started.”

A crew of 20 in three motorized boats and two safety kayaks are accompanying Ellenstein. The water temperature in Okanagan Lake has ranged between 69 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the swim. In the early morning hours on Tuesday, Ellenstein downed a bacon-and-egg sandwich, fresh pancakes and cafe latte Perpetuem from his nutritional sponsor, Hammer Nutrition.


UPDATE — As of 4 p.m. Adam Ellenstein has swam 24 kilometers (15 miles) and he’s put on some warmer gear as the waters of Okanagan Lake are beginning to cool down. Four hours ago Ellenstein was swimming at a 1.9 mph pace. Ellenstein began his challenge this morning in Vernon.


Ultra-distance triathlete Adam Ellenstein is attempting a Guinness World Record for the fastest north-to-south, non-stop swim of Okanagan Lake.

“The swim has a greater meaning than simply going out to test my endurance limits,” said Ellenstein in a press release. “I am swimming to support and honour my aunt, Susan Scarlett, who has Parkinson’s Disease. To her own amazement, she is training to swim portions of the swim with me. We hope people with Parkinson’s, their caregivers and their loved ones will also be empowered to take up the challenge.”

Ellenstein will attempt to swim 105 kilometres starting in Vernon on July 25 and finishing in Penticton on July 26.

Fans can follow Ellenstein as he trains and receive updates during the race at www.facebook.com/VictorySwim105 and can use the hashtag #VictorySwim105 when posting to social media.

VictorySwim105 will raise awareness and support to benefit those with Parkinson’s disease through a partnership with the Davis Phinney Foundation (www.davisphinneyfoundation.org). The Foundation’s mission is to help people with Parkinson’s to live well today.

Ellenstein has successfully completed Ironman (140.6 miles) and UltraMan (320 miles) triathlons. He is a solo Race Across America (RAAM) qualifier (400 miles) and last year he completed a 30-km (18 mile) swim across Lake Winnipeg in preparation for his attempt. He estimates the swim will take 40 hours to complete.

“There is no way I could do it alone. While on the surface, it sounds like a solo attempt, it is really a team sport,” said Ellenstein. “My training puts me in a position to succeed, and the crew keeps me fueled, on course and filled with love. Success in these events is all about the crew.”

A crew of 10 motorized boats and safety kayaks will accompany Ellenstein on his swim. A Guinness World Records adjudicator will evaluate evidence, which includes videos, photos, independent witness statements and a GPS tracking log to verify and confirm whether Ellenstein establishes a new Guinness World Records title.

People can get involved in two ways  by visiting my.davisphinneyfoundation.org/victoryswim105.

Guinness World Records is the global authority on record-breaking achievements. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records book has become one of the biggest-selling copyright titles of all time, selling 120 million copies to date in 22 languages and in more than 100 countries.

GWR receives more than 1,000 applications each week and has a specialized team of multilanguage record managers and adjudicators who travel the globe to verify official record attempts.