Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.

Hall of Fame


First Triple Crown Canadian
Over 30 Years of Major Marathon Swims

Apart from her Lake Ontario conquests Marilyn Korzekwa was the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming - The English Channel, The Manhattan Island swim, and the Catalina Channel.

Along with details of her 1983 and 1984 Lake Ontario swims, her English Channel (2011), Catalina Channel (2013), and Manhattan Island (2014) swims summarized below with relevant links to details.

Dr Marilyn Korzekwa, MD was the first person to have completed Lake Ontario swims from both south-to-north and north-to-south on September 1-2, 1983 and August 17-18, 1984 respectively. Her 1984 north-south swim was the first completed by a Canadian, and had only been preceded by USA swimmer Diana Nyad in 1974. The start of the 1983 swim is shown above, together with the approach to Toronto with the legendary Cliff Lumsdon driving the inflatable.

The start and finish of the 1984 swim are depicted below. On the left and about to exit the inflatable to start at Leslie Street Spit, Marilyn is seen well-greased with (L-R) friend, Cliff Lumsdon, and Brian Mercer. At the right, and 21 hours 0 minutes later, Marilyn is seen exiting the water at the beach to the west of the harbour at Port Dalhousie.


English Channel, 2011:

Marilyn was stimulated to get back into serious training again in 2010, and completed a cold and arduous 18:45 swim on 26-27 June 2011 on Lake Simcoe (Barrie to Orillia). This swim was completed as a "warm up" for her successful crossing of the English Channel (E-F) in 16:40 on 21 Aug 2011 to become the oldest Canadian woman to cross the Channel.

Her swim led to her receipt of the 2011 CSA Van Audenaerde award for Endurance.

The swim is described in further detail in her associated Channel Blog.


Catalina Channel, 2013:

At age 56, and thirty years after her first crossing of Lake Ontario, Marilyn set-out at 10:00 pm on 29 August 2013 to take-on the 32 km crossing of the Catalina Channel.

She was stimulated by the knowledge that on 15th January 1927, Canadian George Young had become the first person to cross the Catalina Channel with his time of 15:44:30.

So, 14 hours and 24 minutes 24 seconds after her start, Marilyn crawled ashore to complete official-crossing #273, and become the oldest Canadian and the fastest Canadian woman to have crossed the channel.

A more detailed write-up of the event was published by the Hamilton Spectator.

Marilyn's Catalina swim is described in further detail in her associated Catalina Blog.

Manhattan Island, 2014:

On 12th July, Marilyn completed her quest for the Triple Crown with her 10:02:21 circumnavigation of Manhattan Island.

The challenges and elation involved with Marilyn's Manhattan Island swim are best described in her own words in her Manhattan Blog.

Since 1988, she has contributed much time to the organization and planning of SSO activities - serving on the Board of Directors, acting as the Medical Officer, Vice President, Secretary, and Chair of the Risk Management activities - and, since 1985, acting as an SSO Swim Master to help others fulfil their marathon-swimming dreams.

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Updated: 6th October 2014