A competitive age-group swimmer in Winnipeg in the 1950s, Bob Weir completed his first long-distance swim in 1962 at the age of 21 when he crossed Lake Winnipeg, 18 miles, in 9 hours 57 minutes. The following year, he became the first person to swim across Lake Manitoba, 34 miles, in 25 hours, 10 minutes. He then spent the following summer of 1964 on the professional circuit, participating in four marathons, including the inaugural 24-Heures La Tuque, a two-person tag-team race, in which he and his partner, John Lumgair, finished fourth.
After a 25-year hiatus, Bob's next marathon attempt occurred in 1989, when he became the 23rd person successfully to cross Lake Ontario, in a time of 22 hours, 8 minutes. He followed that in 1990 by running the Toronto Marathon, and then back into the water in 1991 for a combined 56 km (35 mile) conquest of Lake Couchiching-Lake Simcoe in a time of 25 hours, 8 minutes from Washago to Barrie (Photograph on right). The first attempt, however, was thwarted by a severe electrical storm around Hawkstone yacht club at 3:51 am when he had completed 32 km of the targeted swim, as reported by the Barrie Examiner on 21 July 1991. In 1992, he crossed Lake Erie, 43 km (27 miles), in 23 hours, 41 minutes from Dunkirk (New York state) to Mohawk Point (near Dunville, Ontario). 1993 took Bob to New Hampshire, where at the age of 50 he became the first person to swim the 21 miles of Lake Winnipesaukee (of Golden Pond fame) in 12 hours flat from Center Harbor to Alton Bay (Photographs left and centre).
This link provides access to Bob's personal report that he produced in 1991 detailing his activities leading to the successful Lake Couchiching/Simcoe swim.
Bob became involved with SSO in 1989, and served as its President from 1992 to 2006. In 1996, he received the Cliff Lumsdon Award of SSO for his achievements and contributions. He
also competed regularly in Masters Swimming, and was the president of Masters Swimming Ontario from 1991 to 1994.
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Created: 1st October 1999
Last Updated: 21st February 2016