Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.

Hall of Fame

Mike Zavitz

At age 45 years 333 days, Mike Zavitz completed the first SSO-recorded swim at Lake of Bays, Ontario on 24th August 2013. He covered 24 km in 10 hours 45 minutes 8 seconds from his 9:00 am start at Dwight Bay government dock in the north (45.3289089 N, 79.012179 W) to Baysville government dock in the south (45.15081883 N, 79.112159 W).

In 2011, Mike donated a kidney in a four-way kidney swap in Hamilton, Ontario and subsequently he decided he wanted to do even more. So he set his sights on swimming across Lake Ontario to prove that organ donors can continue to have active lives and to encourage people to become organ donors. He also planned to use his swim to support Camp Dorset, a camp where families affected by kidney disease can go for vacations. His Lake of Bays swim was planned as a part of his training and build-up to a proposed Lake Ontario swim.

Mike's team put together an impressive video in his drive to raise funds for Camp Dorset and by the end of 2013 this had generated over $16k for the Camp.

Mike had good conditions for his swim: calm water; air temperature starting at 70F, rising to 76F and finishing at 64F; the water temperature varied between 68-70F; however, his swim was eventful. Due to having only one kidney, Mike had a strict dietary programme of required calories and his coach, Jess Ward, had clearly helped Mike significantly with his build-up from being a recreational swimmer. Within two hours of the start he was suffering severe cramps in both legs that almost terminated his swim; however, he managed to work through this physical challenge. A

Around the 6-hour mark, Mike's stroke-rate dropped dramatically from 58-68 strokes-per-minute to 52, and dropping further to 46 SPM by the finish. After the swim, it was subsequently diagnosed in hospital that Mike had suffered a 30% collapse of his right lung, which was treated with the insertion of a chest tube and a few days of close monitoring.

Mike's core temperature was monitored during his swim via an ingested, wireless, temperature transmitter, CorTemp, made by HQInc. His core temperature on exiting the water had not dropped below 36.2C.

An interesting article by Mandi Hargrave provides a greater insight into Mike's personal background and goals. The reference in the article to a post-swim temperature of 32.8C is clearly in conflict with the actual temperature recorded by the Swim Master from the ingested wireless telemetry pill.

START: Dwight Bay

Finish: Baysville, Pavillion on left

The Swim Master was Colleen Shields who has significant experience in these local lakes.

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Created: 14th October 2013
Last Updated: 29th October 2013