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Woman Embarks on 60-Hour Swim in Torch Lake

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A woman who is used to distance swimming is taking it to extremes to go for a record, while raising money for a good cause.

Thirty-one-year-old Marian Cardwell from the Chicago area found her way to a popular northern Michigan lake this week – with her sights set on a goal: completing more than two days straight in the water.

Cardwell’s husband, Greg Aldin, says, “She did a 24-hour swim last summer. To benefit that same cause.… And now she’s going even bigger this year.”

Cardwell is also no stranger to raising awareness for Type 1 diabetes.

Her husband says, “Type 1 Diabetes has been a real close topic to her heart for a long time. Her uncle had it, and she spent a lot of time with him. About 10 years ago, she went to study in France and wanted to make sure her uncle still knew she was thinking about him so she swim the English Channel in honor of him.” Cardwell has been regularly raising money for the Chicago Diabetes Project.  Past swims of 24 hours -and more -have been part of the training regimen… for this two and a half day effort in Torch Lake. John Dine with the Chicago Diabetes Project says, “She’s been doing open water swimming, and this is just a feat that (she) hopes to accomplish over the next three days.” Greg adds, “It’s 60 hours, over 100 miles. Kind of record-breaking in a number of ways. But she’s doing all this to benefit, to raise money for a Type 1 diabetes research.”

If she’s successful, her team says Cardwell will surpass the longest multi-segment lake swim record by over 30 miles and will complete one of the longest open water swims in history. Greg says the rules include “no wetsuits, no contact with the boat… There’s a whole set of rules that she’s following and they keep it official.”

Marian Cardwell, Courtesy of the Chicago Diabetes Project

Her supporters say Torch Lake was actually Plan B – she had hoped to swim the 100+ miles in Lake Michigan, from Chicago to Grand Haven. But water conditions there presented some safety concerns this week, so the team adjusted its plans and came north.  Dine says, “She immediately changed focus and found a lake up here where she can swim a great deal of distance and still be able to complete a record.” Cardwell’s husband says a Lake Michigan swim is still a goal for the future.

To track her progress, or to donate to the cause, .

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