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  • Marian Cardwell

“I have so many questions!”

Updated: Feb 17

Hi Team!


First, thank you so much for your support! Your response has been overwhelming and such a boost for me personally. In addition to “Why??” I’ve been getting a lot of questions on how it works and will attempt to answer them here.


When is it?

August! I’m targeting to cross sometime in the first two weeks of August, but when I actually start is weather dependent. I’ll need 3 good weather days in row so I likely won’t know the exact day I’m starting until the day before.


How does it work?

Here are some basics!

  1. It’s not a race with a group of people. It’s just me!

  2. I have an escort boat with captain(s) and support crew. These people have the arduous job of not only existing on a boat for ~70 hours, but also taking care of me. They’ll be keeping me safe, on track, and fed. Honestly, I think they have the harder job.

  3. There are rules. I’ll be swimming according to the Marathon Swimming Federation rules, which include:

  • Must start and end on dry land.

  • No wetsuit.

  • Can’t touch the boat or anyone on the boat during the swim.

Why no wetsuit?

To be considered an unassisted swim, no “performance-enhancing” equipment can be used. In a nutshell, this includes anything that could improve my speed, endurance, or buoyancy, which includes things like fins, listening to music, and you named it, a wetsuit.


So I’ll be wearing a normal bathing suit, a silicon cap, googles, and ear plugs.


How do you eat?

One task of my support crew is to prepare and provide my feedings. About every hour, I’ll pause, treading water, for 30-60 seconds to consume it.


What do you eat?

The feed itself will normally be a high-calorie drink. (I’m still deciding which one!) Sometimes it may be warm or include caffeine depending how I’m feeling. And when I need a pick-me-up, I’ll be looking forward to dark chocolate discs. 😊


What stroke will you swim? Does it matter?

I can swim any stroke, but I’ll be sticking with my most efficient stroke and true love: freestyle. Sporadically, I’ll also mix in some backstroke to stretch out.


Can you stop?

I can stop as much as I want and tread water! But it’s in my best interest to keep going so I don’t get too cold and have enough energy to finish.


How do you train?

More to come on this! But for now, I am swimming, cycling, weight-lifting, and doing yoga! Shout outs to #Spenga and #Peloton for coming through on the dryland training!


How can we help?

This is such an amazing question that people have been asking! I will be posting more on this later as well!! In the meantime, a few things:

  1. Spread the word! I really want this to be a big win for the CDP.

  2. If you are inclined to pray, I could really use your prayers for health, strength, and good weather!

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