8.19.2015

James Jonson's Lake Tahoe Crossing

I got an email a few days ago from Utah marathon swimmer James Jonson, letting me know that he had swam across Lake Tahoe.  I had no idea he was planning to do it this year, but was glad to hear from him.  I asked for some photos and details about his swim, which was in pretty rough conditions, and here is a summary of what he sent:
I just got back from Lake Tahoe where on Wednesday (August 12, 2015) I swam the 22 mile length in 13hrs 22min.  I swam from Camp Richardson on the south shore to Incline Village on the north shore and this was the toughest swim I've ever done!  For most of the middle half of the swim I had a 15-20mph northerly headwind, then it turned southerly 25+ for a while and kicked up the swells and it got really choppy.  My time was slower than I hoped for but the conditions sure took its toll and I'm just glad I was able to finish.
I asked him if this was his toughest swim because of the chop.  Here was his reply:
Yes, it was the wind that made it so tough because it also churned up the colder water deep down and it dropped the temps and I had a hard time fighting off the cold as the chop wore me out...or maybe this old Hawaiian is getting soft!  The water was 66 degrees when I started and 60 at the finish.  Bear Lake might be a monster but Tahoe is a beast.
I asked for some pictures to post and some details about his training and nutrition.  Here was his response:
The [photo] labeled "My Favorite" is a few miles before the finish as I'm entering Crystal Bay and heading towards Incline Village.  The winds had died down but the water was still kind of bumpy.  Looking at the color and bumps and it looks like the ocean and not a lake.  To answer your questions about my feeds, I ate a combination of whole-grain blueberry pancakes (my new discovery!), Gel-Packs, and gatorade.  If I needed water I just drank the lake water (it's that clean).  My training over the past few months consisted of long swims at Deer Creek and intervals in the pool.  I averaged 32 to 35 miles a week.
He also shared this funny story about rescuing a stranded boat while he was finishing his swim:
Here's an interesting one...about two miles before the finish we came across a stranded boat.  We towed them along until I finished the swim and then towed them to the nearest boat ramp.  Their gas gauge got stuck a 1/4 tank and didn't realize it until they ran out of gas!
Here are some photos from his swim:


James starting his swim at Camp Richardson.







This photos was taken in the middle of the lake.
This is the photo labeled "My Favorite" referenced above.
Towing the stranded boat.
Thank you James for sharing your story and photos and congrats on your swim!  I can't wait to see what you do next!

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