Why would Chris Shoup swim 45 miles? That is not a typo, and I did not forget a decimal point.
Chris decided to swim the Hawaii Islands for a charity that is near and dear to his heart (once Chris has details set up, we will do a full feature!). First, he had to see if he could swim 45 miles. Chris spent 6 months planning and training. A team of 6 people were eager to work as support for the swim to ensure his safety and provide his nutrition. A date was set and then, the day before the swim, all 6 were unable to go. The date was changed for a week later and once again, no one was available.
Chris decided not to waste anymore time or the training, loaded food, supplies, and kayak. He had a log with him so along the way he could have people verify the swim. At 5:08 am, Chris set out on the 45 mile swim pulling his kayak.
There were markers along the way and Chris knew ahead of time when he would need to stop to eat and reapply sunscreen. The big challenges along the way included: a 4 mile section full of boats that made for challenging rough water; and a terrible dead animal smell that caused him to “lose his fuel” with 12 miles to go. The biggest challenge came after “refueling” and starting out again only to spot lightning in the distance and 20mph winds. The strong winds lasted for 40 minutes which made the waves difficult to deal with and definitely took their toll on him physically and mentally!
He knew he was going to make it when he saw an island park – 4 miles left to go!
What an amazing feeling it must have been to climb out of the water and have that amazing sense of accomplishment! The next challenge: lift the kayak back on the top of the car…
No doubt you will be hearing Chris Shoup’s name next Spring when he plans his Hawaii Islands swim! Go, Chris, Go!
Any thoughts or encouragement you would like to leave for Chris?