Marathon Swim for Ocean Plastic Recovery

Let's help Żibel recycle the plastic they remove from Malta's coastline!

Bec Community June 29, 2024 at 6:47 pm
  • Description
  • Updates
  • FAQ
  • Backers

Project Description

Welcome! For those who don’t know me, I’m a Professor of International Law at American University, Mama of four fabulous elementary school-aged kids and … I have no background in any sport whatsoever (!). Nonetheless, I am passionate about the health of our ocean and so in mid-July, I hope to complete my first marathon swim to raise enough funds to help buy an ocean plastics recycling machine for a local civil society organization called Żibel here in Malta.

Per the international rules of the Marathon Swimming Federation, a marathon swim is one that is over 10km and must be completed “remaining in the water for the entire duration of the swim from start to finish without intentional physical contact with escort vessels, support personnel, or other objects.” I’ll be trying to swim from Switzerland to France across Lake Geneva. If I manage to swim straight it should be a distance of 13km/8.1 miles (you can think of it like swimming to Alcatraz and back again two times, or doing 260 non-stop laps of an Olympic Pool) and I need to make the crossing inside 7 hours.

I have so many people to thank for helping me make it to the starting line on this project.

First and always – Ben Batros – for embracing my impossible ideas, and for jumping in with the practical support to help make them happen – especially the many early mornings spent getting the kids ready for school while I was training. And our kids, for coming up with the funding level concept and research – as well as the never-ending inspiration to sustain our ocean for their generation and beyond.

Ann Browett, for introducing me to the concept of open water distance swimming. Karen Markin, open water swim coach and the most inspiring 60 year old I know – who kayaked beside me on my first ocean swim (what was, at the time, an unimaginably lengthy 3km) from Paihia to Kororāreka during Covid, and who has supported my growing passion for open water swimming with virtual coaching across timezones ever since.

Coach Monique Mangion for her signature blend warmth and brusque during every early morning squad, as well as Coach Warren, Amin, and the entire Neptunes Swimming Club crew for being our family’s second home in Malta. Javier, for welcoming me into the club of Maltese open water swim enthusiasts to explore the local waters with. Liss, Bec, Pam, Hillary, Kate, Matt, and the full trans-Tasman whānau for cheering on every additional mile of progress. Kirst for suggesting Lake Geneva in the first place. Gibbo for housing. And Naomi for volunteering (incredibly, across the Atlantic) to be my support crew.

Share Project