Ben Lecomte To Swim 5,500 Miles Across Pacific Ocean

French born marathon swimmer Ben Lecomte told NPR he is preparing to swim across the Pacific ocean from Tokyo Beach to San Francisco. He now has American citizenship as well.

The 47 year-old has completed a swim like this once before, but he hasn’t done so in 17 years. In 1998, Lecomte swam 3,716 miles across the Atlantic Ocean as a fundraiser to raise money for cancer research as a tribute to his father. He started in Massachusetts and finished in France 73 days later.

At the end of September, Lecomte plans to start his 5,500 mile journey from Tokyo to San Francisco. When asked why he wants to do a swim of this distance, he told NPR that if he  knew how to paint or sculpt, hewould stick painting or sculpting.

 “Because swimming is what I know, I will stick to swimming.”

He plans on swimming for 8 hours per day and using GPS to track his position, ensuring that he will start again in the same exact place he finished the day before. Although his last swim was to raise money for cancer research, this swim will be to draw attention to environmental issues.

“Before anything else I am a father and as a father the future of my children concerns me because, as we all know, our way of life is not sustainable. I don’t want to be passive and pass on to my children the liability we are tagging on to our environment. We can all make a difference once we realize how we can be better stewards of the environment and our own ecological footprint, make appropriate daily changes and inspire others to do the same. This is the first goal of this event and is intended to get people’s attention throughout the world and to understand that the solution is in our hands and that we can take action. The second goal is to encourage and work with the education system in all countries to include classes on sustainability and what our ecological footprints are into their own curriculum, because, as we all know, sustainability starts with education.”

To view Lecomte’s website, click here. 

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8 years ago

Any idea how strong the currents are in the Atlantic? His crossing works out to just over 50 miles per day. Even if he could hold 20 minute miles (an ambitious pace in open water for 73 days) he would have needed to swim for 17 hours per day, every day.

Or, he would have to swim the equivalent of a round trip English Channel swim 73 days in a row.

More than swam
8 years ago

Quite the carbon footprint an exhibition of this sort makes.

8 years ago

Sure it’s physically exhausting but I think this would be even harder mentally. I would have to be able to shut my brain off to swim that long.

8 years ago

That sounds miserable.

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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