2008 Olympic gold medalist in the 10km marathon swim Maarten van der Weijden has improved upon the old World Record for distance swum in a 25m pool in 24 hours.
The 36-year old Dutchman swam 102.8km (63.8 miles) in 24 hours – that comes after last year, where a 99.5km (61.8 miles) effort came up just short of the record.
The old record was set in 1989 by Swede Anders Forvass of Sweden when he raced 101.9km (63.3 miles). Van der Weijden’s record has not been officially ratified by Guinness yet.
As incredible as the swim was, it was just the beginning for van der Weijden. After a short break to do some interviews and have some food, he continued on for another 12 hour swim – all in preparation for a planned 200km swim along side the track of the Elfstedentocht – a speedskating marathon in the province of Friesland.
His 200km swim is a fundraiser for cancer research. Van der Weijden, himself a survivor of leukemia, will allow the public to swim with him for a period of time during his swim for 11 euros.
For those wondering, swimming 102.8km in 24 hours is the same as holding an average pace of 1:24.05 (with rounding).