The 12,000 IM. 3,000 yards of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Has it ever been done? Frankly, should it ever be done? Alex Mathson, a senior at Carleton College, completed a 12,000 IM in the Carleton College Thorpe Pool on Thursday March 2nd 2017. It took him 2:46:58.78 to complete the ridiculous swim.
Each 3,000 yard portion of the individual medley took Mathson just under 45 minutes (Butterfly 42:23, Backstroke 43:09, Breaststroke 44:12, Freestyle 36:33). Occasionally, in the name of safety, he would stop at the wall to take a few swigs of Gatorade to keep his energy up. He never touched the bottom of the pool during these brief breaks to ensure he would not be disqualified. Mathson’s teammates traded off the roles of counting, timing, and cheering while he swam.
“I decided to do it because I had done a 3,000 straight butterfly before and figured that would be the hardest part of the 12,000”, Mathson reasoned when asked why he had even considered attempting a 12,000 IM. Andy Clark, head coach of the Carleton College men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs, called the swim “truly inspiring, very impressive, and quite utterly shocking that he swam so far”.
Have you seen any other swimmers try a historically, long swim such as this?
Check out the entire swim below.