Keone Weigl - Skaneateles Lake
Skaneateles to Glen Haven (north to south)
24 km (14.9 miles)
7 hours, 9 minutes on 9 August 2019
Observed and documented by Bridgette Hobart
- Name: Keone Weigl
- Gender: female
- Age on swim date: 56
- Nationality: United States
- Resides: Manlius, New York
- Steve Weigl - pilot
- Bridgette Hobart - observer
- Bob Janeczko - kayaker
Escort Vessel: Richie’s Boat (pontoon) (Skaneateles Lake)
- Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
- Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
- Equipment used: textile swimsuit (Dolfin uglies), silicone cap, goggles, ear plugs
Skaneateles Village to Glen Haven Marina dock
- Body of Water: Skaneateles Lake
- Route Type: one-way
- Start Location: Skaneateles Village (42.945129, -76.430154)
- Finish Location: Glen Haven Marina dock (42.766128, -76.269020)
- Minimum Route Distance: 24 km (14.9 miles)
LongSwimsDB: Finger Lakes
- Start: 9 August 2019, 08:04 (America/New_York, UTC-4).
- Finish: 9 August 2019, 15:13
- Elapsed: 7 hours, 9 minutes, 20 seconds.
Summary of Conditions
|Water Temp (F)||72||72|
|Air Temp (F)||62||73|
Trackpoint frequency: 30 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).
by Keone Weigl
I grew up swimming in Skaneateles Lake and always dreamed of swimming the length. This beautiful, clear lake stays cool throughout the summer, making it a perfect swim lake. I had been working towards my goal of swimming the length when my mother died from Alzheimer’s disease complications in February, so I decided to dedicate my swim to her.
I few years ago, after a disappointing cancellation of an open water swim, I decided to attempt to swim the lake with my husband assisting me on a boat. It was not planned, more of an impulse, but I did have the training, so decided to give it a try. That time I swam south to north. It was mid-September so there was absolutely no boat traffic. That day I did manage to swim the length in an undocumented 8 hours 17 minutes. The swim made me determined to do it again, yet get it documented.
As far as open water swims go, Skaneateles isn’t particularly long. For me, it is challenging because I don’t have very many long swims under my belt. The week before the swim I was suffering from pain in my back and shoulder that I was afraid might limit my ability to swim the distance. So I took the week off from swimming and practiced yoga everyday in hopes that the pain would go away. Not swimming for a week was scary, but I reminded myself that the hard training was behind me so I was ready.
The day of the swim was perfect, a little cloudy, but cool with a little breeze. My friend Bridgette Hobart Janczeko and her husband Bob assisted with the swim along with my husband, Steve Weigl. The direction of the wind ultimately helped us decide the direction we would take for the swim. We decided to swim north to south, I was pretty happy about that because I didn’t want to emerge from the lake covered in zinc on a busy Friday evening in the middle of summer! We drove the boat to the dock in the middle of the village where I was to start. It was the strangest feeling walking to the starting point covered in zinc while cars zoomed by oblivious to what I was about to do. There were a few people in the park that morning, but they pretty much ignored me.
The first few miles were smooth as silk. I probably swam a little too fast in the beginning because I was so happy to be in the water and the conditions were perfect. Because it was a Friday and a bit chilly, there was absolutely no boat traffic. Another benefit!
I was hoping that I would be swimming closer to shore so I could see landmarks. Since I train in Skaneateles a lot, I thought that the landmarks would help me to mentally keep track of the distance. But, we ended up swimming pretty much down the middle of the lake so the only landmark that I saw was when we passed the country club about one mile into the swim.
Around mile 5 the wind picked up. I love the waves so this didn’t upset me. It does make it more challenging though. It took a little while to get my rhythm, but once I did, I was happy.
The swim was pretty uneventful aside from the wind and waves. The crew decided to go down the middle of the lake so I just followed as ordered. There was another kayaker that came by to take a few pictures and a couple on a sailboat that sailed by a couple of times to check my progress. Aside from that, we had the lake to ourselves until we hit the south.
When I’m swimming, I keep my mind on one mile at a time. I keep my body in check and try to not think about being tired or sore. After 10 miles I began to doubt myself a little bit. I asked for some Advil to take the edge off of my sore arms. At this point I was only feeling a little bit of the pain in my back/shoulder so took it as a good sign to continue. I just put my head down and focused on the next mile, all this time alone in the water, hearing only my air bubbles and the swish of the water while willing myself to keep the arms moving is a huge mental struggle. I told myself that I would finish regardless, even if it was slow.
When I stopped to fuel at mile 12, Bob told me that I just swam a 1:25:00 minute mile. My average pace is 1:30:00. At first I didn’t hear him because of my ear plugs. When he told me again, I was shocked. From that point on it was game on! I was going to finish, and I was going to finish fast!
The lake narrows out towards the end so I knew that we were close. I kept looking up when I should have just been staying even. It was exciting to see the end and to know that this dream was going to come true. When I hit the dock at the end, I was so elated. I jumped up on the dock and threw my arms in the air. I felt tired, but elated. It was a really good day.
I was very surprised when I heard that my finish time was 7 hours 9 minutes! That is more than an hour faster than last time! This just proves to me that even when I don’t think that I have the mental and physical strength to complete long swims, I need to believe in myself because I really am capable.
I know that my mother would have been very proud of the swim too, so I hope she knew that I was out there thinking about her. My oldest son got to the end point just in time to see me finish. That was my welcoming committee, which was enough for me. We hugged quickly before I boarded the boat to go back to our camp on the lake where I would shower then met in the village for a small picnic dinner celebration.
Click to enlarge.