Thats Marilyn Bell on the far right in the bright blue!
That’s Marilyn Bell on the far right in the bright blue!     (click to enlarge)

So that was pretty cool.

And for once I’m not talking about the water temp… it was 67F, by the way, toasty warm, especially for this time of year!  I was talking about having Marilyn Bell Di Lascio and her two daughters, Janet and Jodi, join us at LOST Swimming this morning.

Thats Marilyn on the far right in the bright blue!
… and that’s about 88 LOSTies that were pretty excited to meet her!

I probably shouldn’t have been amazed, but I was, at how many people had a “Marilyn Bell” story.  One LOSTie, Dave Richards, passed me a picture of Marilyn Bell and him!… it was when she was in Victoria to swim the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Marilyn was 16 or so and Dave was even younger than her in the picture!  And now they got to meet again all these years later!  That’s amazing.

Or another LOSTie, Katherine, who’s mother is quite affected by dementia, but when Katherine told her that she was going to go swimming with Marilyn Bell this morning, her eye’s lit up and said “really?! Marilyn Bell?!”.  There’s a longer story there, both Marilyn and Katherine got pretty choked up over that heart warming story.  Marilyn has definitely touched a lot of people along the way.

Marilyn Bell and me... I think everyone was pretty excited today... including Marilyn and me!
Marilyn Bell and me… I think everyone was pretty excited today… including the two of us!

I suppose I’m like most people, I didn’t really have a Marilyn Bell story, I just knew a lot about her.  Probably the closest I had to having a Marilyn Bell story is  that 11 years ago when I decided I was going to try and swim the English Channel, and what ultimately started LOST, I thought about Marilyn and wondered why nobody swam in Lake Ontario like they used to back in Marilyn’s day.  I also thought it would be kind of cool to try and bring back the golden age of marathon swimming and make it so people swam in the Lake O again.  So to have her and her daughters come out and join us at the last LOST swim of the best season of LOST Swimming we’ve ever had… well, I guess, it feels like it has all come full circle.

The cool thing is, now all 88 of us that swam this morning have a story about the time they swam with Marilyn Bell.  (Okay, to be clear, Marilyn couldn’t swim today because she had just had dental surgery, but she did get her feet wet helping swimmers in and out!  And she still does swim regularly).  My story will be about the time that she called me up and asked if she could join us for a LOST swim.  And how she got to see what LOST Swimming is all about.  And how she got to come back to Brett’s coffee shop and meet everyone… and I do mean everyone!  She and all the LOSTies had a GREAT time visiting and talking about open water swimming!  I like that story.

lake-ontario-waterkeeper-1lake-ontario-waterkeeper-2Speaking of water related stories, or “watermarks”, as Marilyn put it… check out the Lake Ontario Water Keepers website and tell them all about your “watermark” story.  Lake Ontario Waterkeepers is an organization that Marilyn is very close with and something that LOST and many of the LOSTies avidly support.

Lots of coffee, butter tarts and smiles to go around!
Lots of coffee, butter tarts and smiles to go around!

I have to admit that I’m pretty proud of LOST.  How warm, friendly and inclusive everyone is.  And how we all share a passion for open water swimming.  And if that is the criterion to become a LOSTie, well I’d have to say that Marilyn, Janet and Jodi are certainly LOSTies at heart too.

Thanks to all the LOSTies, including Marilyn, for making this the biggest and best season of LOST Swimming yet!  I am still shocked at how big it has gotten… and am hopeful that it keeps growing next year too!

beer-from-marilynPS.  We presented Marilyn, Jodi and Janet with a LOST beer glass (thanks again, John Stribany!) and a Global Swim Series t-shirt (Marilyn loves GSS and is even a bit envious at all the great swimming opportunities we have to swim all around the world through the GSS!)… and they gave me two 2-4’s of beer!!!  Warms the cockles of my heart… kinda weird that they knew I liked beer though?

On a totally unrelated note the next 2 LOST 2015-resultsevents are:

  1. The LOST Swimming Season Wrap Up & Pub Night!!!    (date to be confirmed)
  2. The 3rd Annual LOST Beer Mile!!!  I hope the Connor’s Runners are up to the challenge again this year!  (Friday, Oct 1… more to come on that).



Thanks for a great summer of LOST Swimming everyone!



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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!


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