58-year-old Ontario woman completes three-province marathon swim

Marilyn Korzekwa swimming

An Ontario woman has successfully completed an epic three-province swim.

On Sunday, Hamilton’s Marilyn Korzekwa swam across the Northumberland Strait, the southern part of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which is bordered by New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. She began her journey on Saturday at Nova Scotia’s Amherst Shore Provincial Park and hit all three provinces in under 17 hours.

The swim raised funds for Hamilton’s Good Shepherd Centres, a network of shelters providing human and social services for those in need.

But even though she managed to complete the trip successfully, it wasn’t without challenges. In order for the swim to be recognized by international federations, Korzekwa had to do it without any assistance, which also meant no wetsuit.

“The hardest part was when I came out of the relatively warm Baie Verte into the main strait near Cape Tormentine and that cold water hit me and it was like three in the morning and it was pitch black,” Korzekwa told CBC News. “The air was down to 14 [C].”

But cold waters were only part of the battle. According to reports, she was stung by jellyfish—on both her body and face—a total of 22 times. She also faced high winds and heavy rainstorms along her journey.

Luckily, Korzekwa is no stranger to long-distance swimming. She is a seasoned marathon swimmer, having already swam the English Channel, the Strait of Catalina, and participated in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. In fact, she already has her eyes set on her next swim: between the north and south islands of New Zealand.