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He came, he swam, he conquered.
September 10, 2002 8:20 AM   Subscribe

He came, he swam, he conquered. The swimmer Martin Strel braved whirlpools, snakes, gators and tankers to become the first person to swim the length of the Mississippi River in a single attempt. He swam for 68 days before reaching the Gulf of Mexico, drinking a bottle of wine/day and losing nearly 40 lbs in the process. Crazy? Heroic? You decide.
posted by Ljubljana (17 comments total)

 
Silly sod! I wonder what the record distance for sitting in an inflated rubber ring following the current whilst drinking a bottle of wine an hour is.
posted by vbfg at 8:35 AM on September 10, 2002


Call me crazy (go ahead, because I really don't know what I'm talking about), but wouldn't the current alone take you down the river significantly faster than 68 days? I'd like to see a race between this guy and one in an inner tube (with the requisite mini inner tube trailing behind, keeping the cold ones cold).

Anyone ever try swimming it upstream?
posted by kfury at 8:40 AM on September 10, 2002


More background: In 2000, Strel became the first person to swim down the length of the (formerly) beautiful, blue Danube.

He started swimming the Mississippi on July 4, and intended to finish on September 7, the day that the United States officially recognized Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia.
posted by Ljubljana at 8:45 AM on September 10, 2002


What the Huck? Well, I'm glad he Finnished.
posted by jacknose at 8:47 AM on September 10, 2002


I wouldn't even dip my feet in the ol missy for summertime coolin' off, much less stay in that sludge for a damn 68 days. He's a damn fool.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:52 AM on September 10, 2002


err... How can anyone really define that act as heroic?
posted by xmutex at 8:56 AM on September 10, 2002


This man inspires me to continue living.
posted by pemulis at 9:00 AM on September 10, 2002


Ppft. I'll be impressed when someone swims UP the river. ALthough surviving in that muck is an impressive feat (as Stan Chin alluded to.)

It's weird to see the lengths people will do to get their 15 minutes! Don't these people have jobs?

What's the craziest thing you've heard of people doing to get recognition?
posted by aacheson at 9:05 AM on September 10, 2002


It says that Strel is a guitar instructor by profession.

I once heard about a whole bunch of people who sit at their computers all day and sound off their opinions on things to get recognition. Pretty crazy!
posted by yhbc at 9:08 AM on September 10, 2002


speak for yourself
posted by banished at 9:14 AM on September 10, 2002


I'm sure many dead people have done the same. Crazy guy.
posted by internook at 9:27 AM on September 10, 2002


Okay, he swam the length of the Mississipi. That's pretty cool. But the wine thing just seems more than a bit odd to me. A bottle a day for 68 days...? Well, at least we know where it all ended up.
posted by wanderingmind at 9:43 AM on September 10, 2002


Jeez. It's not as dramatic as swimming across the Channel or other open water, but it's still pretty impressive. MeFi sure has turned into a tough crowd.
posted by dhartung at 10:04 AM on September 10, 2002


But the wine thing just seems more than a bit odd to me. A bottle a day for 68 days...?

There's something odd about a bottle of wine a day?
Or only while swimming? Good thing I don't swim.
posted by ginz at 11:03 AM on September 10, 2002


I hope he ate other things besides the wine...
posted by f00b4r at 12:05 PM on September 10, 2002


fish?
posted by ginz at 12:31 PM on September 10, 2002


That's what I was wondering. He can't have been swimming 24 hours a day for two months straight, either; I'm guessing he found spots to camp out to eat, sleep, rest, and drink his bottle-o-booze-a-day.
Although from what little I've seen of the Mississipi (please correct me if you know otherwise), it seems to be mostly built up with docks and such. Where would you camp? Did he just drift down the river on his back holding a belly picnic every so often?
posted by wanderingmind at 1:24 PM on September 10, 2002


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