NEWS

Marathon swim ends in Whitby park

07/27/2013 02:30 EDT | Updated 09/26/2013 05:12 EDT
An attempt by five Ontario women to swim lake Ontario from east to west ended Saturday afternoon, a little short of the planned finish line.

The women, all of them accomplished long distance swimmers, decided to end their marathon on Friday afternoon after one of the team members was pulled from the water suffering from hypothermia.

The swim ended at about 1:30 p.m. at Heydenshore Park in Whitby — instead of the original final destination, Spencer Smith Park in Burlington.

The Because I Am A Girl team was hoping to raise $300,000 for Plan International.

All of the women are accomplished long-distance solo swimmers. Colleen Shields, 61, Nicole Mallette, 48, Samantha Whiteside, 23 and Rebekah Boscariol, 18, have all successfully completed the Lake Ontario crossing.

Mona Shariri, 18, the youngest team member was the one who was pulled from the frigid waters on Friday. She swam across the English Channel last year.

In spite of coming up short in their marathon, the women have set a new mark in the east-west swim.

The length-wise crossing has never been completed, but the solo crossing from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto has been completed 57 times, the majority of them by women.

The crossing was first completed by Marilyn Bell in 1954, when she was 16-years-old.

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