Hamilton marathon swimmer Marilyn Korzekwa eyes New Zealand’s Cook Strait

Community Feb 11, 2016 Ancaster News

Hamilton psychiatrist Marilyn Korzekwa, 58, is training to become the first Canadian to swim the Cook Strait.

The body of water separates the north and south islands of New Zealand. Only 84 swimmers have successfully crossed the Cook Strait in the past 53 years.

Korzekwa is undertaking the challenge to raise $10,000 for the Sashbear Foundation, a Canadian charity founded in memory of elite swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, who lost her battle to borderline personality disorder and died by suicide at the age of 20.

Korzekwa, who is named after Marilyn Bell — the first person to swim across Lake Ontario — told Hamilton Community News last summer that swimming has long been part of her lifestyle.

As a child, she was always in the water, and her passion continued during her years at the University of Toronto and while she raised her family. Korzekwa estimates the longest amount of time she has not been in a pool or lake is two to three weeks.

“I just love the mental and physical challenge of marathon swimming, and I love being in the water,” she said.

As a psychiatrist, Korzekwa believes borderline personality disorder can be successfully treated and that more programs are desperately needed. The Sashbear Foundation’s mission is to promote awareness of the need of early prevention, recognition, timely intervention and access to affordable treatment of individuals with borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation.

The Cook Strait challenge, scheduled for the March 16-20 low tide window, is considered to be one of the most difficult swims in the world with water temperatures dipping to 15 C and is expected to take 13 hours. In addition to frigid water, Korzekwa will face high winds and waves from the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean. Making the swim all the more treacherous are unpredictable tides and violent eddies. The first swimmer to complete a double crossing of Cook Strait, Philip Rush, will officiate.

Korzekwa has an impressive resume of accomplishments as a long distance swimmer. She was the first person to swim Lake Ontario in both directions and is the oldest woman to complete the 20-kilometre swim around Key West, Fla.

In 2011, Korzekwa swam 34 kilometres of the English Channel in extremely cold water and high winds, and last year she became the first person to swim between three provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island — a distance of 34 km which took 16 hours and 41 minutes.

She is the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of marathon swimming comprised of the English Channel, the San Pedro Strait from Catalina Island to mainland California and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

To sponsor Korzekwa go to www.sashbear.org/en/about-us/join-the-wave.

Hamilton marathon swimmer Marilyn Korzekwa eyes New Zealand’s Cook Strait

Hamilton psychiatrist will raise money for Sashbear Foundation

Community Feb 11, 2016 Ancaster News

Hamilton psychiatrist Marilyn Korzekwa, 58, is training to become the first Canadian to swim the Cook Strait.

The body of water separates the north and south islands of New Zealand. Only 84 swimmers have successfully crossed the Cook Strait in the past 53 years.

Korzekwa is undertaking the challenge to raise $10,000 for the Sashbear Foundation, a Canadian charity founded in memory of elite swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, who lost her battle to borderline personality disorder and died by suicide at the age of 20.

Korzekwa, who is named after Marilyn Bell — the first person to swim across Lake Ontario — told Hamilton Community News last summer that swimming has long been part of her lifestyle.

“I just love the mental and physical challenge of marathon swimming...”

As a child, she was always in the water, and her passion continued during her years at the University of Toronto and while she raised her family. Korzekwa estimates the longest amount of time she has not been in a pool or lake is two to three weeks.

“I just love the mental and physical challenge of marathon swimming, and I love being in the water,” she said.

As a psychiatrist, Korzekwa believes borderline personality disorder can be successfully treated and that more programs are desperately needed. The Sashbear Foundation’s mission is to promote awareness of the need of early prevention, recognition, timely intervention and access to affordable treatment of individuals with borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation.

The Cook Strait challenge, scheduled for the March 16-20 low tide window, is considered to be one of the most difficult swims in the world with water temperatures dipping to 15 C and is expected to take 13 hours. In addition to frigid water, Korzekwa will face high winds and waves from the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean. Making the swim all the more treacherous are unpredictable tides and violent eddies. The first swimmer to complete a double crossing of Cook Strait, Philip Rush, will officiate.

Korzekwa has an impressive resume of accomplishments as a long distance swimmer. She was the first person to swim Lake Ontario in both directions and is the oldest woman to complete the 20-kilometre swim around Key West, Fla.

In 2011, Korzekwa swam 34 kilometres of the English Channel in extremely cold water and high winds, and last year she became the first person to swim between three provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island — a distance of 34 km which took 16 hours and 41 minutes.

She is the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of marathon swimming comprised of the English Channel, the San Pedro Strait from Catalina Island to mainland California and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

To sponsor Korzekwa go to www.sashbear.org/en/about-us/join-the-wave.

Hamilton marathon swimmer Marilyn Korzekwa eyes New Zealand’s Cook Strait

Hamilton psychiatrist will raise money for Sashbear Foundation

Community Feb 11, 2016 Ancaster News

Hamilton psychiatrist Marilyn Korzekwa, 58, is training to become the first Canadian to swim the Cook Strait.

The body of water separates the north and south islands of New Zealand. Only 84 swimmers have successfully crossed the Cook Strait in the past 53 years.

Korzekwa is undertaking the challenge to raise $10,000 for the Sashbear Foundation, a Canadian charity founded in memory of elite swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, who lost her battle to borderline personality disorder and died by suicide at the age of 20.

Korzekwa, who is named after Marilyn Bell — the first person to swim across Lake Ontario — told Hamilton Community News last summer that swimming has long been part of her lifestyle.

“I just love the mental and physical challenge of marathon swimming...”

As a child, she was always in the water, and her passion continued during her years at the University of Toronto and while she raised her family. Korzekwa estimates the longest amount of time she has not been in a pool or lake is two to three weeks.

“I just love the mental and physical challenge of marathon swimming, and I love being in the water,” she said.

As a psychiatrist, Korzekwa believes borderline personality disorder can be successfully treated and that more programs are desperately needed. The Sashbear Foundation’s mission is to promote awareness of the need of early prevention, recognition, timely intervention and access to affordable treatment of individuals with borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation.

The Cook Strait challenge, scheduled for the March 16-20 low tide window, is considered to be one of the most difficult swims in the world with water temperatures dipping to 15 C and is expected to take 13 hours. In addition to frigid water, Korzekwa will face high winds and waves from the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean. Making the swim all the more treacherous are unpredictable tides and violent eddies. The first swimmer to complete a double crossing of Cook Strait, Philip Rush, will officiate.

Korzekwa has an impressive resume of accomplishments as a long distance swimmer. She was the first person to swim Lake Ontario in both directions and is the oldest woman to complete the 20-kilometre swim around Key West, Fla.

In 2011, Korzekwa swam 34 kilometres of the English Channel in extremely cold water and high winds, and last year she became the first person to swim between three provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island — a distance of 34 km which took 16 hours and 41 minutes.

She is the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of marathon swimming comprised of the English Channel, the San Pedro Strait from Catalina Island to mainland California and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

To sponsor Korzekwa go to www.sashbear.org/en/about-us/join-the-wave.