Randy Hixon, top, provides kayak support as Elaine Howley, a Boston-based marathon swimmer, begins her solo swim, of more than 30 miles, of the full length of Lake Pend OreilleÕs Buttonhook Bay Wednesday near Farragut State Park. Howley is scheduled to finish the open water swim at the city beach in Sandpoint on Thursday afternoon. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)
Elaine Howley hopes that later today she will be able to say she is the first person to swim the entire length of scenic Lake Pend Oreille. Howley, a 36-year-old marathon swimmer from the Boston area, began her journey across the lake early Wednesday night, from Buttonhook Bay in Athol. She plans to end sometime between noon and 4 p.m. today on the white sands of Sandpoint City Beach. Howley was under the assumption that the swim was 34 miles, as pitched to her by Sandpoint swimming enthusiast and Long Bridge Swim creator Eric Ridgway, who is no stranger to adventure swims in the crystalline waters of Lake Pend Oreille. Then Howley saw the Wikipedia page for Lake Pend Oreille, with a statistic that differs from Google Earth's calculation of the lake's length. "I had a minor panic attack about six weeks ago when I saw the lake listed as being 43 miles long," said Howley, a former Division 1 college swimmer and one of the top marathon swimmers in the U.S./Eric Plummer, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
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