Let's Take a Swim

Dutch swimmer Maarten van der Weijden, after beating leukemia, had on doctor’s orders to break off his extreme long distance endeavor after swimming in 55 hours 163 km of the intended 200 km. This feat was done to raise funds for cancer research. Het was swimming the Eleven Cities tour normally done by ice skaters. In the end he fell asleep several times while swimming…

The ‘Elfstedentocht’ is a long-distance tour skating event, almost 200 kilometres (120 miles) long, which is held both as a speed skating competition (with 300 contestants) and a leisure tour (with 16,000 skaters).

His proud wife and children.


Hats off to him.

This how the unprotected hands and feet look like after 55 hours in the water.

During the first couple of hours after he left the water Maarten had trouble with walking.

Yesterday evening he was honored by a large crowd for his extreme effort.

Ex Navy Seal Maarten’s mother being interviewed on national television.


Last year Maarten van der Weijden had to stop due to exhaustion at 163 km, that was 32 km short of the finish. He couldn’t let it go at that and succeeded this year in swimming the entire length of the 195 km of the Eleven Cities long distance skating route normally taking place during the winter time.

Swimmers accompany Maarten part of the way. Typical Dutch landscape in the background.