Mark Scanlon (1997) left Perth on Friday 13 August in preparation for his attempt to swim the English Channel, from Dover to Calais and raise much needed funds for the National Stroke Foundation.
Mark is a Western Australian based ocean swimmer and was inspired to swim the 32km after a friend successfully swam the Channel in 2007 and raised funds for children’s cancer. Even though the distance is officially 32km, most swims are in between 36-40km due to the large tidal currents. The water temperature is between 13-16 degrees and to make the crossing official, no wetsuits are allowed – only traditional swim briefs and grease applied to the body. It is interesting to note that more people have successfully climbed Mt Everest than completed the English Channel crossing, with only 10% of attempts resulting in a successful crossing.
Mark chose the National Stroke Foundation as the benefactor of his fundraiser because a good friend of his was struck down with a stroke at the start of 2009. His friend fully recovered, but at 35 it goes to show that it can happen to anyone. In fact, behind heart disease, strokes were the second biggest cause of death in Australia in 2008.
In addition, in late 2009 while on a training run with a friend, a woman ran out of her front door screaming for help. Inside Mark and his friend found her husband had collapsed on the floor unconscious in a pool of vomit after suffering a severe stroke. They performed first aid until the ambulance arrived. The man is alive today but will live with a permanent disability for the rest of his life. This experience brought home to Mark how little is known about strokes and their effects, and solidified his goal to raise money for the Foundation.
In training for this event, Mark has spent his days doing:
• 5-6km pool session on weekday mornings
• Boot camp style dry land circuit training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings
• 6-7km pool or ocean swim on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
• 8-12km pool session / ocean swim on Saturdays
This has resulted in Mark swimming up to 70km a week in readiness for his attempt.
Mark is planning to regularly keep his web page updated, so follow the link to see how he is going. Everyone at Dominic is very proud of Mark and we wish him well. http://stroke4stroke.com.au/
Source: Dominic College