Marathon swimmer Sean Nuttall completed a nonstop 100 km swim from Toronto to St. Catharines in 42 hours to raise money for brain research at the University of Toronto.
It is the longest unassisted open water swim by a Canadian or Canadian and the eighth longest unassisted swim on record in the world.
Unassisted swimming is swimming without the aid of tides, currents, wetsuits or buoyancy devices.
Nuttall, who started swimming in Toronto’s Budapest Park near Parkdale last Friday, said all he could think about was putting one arm in front of the other.
On Tuesday, he said he was still in recovery mode from swimming.
“I’ve done long swims before, but this is on a whole other level,” Nuttall said.
He has been training continuously since crossing the English Channel last summer.
The swim was to raise money for the Tanz Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Toronto, a world leader in scientific research on debilitating brain disorders.
“This cause is incredibly personal to me. My father, a criminal defense attorney in Toronto, died in August of this year after a very brief battle with an unidentified neurodegenerative disease. In November 2016, he completed a complicated jury trial.By February 2017, just three months later, he was in emergency care in a psychiatric ward.” , said Nuttall, who was born and raised in Toronto but is now a prosecutor in New York City.
“By May he had almost lost the ability to speak and by August he was gone. With few treatment options available, the only thing my family and I can do during this nightmarish time is to watch and grieve new phases.” All I could do was adjust to him and offer him and each other as much comfort as I could.
Nuttall wants to raise $50,000. Donations can be made at engage.utoronto.ca/seanswims.
“No donation is too small, every little bit goes a long way,” he said.