Skip to content

 

cpb-logo

Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

Lake Memphremagog: Marathon Swim From Vermont To Canada Focuses On Open Borders

Vera Rivard, 14, accompanied by her mother Darcie in a kayak, and her father and sister in a boat, completed the marathon swim in 16 hours, 24 minutes. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Vera Rivard, 14, accompanied by her mother Darcie in a kayak, and her father and sister in a boat, completed the marathon swim in 16 hours, 24 minutes. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

An international border divides Lake Memphremagog in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. And for the last seven summers, a group of marathon swimmers have challenged that border and themselves.

They gathered before dawn last week. Seven swimmers, ranging in age from 14 to 69, made nervous small talk as they bundled themselves in parkas, towels, even a spare tablecloth to ward off the chilly north wind.

Every swimmer has a support crew in a boat or kayak. Race organizer Phil White checked their radios and went over safety procedures.

“What we’re going to do is get the boats set up, have them all out there. Then the swimmers can gather, and enter to the right of the dock,” White said.

White first saw the lake in 1980 when he was appointed Orleans County state’s attorney.

“I fell in love with it immediately. I mean, first sight,” he said. “And I’ve talked to a number of people that have come into town, just looking around, and bam, they just fell in love with this lake.”

Visit VPR for the full story. 

Scroll To Top