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Alabama swimmer trains in Mobile Bay for future crossing of the English Channel

Lynn Oldshue

A professor at Auburn University is training in Mobile Bay in order to achieve a lifelong dream. Sara Wolf jumped into the waters between the Fairhope pier and Fort Morgan. The 21-mile swim took almost 16 hours. It’s part of Wolf’s qualifications to swim across the Atlantic Ocean from southern England to northern France. Wolf started swimming in her mid-thirties for fun and exercise, but never considered herself an athlete. Twenty years later, fun is swimming long distances.

“Just because you didn't do something spectacularly or athletically as a kid, doesn't mean that you can't start to do it as an adult. You're going to have different floors and different ceilings in what you can do,” said Wolf.

Wolf splashed into Mobile Bay wearing nothing but a swimsuit, swim cap, goggles and lights on her wrists, swimming through the night without stopping. Her team of coaches and observers followed closely in a boat, feeding her power drinks, monitoring her health, and cheering her on when she made it to shallow water on the other side. The trip covered twenty one miles

“It was significantly easier than I thought it would be. Not that it was easy, but you swim from feed to feed to feed. So I swam half an hour at a time, and that worked.

There will be more training swims for Sara and up to a three-year wait for her chance to swim the English Channel.

Lynn Oldshue is a reporter for Alabama Public Radio.
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