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U.S. man first to complete lake swim

July 27, 2016 9:52 A.M.
Adam Ellenstein gets a hug from supporter after completing 105-km swim. (Dustin Godfrey)


PENTICTON — After a swim spanning the length of Okanagan Lake, Adam Ellenstein finally reached his landing point late Tuesday.

Ellenstein swam 105 km from Vernon to Penticton and was met with an outpouring of cheers from a crowd at Penticton's Okanagan Lake beach.

It was an emotional journey for Ellenstein, who broke down in tears as he hugged members of his crew.

He suffered an injury during the swim, causing challenges on the final stretch.

The swimmer was met with hugs from friends and family, and was swarmed by a crowd of people who had gathered on the beach to watch his arrival.

Ellenstein was held upright with support from his crew, who helped him up the beach to a waiting ambulance.

His swim, which set a record, lasted longer than the intended 40 hours, but still makes him the first to complete the achievement.

The swim raised money for the Davis Phinney Foundation, which provides support for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Ellenstein adopted the cause after his aunt was diagnosed.

Susan Scarlett said while he claimed she was the inspiration for the swim, it was a two-way street.

“We all kind of knew he’s a really, really special guy,” she said. “This meant so much to him, he wasn’t going to let it slip away.”

She said there was a rush of emotion at the conclusion.

“What do we feel? Awe, flattered, inspired, kind of mind blowing, so proud. So proud,” she said.

When asked what he would do first after completing the ordeal, Ellenstein said he smelled Chinese food when he reached land.

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