Ultraswimmer, Triathlete Set To Swim Sacramento River

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Bay Area man plans 111-mile jaunt to support water conservation.

Friday at noon, somewhere south of Redding, Jamie Patrick will dip a toe in the Sacramento River, then plunge into its murky depths and start swimming.

He will do so – stroke, stroke, breathe; repeat as necessary – for at least the next 24 hours, likely much longer, before washing ashore 111 miles later just under the luminescence of Sacramento’s Tower Bridge.

Once he reaches terra firma, towels off and accepts hearty pats from his family and crew, the 40-year-old Bay Area businessman will start searching for another body of water to conquer – probably, he says, an 88-mile jaunt from Africa to Italy.

As a celebrated ultraswimmer who last summer swam the length of Lake Tahoe twice (44 chilly miles), Patrick calculates he’s been asked his motivation a “gazillion times.” The answer, he says, is ineffable. He doesn’t want to fall back on the hoary cliché – “because it’s there” – nor will he cop to any emotional need to purge personal demons.

Nothing that deep. Dude just likes to swim long distances, is all. He likes to get amphibious as often as possible when not running the family office furniture business in San Francisco. It quenches a thirst for adventure that selling desks just doesn’t satisfy.

And yet, with every marathon swim he’s attempted, not to mention the triple Ironman triathlon (7.8-mile swim, 336-mile bike ride, 78-mile run) he finished in 2005, Patrick also hopes to draw attention to something bigger, to look beyond his goggled tunnel vision.

Read more: Sacramento Bee

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