Spaeder Completes Lake Swim

Categories:  Community    Sports
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 10:27 PM
Spaeder Completes Lake Swim by Jim Wertz
Elliot Spaeder completes the 24.3 mile swim across Lake Erie. Photo/Jim Wertz

Elliot Spaeder has been a competitive swimmer all of his life. But on Tuesday Spaeder faced his most difficult opponent, Lake Erie.

The 30 year old graduate of Cathedral Prep and Gannon University hoped to become the 15th person to complete the 24.3 mile central Lake Erie swim from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach in North East, Pennsylvania.

Moreover, he hoped to make it in record time.

He’s been dreaming about this moment since he was a kid. Since September, he trained for four hours a day at the downtown YMCA and swam in the lake with members of his team riding kayaks at his side.

“I knew what I had invested into it. I knew I had to do it. There were no ‘ifs,” Spaeder said.

On Tuesday night, just after 6:30PM, Spaeder made is final push toward shore. About one hundred people lined Freeport Beach to welcome him in. As the silhouettes of kayaks broke the horizon, the crowd began to clap and chant in support, “ELLIOT...ELLIOT.”  
Elliot and Tim Spaeder

His family waited at the shoreline for his arrival. His father, Tim Spaeder, paced the waters edge, watching as his
son pushed through the last 200 yards of his swim.

“It’s been a lifelong goal of his, so it gives me great pleasure to see him attain one of his goals. It’s just tremendous,” the elder Spaeder said.

Elliot Spaeder stood up in the shallow water of Freeport Beach 11 hours 28 minutes and 6 seconds after he had left Long Point, Ontario and walked on shore, the third fastest time on the course. 

He hugged his parents and his wife. He was congratulated by the throngs of onlookers. He made eye contact with a friend and wryly asked, “Where’s my beer?”

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 9
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

Erie’s leaders have an opportunity to shape the conversation, and thereby bring about real change. 

Eight innovative companies influencing our region

Local refugees and immigrants show a true entrepreneurial spirit.

Back-to-back shows at Basement Transmissions showcase two modern giants of metal  

Jim Donovan & Sun King Warriors are bringing their light to the Kings Rook Club on Saturday, May 6.

IN THIS ISSUE

Eight innovative companies influencing our region

Local refugees and immigrants show a true entrepreneurial spirit.

Back-to-back shows at Basement Transmissions showcase two modern giants of metal  

Jim Donovan & Sun King Warriors are bringing their light to the Kings Rook Club on Saturday, May 6.

AInterplanetary Class Classics sets modest goals and accomplishes every last one of them.

Business advice from a few of our past honorees 

Erie’s urban farming initiative up for final vetting at May 3rd public hearing

 

Booking a Show

Scotty’s Martini Lounge brings two of the region’s O.G. punk bands to Erie for their “Seis de Mayo” party.

Steve Scull will serve as moderator for the Erie Mayoral Debate on Thursday, May 4.