Alumnus Adam Ellenstein Swims with a Purpose

Endurance athlete and Evansville Day School alumnus Adam Ellenstein 1995, earned an unofficial World Record title by swimming the 105km (65 miles) length of Okanagan Lake, non-stop, from Vernon to Penticton, British Columbia, on July 25-26, 2016. Adam’s campaign, VictorySwim105, helped raise awareness and support to benefit those with Parkinson’s disease through a partnership with the Davis Phinney Foundation, which helps people with Parkinson’s, “Live Well Today.” Adam considers this event his most meaningful endurance challenge to date.

“The swim had a greater meaning than simply going out to test my endurance limits," said Adam. "I swam to support and honor my aunt, Susan, who has Parkinson's disease. To her own amazement, my aunt trained to swim part of the lake with me. We hope people with Parkinson’s, their caregivers, and loved ones will also be empowered to take up the challenge."

Adam took along a support crew, led by his wife, Amelia, who followed alongside in her kayak. At an average speed of 1.8 miles per hour, the swim took Adam almost 41 hours to complete, 13 of which he swam with one arm!

"The swim exceeded my expectations and it is all because of my crew," Ellenstein said. "My job was to swim and eat – the crew did everything else. During the most challenging moments, my admiration for my aunt, Susan Scarlett, and her commitment to live well with Parkinson's, was the motivation to continue. Each stroke was a demonstration of my love and support of Susan."

Adam is an accomplished ultra-distance athlete who has successfully completed Ironman (140.6 mile) and UltraMan (320 mile) triathlons, is a solo Race Across America Qualifier (400 miles), and completed a 30km (18 mile) swim across Lake Winnipeg in 2015 in preparation for his Guinness World Records attempt.