SdogV HeaderDiane/Umbra/Ted

August 23, 2002

Click short 1-minute video to view highlights of SdogV's 30 minute video coverage of this pioneer undertakin BEYOND THE POOL where open water swimming and reasons for participation in many unheralded Chicago events taken from our archives are addressed. E-mail to or call (773) 268-1226 to purchase a VHS ($15) or Mini-DV or SVHS ($30) copies with FREE shipping and handling. 60 minute DVD's at $40 are custom made to include YOUR SdogV selections.

At 6:30 PM on June 27, 2002, Britain's Kevin Murphy, King of the English Channel, entered Lake Michigan near south end of Calvary Cemetery to finish on the beach at Hammond's Lake Front Park and Bird Sanctuary at 6:01 PM on June 28, a distance of 26 miles 385 yards (the official running marathon!) in 23 hours and 31 minutes.

The crew on the Mother boat Alpha Rays captained by Alpha Thompson and his mate, Ben Lovely, included Dale Petranech (ISHOF Observer/Handler) and Diane Richards/Ted Erikson (videographers). Kayakers Tom Heinemen and Tim Flentye guided Murphy the whole course, providing feedings and safety. Feedings were 250 ml. of a liquid carbohydrate mix, supplemented by three feedings of canned peaches and stewed prunes, every half hour. Feedings took 3-7 minutes, costing some 2 hours.

Asterisks (1-4) in table below refer to:
*1 - Chicago numbers 8 blocks per mile or NS and EW distances are respectively 69.12 and 51.70 miles for degree location differences.

*2 - Using Pythagorean Theorem, dividing blocks by 8 for NS and EW gives a hypotenuse of 24.3 miles.
Going 6.5 miles E plus 23.4 miles S makes a maximum course distance of about 30 miles!
A string representing 26.22 miles used to trace shoreline irregularities (see map), is a most likely distance.
(Analysis of Mandelbrot's paper, How Long is the Coast of Britain,? shows that British coastline, or any coastline, increase to infinity as microscopic rulers approach zero!
(page 96, CHAOS by James Gleick, Viking Penquin, 1987))

*3 - Schedule planned 18 hours at 1.5 mph to cover 27 miles. Actual speed was less.

*4 - Brief comments (water temperature, stroke rate, time, etc.) from crew records.


Shoreline Course








H 2 = (NS) 2 + (EW) 2

Hours, mph


7800 N., 1300 W. (Janeway Terrace)
or 42.0222 N, 87.6645 E

NS = 72 blocks

EW = 23 blocks




9.45 miles


Start @ 6:30 PM. 6/27/02. 50 yards north to Evanston line, then southerly. Stroke = 62/min. Clear skies. Light wind. Water= 67 F. Feed at 7PM! and every 1/2 hour.

5700 N. (Hollywod Ave.)


Conditions same. On schedule. Light fading. Strobes lights on!

3600 N. (Addison St.)


11:30 PM. Water=61 F.Stroke=58/min. Slowing.

1200 N. (Division St.)


Nial Funchion (Police) arrives. Paces Kevin for ~1/2 hour . Moon rising. Water= 59 F. Kevin slows.

600 N., 1000 E.
(Navy Pier)

~8 hours,

1.18 mph

Stroking 56/min. 2:30 PM. First check point. Swims east of Navy Pier per Police request.(Round harbor light and fog horn)

NS = 61 blocks
EW = 11 blocks

7.75 miles

1200 S. (Roosevelt Rd.)


Calm.Water= 67 F. Air = 61 F. Cold! Crew buttons up.

3900 S. (Pershing Rd.)


Conditions same. Twilight. Dawn! Stroke up to 60/min.

5500 S., 2100 E.
(Promontory Point)

6 hours,

1.29 mph

Copter hovers overhead. Pit stop for Umbra and dropping uneeded board and lane line at JPYC. Return within hour. 8:30 AM at the Point.(2nd Check point)

NS = 56 blocks

EW = 17 blocks


OR 7.32 mi.

5900 S.( Jackson Pk..)


Sunny, calm with swells. Water= 67 F. Stroke=60/min

7900 S. (Rainbow Bch.)


Diversion for Ch. 7's Mathie photo op. Extra feed. How far discussion. Flat water.

9500 S. (Stacks)


So. wind and mild waves slow progress considerably along breakwater. Enters harbor about 2 PM.

10700 S., 3800 E. (Hammond Bch.)
or 41.7017 N, 87.5187 E.

9.5 hours, or 0.77 mph

Rounding harbor entrance, 2.6 miles to go. Heads to a beach north of stacks. Nearly four hours later Kevin walks out of water at Hammond beach south of stacks. Fin @ 6:01 PM, 6/28/02

Sum-up: Water = 59-68 F, Stroke 56-62/min.

24.0 miles as crow flies

23.5 hours,
for 1.03 mph.

Most likely distance is 26.22 miles for average of 1.16 mph or maximum of 30 miles for 1.28 mph..

Special thanks for in-kind support of this water journey from:

Individuals: Nial Funchion (Nite Pacer), Pam Perkins (Shore videographer), Linnet Myers (press relations), and Dixie Dean (London videographer)

and organizations: Chicago Office of Special Events, CMI, Incorporated, Chicago Bureau of Tourism, Chicago Police Department (Marine Division), U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, U. S. Coast Guard, Chicago Greeters, Horseshoe Casino, W. Lakeshore, and CBS Television.

...Some random pics..

Shoreline Pics

For any errors, corrections, omissions,etc., please contact:

Kenton, Harrow; Middx. HA3 9BQ. England
Tel: +44(0)208 907 5450

CHICAGO CONTACT: T. Erikson/D. Richards
1226 E. Madison Park, Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: (773) 268-1226; Fax: (801) 761-7893