Mechanicsburg woman earns place alongside successful English Channel marathon swimmers

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Airdate: Monday, September 13, 2021

The English Channel separates England and France by less than 21 miles. For marathon swimmers, the distance stands as the world’s most historically significant and iconic athletic challenge.

Many have tried, not all have succeeded because of many factors. First, the water is cold, averaging in the low 60-degree range. For the swim to be officially recognized, swimmers are only permitted to use goggles, a cap, a nose clip, ear plugs and a swimsuit; absolutely no wetsuits allowed.

The ocean currents pose another challenge in that swimmers are not able to take a straight-line course, but are at the mercy of unrelenting currents that make their route look more like a backward S.

Mechanicsburg native and marathon swimmer Jeannie Zappe, 55, earned her place among the few who have successfully completed the open water swim. Channel swimmer Jeannie Zappe appears on Smart Talk Monday.

Chart courtesy of Jeannie Zappe

Channel swimmer Jeannie Zappe’s route as charted on the escort boat’s track in the English Channel.

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