Martin Strel swimming Mississippi

Swimming the length of big rivers is not something you read about very often. The reason is pretty simple, not many people do it.

Our founder, Martin Strel ,was the first person who swam the entire length of the Mississippi. Martin swam for 68 days in a row from 4th July – 9th September, 2002 . He started from northern Minnesota and swam to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. The project was named Eye to Eye. Martin dedicated his historic swim to the victims of September 11 on the Altar of Remembrance. He received a Guinness World Record certificate for this swimming feat.

However, Martin is no longer the only person to have swam the Mississippi river. During 6th June – 4th December, 2015, Chris Ring completed the entire river swim. As a former American Navy Seal, his swim was in honor to families of fallen American servicemen and servicewomen. A non-profit organization, Legacies Alive, raise awareness through completing extreme physical and mental challenges and this was their challenge.

Ring, 28, entered the river on 6th June in Lake Itasca in Minnesota and averaged 15 miles a day. He swam six days a week for six to eight hours. It took over 181 days to reach the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. He was accompanied by his close family and other members of Legacies Alive.

Back in November 2014 Chris Ring´s team contacted us with the following message below so we shared tips for the long journey.

Dear Martin Strel Team,

My name is DJ Faldowski and I am part of a non-profit organization, Legacies Alive, that supports the families of fallen US servicemen and servicewomen. We raise awareness through completing extreme physical and mental challenges, and our next challenge is to swim the Mississippi River.

As you know, Martin is the only person (at least that we are aware of) to have successfully swam the Mississippi River and we want to know if your team could help guide us as we attempt this incredible endeavor. I want to say this up front, that our athlete is NOT trying to break, or even come close to breaking, Martin´s record. Our goal is to finish the swim in approximately 6 months. However, very little resources exist that could help us not only to complete the swim, but also to ensure the utmost safety of our swimmer.

If your team is willing to help or wants additional information, please let me know. We could set up a conference call or Skype.

I invite you to visit our website at to find out more about our organization. Currently, we are sponsoring our co-founder, Mike Viti, as he completes his challenge of walking one kilometer for every US service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is approximately 7,100 km!

We are very passionate about helping the families of our fallen heroes and your expertise would benefit these families greatly.


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