Categorized | Swimming

Martin Strel’s Record 3,272-mile Swim Along the Amazon River


Arrival to Sao Paulo de Olivenca [MAP/SAT] from amazonswim.

On Feb 1st 2007, Martin Strel started swimming the Amazon River all the way from Atalaya, Peru until he reached the Atlantic Ocean at Belem, Brazil [MAP/SAT] on Sunday, April 8, 2007 — 66 days later.

If confirmed by Guinness World Records, it will be the fourth time Martin Strel has broken a distance swimming record — 3,274 miles.

In 2000, Strel swam the length of Europe’s 1,866-mile Danube River.

In 2002 Martin Strel broke his own record when he swam 2,360 miles down the Mississippi River.

In 2004 he broke another record swimming 2,487 miles along China’s Yangtze.

Martin Strel, the 52-year-old Slovenian man who swam the 3,274-mile length of the Amazon River, was released from the hospital Monday and recovering from health problems brought on by the 66-day swim.  Martin Strel was hospitalized with high blood pressure and dizziness on Sunday immediately after completing the swim. Strel’s son, Borut Strel was swim project coordinator and reported on his progress.

Martin lost 22 pounds in the first 13 days of the Amazon River swim, dropping from 253 to 231 pounds. At the last stage of the swim Martin’s weight ranged between 220 –224 lbs, and  remained constant for the last 3 and half weeks. He was supplemented with mega doses of glutamine, vitamin C, and B complex vitamins. He also drank concentrated fructose and walnut oil. According to the official medical journal entry for the 56th day of Martin’s continuous swimming, he experienced muscle pain and cramps in the erector spinae muscle groups, gluteus maximus, and posterior compartment of the thigh muscles.

Martin Strel averaged about 50 miles a day, combating exhaustion and delirium, second-degree sunburn, cramps, dangerously high blood pressure, chronic insomnia, a coetaneous larvae infection, piranhas, alligators, crocodiles, venemous snakes (Surucucu), fire ants and bloodsucking toothpick fish that inhabit the world’s second-longest river.

A logistics team also planned the project carefully to avoid any possible Pororoca, which is a deadly tidal wave that can occur when solar and lunar tidal waves synchronize and clash with the downstream outflow of the Amazon River. Historically Pororoca have reached heights of 30 feet high, speeds of 40 km per hour, and have traveled inland as far100 km. Pororoca are destructive and deadly. They have killed surfers who try to ride it and have destroyed large boats in its path. Meteorologists reported that no Pororoca was forecast at the end of the trip.

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