The Guinness World Book of records is about to get full anytime soon as a South African man recently made a historic entry into the book.
45 years old Martin Hobbs set the record Wednesday for the longest solo swim in Lake Malawi and became the first person to swim the entirety of the lake after swimming for 54 days in a row. Although he had never swum a mile Hobbs cemented a world record by swimming 361 miles full length across the lake.
Lake Malawi spreads the entire coast of the eastern African nation and is known for being home to dangerous crocodiles, hippos, and mosquitoes. Although Hobbs technically broke the Guinness World Record, he kept swimming to reach the end of the lake as the open water gave him a way to come back from his devastating injury and also gave him the motivation to embark on a new adventure.
“I’ve always wanted to do an African adventure and never got around to it. I didn’t want to be buried one day and be known as the guy who worked very hard and that’s it. It’s nice to leave a legacy behind. It was the longest straight line of water that I could find. But I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified of the crocodiles,” Hobbs said.
The South African Legend who swam an average of 7 miles a day, said he was able to reach his goal by focusing on one hour at a time. Thinking about his next meal or chocolate bar helped him push through the pain as well. He started his athletic career as a competitive off-road biker and marathoner, but after fracturing a disk in his back, he was told he could no longer ride a bike or run and swimming was the only endurance sport left.
“You need to shout it out at the top of their lungs that you’re going to do it. Don’t say maybe,” Hobbs advises.
With two world records under his belt, Hobbs plans to give a series of motivational speeches and possibly write a book as a way to raise more money for Smile. So far, the Solo Swimmer team has raised $10,000, but he hopes to reach $35,000.