"Antarctic Mike" sets record with marathon swim - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

"Antarctic Mike" sets record with marathon swim

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ENCINITAS (CBS 8) - A North County man made history Friday.

"Antarctic Mike" set a record for a marathon swim doing the difficult breast stroke the entire time.

He began his 26.2 mile swim at around 5:20am, and finished at about 8:20pm--  an hour earlier than he'd expected.

Minutes after completing his record-breaking feat at the Ecke YMCA in Encinitas, Mike Pierce told CBS8, "It was harder than what I expected. It really is a litmus test of how strong your mind is." Mike's swim left him with cramps in his hamstring, and wrinkled skin. When asked what the hardest part was, Mike replied, "The chafing under my arms. I never would have thought of that. Under my arms are just thrashed."

Nicknamed Antarctic Mike for running marathons and super marathons in the Antarctic, followed by setting a world record for pedaling 120 hours straight on a spin bike, this athlete sets his sights on things most people would never even consider.

"I'm very proud of him," Mike's wife Angela told CBS8, adding, "He just has something inside of him that makes him want to do something most people wouldn't imagine. There are so many people living life, and don't really seek out hard goal, and I think he's a great example for kids and adults."

Mike says he swam in honor of his wife, who broke 168 bones in a rock climbing accident, and fought through unimaginable pain through her recovery. He says, as tough as it was, he's glad he accomplished this feat, which raised money for swimming programs at the Ecke YMCA.

What's next for Mike? He says he'd like to try a vertical marathon-- 26.2 miles up into the air.

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