Perhaps Canada's fastest female marathon swimmer of the 1970's, Loreen Passfield's accomplishments have probably been overshadowed by the highly-publicized achievements of Cindy Nicholas and Vicki Keith.
On September 1st, 1979, Loreen Passfield crossed the lake at age 21 with an impressive time of 15 hours 43 minutes. A time that is second only to the long-standing 15:09 women's record of Cindy Nicholas. Fifteen years after her Lake Ontario swim, Loreen is seen here at the dedication ceremony for the plaque at Niagara-on-the-lake.
In 1978, Loreen became the fastest Canadian ever to cross the English Channel with a time of 9:02 from England to France - 44 minutes faster than Cindy Nicholas's 1975 France-England time. In fact, Cindy Nicholas crossed the Channel 14 times before she improved on Loreen's swim when she clocked her World Record England-France time of 8:29 in 1981.
Both Loreen and Cindy Nicholas competed in the Lac Saint-Jean professional swims. Loreen completed the 32 km (20 mile) race in five successive years (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979) and Cindy completed the course in three of those same years (1976, 1977, 1978). In their three head-to-head swims on Lac St.-Jean, Loreen was beaten by Cindy only once (1976) - and Loreen has the honour of their fastest time on the course with an 8:42:30, when she beat Cindy by 13 minutes 29 seconds in the 1977 race.
Undoubtedly one of Canada's most under-rated and outstanding Canadian Marathoneers of the 1970's.
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Created: 30th April 2000
Last Updated: 21st March 2003