Swim MS

Written by on May 27th, 2014 –

(Taryn Lencoe training in the ocean at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, BC.)

Like most people, before Multiple Sclerosis touched the life of someone she loved, Taryn Lencoe knew nothing about the disease. All that changed when Taryn’s cousin was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago when she was in her 30’s. After that, Taryn began to meet more and more people with MS and saw how it affected them. She saw the struggles they were going through and she felt she needed do something to help. She began to think about how she could raise awareness and money for research and support services for the BC & Yukon Division of the Canadian MS Society, using her own unique skills. She bounced ideas off her co-workers and together they came up with the idea of a marathon swim. Why a marathon swim you ask? Well, Taryn grew up swimming. In fact, she swam competitively for 14 years with various clubs, including 2 years for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and was also a member of the Canadian National Team.

Taryn’s plan is to swim for 12 hours straight, which means she has had some serious training to do in order to be able to accomplish this amazing goal. She’s been training at her local indoor pool for the last 12 months and has recently switched for the final 3 months to an outdoor pool, which is on the same beach where she plans to do her marathon swim.

Her MS swim takes place on August 16th and will begin at 7 a.m. and run until 7 p.m. Taryn said she chose this time frame because typically, these are the hours someone with MS has in their day for getting up, going to work, coming home and making dinner or just generally attending to their daily business, whatever it looks like. She wanted to challenge herself to do the same. She estimates that her swim will be about 30 km in length, which is no mean feat!

Taryn plans to wear a wetsuit, as her swim will take place in the ocean at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver. The average temperature of the water ranges from 14C-20C and there are upwellings of colder water along her course. The wetsuit will help keep her warm and aid with buoyancy. She will be stopping for a 10 minute break every 3 hours, mainly to apply more sunscreen so she doesn’t get fried to a crisp. Safety first!

SWIM MS MapaTaryn’s swim course at Kit’s Beach, Vancouver.

Taryn says she would like to see the MS Swim become an annual event, with an eye to perhaps making it a relay marathon swim in the future and inviting people living with MS, NMO and other demyelenating diseases to participate as a team.

If you are local, you’re invited to come down to Kit’s Beach in Vancouver on August 16th and cheer her on! You can also follow Taryn’s journey online:

Swim MS Blog
Taryn on Twitter
Swim MS on Facebook

My husband and I will be there volunteering and supporting Taryn’s efforts. We hope to see you there!


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