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Jim Dreyer (b. August 16, 1963 in Grand Rapids, Michigan), also known as 'The Shark', is an ultra marathon athlete, because his swimming accomplishments are often tied to extensive running and cycling feats.
He has swum across various lakes, among others:
- Lake Michigan 65 miles (105 km), in 1998
- Lake Huron 52 miles (84 km) in 1999
- Lake Erie 30 miles (48 km), as part of a duathlon in 2000
- Lake Ontario 56 miles (90 km), as part of an "Ironman-distance plus" triathlon, in 2000
- Lake Michigan full length, est. 422 miles (679 km), in 2003
- Lake Superior 59 miles (95 km), in 2005
Dreyer has set various records on those distances and has won multiple marathon and triathlon awards. His swimming accomplishments have all been achieved with a wetsuit, and some swims have been done unaccompanied. These facts cause some dispute for establishing world marathon swimming records, as FINA, Channel swimming, and other marathon swimming rules do not allow unnaccompanied or wetsuit swims to compete with standard swim records ()
On August 28, 2006, Dreyer began an attempt to set a record for the longest continuous swim in the open sea. Dreyer plans to make an estimated 31 crossings totalling 125 miles (201 km) of the Straits of Mackinac. Dubbed "Dire Straits 125", the feat is estimated to take 84 to 96 hours.
Through his swimming projects he tries to raise funds and awareness for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Jim is now living in Batesville, IN and successfully selling real estate.