Harmon to attempt Ultimate Tahoe Challenge | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Harmon to attempt Ultimate Tahoe Challenge

On Saturday, Aug. 21, Ken Harmon of Danville, Calif., will take on the Ultimate Tahoe Challenge.

Harmon will attempt a round-trip dual length swim of Lake Tahoe, dubbed a “down and back.” Harmon will make the swim without a wetsuit.

Departing in the late afternoon from Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino’s private beach at Incline Village, he will swim nonstop through the night to Camp Richardson on the Southern Shore of Lake Tahoe, a distance of 22 miles. He will exit the water for a mere 10 minutes before taking the plunge one more time for the 22-mile swim back to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.

“I turned 50 years old this year,” said Harmon, “and I thought this would be a good way to celebrate.”

Harmon is a veteran open water swimmer with an impressive resume of completed challenges, including a record-breaking swim five years ago on Aug. 22, 2005. On that date, Harmon swam the 22-mile length of Lake Tahoe in 11 hours and 19 minutes.

Harmon has taken on a tremendous training regimen preparing for the swim, all for a very good cause. He will travel to the mile high Lake Tahoe in the heart of the Sierras to swim 44 miles in approximately 24 hours to raise funds for three phenomenal non-profit organizations. He is swimming for Best Buddies International, The Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada and the Karen Gaffney Foundation, led by long distance swimmer, Karen Gaffney.

Ken Harmon and his Best Buddy Karen Gaffney will join together to create awareness for individuals with intellectual and other disabilities by making this round-trip swim in Lake Tahoe. No strangers to each other or to long cold swims, Harmon and Gaffney met in 2007 when Harmon helped Gaffney train to swim the nine-mile width of Lake Tahoe, which she completed in September of 2007 in 6 hours and 13 minutes. Gaffney is one of a handful of swimmers who have successfully completed a solo swim across the width of Lake Tahoe, and the only one with Down syndrome.

Fundraising swim beneficiaries

• Best Buddies International: http://www.bestbuddies.org/tahoechallenge

• The Karen Gaffney Foundation: http://www.karengaffneyfoundation.com

• The Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada http://www.dsnnn.org

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