Rob McGlashan - Oakville to Burlington

Oakville to Burlington

14.1 km (8.8 miles)

5 hours, 9 minutes on 12 September 2020

Observed and documented by Madhu Nagaraja



  • Name: Rob McGlashan
  • Gender: male
  • Age on swim date: 39
  • Nationality: Canada
  • Resides: Toronto, Ontario

Support Personnel

  • James Corcoran - coach
  • Alex Famil - boat pilot


Madhu Nagaraja. Director of Solo Swims of Ontario, Supported and organized several swim crossings (different water bodies). Member of South End Rowing Club and supported several swims in San Francisco Bay in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Co-Founder of Great Lakes Open Water Adventures.

Escort Vessel

Name Type Port
Maui Rinker Ontario Place, Toronto

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: textile swimsuit (jammers), goggles, earplugs, silicone swim cap, vaselin, Garmin watch.

Route Definition

  • Body of Water: Lake Ontario
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: “GLOW Beach”, Oakville, Ontario (43.408810, -79.691084)
  • Finish Location: Burlington Beach, Ontario (across from McMaster Halton Family Health Centre) (43.314918, -79.800711)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 14.1 km (8.8 miles) (map)


First swim was by Loren King as part of his qualifying trial swim for Lake Ontario crossing from Burlington Beach in 2016. This will be the first swim in the reverse direction. Glow Adventures is planning to make this an event in the next year to promote long distance swimming in the Great Lakes for the local Open water swimmers.

Swim Data

  • Start: 12 September 2020, 08:30:00 (Eastern Daylight, America/Toronto, UTC-4).
  • Finish: 12 September 2020, 13:39:14
  • Elapsed: 5 hours, 9 minutes, 14 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (C) 14 15
Air Temp (C) 14 17
Wind (kph) 11 23

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 30 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Click to expand map.

Speed Plot

Observer Log

Download PDF

  • Rob maintained an initial stroke rate of 60 strokes/min for the first 60mins. Then onwards his stroke rate settled at 54 strokes/min. We recorded his stroke rate just before we stopped him for feed at 60mins interval and kept track of it often.
    • 9:20 am: STROKE RATE 54/min and water temperature: 14C
    • 10:15 am: STROKE RATE 54/min and water temperature: 14C
    • 11:55 am: STROKE RATE 54/min and water temperature: 15C
    • 1:00 pm: STROKE RATE 54/min and water temperature: 14C
  • Swim started out to be very bumpy. 2-3 mts(yes mts) for the first 15-30mins. We made sure the swimmer was safe by staying away from the swimmer. We moved away from the shore to about 800mts from the shoreline. The waves were at about half a meter. Rob took advantage of the currents pushing to the Burlington beach and hence a consistent pace of 3kms/hour.
  • Rob McGlashan’s nutrition during the swim was CARBOPRO and Nuun. He fed 8oz (approximate 250ml) with two scoops of carbopro(100 calories/scoop).
  • This was a simple straightforward swim.
  • Other than the initial bumpy waters – the swim was uneventful with very calm coach, observer and the boat captain.


by Rob McGlashan

I wanted to attempt a longer distance swim in Lake Ontario that would be done under cold water conditions and later in the season.

I prepared for the swim by combining weight training with swimming 6 days a week and frequent cold water acclimation. I strictly followed a diet of 6000 calories a day and a training regime created by James Cocoran that included training swims of 9 to 11 hours as well as weekends with over 17 hours of swimming.

I was particularly excited that swimming this route would for the most part force you to swim into increasingly colder water as you became more tired. This swim is a great starting point for my Blizzard Crusade of 12 swims which will involve chasing cold water and harsh water and weather conditions over the world. The crusade will attempt to raise money for a group of environmental and wildlife focused charities as well as Doctors Without Borders.


Appendix A: Sailflow Weather Data