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Intrepid Swimmer Takes on Sea of Cortez for 3rd Time

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June 7, 2013

If completed, Californian Paul Lundgren's 80-mile swim across Mexicoís Sea of Cortez will mark the first successful crossing of that body of water - following two failed relays and one solo try.

San Francisco, California - On June 30th, 49-year-old Californian Paul Lundgren will attempt to complete the longest solo open water swim in history.

If completed, his 80-mile swim across Mexicoís Sea of Cortez will also mark the first successful crossing of that body of water following two failed relays and one solo try. Paul is the only swimmer to take on a solo crossing.

Lundgren, a father of 7-year-old twin boys, admits to a "healthy obsession."

"This swim is an obsession; it requires obsession, but it also requires an uncompromising healthy lifestyle, perseverance in the face of obstacles and most importantly, it requires 100 percent commitment from my family. I am blessed to have the full support of my wife, Chris Chorak, who not only manages her company, Presidio Sport and Medicine, but is the glue that holds our family together. The Sea of Cortez is only a small chapter in this amazing life we share."

Last June, Lundgrenís plan to swim from west to east, from Baja to the mainland, failed after 24 hours of endless swimming, covering 31 miles. With the skin of his tongue peeling, badly sunburned, and suffering violent stomach sickness from the high content of salt in the Sea, Lundgrenís team made an emotionally difficult decision and pulled him from the water. The currents were too strong and flowing directly against him. In one hourís time, under a nightís sky, Lundgren fought the currents to cover 100 yards.

The Sea is home to carnivorous and potentially deadly Humboldt squid, debilitating and life-threatening jellyfish, and hungry migrating Great White sharks. But Lundgren says his greatest fears are his personal demons.

"In general people have breaking points, but typically we donít reach that point in daily life. If we havenít found peace in our normal life, we are certain to find terror in the sea. Iím not training to cross the sea, Iím training for life."

"Thereís something mysterious about swimming alone in the open sea for extended periods of time," added Lundgren. "I think this swim has made me a better person. What was an expedition last year has now become an odyssey, an experience I am eternally grateful to share. It wouldnít be possible without the friends, sponsors, and the swimming community who provide their support. I realize I am blessed."

This June, Paul will swim from east to west. His inspiration is the image of his boys waiting for him at the finish. Paul says he knows he will find his way across.

"I will walk up the beach into my boysí arms and know I have shown them how to go forward in life, how to live with courage, humility, and gratitude. With endless love what more could a father share with his boys?"

The swim, called "Solo Cortez," will bring awareness to Eco-Alianza de Loreto AC, a nonprofit conservation organization committed to protecting and preserving the fragile eco-systems of the Bay of Loreto National Park, a World Heritage Site.

For more information follow Paul and crew at www.solocortez.com.