SAN FRANCISCO, California, May 22. LAST Sunday, Craig Dietz swam the treacherous 1.5 miles from Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay to the mainland, placing 689th out of 817 competitors.
Dietz is becoming a notable name in the open water swimming community, traversing some of the toughest waterways without arms or legs. Born limbless in Pennsylvania in 1974, Dietz has become an inspiration for people from all backgrounds. When he's not traveling to an open water event, he's delivering uplifting speeches to groups across the country.
The swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shore is considered one of the most daunting swims, though only 1.5 miles long. The water temperature hovers in the 65-degree range and the danger of sharks looms during races. Dietz completed the Alcatraz swim on Sunday in 54 minutes, 37 seconds, placing second out of three competitors in the physically challenged division. He routinely swims with a fin attached to one of his lower limbs as a means of propulsion.
Dietz has also swum the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, and various half triathlons.
Employees at FINIS, which sponsors Dietz, accompanied him on the Alcatraz swim. CEO John Mix and former USA Swimming national team member Bobby Savulich were among those who kept Dietz company through the swim.
Video clip of the swim, courtesy of FINIS: