No Leisurely Swim: Duo Goes 28 Miles Across Lake Wylie

Oct 1, 2018

With fall weather quickly approaching, making a trip to the lake for a dip in late September may not be in your weekend plans.

But for two men this past Saturday, a trip to the lake may have made history. Doug Miller and Michael Guzek of Charlotte believe they became the first to swim the entire 28-mile length of Lake Wylie from the Mountain Island Dam to just above the Fort Mill Dam. The swim took them around 13 hours to complete. Miller credits Guzek with the idea.

"Somehow he came up with the idea have I ever thought about swimming in the Catabwa River, some distance. I think he just spit it out: 'Why don’t we swim dam to dam in Lake Wylie?'" said Miller.

Miller and Guzek are avid swimmers – no kidding – who spent around three months training and preparing for Saturday’s swim. Miller swam for the University of Delaware. Guzek is an endurance athlete who has competed in nearly 20 Ironman triathlons, but decided to focus on swimming after he got hit by a car last year while riding a bike.

"The way I’ve described it is that getting hit by the car didn’t just knock me off my bike, it knocked me off my hamster wheel in the sense that it was an opportunity for me to kind of step back and decide, do I want to do this anymore?" said Guzek.

Guzek has since competed in a 36-mile swim in North Dakota. Miller and Guzek were aided by kayakers who had water and food on hand and lit the way when it got dark. Miller says there were moments of doubt along the way.

"There’s definitely points where there’s part of your brain that’s like 'What am I doing? Please, can I get there already?" said Miller.

The two say they are a little sore and tired but may swim another lake or two along the Catawba River chain, after some well-deserved rest.