When former competitive swimmer Taryn Lencoe sets out from Kitsilano Beach at 7 a.m. PT today, she will be venturing into uncharted waters.
Her longest swim to date was six straight hours, but it was in the outdoor pool at Kitsilano Beach, not the ocean.
Lencoe has been training for this swim for more than a year. It`s taken that long to get back into shape since she last competed with the UBC Thunderbirds in 2008.
Her year-long commitment is documented on her blog Swim MS. Several years ago, her cousin was diagnosed with the disease.
Lencoe says she plans to swim along the Kitsilano Beach buoys — her main concern, the fear the ocean waves will tire her far more than the pool and hypothermia.
She`s packing granola bars and bananas for her breaks,
"I spoke to someone who runs [extreme marathon] races and he said in the middle of it you'll probably crave something really random," she said. "I might want a hot dog."
Lencoe aims to raise $10,000 for the B.C. chapter of the MS Society, which provides services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for the disease.
She raised $9,400, most of it from a concert a friend of her family performed at in July.
Lencoe hopes spectators will flock to Kits Beach today to cheer her on, learn about MS from the society and perhaps make a donation..
Symptoms of MS can include dizziness, problems swallowing, cognitive impairment, depression and difficulty walking.
In its most common form, MS features well-defined attacks followed by complete or partial recovery.
More permanent nerve damage can occur over time. The MS Society says the severity of MS, progression and specific symptoms cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis.