2013 Fundraiser

Emily von Jentzen is an Ultra Marathon Swimmer who completes lengthy endurance swims to raise money for children with special medical conditions.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015


Well my friends!  Summer is FINALLY here!  We have had such a warm spring that it feels like mid-summer already.  I've been wearing my GoPro for some of my swims…here's a goofy little video I made a few weeks ago…..

But what I am most excited to tell you all about is my Charity Swims for this year…..yes that is SWIMS with an S on the end!  This summer instead of one super long swim….I am going to swim the lengths of 30 different lakes in 60 days!  :)  I would have loved to do 30 in 30 days….but I have to work….so 30 in 60 will still be challenge enough!  The total distance of all of these lakes will be well over 90 miles. I'm looking for swimmers to join me and kayak/canoe/SUP folks who may want to join me.  Here's the event flier….the adventure starts on July 3rd!  :)

Dates of specific lakes are subject to change due to weather, support, etc.

As always, this adventure is to raise money, this year for two very special little girls, Lily and Hayden.  To donate visit www.enduringwaves.com 


Monday, June 1, 2015

2015 Fundraising begins TODAY

Well, as is usually the case, I did not blog AT ALL through the winter.  Really not to much exciting happens in my life when the snow is on the ground.  I spend a lot of time inside wishing for open water swimming conditions to return.  We had a very dry and warm spring and as a result there are some pretty nice lake temperatures around here.  I got two OWS practices in last week (one in Flathead Lake and one in the Columbia River in Washington).  This week my official summer training begins for my charity swims (that's right more than one swim this year), but more on that later.

I am very happy to announce that the board of the Enduring Waves Foundation has selected TWO children to fund raise for this year. For 2015, I will be swimming for 6-year old Hayden from Big Fork who is a special needs child with "significant global delays" AND 15 year old Lily from Ronan who is battling a rare blood disorder. Our fundraising begins TODAY! More information about my 2015 swims and how we are going to be able to support these two amazing kiddos will follow later this week!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Recovered and rested

Hi everyone!  Sorry for the lack of postings on this blog during and following the swim.  We were short staffed on the crew and although we had updates on Facebook, the blog was a little neglected.  My mom reminded me the other day that I hadn't yet updated the blog.

The swim went well.  We had a better than expected day on Friday.  Water conditions were exceptionally flat with little wind all day long.  I had a bit of issues late in the day balancing my nutritional intake, but that resolved itself before nightfall.  By near 9pm the waves and wind picked up and we had little relief form that most of the night.  It took all I had to last the night.  I was taking in warm liquids every half an hour, but it was still hard to keep the chill away (again this was a no-wetsuit swim).  The sun came up near 7, which I was very happy about, but the waves did not die down with daybreak.  At around 8 I decided I would continue to 9 am, to get to the 24 hour mark, and then we would stop.  I had said before the swim began that if conditions were good and I felt well I would continue on past 24 hours, however, neither of these were the case.

I am very proud of both my individual effort as well as the effort of my amazing crew. I was worried after being pulled from the 2013 Canyon Ferry swim at 3 am that I had a mental block which might prevent me from getting through the night, so I am quite happy we got to 24 hours.

It was VERY fun to have Bella and her sister on the boat.  They took care of handing me my food during feedings and they stayed out on the boat for all but the last 2 hours.  The houseboat was great for accommodating the overnight sleepy crowd. My favorite memory was after the swim when I had to get an IV and Bella was hugging me and holding my hand the whole time.

Our fundraising efforts were quite successful.  We have raised over $10,500 for Isabella so far!  We will continue to accept donations for Bella through 2014, so this amount may grow a bit higher!

After the swim I took a full week off from work.  All my post-swim blood tests came back normal, so my time off was mostly for the resting and sleeping.  I returned to work after a week because it was a busy time to be out of the office and even being out a week left quite the pile up of work.

I took a full 30 days off from working out, today being my first workout back and I went for a short run.  I'm glad I took that extended time off and I feel really recovered.  I've used some of my free time to get going on my book.  A friend of mine has allowed me to go to her lake house to write on the weekends, which has been lovely!

I'm looking forward to planning our 2014 schedule and fundraising.  Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Final thoughts-pre swim

Boy has it been a whirlwind week!  Today was pretty much go, go, go all day.  We are ready to go with a few minor things to take care of in the morning.  I have been surprisingly calm today…probably because I had so much to do it was a distraction from nerves.  As the day wore on and I felt tired here and there I commended myself for the decision of a later start time.  Tomorrow's 9 am start time is MUCH more pleasant than my prior swim starts of 3:30 am and 4 am.

Last minute adjustments to crew and technology snafus all seemed to work out.  The course is plotted on our brand new "Montana" GPS, thanks to Sportsman for the great last minute deal on that.

Since I am already a bit late on getting to bed….I'm going to have to write out my extensive thank you list in the morning, however here are the "mile sponsors" so far….and note, you can still be a mile sponsor once the swim has started….reach out to our support crew and get a donation in and we will get you on the list.

Miles 1-5 go to the Price family for their donation of time and their wonderful house boat The Abraham
Mile 6-Beach Haven Press
Miles 7 & 8 Stahlberg and Sutherland
Mile 9 Walmart of Kalispell
Mile 10 Exhaust Works
Miles 11 & 12 Sportsman
Mile 13 Beach Haven Press
Mile 14-19 Jesco
Mile 34: Plumbing, Inc.
Miles 36-60: OPEN for SPONSORSHIP
Miles 61-62: The Raven

And a few more details….for those hungry for more information.  I am following the Marathon Swimming Federation rules, for those of you unfamiliar with them this means:

1) I am not wearing a wetsuit, just a regular swim suit
2) Just wearing one latex cap (a special one designed by Miss Bella)
3) I will not touch the boat for the duration of the swim
4) I will not be touched by any person for the duration of the swim
5) Swim begins when I enter the water on my own, and it ends when I exit the water on my own
6) I declare the use of one "nonstandard, nonperformance enhancing" piece of equipment, specifically, Finis Hydro Trackers.  These devices track a swimmers course, but information is not viewable until uploaded to a computer.

Food is all packed, cameras, GPS devices and cell phones are charging.  Now its off to bed…its like Christmas.  :)

Follow my progress on my website (www.enduringwaves.com) where there will be a live GPS tracker, on this blog and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emily-von-Jentzen/252078214804908


Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Anyone who does long distance events, swimming or otherwise, is lying if they tell you they don't get nervous.  For me the nerves come in waves (see what I did there…:) ).   Generally my nerves are usually related to thoughts of panic like "I totally forgot about….."  There have been a few of those moments in the past few days.  Luckily, I have an amazing group of people, scattered ALL over, helping me put out these little fires.

I have been so thankful for all of my helpers who are taking care of problems as they arise, listening to my venting when some plans are not working out as I had hoped, and keeping me on track for the task at hand.  It is surprisingly complicated to organize jumping in the water and swimming for 24-36 hours straight.

I think my dogs are more nervous than I am.  With the packing efforts taking over my kitchen and living room, they must be thinking I am about to embark on a VERY long trip and since their dog dishes or dog beds haven't been packed they assume they are being left behind!  Little do they know…I won't be away from them long and then we will have a 2 week long snugglefest on the couch while I recovery.  :)

We've ALMOST got the crew finalized.  Feeling like we won't have enough people is always the most nerve racking part for me….but it does always seem to work out.

Tomorrow is my last day of work before my swim, then I have all Thursday to get my last minute things done like packing my nutrition.  

Its about time for me to get to bed….lots to do tomorrow.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Week and a Day!

Hi Everybody!

Been a while since I've blogged, but I have a few minutes before I have to leave my house for a Sunrise Swim…so I thought I would get in a quick update!

Things are getting wrapped up planning wise for the swim next week.  As is almost always the case, the last minute changes in some crew members schedules requires modifications here and there, but I have learned not to stress too much about those sorts of things as everything tends to work out alright in the end.

Below is my tentative schedule for the swim.  While we have been advertising the swim as a 24-hour swim, if we have good conditions and I'm feeling well, I am making preparations to continue on for up to 36 hours.

Shift 1: 9am to 5pm (we do have one person who is switching out at noon, so we can split that shift if needed).
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 14 miles into the course) West Shore State Park Boat Launch
Shift 2: 5pm to 12am
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 26 miles into the course)Big Arm State Park Boat Launch
Shift 3: 12am to 7am
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 38 miles into the course) Boetcher Park Polson
Shift 4: 7 am to 2pm
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 50 miles into the course) Yellow Bay State Park
Shift 5: 2pm to end (anytime between 7 and 10)
SWIM END LOCATION: (Full course is 62 miles, projected finish time 36 hours) The Raven Woods Bay

We have been fortunate enough to have a house boat, The Abraham, donated to us by the Price Family for the use of the swim and they are also supplying the drivers of the boat.  This is going to be a great improvement on past swims as 1) the crew won't be exposed to the elements the entire swim and 2) we will have the ability to heat up soup and other warm things for me at night to hopefully fend off the cold.

The weather in Montana is quickly turning to fall….and in some places winter!  While temperatures are starting to get a little colder, most of the temperature sensors on Flathead Lake still show water temps in the mid 60s.  We have a storm predicted this weekend, but I'm hoping the temps hold strong for one more week!

I've been feeling pretty good thus far.  I am confident in my training and mentally I feel ready to go.

Time to get on the road for my workout this morning….I will post some pics later!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

110,000 Baby!

Hey so July totals…110,000 yards!  Really happy with how this month rounded out.  July really flew by but I am feeling really great about the fact that I still have another full month of training.

Work has been really busy these last few weeks, but I've still been able to get in my swims.  All my outdoor swims this week had great conditions.  We swam in one of my favorite spots earlier this week in Woods Bay-water flat as glass and multiple fish sightings!  The temperatures here in Montana have been pretty warm all week which has made water temps really comfortable.

One of my goals for this weekend is to get my swim timeline figured out.  The biggest change I am considering from last year is a later in the day start.  I have started two of my long swims in the 3-4 am time frame and one (due to conditions/obstacles) started late in the day at 4pm.  While I am not thinking of going so far as an afternoon start, I am considering around a ten am start time.

Well I've got to get to sleep now!  One more day til the weekend!  :)