Coombs Sets Swim Record

A fan congratulates Craig Coombs, left, shortly after his swim around Alameda.

Last Sunday morning, local swimmer Craig Coombs, 57, completed a swim around the Main Island of Alameda in 7 hours and 13 minutes, shaving some 25 minutes off the previous record of 7 hours, 38 minutes and 39.5 seconds set in 1951. Coombs began his swim at 3:15 a.m. and faced some choppy waters around 4 a.m. 
Otherwise, he had little difficulty completing the 15.75-mile course around the Island. In the final moments of his swim, spectators on Crown Beach saw what was thought to be a harbor seal in the water near Coombs. Then, as he found his footing in the shallows, a series of pelicans flew over his head, as if in celebration (below). 
The swimmer was greeted by a number of friends and fans at the shoreline. The first words he said to the group as he returned to dry land: “That was hard.” 
The swim was regulated and monitored by the Marathon Swimming Federation.


To see the official record of Coombs’ swim online, visit