Up The River Without A Paddle

Overview of event and web site
Event Route and course description
World Record Criteria and Guinness proposal
Training Schedule and event log
Online Media Kit, images, and information
Site Map and content layout
Peak Experiences
Appomattox River Company
James River Outdoor Coalition
Churchill Swim Fins


Thom Stanton,
Whitewater Swimmer

On June 5, Richmonder Thom Stanton went "up the river without a paddle" by swimming, dragging, and clawing his way up the James River in an effort to establish a world record and first ever "Greatest Swim Up A Whitewater River."

Armed only with flippers and web-fingered gloves, Thom negotiated the "Falls of the James," a wild stretch of river that includes scores of Class II-IV+ whitewater rapids. Thom began swimming at 8:30 a.m. at Mayo Island in downtown Richmond and finished six hours and twenty minutes later eight miles upstream at the James River Park's Huguenot Woods river access. During the swim, almost every major rapid in the Falls was attained, and Thom never left the water.

Primary support was given by Thom's wife, Midge along with their patient and understanding children, Alex and Thomas. Friend and paddling companion Brien Moore paddled upstream with Thom during the entire event, and was assisted by safety boaters Bobby Eaves and Matt Barns through the lower and upper sections respectively.

Also of great assistance were communication coordinator, Mark Brown, event photographer, Mike Ostrander, videographer, Sean Finnegan, and more than a dozen land-based observers who provided support by cheering from the shores and documenting the event for Guinness World Records.

Thom said following the event, "I wish to thank everyone who helped support me during this effort and will happily buy you all a drink." Advice for the crew: pick your poison and hit'em up sometime.

Thanks also to Casey, Scott, Bryan, Ned, Rob, and the rest of the gang at Peak, Passages, and ARC for their support. Credit is also given to Speedo Swimwear for keeping Thom covered, Churchill Swim Fins for the extra push, PowerBar products for filling the void, and Gatorade for quenching an unquenchable thirst!

If you are interested in finding out more, please review the official Event Route, Guinness Record's World Record Criteria, Thom's Training Schedule, and our Online Media Kit. If you are looking for something specific or don't know where to start, review the Site Map. And don't forget to check out our Credits page which highlights those who are helping support this event.

And just for fun, colleague Dave Warner's adaptation of E.A. Poe's work in the form of The Craven provides a phantastic view of life in the river that is both current and historic.

Further information about the event is available from the whitewater swimmer, Thom Stanton, at 804-714-6247.


Overview | Event Route | World Record Criteria | Training Schedule | Online Media Kit | Site Map | Credits
Main | The Craven

Breathe deep, step out, and walk along the edge.

Caution: This sport could cause injury up to and including your death!
Proper equipment, practice, safety support, and adult supervision are required. Have fun and stay safe!