Man to attempt Lake Tahoe crossing – again |

Man to attempt Lake Tahoe crossing – again

Tom Linthicum prefers not to know the surface temperature of Lake Tahoe before he dives in for the long haul.

“I’m hoping it’s over 55 (degrees), but I told my support crew not to tell me. I don’t want to know,” says Linthicum, 51, who plans to swim the 22-mile length of Tahoe for the second time in three years Sunday – again without a wetsuit.

He plans to start at 2 a.m. near Camp Richardson on the southwest corner of the lake. He hopes to finish within 20 hours at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village.

Linthicum, who successfully swam the length of Tahoe in 2006, crawling onto shore after 16 1/2 hours, will take on the challenge once more to raise funds and awareness for a chronic neurological condition known as hydrocephalus. He has twin daughters living with the condition.

“I’d like to educate people about the problem. I think that is a good thing to do,” says Linthicum, a resident of Fair Play, Calif., in the foothills of El Dorado County.

An avid open-water swimmer, Linthicum has named his upcoming attempt the Tim Spicer Memorial Swim in memory of his late friend from Incline Village, who coached him and captained his boat during his 2006 crossing. Spicer died less than a year later, and Linthicum says naming the swim in his honor is his way of paying respect.

Truckee swimmer Jen Valosek will help out as part of Linthicum’s support crew. Training partner Karen Rogers of Tahoe City, who is planning her own Tahoe crossing in August, is also part of his crew but will not be able to attend Sunday, Linthicum says.

After Linthicum’s 2006 crossing – he also swam the width of the lake from Cave Rock to Emerald Bay in 2008, and failed to swim the length in fall 2005 – Linthicum said he struggled most about 10 or 12 miles into the swim, when he got tired and took a “mental vacation.” His shoulder hurt, too.

One of the people on his support boat mixed up some Mountain Dew and crushed Advil, which solved the problem.

Two youth athletes from Truckee are teaming up this weekend to compete in the San Francisco Bay as team Tough Truckee Chicks in the Alcatraz Aquathon. Brittany Percin, 12, will take on the 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz to Crissy Field, and Camille Hartley, 13, will race 7 miles on foot across the Golden Gate Bridge and back.

In addition, the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team is gearing up for the Long Course Junior Olympics in Roseville, while a couple of team members have qualified for Far Westerns in San Jose. Both events are scheduled for the end of this month.

Stay tuned for more about these events, as well as Karen Rogers’ Tahoe crossing in August.

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