With a passion for sports and travel and a love for the ocean, Karolina from Poland and Marina from Spain wanted to set themselves a challenge that would combine doing what they loved with making a difference. They decided ultra challenges could do exactly that, so with the aim to inspire others to push themselves out of their comfort zones and raise awareness and funds for causes they are passionate about, they started Project LUCHA.
Whilst on a road trip around the south of Spain earlier this year, Karolina and Marina came up with Project LUCHA’s first (and rather big) challenge. Stopping at Mirador del Estrecho, the pair looked out, over the Strait of Gibraltar, to Africa and had exactly the same thought - Africa doesn't look that far.
So we thought, why not start a project where we swim between continents as a way to break those barriers between genders and also as a way to inspire others and to make them believe in themselves. Everything is possible and through our example, we can show them that.
With their combined love for the water, ocean conservation was the perfect cause to raise money for. As an avid scuba diver, Marina has a special connection with the underwater world and often volunteers on clean-ups. Karolina shares the same passion for the natural world and leads by example in her day-to-day life, being environmentally conscious and reducing her impact on the planet where she can.
Project AWARE has all that we were looking for. We both wanted to help and support Project AWARE with its cause, cleaning the oceans and making sure people are aware of what can happen if we don´t look after the oceans and seas.
Wasting no time, Marina and Karolina began their challenge of five intercontinental swims, starting with the Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim in Istanbul. The 6.5 km open water swim, established in 1989 saw 2,400 swimmers take on the route from Kanlıca on the Asian side to Kuruçeşme on the European side of Istanbul. Marina and Karolina successfully completed the first part of their challenge and loved every minute of it.
Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim was one of the most beautiful and fulfilling experiences we have ever had, not just because how beautiful the Strait is, but because you breathe the excitement and the happiness from the min zero. Everybody is celebrating their happiness for being part of something so important. A unique day to celebrate the challenge. For some, the hardest thing they could do in life, for others, a tradition to celebrate with friends and family.
So with the first swim under their belt, they now have four to go:
- Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim (Europe - Asia): COMPLETED
- Strait of Gibraltar Crossing (Europe - Africa)
- Bering Strait (America - Asia)
- Panama Strait crossing (America - America)
- Kuril Strait (Asia - Europe)
Good luck Marina and Karolina! And thank you for supporting ocean protection!
Inspired by Project LUCHA’s ultra challenge? Start your own fundraiser today for Project AWARE and become one of the ocean’s greatest defenders. The money you raise goes directly into protecting the ocean from it’s biggest threats. Join the movement for a clean and healthy ocean today.
Photo credit: Cezary Kowalczyk