Rob Kent is an endurance athlete, including running and triathlon, but most accomplished in swimming. He attempted the English Channel (2006) and completed the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (2010) as well as swimming at the 1988 Olympic Trials. He is a Canadian marathon swimming visionary who founded L.O.S.T. Swimming, or Lake Ontario Swim Team, a growing open water swimming and triathlon group in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Kent started LOST Swimming in 2006 while training for his English Channel attempt. After doing all of his open water training for the English Channel in Lake Ontario, Rob realized what many great swimmers from by-gone eras once knew, that Lake Ontario is a great place to swim!
In an effort to try and bring back open water swimming to one of the most famous bodies of water in open water history, Rob started LOST Swimming.
L.O.S.T. Swimming started with a handful of triathletes, a few open water swimmers and Rob and his family, all competitive swimmers too. In the summer of 2007, after Rob’s English Channel attempt, it wasn’t called “LOST Swimming”, as one of the originals put it, it was called “let’s meet at the lighthouse and go for a swim”.
But gradually, word of mouth spread and the group grew. By the third summer, in 2008, the group was up to about 25 people and it was decided that there should be a race… and the ‘LOST Race’ was born. The first race included just 8 swimmers, but was enough fun that it was decided that it would become an annual race. The race started (and still does) from the foot of Maple Grove Drive for 3.8 km to the Lighthouse Pier in downtown Oakville. In order to include open water swimmers and triathlets, the distance was set equal to the swim portion of an Ironman triathlon. The course is a safe and very scenic swim as it goes parallel to the shore, past dozens of multi-million dollar homes in one of Canada’s most beautiful and affluent neighborhoods, South-east Oakville.
Word continued to spread and by 2011 LOST had become a registered Masters team, with over 145 paid members, over 300 people recieving the weekly mailing and the LOST Race now had grown to 85 swimmers! The average Saturday morning swim had now reached as many as 52 swimmers and has had visitors from all over the US and the UK. The LOST season runs from early June to mid-September.
LOST has grown to include the LOST Travel Team, which has had LOST swimmers swim in the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, the FKCC Swim-Around-Key-West, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, the Governor's Island Swim, the 25k USMS National Championship and the Ederle Swim.
Rob will also attempt to become the second LOST Swimmer to complete a Lake Ontario Crossing. Melanie Price was the first in 2011. Melanie also established the LOST Route, which goes from Port Dalhousie to Oakville, and is exactly the same distance as a running marathon, 42.2 km or 26.2 miles.