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Mark Johnston

From Openwaterpedia

Mark Johnston is an American cold water swimmer, administrator, and swimming coach from Polson, Montana. He is also the creator of the Open Water Virtual Grand Slam and the Flathead Lake Open Water Swimmers.

Open Water Swimming and Coaching Career Highlights[edit]

2020 WOWSA Awards[edit]

The Open Water Virtual Grand Slam by Mark Johnston was nominated for the 2020 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year category with the following nomination: In the midst of a near global lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mark Johnston from Flathead Lake in the state of Montana knew that he needed to do something positive and uplifting. So the race director and marathon swimmer created the Open Water Virtual Grand Slam, a multi-month catalyst and online social group that kickstarted hundreds of swimmers to join the growing global community of open water swimmers. With many pool closed and nowhere to swim, many looked at open bodies of water for the first time, but it took the attention and dedication for Johnston and other like-minded swimmers to develop and shape this new community. For organizing four competitive distances in the open water (800m, 1500m, 1.93 km and 3.96 km), for providing a low-cost means to participate and compete in something new and something fun and inspirational, and for rapidly developing and nurturing additional challenges like The Beast, an 128 km, 120-day virtual perimeter swim in Flathead Lake, the Open Water Virtual Grand Slam by Mark Johnston is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.


Vampire Swims[edit]

Johnston is one of the race directors of the Vampire Swims, a series of open water swims held on 31 October. Vampire Swims are a great way to kick off the cold water, winter swimming season in those locations where swimming continues year round. Entry fee for these swims will include proof that the swimmer has donated blood within 6 weeks prior to the swim. Some venues are arranging a blood mobile to collect donations immediately after the swim. Those who cannot make a donation of blood for medical reasons can make a cash donation to the Red Cross or some other similar organization. A US$10 registration fee will also be expected of each swimmer to cover the cost of a custom, bloody-toothed swim cap and other incidental expenses with any remainder also to be donated to the Red Cross or other equivalent organizations that collect and distribute blood.

External links[edit]