To kick off his Labor Day weekend, Lafayette's Jamie Patrick is taking a 360-degree spin around Lake Tahoe, in Lake Tahoe.
Last year, the now-41-year old athlete swept down the Sacramento River on a 111-mile swimming trek. The year before, it was back-and-forth-and-back across Tahoe. And recently, he swam from Spain to Africa, then came home to spend 12-hour overnights, training in Lafayette's Springbrook pool.
You could call him fond of water.
Which is why he's pairing up with the Sierra Club's Water Sentinel Program.
"In the previous swims, I raised money for Buena Vista, a local literacy program," Patrick said. "For this swim, I wanted to do something for water. It's so right up my alley; they help people get out, enjoy water, and want to take care of it."
A graduate of Miramonte High School and an All-American swimmer while at the University of Hawaii, Patrick has an athletic resume as long as his wingspan.
"I do these things to go beyond what I've done before," he says, shrugging off more complicated reasoning.
He and his 15-person crew have already raised $2,000 in four days since the campaign began. One hundred percent of the donations will go to the Sierra Club.
To make it easy to support his cause, he's partnered with Metabender, an athletic tracking company, to develop a portal through which people can follow his swim in real time GPS, with stats, crew updates, videos and a comment option.
The 68-mile swim, traveling the circumference of the lake and staying no more than 75 meters from the shore, will take him about 40-45 hours.
He'll wear a wetsuit, meaning the swim doesn't qualify as a marathon event -- a point he emphasizes repeatedly during an interview one week before pushing off in the 65-degree chop.
"I've pretty much got my nutrition dialed in. l need 425 calories per hour and the wet suit will keep me buoyant while I feed," he says. "The plan is to be patient. I don't want to go out looking like Michael Phelps, cause when you're four hours in and realize that's only 1/10th of what you'll be doing, that's overwhelming."
To keep his mind buff, Patrick has been working with trainer and fellow open water swimmer Jen Schumaker.
"She helps me overcome the dark places I can go when I swim. Physically, I know it's going to be extreme. When you start to feel good, which comes in waves, you tell your body to go faster, produce too much lactic acid and ... well, then you're gonna' blow," he finishes.
With Outside TV, CBS, and a pair of independent filmmakers following him, Patrick says the pressure to stay balanced will be huge.
The physical training to prepare has been no less challenging. His longest week was 110,000 yards, or about 56 miles worth of lap time. He spends five to six hours in the pool on weekends, and during the week still manages to work as the sales manager for Patrick & Co., the office supply company his great-grandfather began in 1873.
Record setting appears to run in the family, and although he claims it is not his goal, Patrick is thrilled to set an example for the next generation.
"To have my daughter see me start and work hard is a motivation for me," he says.
And post-swim, with the help of an occasional Jelly Belly jelly bean (the one exception to his processed-foods-free diet), Patrick will recover as he always has.
"I'll take a little time out of the water. But then, my juices will get flowing ... "
He won't divulge the next watery wonder, but promises that it will be performed in a familiar land: "Just past discomfort, in a totally new place. That's where I want to be."
To keep tabs on Jamie Patrick's planned swim around 68-mile swim Friday and Saturday around the circumference of Lake Tahoe, go online to theTahoe360.com