It's time to dare the unthinkable

By Lizzie Crowhurst Join Me

My Activity Tracking


It started with simple FOMO.  Training buddy, Grant, was swimming Palm to Shelly solo.  There’s marathon swimming (10km+).  Then there’s ultramarathon swimming (20km+).  After that, is the realm of extreme endurance swimming.  The world of channels and straits.  A whole universe beyond a simple entry on the longswims database.  Triple crowns and grandslams, the  Seven Oceans even; no, these weren’t accolades I needed to aspire to.

But then that little voice in my head began.  The one that’s always trying to get me to do the thing that I might not even dream of doing; might not even want to do; telling me, I’d be weak or foolish if I didn’t.  Could be my last chance.  Could be my only chance.  Wouldn’t I be jealous if he did it and I didn’t?

My late husband always used to say that getting to the start line was always the hardest part of any challenge.  Couldn’t be any harm if I just trained with Grant, could there?  Inexplicably, here I still am after weeks of crazy hard squad sessions, no drinking and racking up the KMs on the weekend; finding myself agreeing with him that I may as well give it a go because I can’t think of any excuse that he will actually accept as viable not to.

It.  It is a 27km swim from Palm Beach to Shelly Beach on 13th April in the company of 39 other crazies (including Grant of course) hoping to make it to the start line.  A quick analysis on Long Swims tells me that more than one quarter of them have conquered the English Channel (that’s solo - not in a relay like us) and many of them have swum more than that with at least one having knocked off the Oceans 7 in entirety.  With one known exception, they are likely all faster swimmers than us.  If we make it, it will probably take us, depending on the conditions of course, around 11 hours.  I might not even make it past the break at Palm Beach!

So, I need your help.  I need an incentive to make it out past that break and to keep swimming, past grey nurse and hammerhead colonies; through all manner of stingers, the chafing, sun burn, sea lice and salt mouth (your tongue swells up, in my case after a few hours).  But most of all, through that other little voice in my head, the one that is constantly telling me that I am too slow, too old, not courageous enough and doomed to disappoint.  The inner critic that will be reminding me of the madness and the risk of swimming induced pulmonary edema; that I can’t swim very well in head chop and that I don’t really like surf.

If you could make a donation to Can Too to help fund innovative, early career cancer researchers, we might be able to find a cure for all cancer and then the brilliant scientists could turn their minds to why come crazy people commit to attempting extreme endurance events……


Thank you to my Sponsors


Mr Swim Fast

Good luck!


Sally Carr

You proved me right - you are an elite athlete Lizzie ♥️🏊‍♀️🦈🍷🙌


Annie Crawford

Lizzie- you are so unbelievable!! I can’t imagine it . You will smash it . I still remember the first time we really met - out the back of a big surf in Manly. Look at you now!!!



Lizzie -- this all sounds truly mad... and yet somehow a perfect challenge for you. Go girl to the starting line and beyond!


Gavin Jackson

Great balls of fire, THAT's a bloody long way! Will miss being by your side. Just keep swimming!


Marie Hewson

You can do it Liz! Mark would be proud. Good luck


James Harkin

So so impressive even to get to the start line!!! Wishing you, Grant and all the other swimmers the fairest of weather and blessings from the sea gods. GOOD LUCK!!!


Will W

Go Liz!


Amanda And Bill

What a challenge! You will do amazingly as always! A and B xx


Trish Dawson-kermode

“WATER you doing? “ they ask In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger- “You can do it!” “Just keep swimming “ Says Dory When u find yourself doubting how far you can go - just remember how far you have come Remember everything you have faced . All the battles you’ve won , All the fears you have overcome Sometimes you forget that you’re AWESOME so this is your reminder ! You’ve done the work .. GO FOR IT!!


Bev & John

I was thinking of you every stroke of my pissy 1km pool swim this morning. Ithe time fly by and I certainly hope it will do the same for you! Go Girl!


Barbara Curtis

Lizzie, you are a legend: you will smash it! Thank you for all you do for Can Too. Barb xx


Melanie Junghans

I’m in awe!


Julie T

You are amazing. Good luck to you and Grant!!


Zoe Taylor

Wow - amazing effort for a fab cause, Lizzie. Hope the seas are calm for you and Grant!



Joining in with all the good wishes to help push you along!


The Intern

Absolutely amazing Liz, you're inspiring!



Best of luck you crazy lady. See you for drinks on Sunday afternoon. xxx


Jo P

Crazy? Probably. Brave? Definitely. In awe of your adventurous spirit and determination. Go Lizzie! You can do it.


Duncan Ha

All the best


Jo Huntley


Shannon Turnbull

You're a legend Liz!




Angela Holdaway

I believe in you Liz! You are an amazing and inspirational woman. Keep swimming!


Andrew Thomas

Go Liz! Inspirational!❤️❤️❤️


Jules Clarkson

Go Liz you CRAZY thang! It is good this thing that you do ❤️



You are inspirational Lizzie! You’ve got this - beach by beach!


Chris Reade

Good luck Liz, just keep swimming!


Yvonne Reilly

You’re an inspiration Lizzy and wish you all the best.


Elizabeth Stewart



"You are braver than you think, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think". Swim well Lizzie and Grant - and enjoy!


Lauren Elder

Getting to the start line is the hardest part of a challenge. So true. Whatever the outcome I’m in awe of you and wish you well with this challenge x


Adrienne Hamann

Lizzie you’re a legend!! You’ve got this one. I’m in awe 🤩


Pip Hutton

Lizzie. Best of luck. Such a mammoth effort. You are very inspiring and I have all confidence in you. Looking forward to hearing stories from your journey down the coast.


Caro S

Go Lizzie!


Margo Robertson

I don’t know you Lizzie but you are courageous and CanToo such a worthy cause. Go well and however far you go you will be a winner


Julie & Tony Boxsell

You will be in the water now, so shut up and swim. And just keep doing that until you either can't any more, or you are home in Manly! I am thinking of you all today!


Katie Price

Go you good thing!!