Health Swimming

How Anne Cleveland Uses Marathon Swimming to Fundraise Coach and Promote Health

By Melissa Berkay, Swimming World College Intern

Taking a step to make a difference in your personal life can enable you to make a difference in the lives of others; that is precisely what Anne Cleveland has done. Born and raised in La Jolla, California, Cleveland was introduced to the sport of swimming when she was 13 years old. She trained with the local YMCA swim team and later the La Jolla High School boys’ swim team, where she earned an ‘A’ in boys’ PE.

She left the water when she was 15, as swimming was not a sport accessible to women beyond the age of 16-17 at the competitive level at that time. Title IX was passed in 1972, after Cleveland had left the water. After becoming a successful business owner in San Diego County, the age of 40 quickly came around and Anne was looking for some inspiration to work on a new project.

In 1996, Cleveland came across an article in the local newspaper about Bob West’s English Channel swimming activities, and optimistically decided it was time to put her toes in the water again. She found West at La Jolla Cove and requested he mentor her in her training. West and the highly-respected Carol Sing advised and supported Anne in her training and long-distance swims. She trained at La Jolla Cove, currently one of the most popular open water marathon swimming training hotspots in the world.

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