Woman swims 500 yards to toast 100th birthday

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Most people likely wouldn’t want to attempt a quarter-mile swim. Then again, Margaret K. Wachs isn’t most people.

On Friday, to celebrate her 100th birthday, Wachs swam 10 laps in the Woodruff Family YMCA pool. That’s 500 yards — the equivalent of five football fields, and more than a quarter mile.

“I feel pretty good,” Wachs said just before she eased herself into the pool at the Orange Avenue facility. “I never was a top swimmer, but as a child I used to swim in the lakes of Vermont where I grew up — on a farm in North Bedford.” […]

As with most people who celebrates a 100th birthday, Wachs has a few health challenges. She’s nearly blind from glaucoma and she’s had foot problems for decades.

But in the water, those shortcomings seem to dissolve, according to Matt Loprino, the aquatics director at the Woodruff YMCA.

“Swimming is a wonderful activity for her,” he said. “There’s no stress on her joints because they’re weightless in the water.”

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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