Welcome to the Shark Tank.
Meet Jim "The Shark" Dreyer ... a Stan Lee Superhuman
and world record Great Lakes swimmer/multi-sport
Jim Dreyer has rightfully been dubbed "The Shark" for setting records crossing all five Great Lakes ... but can a shark really be called a "Superhuman?" Apparently so, if you can tow a 27-ton car ferry across Newport Beach Harbor!
Jim Dreyer's Journey from Fear of Water
Jim “The Shark” Dreyer's ultra-marathon career, while unorthodox in its very nature, has followed a natural progression ... partly out of necessity, but mostly as an effort to continuously raise the bar.
This progression however, started out as anything but natural. Jim had to first control a lifelong fear of water from a childhood near drowning. He took beginner's swimming lessons at age 32, figuring if he finally faced his greatest fear, every other obstacle he encountered in life will seem much smaller by comparison. He certainly has put this theory to the test.
Open Water Swimming, Multi-Sport & Self-Sufficiency
In 1998, Just 2 years after his first swim lesson, Jim started his ultra-marathon career to support Big Brothers Big Sisters, by swimming 65 miles across Lake Michigan in a style customary to a marathon swimmer ... he followed a support boat.
He continued this strategy in 1999 when he crossed Lake Huron off his "Drive for Five" list. In this swim, Jim would get his first taste of swimming without a support boat when they became separated at the end of what turned into a life and death drama.
By 2000, Jim didn't feel just swimming across a Great Lake was enough ... as Lakes Erie and Ontario were narrower than his previous two conquests. He began combining Ironman-distance running and biking with swimming record distances ... something previously unheard of ... and other than Jim, still unheard of. The pinnacle multi-sport event was his 56-mile swim across Lake Ontario, immediately following a 26.2 marathon run through the beach sand and a 130-mile leg on the bike.
In 2003, Jim once again ventured as a pioneer ... swimming the length of Lake Michigan self-sufficiently (422 miles in 18 consecutive stages), towing the weight of his supplies from his ankles. In doing so, he discovered that swimming alone in such a manner may be the key, and the only way to successfully swim across Lake Superior, which he had been attempting to cross since 2001. Previous harrowing attempts to cross arguably the most challenging body of fresh water on the planet had put the lives of his crew at risk in addition to his own.
Jim finally completed crossing his fifth Great Lake in 2005 with a continuous, self-sufficient swim across the depths of Lake Superior ... swimming alone for nearly 60 miles through raging seas and navigating his way to Canada while towing 250 pounds of supplies from his waist.
After bearing the weight of his supplies through grueling ultra-marathon events, feats of strength like towing large numbers of bricks, car ferries and barges across wide expanses of water, seemed a natural progression for Jim “The Shark” Dreyer.
Coining the term "strength-swimming," his first opportunity to perform in this genre came in 2013 when the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy. In support of Habitat for Humanity 's "ReBuild Michigan" campaign, Jim set out to pull a ton of bricks 22 miles across Lake St. Clair to Detroit in a highly symbolic and inspirational fundraising swim. The success of his "Cornerstone Strength Swim Campaign" was the precursor to getting the call from Stan Lee's Superhumans.