GILFORD, N.H. (AP) – A Massachusetts man who lost part of one leg in a motorcycle accident 25 years ago plans to swim part way across Lake Winnipesaukee next month.

Mike Welsch, 43, of Burlington, had originally planned a 22-mile swim from Center Harbor to Alton but was unable to train for that distance after he was hit by a car while running. The February accident shattered his prosthesis and hurt his ankle.

Now recovered, he told The Union Leader he will scale back his earlier plans and attempt a six-and-a-half mile swim across the lake on Aug. 8.

His route will take him from Gilford to Long Island in Moultonborough, past the home of a friend on Jolly Island. That friend, John Habbe, plans to accompany Welsch in a 20-foot boat during the swim.

Welsch has long had an interest in marathon sports. He has raced the Boston Marathon eight times and in the Manhattan Island Marathon once.

His February injury prevented him from running in this year’s Boston Marathon. He also has participated in the Pan-Massachusetts bike-a-thon to benefit the Jimmy Fund.

Welsch said he plans to return to Lake Winnipesaukee next year to swim the full 22 miles. If he succeeds, he would become the first amputee to complete a swim across Winnipesaukee. The last person to swim its length was Bob Weir of Toronto, Canada, who swam the lake in 12 hours in July of 1993. The first recorded swim across the lake was in 1964 by Dr. Harry Briggs.

AP-ES-07-24-04 1625EDT



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.