Elaine K. Howley

Elaine K. Howley - Athleta Sponsored AthleteELAINE HOWLEY is a former Division I collegiate swimmer and ocean lifeguard who began competing in long-distance open water events in 2006 on a dare; she hasn’t looked back since, and only trains in the pool when the New England weather turns really beastly. A recent convert to the roller coaster that is ice swimming, Elaine qualified for admission to the International Ice Swimming Association based in South Africa with her 1-mile swim in 41 degree water in Boston Harbor in December 2012. She never wears a wetsuit and relies on her body’s internal wetsuit to keep her warm during long, cold swims.

Ice swimming is just the most recent extreme event that Elaine, a New Jersey native who’s called Greater Boston home for the past ten years, has added to her list of open water swimming successes. In 2009, Elaine became the 32nd person to complete the Triple Crown of open water swimming, which includes the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, and the around Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. She is the current record-holder for the fastest double crossing of the Boston Harbor, and holds the record for the longest swim by a woman in Narragansett Bay. She has set her sights on some day completing the Ocean’s Seven. In the meanwhile, she is ticking off as many other grand and humbling open water swims as she can along the way.

When she’s not swimming, Elaine is Associate Editor for U.S. Masters Swimming editing and contributing content to the non-profit organization’s bi-monthly magazine, SWIMMER, usms.org, and several e-newsletters. An award-winning writer, her stories—typically about strong female athletes or open water swimming—have also appeared in H2Open magazine, espnW, Mushing magazine, Inked magazine, and several other online and print publications. Elaine is a 2000 graduate of Georgetown University and earned her Master’s degree in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College in 2006. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with her husband and favorite support kayaker, Mark, and two cats, Haddie and Hemingway. You can read more about Elaine on her blog, Tales of the Beer Baby.



  • International Ice Swimming Association member recognized for completing a 1-mile swim on December 8, 2012 in 5 degree Celsius water, Boston Harbor, 29 minutes, 18 seconds
  • 4th place finisher of the 2011 In Search of Memphre event (25 miles), September 2011, 17 hours 58 minutes
  • Record holder for the longest solo swim by a female swimmer, Narragansett Bay (26.1 miles), July 2011
  • Record holder for the fastest double crossing of the Boston Harbor (16 miles), August 2010, 7 hours 7 minutes
  • Solo crossing of the English Channel (21 miles), August 2009, 13 hours 55 minutes
  • Solo circumnavigation of Manhattan Island (28.5 miles), as part of the annual Manhattan Island Marathon Swim hosted by NYC Swim, June 2009, 8 hours 39 minutes
  • Solo crossing of the Catalina Channel (20 miles), September 2008, 10 hours 57 minutes
  • 4th place female, Lake George Marathon Swim (21 miles), June 2007, 12 hours
  • Top 3 female finisher, 2006, 2007 & 2008 Boston Light Swim events (8 miles)
  • USMS/ASCA Level 3-certified Masters swimming coach with 5 years experience coaching at the high school and Masters level and more than 15 years experience teaching children and adults to swim
  • Swim Guide for swim tourism operator SwimVacation
  • Assistant director (in charge of marketing/PR and training advice) of the Boston Light Swim
  • Vice President/Press Secretary, Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association (MOWSA)


  • Solo crossing of the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, an arduous 23-mile trek in 53-degree, jellyfish-riddled water
  • 50-mile Double Memphre 2-person relay, 2 lengths of Lake Memphremagog between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec
  • Solo crossing of Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho (34 miles)
  • Solo crossing of Lake Memphremagog (25 miles) as part of the 3rd annual In Search of Memphre event
  • Perhaps another ice swim…

WEBSITE: blog.talesofthebeerbaby.com »