Video Courtesy of the Count Me In Movement

Annaleise with Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Annaleise with Prime Minister Stephen Harper


2012 World Open Water Swimming Association Woman of the Year


Marathon Swimmer  ~ Author ~ Inspirational Speaker

My name is Annaleise Rebekah Carr, and I am a 16 year old marathon swimmer from Walsh, Ontario in Norfolk County. On August 19, 2012, I became the youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario, with the goal of raising money and awareness for Camp Trillium.

I’ve been swimming competitively since I was 4 years old. I’ve competed at long and short course provincials, as well as open water provincials, and also at the provincial lifeguard games as a member of the Town of Tillsonburg Lifesaving Club and in triathlons. I’m not very tall (4’10”), but huge in heart!

Camp Trillium has been close to my heart since I visited their camp at Rainbow Lake in the summer of 2011, as part of the North Shore Swimmers, completing a 10 km open water swim and 10 km run through Norfolk County. We raised around $15,000 for Camp Trillium, and my visit there has been forever etched in my memory.

On Sunday, August 19, 2012, I finished crossing Lake Ontario, following the traditional Marilyn Bell route from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park near the CNE in Toronto (considered one of the most difficult open water swims in the world). I became the youngest person to complete the swim, as well as the youngest person to join the “24 Hour Club,” which includes all swimmers who do a marathon swim for 24 hours or longer.  My crossing took an incredible 26 hours and 41 minutes through gruelling and wild conditions.

My world record swim has raised more awareness to Camp Trillium and childhood cancer. My original goal was to raise $30,000; I’ve now raised well over $200,000! I continue to raise funds for children’s charities (including being an ambassador for Camp Trillium and Canadian Tire Jumpstart) as I do presentations about my swim and compete in other endurance sports. My goal is to continue raising more funds for this camp so that more kids and their families can attend while they suffer the anguish of their battle with cancer.

Awards and Accolades

  • World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) Woman of the year in 2012.
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, presented by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Pin
  • 2012 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year
  • 2012 Canadian Sport Awards Spirit of Sport Story of the Year
  • 2012 Inductee into the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition
  • 2012 TVO Kids “Super Citizen” Award
  • #10 on CTV Kitchener Top 10 Stories of 2012
  • In the 20 of 2012 on CHCH TV
  • Finalist for Global Marathon Swimming Awards 2012 Solo Swim of the Year (Female)
  • Simcoe & District Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship
  • Lions International Melvin Jones Fellowship
  • 2013 Independent Order of Foresters International Fraternal President’s Award
  • 2013 Honorary Commissioner of the Inaugural Maple Leaf sports & Entertainment Team Up Challenge
  • 2014 Haldimand/Norfolk Soroptimist “Violet Richardson Award” winner
  • Named a member of Ripley’s Aquarium Canada “Marine Teen” Youth Advisory Council


Lake Erie Crossing

annaleise-swimDate: July 25th, 2014
Start point: Erie, Pennsylvania
End point: Port Dover, Ontario
Distance: 75km

If successful, Annaleise will set the world record for the longest swim across Lake Erie, topping the old record by approximately 20 kilometres. The proposed path starts in Erie, Pennsylvania, travelling east of Long Point, and arriving at Port Dover beach in Ontario.

Annaleise is once again raising donation for Camp Trillium, for children with childhood cancer and their families.