Kayaker attempting to circumnavigate all five Great Lakes

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March 26 (UPI) -- An endurance kayaker is 26 days into her attempt to circumnavigate all five Great Lakes -- a distance of about 4,200 miles.

Traci Lynn Martin, 52, of Kansas City, Mo., embarked March 1 from Buffalo, N.Y., and said Wednesday she was nearing Cleveland's Lake Erie shore.


Martin previously attempted the feat in 2017, but was forced to end her attempt due to ice on Lake Ontario after completing only three lakes. She finished having paddled for a distance of 3,592 miles, 230 miles short of the Guinness World Record.

Martin said she is not attempting to break the Guinness record this time, freeing her from rules that previously barred her from having a back-up boat in case her surfski - a long kayak - gets damaged.

The kayaker said she is hoping to finish her journey of about 4,200 miles by Christmas.

"It's more about the message than the miles," Martin told

"In 2017 I was like this thoroughbred horse ready to get out of the gate and just go, go, go," Martin said. "This time around I have a lot more patience. If the weather is telling me it's not a good day, then I'm not going to put myself in danger and go out."


Martin, who has rheumatoid arthritis, said she is aiming to inspire others with chronic illnesses not let themselves be held back.

"I want to show people that maybe you can't do what you used to and maybe you're still going to hurt but you don't have to be in that rut of depression and hopelessness. There is still life." Martin told WJET-TV.

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