Obit Conrad Wennerberg

Wennerberg left with Greta Andersen
 after her Luke Michigan
50 mile swim

Wennerberg was born in Chicago on June 20, 1932 and was
introduced to swimming in Lake Michigan at the age of four. He was
accepted into medical school at the University of Chicago, with an interest and
focus on what would later become known as sports medicine, before he became
interested in marathon swimming. 

He moved to Hyde Park, in Chicago in 1969. He held night manager
jobs, at the Illinois Athletic Club and the local Walgreens, so he could swim
four to five miles each day. Beyond working and taking his daily swims, he was
coach and trainer to IMSHOF swimmers Ted Erikson 
 (the first double-crosser of the English Channel) and Dennis
Match and ISHOF/IMSHOF hall-of-famer Jon Erikson.
, Wennerberg also traveled to Canada’s La Tuque, where he coached
and explored marathon swimming. He developed a keen interest in cold water
swimming, which is an element he brought to his coaching. Cold water swimming
became a norm for him, as he had swum in Lake Michigan every single day of the
year for many years. He was so devoted to his daily regimen that he would take
an ice pick or axe to chip away ice from the lakefront, to gain access to the

In 1974, he wrote “Wind, Waves, and Sunburn,” a book chronicling
the history of marathon swimming. He was inducted into the International
Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1977. 

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7 years ago

Thanks Ivonne… a great contributor I had the honor to meet in the 1970's … he certainly furthered our sport in many ways… PEACE

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