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11-Year-Old Boy's Birthday Swim: Alcatraz to San Francisco

Liam Filley Brown, a student at Sinaloa Middle School, takes 54 minutes for his casual dip in the bay.

What did you do on your 11th birthday? What Liam Filley Brown did on his 11th probably will top your story.

The sixth-grader at celebrated his big day Monday by jumping into San Francisco Bay and swimming from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park in San Francisco — in just 54 minutes.

Liam is a member of the Rolling Hills Stingrays swim team and decided to follow in the footsteps — er, wake — of his mother, open-water swimmer Kathryn Filley Brown. He jumped it at about 6:45 a.m. and was directed by South End Rowing Club’s Bob Roper.

“He just decided to do this on his own,” said Kathryn, who is married to another open-water swimmer, David Brown.

At age 9, Liam ran a half-marathon, and he wanted to swim from Alcatraz will he was still 10, his mother said.

“He wants to do a marathon, but we told him no because his bones are still developing,” Kathryn said. “But he has mentioned he wants to swim from Point Bonita back to the club (at Aquatic Park), which is seven miles. If he sets his mind to it, we’ll make it happen.”

All that and he got to school in time for third period.

Regina Bianucci Rus CPA September 13, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Awesome. Congratulations!!!
Vicki Sutton-Beattie September 13, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Way to go Liam! Stingrays are proud of you and your accomplishment! Happy Birthday!

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