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Corridor Open Water Swimmers

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- When Diana Nyad stumbled onto shore on Monday after swimming 110 miles from Cuba to Florida, Cheyanne Kofmehl was ecstatic.

"To have that dream for so long and to finally be able to make it after five tries, it's awesome," Kofmehl said.

Women like Nyad helped pave the way for Kofmehl to hop into the English Channel back in 2011. Kofmehl swam 31 nautical miles, and is humble about it. She said her experience didn't touch Nyad's, but still, it was a life-changing experience.

"You really, really, get to know yourself better when you're inside of your head that long swimming and swimming outside in the elements, and you really become, in my opinion, more in love with being able to swim in nature," Kofmehl said.

Tom Casavant said, that's one reason why there are nearly 70 people who have joined his group -- the Iowa City Open Water Swimmers, or, iCows.

A swim like Nyad's captures people's imaginations, he said.

"The idea of swimming off of one island to another continent or one continent to another. And there's a lot of swims like that in the world," he said.

Casavant just got back from swimming a 5K from Europe to Asia last week, and said, seeing Nyad's swim was amazing.

"It's clear. She was just so focused and wanted to do this thing, and she really wants to share that with a lot of people and inspire people, and I think she definitely has," Casavant said.

People who are interested in iCows can contact Casavant via email at

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