Mallory Mead grew up in Plymouth, Indiana. Mallory first tried out for the swim team when she was four years old and after doggie paddling around for awhile was told to try again the following year. She came back with a vengeance and made the team, then won the team’s MVP award two years later. Over the course of her pool swimming career, Mallory swam for several local swim clubs, and went on to swim varsity for Western Kentucky University. When she was ten she signed up for the Zone Championships half-mile open water swim on a whim, and though she placed close to the bottom of 200 or so swimmers in her 200 freestyle, she placed 5th in the open water event.
In 2002, a 16-year-old Mallory swam the 7.8 mile Little Red Lighthouse Swim held in New York City in the Hudson River at the time it was her longest swim ever and her very first salt water swim. Because of her performance in the Little Red Lighthouse Swim, in 2004 Mallory was accepted into the prestigious Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS). In spite of being inexperienced and by far the youngest participant in an elite international field, Mallory placed fourth overall and third amongst the women with a time of 7 hours and 44 minutes.
Between 2004 and 2007, Mallory honed her skills with various lesser-known swims across the country. In 2007, raced in the 8-mile long Boston Light Swim held under the worst conditions in the history of the event. After braving 60-degree water, 25-30 mph winds, and 4-5 foot waves for just under 4 hours, Mallory knew she was prepared to take on the Mount Everest of open water Swimming, the English Channel.
On July 26, 2008, Mallory became the 777th person to successfully swim the English Channel under the Channel Swimming Association in 10 hours 34 minutes. For her efforts Mallory was awarded the Robert Lyle Memorial Trophy for being the Channel Swimming Association’s Fastest American of the Year. She was also awarded The Sotiraki Trophy for being the Fastest Lady of the Year.
In 2009, after a year of disappointments and cancelled swims, Mallory recommitted herself to the sport and placed 1st in her age group and 2nd Woman Overall at the USMS 10k Open Water Nationals.
In August of 2010, Mallory successfully swam the 21-mile Catalina Channel in 8 hours and 36 minutes. Upon doing so, she became the 39th person in the world to complete the “Triple Crown” of Open Water Swimming, consisting of Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, the English Channel, and the Catalina Chanel. Mallory’s time was only about 30 minutes slower than the men’s record.
In 2012 Mallory made her debut on the professional marathon swimming circuit at the 2012 Maraton Hernandarias-Parana alternative race in Parana, Argentina, where she placed third.
Mallory lives and trains in Los Angeles, California.