Thursday, March 27, 2014

Swim Across America OWS - May 4th

Undaunted by my lack of training, the 10-lbs of ugly fat I've gained since November, the nasty winter weather, and my poor technique, I have registered for my first event for 2014.  It is the Swim Across America (SAA) Open Water Swim (OWS) charity event scheduled for Sunday, May 4th 2014 at Lake Spivey.  Now, with something to shoot for, it's game on.

I've got just over 5 weeks to get ready.  Fortunately, under this layer of fat lies a lean mean swimming machine which, covered with warm buoyant neoprene from neck to ankles on the day of the event should do just fine.
Before the 2013 Ironman Florida swim
This will be my first ever swim-only activity.  Although I believe it is timed I won't be looking to lead the pack.  Since the rest of the field are likely FOP (front of the pack) swimmers I think I'll resolve myself to just finish.  I will be swimming the 5K (3.1-mile) distance.  The longest distance is twice that at 10K (6.2-miles).  Swimmers participating in the 10K swim have to be evaluated prior to starting.  They have to have demonstrated an ability to swim 10K without drowning.  I'm not sure that I could do that.  5K will be the longest I will have swam thus far.  To get ready I've started running again and riding my bike too.  I'll hit the open water next week when the water temperature gets above 55-degrees.

The 5K course will start at the North Shore neighborhood marina, go east toward the dam on Blackhall Road and back.
This will also be my first charity fundraiser event.  Most runs and rides benefit some charity but only the MS150 for Multiple Sclerosis and Tour de Cure for Diabetes comes to mind as events where each participant is required to raise donations beyond the registration fee.  In this case I will be swimming with the Team Lake Spivey.  Our team captain is Olympic gold medalist and Lake Spivey resident Steve Lundquist.  The team is still forming so if you'd like to participate please go to the Swim Across America website, sign-up and choose your team.  Participants may also swim as individuals and not part of a team.

If you would like to donate toward my personal goal of raising $1,000 to help fight childhood cancer please follow this link to my Swim Across America personal page.  You can also donate to the team from my page.

I must say that I'm looking forward to this event.  It's rare that the southside of Atlanta is able to draw such a prestigious event.  Much of the reason for the event being at Lake Spivey has to do with Swim Across America's affiliation with the small community of former Olympic swimmers and Steve Lundquist's connection with the lake.

Sheri Hart, Amy Tillitson, and Steve Lundquist discussing the Swim Across America event
One of the things that has encouraged me to participate in the SAA event is that it benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  Donations go toward childhood cancer research.  Anything that can improve the likelihood for a positive outcome in children with cancer is great.  If that can have some implementation in the fight against adult cancer is icing on the cake.  As the child of both parents who died as a result of cancer I can appreciate the fact that their research could help me in the distant unforeseen future.   It's nice to still be in the game.

Thanks for reading and thank you for your donations.