44-Mile Swim Across Lake Michigan

44-Mile Swim Across Lake Michigan

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Swim Across America is hosting its 2nd annual Swim Across Lake Michigan (SALM) relay.

David McClellan explains, “It will be open to 20-25 swimmers who raise at least US$3,000. It’s a relay format, with swimmers of like speeds swimming in groups of 2-4 people for 30 minute or 60 minute legs. Swimmers will depart on Friday, August 8th around dusk from downtown Chicago, and will swim 44 miles to Michiana, Michigan.

Last year, the swim took 23 hours and we arrived at sunset the following day. Many swimmers from SALM1 told me that the swim was one of the most amazing things they’d ever done. The back-up date in case of inclement weather is August 15th and 16th

Charlie Cunnick and Mark Hauser, who are running SALM2, have a high bar to reach. McClellan of SALM1 describes the fund-writing effort in 2013, “The proceeds from SALM benefit early-stage cancer research at Rush University Cancer Center in Chicago. Last year, Swim Across America Chicago raised more than US$400,000 for Rush which funded six cancer research grants.”

On August 20th 2013, 20 swimmers swam a 42-mile (67.5 km) relay from Ohio State Street in Chicago to Michigan across Lake Michigan in the SALM1 edition.

Their 23 hour 1 minute Swim Across Lake Michigan 1 effort was a charity swim that raised over US$110,000 to fund a cancer research project at Rush University Cancer Center. The members included David Sims, Bob Lewis, Mark Hauser, John Martin, Melodee Nugent, Ryan Foley, John Schoser, Sean Russell, Michelle Milne, Bill Lee, Dave McClellan, Kendra Robinson, Andrea Rudser-Rusin, Dan Cline, Kara Pellaton, Chip Gilbertson, Jim Sara, Michael Markman, Ellen Bintz Meuch, and Stephanie Felber.

Hauser explains, “The goal of the swim was not to race, but to get across the lake in a safe amount of time. We deliberately avoided, to a large degree, timing and competitive aspects. There were 3 groups that were designated by color for safety and identification.

There were 8 legs and each leg had 2 or 3 swimmers. The length of each rotation varied. The first overnight rotation was the longest so that we could avoid people doing two night swims. This first rotation had people doing an average of one hour. After the first rotation, rotations were 30 minutes. There were a total of 5 rotations.

For more information, contact Chris at Swim Across Lake Michigan.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones