Describe Your Event

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Welcome to the Swim Across America – Motor City Mile Open Water Swim! Established in 2019, SAA – Motor City Mile has granted over $50,000 to our beneficiary: Rogel Cancer Center. Thank you for your support of cancer care in Detroit.

Each year we are proud to host over 150 swimmers and volunteers, spectators and supporters, as well as Olympians near and far at our charity swim. We are so excited to have you join us for our 3rd annual swim on July 9th at Belle Isle Beach!

Whether you are a veteran swimmer or you’re looking to do your first open water swim, we welcome you to help us “Make Waves to Fight Cancer.”

Swim Across America is dedicated to providing a safe return to events in 2021.


General Fundraising Requirements:

All swimmers are required to raise at least $400 by event day. Swimmers under 18 are required to raise $200 by event day.

WaveMaker Status: $1,000 minimum:

WaveMakers go above and beyond the call of duty by raising at least $1,000 regardless of your age. Anyone can achieve WaveMaker status – swimmers, volunteers or SAA My Way participants. WaveMakers get special recognition and an exclusive WM gift on event day. You can learn more about WaveMaker Status here.

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to register as an individual, or be part of a team. Many colleges, high schools, and college alumni will form teams, or teams may be formed in honor or memory of a loved one. All teams are inspirational and rewarding for all of us involved with Swim Across America. The team captain will be asked to set a whole team fundraising goal during registration, but will only be responsible for their individual self-donation contribution in order to complete registration and set up the team.

Distance Options:

  • 0.5 Mile
  • 1 Mile
  • 2 Mile

Registration Self-Donation:

Swimmers will be asked to kickstart your fundraising and let your supporters know you are personally committed to the mission of SAA. The registration self-donation is a 100% tax deductible donation that will be will be credited towards each swimmer’s fundraising minimum. The minimum self-donation amount will change as follows:

  • Register before May 1st with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between May 1st and June 10th with a registration fee of $75
  • Register between June 11th and event day with a registration fee of $100

Registration will close 48 hours prior to the swim!

Age Requirements:

Participants ages 12 and under who would like to sign up for the 1 mile or 2 mile swims are required to obtain a letter from their personal accredited coach (USA Swimming, ASCA, etc) verifying the swimmer is capable of swimming the chosen distance in open water.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver that will be found HERE. Please bring it with you to the event and provide at check in.

Swim Caps:

Every swimmer must wear the SAA colored cap given to them at the registration for their designated event. You may not switch caps for a different color, for safety purposes.

Wetsuit Policy, Rentals and Purchases:

Water temperatures at the event typically range from 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit. Please read our full wetsuit policy and tips on our Policies Page.

Online Rental: is offering $15 off with code SAA15 on adult and youth wetsuit rentals. You can find more info here.

Online Purchase: Orca is offering a 15% discount on all Orca wetsuits with code SAAPARTICIPANT15.

Angel Swimmers:

For those people who are nervous about swimming in the open water, we have “swim angels” who are willing to swim alongside you for encouragement. These people are experienced open water swimmers who are more than happy to encourage you, keep an eye on you and support during your swim.

Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

6:30am: Volunteer Check-in begins

7:00am – 8:00am: Swimmer Check-in (all events)

8:00am: Welcome and ‘Why I Swim’ Program

8:20am: Mandatory Pre-Swim Briefing for 2-mile and 1-mile swimmers

8:30am: 2-mile swim starts

8:45am: 1-mile swim starts

9:30am: Mandatory Pre-Swim Briefing for all 1/2-mile swimmers

9:45am: 1/2-mile swims start

11:00am: Post event pre-packaged lunch pickup at the Detroit Yacht Club!
*cost of the lunch is included for all swimmers and volunteers. 


North America

Distances Offered

under 1k





Swim Type


Water Type