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The 18th Annual Swim Teal Lake: Benefit for Diabetes will be held on Saturday, July 31st, 2021.
The first swim occurred in 2004 when Dr. Michael Grossman enlisted the help of Bell Hospital and the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network (UPDON) in planning a 2.25 mile swim across Teal Lake in Negaunee.

The first seventeen years have been a great success and have raised a total of more than $200,000! The donations raised from the swim are used by the U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network (UPDON) to strengthen diabetes care and support across the U.P. through a variety of other projects (see more details about UPDON at

Hundreds of swimmers have ventured across the lake in this challenge, assisted by an equal amount of volunteer kayakers who have helped to guide them. Past guest speakers have included: Olympic gold medal winner, Peter Vanderkaay at the 2005 and 2013 events, Mark Spitz in 2009, Janet Evans in 2010, Coralie Simmons in 2011, Dr. Natalie Strand in 2014, and Gary Hall Jr. in 2017.

If you enjoy swimming, the time is right to begin your training for the 18th annual Swim Teal Lake: Benefit for Diabetes on July 31, 2021. Hope to see you at the swim!

This year’s race will consist of the traditional 2.25 mile swim across Teal Lake and a short ¼ mile swim. The “Short-n-Sweet” swim will be a 1/4 mile swim and open to ALL ages! It will be a great introduction to open water swimming. The “Short-n-Sweet” swim will begin at 8:30 am with the Beginner (2.25 mile) to start at 9am and Competitive (2.25 mile) at 9:30 am. Register on-line by Friday, July 30, 2021, or the morning of the swim. Please register at least 1/2 hour before your heat begins. All races will start on Negaunee’s Teal Lake Beach. The “Short-n-Sweet” will begin and end on the Negaunee side while the long races will end at Ishpeming’s beach at Al Quaal.

Pre-register by July 30, 2021.  Late registration is also possible the day of the race.   In addition to the traditional 2.25 mile swim across Teal Lake, this year we will be adding a 1/4 mile race.  The “Short-n-Sweet” race is open to all ages and will be a great introduction to open water swimming! Start times will be: “Short-n-Sweet” @ 8:30; Beginners @ 9:00 am; Competitive @ 9:30 am.   Please register 1/2 hour before your heat begins.  Heats will begin promptly at times noted.  Pledge envelopes will be collected race day at Teal Lake Beach, please have them sealed, with name and amount of money noted on outside of envelope.  Checks made out to:  UPDON/UPCAP.    Race packets will be distributed at Teal Lake Beach the morning of the swim.  Packets will include, race number, swimming cap, drop bag, T-shirt a raffle ticket and more….

Pre-swim meetings will begin 15 minutes before the start of each heat at the Teal Lake Beach.  This will cover rules, safety issues and weather updates.  All swimmers and safety volunteers are required to attend.

Safety boats will follow the group across the lake.

Advanced Swimmers Only

Each swimmer must be capable of swimming the entire length of approximately 2.25 miles.  Safety boats consisting of kayaks, canoes and electric powered motors will be available for those that want to hold on and rest, wait out a leg cramp, get a drink, or be towed to shore.

If you think you will be in the water more than 2.5 hours, you must supply your own safety boat and volunteer.

Wet suits are allowed.  Fins are allowed if you feel they are necessary to finish in the time limit of 2.5 hours.  But you can not win an award. 

Drop bags will be transported to the finish line and left on the Lodge porch.

Included in your drop bag should be your towel, dry clothes, and personal items needed when reaching the finish line.  The finish line will be a few yards up the beach, so come out of the lake and proceed to the finish line for time. 


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will have refreshments (water, Gatorade, and snacks) available outside at the end of the race.  The safety boats will have bottles available for those needing a drink during the swim.


North America

Distances Offered

under 1k





Swim Type


Water Type