Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Medina to Madison Park in an hour or so

They piled onto the Madison Park shore this morning in five separate waves. Swimmers (306 of them) and kayakers (80 of them), all having plowed across Lake Washington to benefit a very good cause. It was by far the biggest Swim for Life in the 13 year history of the event, which raises funds for the Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC). Last year there were only 250 or so participants, and it was not that long ago (perhaps two years) that there were only about 30 swimmers making the race.

So Swim for Life, the brainchild of banker Scott Leopold, has come a long way since 1998 when, according to PSBC President James AuBuchon, Leopold did the very first Swim for Life solo.
The weather didn’t quite cooperate, making the course choppy (“wicked fierce” said one participant); and the air temperature was a bit bracing for the swimmers when they arrived on the beach after their 2.25- mile workout. But shivering or not (and most were not), everyone seemed to be having a good time, spectators included.

For reasons of safety, a kayaker was a part of each of the 80 teams participating. With a maximum of four swimmers per team, the kayakers were able to effectively monitor the progress of each of the team's swimmers as they navigated the straight-line course to Madison Park.

Swim for Life this year was successful in raising almost $50,000 as of the start of the race. And it’s not too late to donate, so click here to do so. All funds raised from the event this year will go to fund registration fees for the national bone marrow registry.

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