Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Swim is Over

Some of the MM bloggers and caregivers
will remember "Andre" and I didn't
want him forgotten, either.
It's hard to believe the Swim Across America event here in Seattle is over and I only have a few hours before grabbing onto the wings of an east-bound plane for Atlanta, GA, and then head south to Colombia.

I was there again at Luther Burbank Park at 6 a.m. ready to volunteer. It was dark and cool and I had to drive through several patches of rain so it was just plain good fortune that it didn't rain during the event.

The turnout of swimmers was bigger than last year with 200 jumping into water temperatures that would send more than a shiver up your back. According to the announcer at the end, the fund-raising for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) was better than the year before, too. That is good news because they are working very hard on research related to the immune system and these funds will help to support that effort.

I found this sign somewhat amusing given the numbers
of people (200) who were swimming for this event.
Actually there were over 50 people on the water watching
out for the swimmers - police, rescue personnel and volunteer
kayakers and boaters to ensure a safe outcome.
Some of the volunteers were on the water, some were dishing out food (me), some were handing out packets and tee shirts and afterwards there were a lot who were doing clean-up. As my daughter remarked, "We couldn't swim without all the help that's provided." It was fun, and I wouldn't have missed seeing my oldest beat her own time by a couple of minutes over last year. Good going!!

This year the cooler temperatures made the hot sausages, hot quiche, hot pancakes and the rich whipped cream and strawberries, cookies, cup cakes and cream cheese a veritable feast for all who attended. If food is a motivator, this year it sure surpassed all expectations! Families and friends picnicked together after the racing was done and listened to announcements and successes in the fundraising efforts. The numbers aren't all in yet, but they definitely already showed an increase over 2009. One team of four women raised $7,000, winning the "Best Effort Award."

One of the on-water volunteers was taking his dog with him. "She loves to go with me," he said. But in this first photo, he is trying to tell her she has to move to the front and she has already loaded on, being very careful to keep her feet dry, having determined that the cold water wasn't something she wanted too much of.

In the second photo he had gently taken her by the collar and pretty much forced her to move to the front spot. I loved the expression on her face which seemed to say, "I don't agree with you, but if you say so."

And then in this final photo she seems to have resigned herself to the new position and is watching some of the activities on shore as her owner paddles out to the race area.
The Half-milers begin their swim at 8:30 a.m. and a few managed to finish
just as the Two-milers were coming into the gates as well.

The leading swimmers in the Two-Mile race began hitting the gate at 39 and 40 minutes (having started at slightly after 8 a.m.) which means that they were swimming a mile in 20 minutes!!! That is churning up some water!!! The Half-Milers were swimming pretty well by putting themselves through the gate after about 25-30 minutes. Nothing to be ashamed of!

About 9:30 the sun began to break through the heavy clouds and as the remainder of the swimmers came onto the beach from both races, the early arrivers were getting toweled off and warmed back up.
There are too many who are in this MM fight... I was sad
that they limited the numbers of flags we could post.
I posted some prayer flags for a few of the MM folks I know who are having a particularly tough time, but I was limited in the number of flags so I just want to say that although your name might not have appeared to be waving in the breeze, I was still thinking of you and your caregivers and hope you know this was not meant as any kind of slight. And while I wasn't 'swimming,' for the cure, I did what I could to support those who were.
These are the leader swimmers rounding the last mark on their two-mile
Swim Across America in less than 40 minutes!
'Godwillin' and the crick don't rise,' I will be back next year to do my small part in helping to raise awareness, funds and energy to this event.
The red, white and blue balloons of Swim Across America
blow in the gentle breeze off Lake Washington in Seattle.


  1. I just love the dog's expressions. Glad you had a good time Sandy. Have a great time in South America too! :D

  2. Hello my friend! Looked like a GREAT day....Dom loved his flag and says THANK YOU!

    Have a blast in Columbia... take lots of pics! Safe travels-