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Thread: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

  1. #1
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    Question Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    Hello folks,

    I am beginning to look into setting up, and doing a marathon swim for charity, for next summer, (solo) and I was wondering if anybody here had been through it and had any input. I am planning on getting in touch with coastguards, etc. in order to get whatever permits I need, and finding information on currents, etc. to pick a time that will be ideal for the swim. Beyond these, I'm sure there are many other obstacles that will come up. Any help along the way would be great.

    Edit: In case it wasn't clear, I am planning on having the only one swimming to be me.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    Curious - where do you plan to swim?

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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    The current plan is crossing Lake Michigan from New Buffalo, MI to Chicago, IL but this could change based on the currents, tides, etc. I have a lot of research and consultation to do beforehand.

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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    I have some experience with setting up a charity swim. Contact the charity you want to support, with your idea, why you want to do it, fundraising plan and how it fits with the charity. Then you need need your route, safety plan, support crew and permits. If your charity is willing they may make it a one time event and cover it with their insurance.
    If you need details I'd be happy to help you out I started the Pennock Island Challenge supporting the American Diabetes association and prior to that I did a Catalina channel swim that raised money for the ADA.

    Willie

    P.S. I don't think you need to worry about tides in the great lakes.

  5. #5
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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    I am curious if there is a clearinghouse for creative marathon swims, i.e. a sort of record keeper. It might be important this clearinghouse include information for ensuring a swim be as safe as possible.

    Steve Munatones? chaos?
    Last edited by swimthegoodfight; December 3rd, 2012 at 04:07 PM.

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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    Quote Originally Posted by Underwater9 View Post
    The current plan is crossing Lake Michigan from New Buffalo, MI to Chicago, IL but this could change based on the currents, tides, etc. I have a lot of research and consultation to do beforehand.
    That's a 40+ mile swim. Have you done other swims in this distance range? Or even a 20 mile swim?

    ---
    www.marathonswimmers.org

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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    Quote Originally Posted by evmo View Post
    That's a 40+ mile swim. Have you done other swims in this distance range? Or even a 20 mile swim?
    Yes, the swimming part shouldn't be a problem (not to say it will be easy - that challenge will be part of the fun). It is more the logistics and setting it up that could be an issue, but I have begun contacting people so we'll see.

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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    I worked on Great Lakes freighters for a few years. My impression is that most parts of the lakes, current is negligible - but it's also unpredictable because it isn't tidal.

    However, for most of the lakes, prevaling wind is from NW to SE, so you would be going against the wind (and likely the waves). Not sure if this is true in southern Lake Michigan or not.

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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    There have been several swims across Lake Michigan. All went West to East. They started in Chicago and either went to Michigan City or Benton Harbor. See if you can get in touch with Ted Erikson or his son Jon for advice.
    As for planning: apply for sanctioning with your local USMS organization. Also, the advice of linking with your charity org. of choice is good advice. They can help with the fundraising and insurance.

    Contact the USCG and apply for a "marine event" permit.

    Contact the harbor masters closest to you planned start and finish. Inform them of you plans and ask for advice on weather, currents and boat traffic.

    Write up a detailed safety plan. USMS and the USCG will want this.

    Contact NOAA and local universities for advice on expected water temps, currents, etc...

  10. #10
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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    Post your question on the Marathon Swimmers Forum. You might get some good advice there as well.

    http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/

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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    Quote Originally Posted by gregoc View Post
    There have been several swims across Lake Michigan. All went West to East. They started in Chicago and either went to Michigan City or Benton Harbor. See if you can get in touch with Ted Erikson or his son Jon for advice.
    As for planning: apply for sanctioning with your local USMS organization. Also, the advice of linking with your charity org. of choice is good advice. They can help with the fundraising and insurance.

    Contact the USCG and apply for a "marine event" permit.

    Contact the harbor masters closest to you planned start and finish. Inform them of you plans and ask for advice on weather, currents and boat traffic.

    Write up a detailed safety plan. USMS and the USCG will want this.

    Contact NOAA and local universities for advice on expected water temps, currents, etc...
    Thanks! Great advice, all around.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member lapswimmr's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up my own (charity) marathon swim

    Quote Originally Posted by Underwater9 View Post
    Thanks! Great advice, all around.
    Every charity swim I know of has been done once by the founder of the swim, Thats what starts it off then they are opened to others as challengers or participents, so take the advice of the marine plan, coast guard notification and do it, then next year organize a event around it. Have to tell you the distance you are undertaking is huge and there will be very few entrants, This is much longer a swim then the English Channel. My advice look for another swim something special but not so long no more then 10k and 5 k is better yet.
    The more people the more fun and have two classes "Skins no wetsuits E.C rules and a wetsuit class . Strait Of Mackinaw is there a swim there ? Thats about 4 -5 miles.

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