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Chicago Open Water Swim

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Join swimmers of all ages and skill levels for the SAA - Chicago Open Water Swim in beautiful Lake Michigan. Choose either the 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 1.5 mile or 3 mile option.

Proceeds from the swim will support cancer research and leading-edge patient care at Rush University Medical Center.

All swimmers raise money to support the cause, and those who feel particularly motivated to raise even more, can register as WaveMaker Swimmers. We welcome you to help us "Make Waves to Fight Cancer!"

Chicago Update
Would you like to get more involved and make an even bigger impact on fighting cancer?  We need help with the following:
    • Committee members who can take on project work and leadership roles in 2015
    • Pool swims - these are super-easy to organize and ideal for high-school and club teams! 
    • Corporate sponsors for 2015
    • Swimmers for Swim Across Lake Michigan 2015
If you’re interested in any of the following, please email Alison at alison@swimacrossamerica.org

_______

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter and get in the conversation!  Follow us on Twitter at @SAAChicago.  And check out our Facebook event page for the latest news and Invite your Facebook friends!

Progress

Make a Gift
Goal:
$400,000.00
Achieved:
$1,668.28
Top Fundraisers

WaveMaker Swimmer

  1. "Rock Star" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Megan Judice - $593.28
  2. Fundraiser Kickstarter Christy McCord - $25.00
  3. Fundraiser Kickstarter Kelly Craig - $25.00

Swimmer

  1. Fundraiser Kickstarter Andrew Porth - $25.00
Team Honor Roll
  1. Captain Badass Fan Club - $618.28
  2. Swim for Butzlaff - $25.00

General Information:

Be a WaveMaker Swimmer:

WaveMakers are elite SAA fundraisers. All swimmers raise at least $500, but Wavemakers (WM) go above and beyond the call of duty by pledging to raise at least $1000. You can sign up to be a WaveMaker when you register but, even if you don't, you will automatically become one when you hit the $1000 mark. WMs get an exclusive WM dry fit shirt, worn by all SAA WaveMakers across the country. They also get access to the WM village on event day where they will have access to other perks and swag. Click here to learn more.

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to swim alone, or be part of a team. Many colleagues 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. All teams members are still required to meet the individual fundraising minimum of $500.

Distance Options:

  • 1/2 Mile
  • 1 Mile
  • 1.5 Mile
  • 3 Mile
  •  

    Sponsorship

    Our goal is to underwrite 100% of our event expenses so that 100% of the money raised by our swimmers will go directly to cancer research. If you would like to help with a corporate sponsorship, please contact Mark Stori at markstori01@gmail.com

    Questions

    Click here to visit our contact us page or reach out to Alison Pease.

    Schedule

    Timeline

  • 6:30 am - Registration Opens
  • 7:30 am - Safety talk
  • 7:45 am - Group photo
  • 7:55 am - River stone ceremony
  • 8:00 am - 3 mile swim start
  • 8:45 am - 1.5 mile swim start
  • 9:00 am - 1 mile swim start
  • 9:15 am - .5 mile swim start
  •  

    Check-in/Registration

    Check-in and registration starts at 6:30 AM. Be sure to allow ample time to turn in any money and to have body marking done before the course talk begins. Every swimmer must check-in and sign a swim waiver.

    Course Safety Talk

    The course safety talk begins at 7:30 AM. Mandatory for all swimmers. The safety of every swimmer is of utmost importance to the Swim Across America organization. The course talk will cover safety operations, course design, and what to do in an emergency on the beach or in the water. Every participant must attend the course talk.

    River Stones, Why I Swim and Tattoos 

    After you've arrived at the swim, please stop by the River Stone table to select and sign a stone for River Stone Ceremony, and the Why I Swim table to sign the backstroke flags. We'll also have LOTS of tattoos for you to choose from to put on! Make sure to meet your fellow swimmers and keep busy with all sorts of activities pre swim! 

    Breakfast and Hydration

    Once you complete registration, proceed to the breakfast area, which will offer coffee, bagels, bananas, and yogurt. 

    Photos

    We have a professional photographer who will be taking photos. A group photo will be taken at 7:45am immediately following the course safety talk. The photographer will also be available to take team and individual photos, so be sure to gather your team early and have a shot taken before the 8am wave starts.

    Post Swim Picnic and Awards

    After you swim, please join us at 10:15 for our picnic and awards ceremony, which will be in the park immediately south of the beach. We'll have pizza from Pizza Hut, sandwiches and drinks. Friends and family who are not registered for the event can purchase wristbands for the picnic for $5. Stop by our Olympians table to meet them, get autographs, and see their medals. Awards will be given to the Top Five Individual Fundraisers, the Top Team, The Russ Haffner Award (outstanding volunteer) and the Cherished Lives Award (team with the most swimmers who have raised the minimum donation).

     

    Logistics

    Event Location

    The Swim is located at Ohio Street Beach, 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611. Ohio St. Beach is near Navy Pier. It is just north of Grand Ave and just east of Lake Shore Drive. Click on the link below for detailed directions to the Pier, which include public transportation and alternate parking lots.  http://www.navypier.com/visit_us/get_here.html. Please be aware that while there is significant overpass construction on Lake Shore Drive between Grand and the beach, you can still proceed through the park to the beach and registration. 

    What to Bring

    To ease the registration process, please fill out the waiver form that is required in order to swim on Saturday. Please fill it out LEGIBLY and COMPLETELY and bring it with you. Please bring any additional donations you have in a sealed envelope labeled with your name on it and the amount.

    CLICK HERE FOR WAIVER FORM (posted closer to the swim)

    In addition to the donations, please remember to bring the following items: sunscreen, a baseball hat or equivalent to shade your face, sweatshirt, sweatpants, wetsuit (optional), board shirt (this goes underneath the wetsuit to prevent chafing around the neck), Vaseline or BodyGlide (for under the arms, neck area), and goggles!

    Each finisher will receive a beach towel when they come out of the water, compliments of Rush University Cancer Center. 

    Parking & Transportation

    We suggest taking public transportation. The closest CTA Train Station is the Red Line stop at Grand and State. The CTA provides six bus lines with more than 200 buses that serve Navy Pier daily. These include the #29 (State Street), the #65 (Grand Avenue) which is equipped with bike racks, and the #66 (Chicago Avenue). For more information, call the CTA at (312) 836-7000 or visitwww.transitchicago.com.  Also, there is a Divvy bike station on the northwest corner of Grand and Lake Shore Drive.

     If you must drive, discounted parking will be available in the Navy Pier Parking Lot from 6:30 am – 12:00 noon. Parking coupons will be available at the Registration Tent at the beach and will discount parking to $10.  Please be aware that the discount is good only until 12:00 noon.  After 12:00 noon you will be charged the $25 regular rate.

    Bag Check

    You can keep all of your belongings together and safe while you swim. Your assigned number to put on your bag will be the same as your body marking number. You can start dropping off your bag at 7:00a.m. and you must pick it up by 10:30a.m.

    Changing Tents

    This year we will have men's & women's changing tents available for swimmer use on the beach. 

    Wetsuits

    The water temperature will likely be in the high 60s to low 70s. USA Triathlon recommends using a wetsuit on shorter distances (the 1/2, 1 and 1.5 mi) if the temps are below 68 degrees, and on longer distances (2.5k and 5k) if the temps are below 71.6.

    Swimmer Requirements

    Be a WaveMaker Swimmer:

    WaveMakers are elite SAA fundraisers. All swimmers raise at least $500, but Wavemakers (WM) go above and beyond the call of duty by pledging to raise at least $1000. You can sign up to be a WaveMaker when you register but, even if you don't, you will automatically become one when you hit the $1000 mark. WMs get an exclusive WM dry fit shirt, worn by all SAA WaveMakers across the country. They also get access to the WM village on event day where they will have access to other perks and swag. Click here to learn more.

    Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

    A person may elect to swim alone, or be part of a team. Many colleagues 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. All teams members are still required to meet the individual fundraising minimum of $500.

    Fundraising Incentives:

    This is a fundraising event, and we ask all of our swimmers to put forth a concerted effort to raise money for cancer research. Most swimmers find that it is surprisingly easy to raise money, especially those swimmers who use the website we provide to update their personal page and send emails.

    Fundraising Tips:

    Having trouble reaching the fundraising minimum or your own fundraising goals? Click here for some tips to help!

    Registration Fees:

    There is a registration fee that will be credited towards each swimmer's fundraising minimum after registering. The registration fee will change as follows:

  • Register before May 15th with a registration fee of $25
  • Register between May 15th and July 1st with a registration fee of $50
  • Register on or after July 1st with a registration fee of $75
  •  

    Age Requirements 

    All swimmers under the age of 12 must have a parent/legal guardian to accompany them for the duration of the swim.

    Angel Swimmers

    We will again be using angel swimmers at our event. Angel Swimmers are experienced open water swimmers assigned to swim with an individual or a group of swimmers to provide encouragement and support throughout the event. If you would like to be an angel swimmer, or would like to have one assigned to you, please contact us at alison@swimacrossamerica.org

    Safety

    Swimmer safety is most important for all of our swimming open water events.  A Swim Director is responsible for coordinating all activities within an event, and works closely with both Police and Coast Guard representatives to ensure swimmer safety. In addition to Swim, Harbor Patrol Police,  Coast Guard boats, Sea Tow and some zodiacs, kayaks ensure swimmer safety at all times.  EMT personnel are aboard several boats.  All boats are able to communicate via both hand held and ship to shore radios. Specific procedures to be followed will be discussed at the swimmer meeting the day of the swim. These procedures are designed to protect swimmers from injury and will be enforced by the Swim Director.

    • Water Temperatures:  
      Sound water temperatures can vary. Wetsuits are not mandatory, but strongly recommended.
    • Waiver: 
      All participants will be required to sign an additional offline waiver of liability at time of check-in.  For children under 18, a parent/guardian will need to sign the form also.
    • Age Requirement: 
      All parents and legal guardians of swimmers under 12 years old, agree to swim along side of her/him for the duration of the swim or if the parent or guardian is not participating in the event, he/she agrees to have another qualified adult, whom they shall specify on swim day, swim along side his/her child for the duration of the swim.
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