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Swim Across Lake Michigan

July 31st - August 1st, 2015


In Chicago we are lucky to live on the shores of one of the greatest bodies of fresh water in the world: Lake Michigan.  Every swimmer has thought about it: what would it be like to swim across a Great Lake?  What is it like to swim out in the middle of the lake, away from the noise and lights of the cities?  Just you, the water, the sky, the stars and about thirty people who will become your lifelong friends in the span of 24 hours. Now is your chance to find out!

This year, join Swim Across America - Chicago for the 2nd Swim Across Lake Michigan! We are looking for 25 swimmers and top fundraisers to join us on the shores of Chicago and swim relay style until we reach the beaches of Michigan. We will launch on Friday, July 31 in Chicago and land Saturday, August 1 just south of New Buffalo Michigan.  Once ashore we will work on getting our land legs back and celebrate a truly awesome swim that only a select few can say they achieved. This a “bucket list” event that does not come around often.  Don’t miss this opportunity to do something you will be proud to tell friends and family about and “Make Waves to Fight Cancer” at the same time.  Want to learn more? Contact Sean Russell at sean@swimacrossamerica.org


General Information

This year, join Swim Across America - Chicago at the 2nd Swim Across Lake Michicagn event! This unique relay event covers approximately 43 miles in Lake Michigan & raises money for our local beneficiary. Our first lake crossing in 2013 had 21 swimmers who left the shores of Chicago on a Friday evening and landed in Michiana, MI 23 hours later. These 21 swimmers were able to say with pride that they crossed swimming across Lake Michigan off of their "bucket list," but more importantly, they collectively raised $110,000 for cancer research at Rush. Click here to read an article from Chicago Athlete Magazine! 

We are looking for 25 strong swimmers and top fundraisers to join us on the shores of Lake Michigan. Due to the unique nature of this event, registration is limited and each participant must be pre-approved to participate. Fundraising minimums are set at $2,500 and the goal for this year's swim is to exceed the 2014 number.

We are currently targeting Friday, July 31 to Saturday, August 1 for the first date we'd like to attempt the swim with other back-up dates in August. Want to learn more? Contact Sean Russell at Sean@swimacrossamerica.org

Swim Format

  • Relay match race style
  • There will be two teams
  • Each team will have 8 legs
  • The first leg will be 40 minutes
  • Each leg thereafter will be 30 minutes
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Swimmer Requirements

There is very limited space available for this event because swimmers will be on boats during the day. Swim Across America has 14 spots on the boats available. If you are interested in participating, sign up for the Chicago Open Water Swim with a goal of at least $2,500. Once you reach that goal, we will reach out to you to invite you to be a part of the relay event. 

Swim Rules

  • All swimmers in an upcoming leg will changeover behind the leading swimmer of the leading team
  • The swimmers must be behind the feet of the lead swimmer at the change time
  • Teams will gain points for winning a leg
  • No additional aid is allowed while swimmers are in the water
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