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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 to 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!"

Follow Us on Social Media!

For the latest news and information about our swim, and to learn more about our swimmers and beneficiary, Rush Medical Center, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Progress

Make a Gift
Goal:
$365,000.00
Achieved:
$57,502.67
Top Fundraisers

WaveMaker Swimmer

  1. "Trophy" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Pat Brummet - $11,103.00
  2. "Heart" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Jeanne Skaggs - $4,860.00
  3. "Heart" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Stephen Schlegel - $3,773.00
  4. "SAA Superstar"  Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Morgan Piasecki - $1,335.00
  5. "SAA Superstar"  Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Catherine Gray - $1,140.00
  6. "SAA Superstar"  Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Jennifer Haidu - $1,060.00
  7. "SAA Superstar"  Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Stephen Cruise - $1,040.00
  8. "SAA Superstar"  Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter David McClellan - $1,040.00
  9. Fundraiser Kickstarter Elissa Luksa - $960.00
  10. Fundraiser Kickstarter Stephanie Schlegel - $950.00

Swimmer

  1. "SAA Superstar"  Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Nicholas Gaggiano - $1,094.00
  2. "SAA Superstar"  Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Beth Jerin - $1,035.00
  3. Fundraiser Kickstarter Antonio Santoro - $860.00
  4. Fundraiser Kickstarter Ashley Rivard - $750.00
  5. "Rock Star" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Jennifer VandenBergh - $645.00
  6. "Rock Star" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Steven Montejano - $595.00
  7. "Rock Star" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Norman Chavosky - $590.00
  8. "Rock Star" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Colleen Taylor - $580.00
  9. "Rock Star" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Ali Massoud - $570.00
  10. "Rock Star" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Alejandro Castro - $546.11

Under 18 Swimmer

  1. "Thumbs Up" Badge Fundraiser Kickstarter Mary Koester - $300.00
  2. Fundraiser Kickstarter John Pigott - $150.00
  3. Fundraiser Kickstarter Hannah Pigott - $150.00
  4. Fundraiser Kickstarter Cristian Onate - $100.00
  5. Fundraiser Kickstarter Natalie Soutonglang - $50.00
  6. Fundraiser Kickstarter Sydney Thach - $50.00

Offsite Swimmer

Land Volunteer

  1. "Thumbs Up" Badge Julie Sawchuk - $260.00
  2. Myra Russell - $10.00
  3. Emma Russell - $10.00
Team Honor Roll
  1. Team Anne, Mike and Friends - $12,159.11
  2. Team Life - $11,193.00
  3. Chicago Athletic Club Masters - $3,404.44
  4. Every Second Counts - $2,140.00
  5. Rush University MC &Midwest Orthopaedic at Rush - $2,040.00
  6. Valentine Aquatics - $1,894.00
  7. Team She She - $1,850.00
  8. The Swedish Fish - $1,570.00
  9. Team Russ - $1,180.00
  10. Longhorns Against Cancer - $1,040.00
  11. Captain Badass Fan Club - $745.00
  12. Team Rockets - $680.00
  13. Team Danny - $550.00
  14. Nurses Against Hearses - $430.00
  15. Team West Monroe Partners - $390.00
  16. Team Hawkeye - $200.00
  17. Team Maureen Kelly - $200.00
  18. Team Twist - $190.00
  19. Chicago Smelts Masters Swim Team - $140.00
  20. Making Waves - $80.00
  21. XTRACOM - $60.00
  22. DITR - Dancing in the Rain - $40.00

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 hoodie, 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. The individual fundraising minimum for high school swimmers is $200. 

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 April 15th with a registration fee of $40
  • Register between April 15th and May 15th with a registration fee of $60
  • Register between May 15th and June 15th with a registration fee of $80
  • Register on or after June 15th with a registration fee of $100

  • Distance Options:

  • 1/2 Mile
  • 1 Mile
  • 1.5 Mile
  • 3 Mile (2 hr. 30 min cutoff)
  •  

    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 David McClellan

    Questions

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

    Event Day Timeline

    TENTATIVE EVENT DAY TIMELINE

    6:30 am: Registration Opens
    7:30 am: Opening Remarks
    7:45 am: Why I Swim   
    7:55 am: Mandatory Safety Talk
    8:05 am: Group Photo
    8:17am: 3 Mile Swim Start
    8:30 am: 1.5 Mile Swim Start
    8:40 am: 1 Mile Swim Start
    8:45 am: 1/2 Mile Swim Start
    10:15 am: Picnic! 

    Check-in/Registration

    Check in/Registration start time will be determined closer to event day. Every swimmer must check-in, get body marked and sign a waiver during this time.  

    Course Safety Talk

    The course safety talk will take place before swimmers enter the water. This is 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.

    There will be plenty of pre-swim activities for you to choose from. From Rookie Initiation to the WaveMakers booth to breakfast and hydration stations, there's somethign for everyone to enjoy! 

    Stay tuned for more event-day details!

    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. 

    Chicago Course Map 2015

    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 

    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 visit www.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. Wetsuits will be available for rent on the beach from third-party vendors. Last year, this line was very long, so plan to arrive early to get the right size and have time to do the fun beach activities before your wave kicks off! 

    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 hoodie, 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. The individual fundraising minimum for high school swimmers is $200. 

    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 April 15th with a registration fee of $40
  • Register between April 15th and May 15th with a registration fee of $60
  • Register between May 15th and June 15th with a registration fee of $80
  • Register on or after June 15th with a registration fee of $100
  •  

    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 for distances up to, and including, 2.5k. 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 Marine Police and Chicago Park District to ensure swimmer safety. Chicago Park District Life Guards are placed throughout the course both in rowboats, motorboats, and on foot along the bike bath. EMT personnel are on-shore and work in conjunction with the Life Guards and Swim Director in case of emergency. 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.

    Safety Talk

    • The safety talk is mandatory for all swimmers!

    Water Temperatures

    • Lake water temperatures can vary and can change very quickly. We adhere to USA Triathlon guidelines for wetsuits, which are posted on our Event Day tab.  

    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.
    Angel Swimmers

     

    • We will again be using angel swimmers at our event for distances up to, and including, 2.5k. 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 briana@swimacrossamerica.org

       

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