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Welcome to the Swim Across America - Houston Open Water Swim.

Houston Open Water Swim Postponed: In the interest of promoting public health, the SAA - Houston Open Water Swim has been postponed. Once the CDC updates its guidelines, we will attempt to reschedule SAA - Houston. We will be in touch as soon as we have more information about a new date for the event.

As always, all proceeds raised will be included in the Swim Across America - Houston total and granted to our beneficiary MD Anderson Cancer Center. Registration and fundraising is still open and we look forward to announcing a rescheduled date soon.











Even in these uncertain times, we can continue making waves to fight cancer. As we navigate COVID-19, we've created a special webpage for event updates, helpful information and ways you can continue to support the mission of Swim Across America.

Welcome to the Swim Across America - Houston Open Water Swim. Swimmers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in our second annual charity swim hosted in Lake Houston at Alexander Deussen Park. Whether you are a veteran swimmer or you're looking to do your first open water swim, we welcome you to help us "Make Waves to Fight Cancer."

If you have any questions about SAA - Houston, please contact Karlene Denby.

Swim Across America, Inc. (“SAA”) is a nonprofit corporation recognized by the IRS with federal tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax ID #22-3248256)



Schedule is subject to change.

6:45 am: Registration Opens!

7:40 am: Welcome Program

8:25 am: 5K Swimmer Safety Meeting and Group Photograph at Start

8:30 am: 5K Swim Start

8:35 am: 1 Mile Swimmer Safety Meeting and Group Photograph at Start

8:40 am: 1 Mile Swim Start

8:45 am: ½ Mile Swimmer Safety Meeting and Group Photograph at Start

8:50 am: ½ Mile Swim Start

Ceremony to follow. Bring the whole family!


General Fundraising Requirements:

All swimmers are required to raise at least $400 by event day. Swimmers under 18 are required to raise $200 by event day.

WaveMaker Swimmer - $1,000 Minimum:

WaveMakers are elite SAA fundraisers and go above and beyond the call of duty by pledging to raise at least $1,000 regardless of your age. You can sign up for any of the four distances. WaveMakers get an exclusive WM gift and access to the WM tent on event day where they will have access to other perks and swag.

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to swim alone, or be part of a team. Many colleges, high schools, 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.

Distance Options:

  • 0.5 - Mile
  • 1 - Mile
  • 5K

**Swim course cut-off time for the 5K is 2 hours 30 minutes.

Registration Self-Donation:

Swimmers will be asked to kickstart your fundraising and let your supporters know you are personally committed to the mission of SAA. The registration self-donation is a 100% tax deductible donation that will be will be credited towards each swimmer's fundraising minimum. The minimum self-donation amount will change as follows:

  • Register before February 1st with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between February 2nd and March 20th with a registration fee of $75
  • Register between March 21st and event day with a registration fee of $100

**For the remainder of the 2020 event season minimum self-donations will remain at $50 until event day.

Online registration will close 48 hours prior to the swim! Event day registration may still be available if space permits.

Age Requirements:

Participants ages 12 and under who would like to sign up for the 1 mile or 5K swims are required to obtain a letter from their personal accredited coach (USA Swimming, ASCA, etc) verifying the swimmer is capable of swimming the chosen distance in open water.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found HERE. Please bring it with you to the event and provide at check in.

Swim Caps:

Every swimmer must wear the SAA colored cap given to them at the registration for their designated event. You may not switch caps for a different color, for safety purposes.

Wetsuit Rentals and Purchases:

Online Rental: is offering $15 off with code SAA15 on adult and youth wetsuit rentals. You can find more info here.

Online Purchase: Orca is offering a 15% discount on all Orca wetsuits with code SAAPARTICIPANT15.

Angel Swimmers:

For those people who are nervous about swimming in the open water, we have "swim angels" who are willing to swim alongside you for encouragement. These people are experienced open water swimmers who are more than happy to encourage you, keep an eye on you and support during your swim. If you would like to be an angel swimmer, or would like to have one assigned to you, please contact Jenna.

Swimmer Packet:

The 2020 Swimmer Packet will be released soon - for reference see the 2019 HOUSTON SWIMMER PACKET


If this is your first time participating in Swim Across America or if you just need some tips to be a better fundraiser, click here. It will walk you through the participant center and teach you how to email donors, share on social media sites and download the fundraising app.

You may support the swimmer of your choice by making an online donation. Or you may send a check, payable to Swim Across America, to the address below:

Swim Across America, 11600 N. Community House Road, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28277

Make sure to include a note with the name of the swimmer you are donating to.


Swim Across America makes participant safety the most important component of all our events. All swimmers will be asked to follow specific safety procedures and policies to participate, as well as comply with SAA safety personnel, including local and government entities, Lifeguards, and water safety volunteers. Participants are responsible for adequately preparing for their registered event. We ask that all participants review the information packet provided in advance of event day, as well as attend the day-of safety briefing for important safety information.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found HERE.


If you have questions about our policies regarding inclement weather, swim equipment or wetsuits, please consult our Policies page.


Swim Location

Alexander Deussen Park
Lake Houston
12303 Sonnier St, Houston, TX 77044

Site Map

2016 Atlanta Map


2016 Atlanta Map

Places to Stay:

Hampton Inn Houston I-10 East
10505 East Freeway, Houston, TX 77029
Note: SAA Rates will be shared at a later date.
To book now click HERE.


Swim Across America - Houston benefits adult and pediatric brain tumor research and clinical trials at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Brain cancer is the second most common cancer in children and a rare cancer in adults, but it’s very difficult to treat and has poor survival at any age. Researchers at MD Anderson are working to find better treatment options, including new immunotherapies, for this historically underfunded cancer type.

Dr. John de Groot

John de Groot, M.D., is the interim chairman of the Neuro-Oncology department at MD Anderson Cancer Center and an active swimmer. His laboratory research focuses on glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive brain cancer in adults, and he serves as principal investigator for several glioblastoma clinical trials.

“Brain cancer doesn’t have as much awareness or funding as many other cancer types, so support from foundations like Swim Across America is crucial to fund research and make progress,” de Groot says.

Click here to view Dr. de Groot's profile video.
Click here to view Dr. de Groot's lab website.

Dr. Richard Gorlick

Richard Gorlick, M.D., is the division head of Pediatrics at MD Anderson Cancer Center. His team includes a group of doctors and scientists dedicated to childhood brain tumors. A childhood cancer survivor himself, Dr. Gorlick personally understands the importance of cancer research and has made it his life’s work to help kids with cancer.

“Too many parents lose their children to brain cancer each year. Support from Swim Across America will help our efforts to improve treatment and survival for childhood brain cancer,” Gorlick says.

Click here to view Dr. Gorlick's profile video.
Dr. Gorlick had his own pediatric cancer experience, read more about his story here.


These Olympians have participated in SAA - Houston in recent years - stay tuned for this year's attendees:


    Mark Barr
    Cammile Adams
    Sandy Neilson
    Ricky Berens
    Craig Beardsley








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