Cary, NC – The Triangle Aquatic Center is bringing back its Swim Across America training and fundraiser, bringing in swimming dignitaries and introducing a Mile of Hope to honor a local swimmer
Open Water Swim
Swim Across America has held events in the Triangle since 2013, with registration going towards cancer research and prevention. Scott Dameron, TAC’s executive director, said it is different than most indoor training events because it replicates an open water format.
“All lane markers are gone. We have buoys set up and the participants swim a course around them,” Dameron said. “It’s not just your typical swimming laps.”
The event takes place on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 2 PM, with TAC helping with volunteers and lifeguards while Swim Across America runs the event. It will include Olympic clinics for both swimming and water polo.
“We’re pleased to offer the opportunity,” Dameron said. “It’s important to us and builds on our mission to provide unique swimming services.”
What the event means to a swimmer depends on their experience, Dameron said. For year-round swimmers, he said it can be a fun event is because it so different from what they may be used to, while other swimmers will be tested more and have to practice diligence swimming in such a large, open water setting.
“It tests endurance more than anything else,” Dameron said.
Mile of Hope
A key feature of Swim Across America is the prominent swimmers who will be in attendance, to share their thoughts and offer suggestions. This year, the swimming dignitaries are 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Elaine Breeden, two-time Olympic trials qualifier and world record holder Erika Braun and 2016 Invictus Gold Medalist and retired army staff sergeant Tim Payne. Payne lost his legs and part of one arm while serving in the army.
But a new aspect of this year’s Swim Across America is Brian’s Mile of Hope, which is what will utilize the open water format. The event is in honor of Brian Goldman. Goldman started the Mudpuppies Swim Team, who will be participating in the swim event at TAC. Goldman died in May 2015 from colon cancer.
“All of this was drive by Mary DeMilia,” Dameron said, referencing Raleigh Swim Across America Director Mary DeMilia. “This is her brain-child and she’s taken it and run with this.”
Dameron said attendance at the event is always loud and raucous and TAC tries to make it as fun as possible.
“We’ll have music playing the whole time. Typically we wouldn’t because you are changing events and heats and everyone needs to hear each other clearly,” Dameron said. “But we want to make this as fun and lively as possible.”
The Triangle Aquatic Center is located at 275 Convention Dr.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Swim Across America and Wikimedia Commons.