An annual swim competition that doubles as a fundraiser for four D.C.-area nonprofits is already on pace to beat last year's records, according to one of the event's organizers.
The District of Columbia Aquatics Club (DCAC) is hosting the 22nd Annual Maryland Swim for Life, which will be held July 13 at Rolph's Wharf, on the Chester River in Chestertown, Md. The proceeds from the event benefit three local nonprofits that deal with HIV/AIDs: Metro TeenAIDS, Heart to Hand and Quality of Life Retreats. The event will also benefit for the Chester River Association's watershed-protection efforts.
Swimmers will choose from various course lengths, ranging from 1 to 5 miles. This year, organizers have added a 2.4-mile distance specifically geared toward triathletes who wish to use the event as a training run. The competition is a sanctioned by United States Masters Swimming, the governing body for organized adult swim events.
Last year, the event raised $39,500 and welcomed 170 competitors, according to event director Rob Jeter. This year, there are already more than 200 participants registered, including several swimmers from outside of the D.C. metropolitan area, making it the ''biggest registration ever,'' according to Jeter, who hopes this year to pass the $40,000 fundraising mark.
Each swimmer is expected to raise at least $100 in pledges for the event, while sponsors help defray the cost of executing the event. Some of those sponsors include Home Rule, Sport Fair, FINIS Swimming, Matchbox, Ixchel Wellness and Potomac Valley Masters Swimming.
In a press release, Jeter also alluded to the atmosphere of the event, saying, ''With the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, we expect this to be more of a celebratory event than in years past.''
''We're not trying to be serious,'' he tells Metro Weekly. ''People come, they swim hard, but we want it to be more lighthearted, celebrating camaraderie and the efforts of those who helped put this together.''
For more inofrmation about the 22nd Annual Maryland Swim for Life, visit swimforlife.swimdcac.org.