Metro Weekly

Registration Opens for Maryland Swim for Life

Annual swimming event benefits local HIV/AIDS nonprofits

Swim for Life

Participants from last year’s Swim for Life event (Photo courtesy of Rob Jeter).

Registration is officially open for the 23rd Annual Maryland Swim for Life, an annual swim competition that doubles as a fundraiser for local nonprofits, hosted by the District of Columbia Aquatics Club (DCAC), the Washington area’s gay and lesbian aquatics team. This year’s swim will occur on July 12. 

The annual event, an open swim competition that is sanctioned by United States Masters Swimming, the governing body for organized adult swim events, gives participants the choice of swimming along various courses ranging in length from 1 to 5 miles. The event also offers a 2.4-mile course specifically designed to serve as a training run for those who wish to practice for the swimming portion of Ironman Triathlon. 

The nonprofits benefitting from the fundraiser are three HIV/AIDS organizations: Metro TeenAIDS, Heart to Hand and Quality of Life Retreats. The fourth nonprofit, the Chester River Association, works to preserve the watershed around Maryland’s Chester River, where the Swim for Life takes place. Last year, the event had more than 230 competitors and raised more than $41,500 for the nonprofits. 

Each swimmer is expected to raise at least $100 in pledges for the event, while sponsors help defray the rest of the cost. Special prizes are given out to the top 10 fundraisers, and awards are given to the top male and female competitors in each race in two age categories: over 45 and 44 and under. 

“Last year, we raised awareness for our charities as our crowd of friends and family cheered the fastest race finishes in our history,” Robert Jeter, the director of the Swim for Life, said in a statement. “Swim for Life has grown into a major competition for multi-sport competitors in the region while maintaining a family-oriented and celebratory atmosphere.”

The 23rd annual Swim for Life will be held on Saturday, July 12, at Rolph’s Wharf in Chestertown, Md. For more information about the 22nd Annual Maryland Swim for Life, visit

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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