SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
30th Annual Swim for Life Highlights
The event was postponed due to the pandemic and then we struggled to find a date finally settling on a weekend in September. It was an amazingly beautiful day and the water temperature was a perfect 78 degrees. We introduced a shorter course for safety reasons with laps for the longer swims. We had a lighter swimmer roster at 74 participants which included for the first time, youth swimmers from USA Swimming.
The onsite camping was a big hit this year and there was a mixture of tents and campers who woke up to the foggy beauty of the Chester River in the morning.
A big thank you to all of our volunteers, kayakers, paddleboarders, boat support and our charity partners who were all in attendance for the event.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2020
29th Annual Swim for Life Highlights
The in-person 2020 Maryland Swim for Life was postponed and then cancelled due to COVID-19.
In its place, we hosted the event virtually with swimmers completing one of the five distances on their own.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the virtual event and we hope to see you in 2021.
SATURDAY, JULY 13, 2019
28th Annual Swim for Life Highlights
It was a beautiful day on the Chester River for the 2019 Maryland Swim for Life. The water temperature reached 85 degrees which resulted in a course reduction - all 4 and 5 mile swimmers were moved into the 3 mile race. We had 128 swimmers enter the water and one of our largest assortments of safety vessels accompanying the athletes on their swim.
This year we introduced onsite camping for the first time and swimmers emerged from the water to the sounds of a live bluegrass band, The October Sessions.
A big thank you to all of our volunteers and our charity partners who were all in attendance for the event.
SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018
27th Annual Swim for Life Highlights
The 2018 Maryland Swim for Life was the event’s 27th year and it was a success!! Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to our event!
We moved the event from our normal weekend after Independence Day weekend since air and water temperatures had been so high in recent events. We hoped to avoid the thunderstorm season too... We are clearly not meteorologists!
The weather forecast leading up to the event looked like thunderstorms were a certainty for the day. However, mother nature got them out of her system a day earlier and we had overcast skies with cool morning temperatures and warming during during the afternoon. No rain, thunder, or lightning! Swimmers reported a strong current flowing down river and water temperature was “wetsuit legal” 78 degrees for the first time in many years.
We had 118 registered swimmers for the event with 108 entering the water as the horn blew for their respective waves. Everyone came out of the water safely! Special thanks to our Certified Safety Director Katie! Ross bought us some nice new buoys this year, including one HUGE one for the finish line, which was quite popular!
SATURDAY, JULY 15, 2017
26th Annual Swim for Life Highlights
The 2017 Maryland Swim for Life was the event’s 26th year and it was a huge success yet again!! Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to our event! The event day weather was overcast during the morning with sunshine coming out as the swimmers finished their races. Swimmers reported a strong current going up the river and water temperature was in the low 80s.
This year’s event was interrupted by a tornado warning. A majority of the swimmers had finished their swim, but a few were brought quickly and safely to shore at the direction of the safety team including the Coast Guard, River Keeper, Event Director and the Safety Director. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all those swimmer that were cut short in the interest of safety.
2017 was a huge success for participation! We had 200 registered swimmers for the event with 195 entering the water as the horn blew for their respective waves. Everyone came out of the water safely!
SATURDAY, JULY 9, 2016
25th Annual Swim for Life Highlights
The 2016 Maryland Swim for Life was the event’s silver anniversary event! It was a huge success yet again!! Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to our event! It was truly a wonderful celebration of 25 years with many faces from years past taking the opportunity to see what an amazing event this has become. The event day weather was overcast during the morning with sunshine coming out as the swimmers finished their races. Swimmers reported a mild current in the river.
2016 was a huge success for participation! We had 203 swimmers enter the water as the horn blew for their respective waves. Everyone came out of the water safely!
This year, again the 2.4-Mile Triathlon Challenge Swim was the most popular race distance with the most swimmers! We are grateful to the triathlon community for joining us in this event and look forward to future collaboration to expand our outreach.
The Maryland Swim for Life held its first competition in 1991 and was organized by Joe Stewart, a longtime advocate for HIV/AIDs organizations who was inspired to start the swim competition after participating in Provincetown, Massachusetts’s Swim for Life. Stewart said, “It was not a swim defined by competitive or macho values. It was a celebration of diversity and community. It was space where gay people could be open, free and not feel like they had to hide their identity. Drag queens were cheerleading and townsfolk turned out to wish all the swimmers well.”
Dawson Nash has been involved with the Swim for Life competition, first as a competitor and then serving as race director for 5 years starting in 2002 when District of Columbia Aquatics Club began hosting the event. Proceeds raised for local nonprofits since that time exceed over $400,000.