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Bob Burrow

#91 St. George’s Prep & SAA Relay Challenge

This is a combo blogpost hitting on two swimming swim related events in the last couple of weeks.
The first was a quick hit, pool #89 in Newport, Rhode Island.  I was in town for a business meeting.  A little work on the World Wide Web let me to St. George’s Prep School a quick 10 minute drive from my hotel. It was dark when I drove on to the spacious campus and I got lost for a bit. When I finally found the preppy lacrosse fields I knew I was in the right spot and just followed the small parade of cars and swimmers to the pool.  As expected at a swanky prep school the pool was nice. There wasn’t much time for a long workout as I had to get back for a breakfast meeting. I was able to squeeze in 3000 yards-not too shabby.
Next up was the Swim Across America Relay Swim at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool. I have participated in SAA events in the past, all open water but I had never volunteered for this worthy cause. My open water swimming friend, Jen contacted me one day and asked if I would be willing to help out. It was a Sunday and I had little else to do so-why not? Maybe I could get a few laps in myself!
The event is a 2 hour continuous relay swim with multiple teams competing against each other to raise money for cancer research, see who can swim the most yards and to have fun. There were over 250 swimmers of all ages from USA Swimming teams to US Masters teams. The pool deck was bedlam.
I got there early to help set up the sign up area and put signage up in the gallery. The most fun part was handing out t-shirts when the kids and adults came on to the deck.
The event was really fun to watch with teams of 5 swimmers to 15+ swimmers swimming 25 yards apiece up to 100 yards per swimmer. The music was loud and fun and the emcee was calling out instructions from specific strokes to doggy paddle to corkscrew to Macarena swimming. After watching the first hour and realizing there wasn’t much volunteering to be done I decided to jump in with some friends on the Cambridge Masters team. I may have swum a total of 12 laps and I pretty sure everyone of them was some crazy made up stroke. It was a lot of fun!  With one minute left to go everyone jumped in the pool and cheered!
While SAA events are always fun they are always for a serious cause-cancer research.  With $80,000 raised before this event they were on track to raising well over $100,000. That’s  a lot of money for a two hour relay swim. Unfortunately, I was reminded once again that cancer isn’t something that effects other families it also has effected ours (again).  I swam for Ant Megan. She is a real trooper!

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