The Big Shoulders Swim is: "a Lake Michigan-size test of guts, determination and fortitude amidst the chilly, windswept waves. Like all the best races in the world, Big Shoulders started with an inspired individual who had an inspired idea. Founded in 1991 by the late Bill Mulliken, Olympic Gold Medal winner ('60 Rome breaststroke), Big Shoulders has grown to be one of the premier open-water races in the United States”. It is now one of America’s top 50 open water swims and also makes the list of the world’s top 100.
SwimTrek Guide, Marlys took part in the swim in 2013 and this year will be representing SwimTrek on land with a stand.
Marlys recalls - “The Big Shoulders swim has always been on my list. I’ve always loved the Great Lakes. My mother grew up on Lake Michigan a little further north, so we spent many summer vacations in the water. The five Great Lakes are really like inland seas, they collectively hold over 20% of the world’s fresh water volume. Winters can be harsh and the summers are beautiful. The Big Shoulders swim is well organized and brings competitors from around the world. It provides a venue that combines a view of the city’s skyscrapers from the comfort of the open water. I was able to swim the Big Shoulders in 2013. It was a perfect day; it somehow feels exhilarating to race past giant buildings. I enjoyed it so much, I signed up again in 2014. They only thing that kept me from going back, was an offer I got to be a SwimTrek guide in Turkey. No surprise which won out. One feature of the swim that I really enjoyed was that they have ‘angel’ swimmers. These are volunteers that agree to swim alongside of someone who may not be comfortable in the open water and it gives them the confidence and safety to be able to complete the swim. I’d love to go back one year and be an angel swimmer. “
Marlys will be available Friday (9th September) evening at UIC for registration, and again on the beach Saturday (10th September) morning for the race. Please stop by and say Hi!