Swimming Teal Lake: All abilities can swim as short as a quarter-mile to help Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network

2017 Swim Teal Lake: Benefit for Diabetes winner Sam Williams, left, of Marquette and runner-up Curran Moffitt of Rochester Hills take a break after finishing the 2 1/4-mile Competitive Division swim across Teal Lake from Negaunee to Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming last July. (Journal file photo)

On Saturday: Swim Teal Lake: Benefit for Diabetes features quarter-mile, 2 1/4-mile swims starting in Negaunee at 8:30, 9 and 9:30 a.m.

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NEGAUNEE — The Swim Teal Lake: Benefit for Diabetes will feature both the tougher 2 1/4-mile swim and a quarter-mile Short-n-Sweet event for its 15th annual edition to be held on Saturday morning.

The Short-n-Sweet, open to all ages, is meant to be an introduction to open water swimming, according to event organizers.

This shorter event begins at 8:30 a.m., just before the traditional main event takes off. Each of these events begins on the beach in the city of Negaunee, with the Short-n-Sweet also ending there.

The traditional 2 1/4-mile swim starts at 9 a.m. for beginners and 9:30 a.m. for the Competitive Division, ending at the beach at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.

Registration is available online through Friday at www.teallakeswim.com/registration or near the starting line in Negaunee on Saturday morning. Participants are asked to register at least a half-hour before their event begins.

Fees are $75 for the 2 1/4-mile swims and $20 for the Short-n-Sweet, and there are a limited number of scholarships available to cover the cost of registration.

For more information, call Kristen at 273-1120 or email her at cambensyk@upcap.org. Information is also available at www.teallakeswim.com, including pledge sheet forms.

The first Swim Teal Lake: Benefit for Diabetes was held in 2004 when Dr. Michael Grossman enlisted the help of Bell Hospital and the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network in its planning.

More than $140,000 has been raised in its first 14 years, with funds used by UPDON to strengthen diabetes care and support across the U.P. through a variety of projects.

Hundreds of swimmers have ventured across the lake, assisted by a nearly equal number of volunteer kayakers working as guides.

Past speakers at the event have included Olympic medal winners Peter Vanderkaay in 2005 and 2013, Mark Spitz in 2009, Janet Evans in 2010, Coralie Simmons in 2011 and Gary Hall Jr. in 2017, along with Amazing Race winner Dr. Natalie Strand in 2014.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.