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Bring in the swimmers: 17th annual Swim Teal Lake benefit for diabetes set for Saturday morning

Swimmers line up along the shore of Teal Lake beach in Negaunee where the Swim Teal Lake race began on July 29, 2017. Swimmers are accompanied by safety volunteers in kayaks for their more-than-two-mile swim across the lake. (Journal file photo)

Swim Teal Lake for Diabetes:

THE EVENT:

• What: Swim Teal Lake for Diabetes

• When: Saturday morning

• Where: All start lines on the Negaunee shore of Teal Lake

Rachael Grossman of Portland, Ore., is all smiles after finishing the 16th annual Swim Teal Lake for Diabetes along the Negaunee shore on July 27, 2019. The course was reversed in 2019 due to strong westerly winds that day. (Journal file photo by Ryan Spitza)

• Short-n-Sweet, 8:30 a.m., quarter-mile out and back

• Beginner swim, 9 a.m., across lake to Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming

• Advanced swim, 9:30 a.m., across lake to Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming

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NEGAUNEE — It may not be “no” news, but it’s close enough to say that no news is good news when it comes to the 17th annual Swim Teal Lake for Diabetes event.

The “no news” is that this event will take place on Saturday morning starting on the Negaunee side of Teal Lake. Organizers have set a goal of a hundred swimmers this year.

This benefit for diabetes annually helps the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network fund a number of its projects, according to the UPDON website. They include its Personal Action Toward Health sessions, connecting and developing other resources for those with diabetes in the U.P. and assisting health care systems in strengthening diabetes services.

The West End Health Foundation announced that it will match funds raised by swimmers, up to $15,000.

Swimmers congregate on the Negaunee shore and swim various lengths, some going all the way across the lake to the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.

“Congregate” may be a touchy term in these days of the coronavirus pandemic, and organizers say they’re taking the current health situation into consideration.

“We take everyone’s health and safety very seriously,” a flyer for the event states. “We will be enforcing social distancing at the START and FINISH of the races. We will be looking at adding additional heats to aid with social distancing.”

They add that the final decision on that last issue will take place near swim time.

The Short-n-Sweet swim is just a quarter-mile long and open to all ages. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and involves swimming a short distance offshore in Negaunee and returning to near the start line.

The beginner swim commences at 9 a.m. and the advanced swim, where times and places are determined, starts at 9:30 a.m. Each takes the same 2 1/4-mile route across the lake to Al Quaal.

Registration fees are $75 for the longer swims and $20 for Short-n-Sweet. A limited number of scholarships are available to cover registration costs, and many swimmers collect sponsor money to defray their costs.

Wet suits are allowed, as are fins, though swimmers using fins aren’t eligible for awards. And drop bags, which should include a towel, dry clothes and personal items, will be transported to the finish line. Sports drinks will be available at Al Quaal.

Those who don’t or can’t swim can volunteer to kayak as part of the safety crew for the event; sponsor a swimmer; or buy, sell or donate to raffles in conjunction with the event.

The safety crew also includes people in canoes and electric-powered boats in case of exhaustion or cramping.

Participants should register online by Friday, though morning-of registration will also be accepted at least a half-hour before each race. For more information on registration or other questions, visit the event’s website at www.teallakeswim.org, call UPDON at 273-1120 or email Kristen Cambensy at UPDON at cambensyk@upcap.org.

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

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