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Oct. 16, 2018
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Swim Across America/Atlanta marks year six at Margaritaville

By Pamela A. Keene
 
With two practice sessions at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands in August and September, local swimmers will be able to prep for one of the nation’s largest Swim Across America events, which raises money for local cancer research.
 
The open-water swim will take place at the resort on Saturday, Sept. 22, when nearly 600 swimmers from across the Southeast will raise money for the AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
 
Open-water swim practice sessions are scheduled for Saturday, August 24, and Saturday, September 9, from 10:30 to noon each day at Landshark Landing. Registration is required at $50 per session and people can sign up when they register online. 
 
“For first timers planning to participate, these practice sessions will help them acclimate to the open-water swim,” said Nancy Tao, event director of Atlanta’s Swim Across America event. “This type of swimming is very different from doing laps in a pool. We’ll have experts on hand to provide tips and clinics for our swimmers.”
 
The program is expected to draw more than a dozen Olympians, including Atlanta’s Gold Medalist Steve Lundquist, plus several hundred volunteers on the land and in the water. Spectators and supporters are invited to the event and a chance to mingle with athletes and Olympians. 
 
Swim Across America Atlanta began six years ago at Lake Spivey, Lundquist’s home lake. Officials moved the event to Lanier Islands three years ago to accommodate more swimmers. 
 
“This is our third year on Lake Lanier and we’re excited to return there,” said Kristine Croft, director of safety. EMS and lifeguards for the Atlanta installation of the national event. “So many people have been affected by cancer, either themselves or a loved one, that they willingly participate.”
 
Swimmers can register as individuals or as a team for the open-water swim. Four events are available – a half-mile swim, a 1-mile swim, a 5K swim and a 2-mile team relay with each of four swimmers taking a half-mile leg. There’s also a Duck Splash area for children and adults to play in the water. 
“We’re still looking for people volunteer and/or offer their kayaks to help us out with our water-safety team,” Tao said. Those interested can email Tao at nancytao@swimacrossamerica.org
 
September 22’s Swim Across America will be the next to last event for 2018. The series began in April in Tampa and will have taken place in 18 locations in the country, from Nantucket to Seattle, from Denver to Richmond, Va, where the 2018 campaign will conclude.
 
The event requires a $200 fundraising minimum for participates under age 18 and a $400 minimum for those 18 or older. The costs of the practice clinics can be included in the fund-raising total. 

For more information or to register, visit www.swimacrossamerica.org.

Posted online 7/27/18
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