Newtown resident Kelsey McEvoy swam one mile in the open water of Nantasket Beach in Nantasket, Mass., on July 12 to raise money for cancer research.
The Swim Across America (SAA) Nantasket Beach event is intended to raise money to support cancer research and patient care at the Perini Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and at the Mass General Hospital for Children Cancer Center, said Kelsey.
Kelsey, who currently swims for the Tufts University Women’s Swim Team, heard about the SAA event through one of her swim team captains.
“My captain decided to start the team 747 for athletes in the area looking to participate in a good cause,” she said. “I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do.”
Although Kelsey said the open water swim wasn’t her strongest, her team raised $2,250.
“The swim is not about how fast you swim, but why you are swimming. A lot of swimmers spend their time in the water contemplating loved ones affected by cancer,” she said.
This is Kelsey’s second time participating in Swim Across America, but her first time swimming in an open water event.
“The very first SAA event I attended was the Boston Team Relay Challenge, which occurred at Harvard University and consisted of a two-hour relay challenge,” she said.
“Completing the SAA open water swim felt amazing,” said Kelsey. “It’s really awesome to look back at the water and see how far you went, especially since it’s for such a good cause. I would absolutely do it again, and I would totally recommend it to anyone considering doing an open water event.”
Kelsey prepared for SAA Nantasket Beach by running or swimming three times a week as well as unofficial team workouts for strengthening.
“I think one of the hardest parts about the event was how cold the water was. Even wearing a full body wet suit it was shockingly cold for the first five minutes, and it was kind of hard to breathe. But after I started moving and remembered why I was swimming I didn’t notice the cold at all,” she said.
“Overall, I think SAA is a really good cause and a really amazing organization. They have done such great things for cancer research and have created such a positive community,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey also mentioned many of the swimmers were cancer survivors.
“To think about everything [survivors] have been through and the fact that now they’re doing a mile open water swim really puts a lot of your own personal struggles in perspective,” she said.
For more information on Swim Across America, visit swimacrossamerica.org.