Story last updated at 8/12/2009 - 1:16 pm
KETCHIKAN - The 2009 Pennock Island Challenge will be held Sunday, Aug. 16.
The Pennock Island Challenge race is an 8.2 mile open water race around Pennock Island located in the Tongass Narrows in front of the city of Ketchikan.
The challenge started in 2004 by William Schulz as a one time event to raise money for the American Diabetes Association and awareness about diabetes.
The first swim raised about $6,000 for the ADA. Curiosity about open water swimming and the lack of any organized open water races in Alaska prompted the repeat of the swim in 2005. The 2005 swim featured 24 swimmers including an Olympian and U.S. National open water swimming champion. In 2007 the swim was sanctioned by USMS, and 39 swimmers entered, from three different countries, bringing a whole bunch of open water experience with them. The event raised $13,000 that year for the American Diabetes Association.
The race is usually current assisted and is sheltered from large surf everywhere except the south end. The water temp will be from the mid 50s to the low 60s, air temp at this time of year will range from the low 60s to the mid 80s. The race is open to all registered masters swimmers and foreign equivalents. Swimmers can enter as solo or as members of a relay. Wetsuits are allowed, but will have their own awards category. Non-wetsuit swimmers will be in the traditional masters age groups.
To learn more about the Pennock Island challenge, visit http://www.alaskateamada.com/ or call 247-5283.