KISU Swim Club members were burning the midnight oil at the third annual Albatross MegaSwim and 24-hour relay at the community centre pool.
Over the course of the Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 event, which is the club’s largest fundraiser of the year, about 150 swimmers did laps for donations, and so far, they’ve brought in just under $12,000.
“The idea of the swimathon has been around as long as the club has existed but it was a group of swimmers three years ago that came up with the idea and the tradition has just stuck around,” said KISU’s Jacki Kliever whose son was among the swimmers taking part. “It’s become a bit of a right of passage for those kids who are in Grade 8 swimming five kilometres they’re like; ‘Next year that’s us, next year we get to stay overnight at the pool.’”
Elementary and middle school-aged participants did the five-kilometre swim in under two hours on the afternoon of the first day and the high school-aged Academy swimmers had the overnight task of doing the 100 kilometres in under 24 hours.
Two teams of 12 took part in the main event with the winners clocking a record-setting time of 21 hours, one minute and 58 seconds, besting the 2016 time by over 21 minutes.
The second team hit the deck in a time of 21:38.58.
“It was just super high energy. They had the music up really loud,” said Kliever about the late night, early morning portion of the event. “It really is a team-bonding thing and, despite the exhaustion, brings a certain amount of pride.
“I think my son was home for about four minutes before he was snoring in bed afterwards.”
There were even some emails from KISU alumni telling her they wished they were there.
As part of looking after her swimmers, KISU head coach Tina Hoeben set out a mandatory three-hour nap time for the overnight teams.
Sleep mats were set up in the darkened room beside the pool and team members had to schedule their times to make sure there were people in the pool the entire time.
Money raised will go in part to fund the club’s Angel Fish program, which helps families where finances would be an obstacle to children taking part and also to help keep club fees lower for all families.
Anyone wishing to donate can still add to the relay fund by going to www.kisu.ca.
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.