Contributed by Stacy Sweetser, Sweetwater Swim Studio
BRISTOL, NH -- The inaugural Swim With A Mission (SWAM) took place Friday, July 14, 2017 in Newfound Lake at Wellington State Park. The 5K, 10K and 10-Mile Relay events fundraised for the Navy SEAL Museum, Veteran’s Count, and Bridge House Homeless Shelter and Veteran’s Advocacy organization. The event was well attended with over 100 swimmers, dozens of volunteers on land and water, and spectators galore.
Navy Seals lined the beach as twenty-eight 5K swimmers took to the crystal clear water of Newfound Lake at 7:00am. Ten minutes later, nineteen 10K swimmers followed. The sixteen relay teams (2-5 swimmers) had a staggered start at 7:20am for their 10-mile swimming journey around the lake.
Crowds of spectators filled the State Park for a post swim festival. Spectators were able to get up close and personal for the beach swim finish and watch various Navy SEAL demonstrations in air, on water, and on land with their K-9 squad. Veteran George Brunstad, a B-52 bomber pilot and renowned open water swimmer, attended as a special guest.
Taylor Hough, age 14 of Laconia, NH, took the women's title with a time of 1:24:57. Aubrey Patrick, age 15 of Bedford, NH finished 2nd and Sarah Barrett, age 22 of Goffstown, NH finished 3rd.
Edmund Gendreau (GBM), age 55 of Rye NH, won with a time of 1:14:58. He received a special award for fastest 5K in honor of SCPO Daniel R. Healy, Navy SEAL. Bruce Mohl, age 71 of Bonita Springs, FL finished 2nd and Jeff Stuart, age 56 of Manchester, CT finished 3rd.
Vera Rivard, age 13 of Springfield, NH with a time of 2:42:32. Jana Slezak, age 52 of Rye, NH finished 2nd and Nelle Killourie, age 44 of North Conway, NH finished 3rd.
Connor Robinson, age 19 of Wallingford, CT, placed first with a time of 2:08:36. He received a special award in honor of Jeremiah Fitzgibbon, world-class swimmer/triathlete, for fastest 10K. Geoffrey Michaud, age 52 of Manchester, CT finished 2nd and Maury Mckinney, age 56 of North Conway, NH finished 3rd.