I got to thinking about the 2012 Go the Distance event I signed up for at the beginning of the year. I mentioned it a while back. Since January I’ve been keeping track of my progress and most recently I’ve tweaked my goal a little bit. I was thinking about a way to visualize my progress beyond what I could see in a spreadsheet or a chart. That got me thinking about how far 500 kilometers really is. I started looking at maps, and it turns out the length of Lake Michigan is pretty close to that same distance.

A bit of research here and there and I found the course map for the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac. It is the oldest annual freshwater distance sailboat race in the world. 536 kilometers (333 statute miles, 289.4 nautical miles) from Chicago, starting just off Navy Pier, to Mackinac Island, Michigan. After I read that, I had my goal. I could swim to Mackinac. Not all at once, mind you, but over the course of a year, I could make it. Follow along.

At the end of each month, I am adding a checkpoint along the route. I am also marking when I hit certain recognized milestone achievements. My ultimate goal is to reach Mackinac Island by the end of the year.

If you’d like something a little more immediate, the ILMSA State Meet is next weekend: April 19-22. It will be held at the UIC Flames Natatorium in the Physical Education Building at UIC. This is the same location where I swim with my team. I’m excited to see how I do. Thursday and Friday are in the evening only: 1000 Free; I’m not attempting that this time around. I am swimming two individual events on Saturday:

  • Event 14: 200 Free
  • Event 18: 100 Breast

It’s highly likely my coach will place me in a relay as well, either the 200 Medley or the 200 Free. I toyed with the idea of swimming the 500 Free on Sunday, but by the time I got around to registering for the meet the 500 Free was already closed. Cheer my teammates and me on if you like. Should be quite a show with some very fast swimmers entered into the meet.