Every year, right after the kids get out of school for the summer, we head south to Florida for a hot summer vacation. This year, it worked out nicely that we flew in the day before the inaugural Aaron Vaughn Memorial Frogman Swim. Aaron Vaughn was a navy SEAL that was killed along with 29 others on August 6,2011 when his Chinook Helicopter was shot down in Afganastan. He left behind 2 very yonng children. While I never knew Aaron myself, or his parents, he spent his teenage years in my home town and attended my alma mater, Martin County High. His parents created this event to celebrate the life of their son with all proceeds going directly to his children.
When I first heard of the open water ocean race I was excited because it presented an opportunity I never thought I would find. An opportunity for me to practice open water swimming in the ocean - which will be the first leg of my Ironman journey. Living in Canada I can swim in fresh water lakes until my heart's content but even when visiting my home town in Florida, open water swimming in the ocean was daugnting without support, and here I was given the opportunity to swim with complete race support in the ocean off the very beaches I grew up on! The race offered 3 distances: 200yards, 1km and 5km. While I waanted to swim the 5K, I am not trained for that distance yet so I registered for the 1km.
|Me and Barry|
This event was well organized and supported. The sponsors had great swag - chicken biscuits and fruit from Chick-fil-a, free juice from Natalie's fresh juice, and snow cones to name a few! I am so happy I had the opportunity to race in this inagural event and I hope I can say 10 years down the road that I have participated in every year since! And to make it even sweeter it was for a good cause!