The inaugural Fairfield Y Open Water Mile Swim saw 61 swimmers attempt to “conquer mother nature’s lap pool,” under clear blue skies in near-seventy degree water. State Representative Kim Fawcett, who is now running for a seat in the State Senate, was joined by Kevin Conyer, himself a candidate for State Representative, in counting down to the start of the September 20th race held at Penfield Beach.
“It was incredible to see so much support from the local community,” said Karen Backus, Executive Director of the Fairfield YMCA. “An event like this is important for us because proceeds benefit the YMCA Annual Campaign, which provides financial assistance for children, families and individuals in our community to participate in Fairfield Y programs.”
As participants and spectators celebrated after the race with fruit, water, pizza and other treats supplied by many local businesses, many of them were talking about the blistering pace set by the top finishers. Jeremy Virgil finished first with a time of 16:24, just beating out Greg Sargent (17:23). Staples swimmer Willow Woods was the top overall female finisher at 19:24, which also helped Willow and her dad, Chris, win the award for top family finishers.
Despite the tremendous performances, Race Director and Fairfield Y Board Member Andy Davis (who is also a legendary open water swimmer himself) knows this race is not about record-setting times. “We wanted this event focus on three things: Fun, Fitness, and Family,” said Davis after his duties as awards presenter was complete. “A one mile swim is a perfect introduction into open water swimming so we didn’t want this to feel like an ultra-competitive race. We worried that might scare off the first-timer. At the same time, you have to be in good shape to complete this race. It’s a reminder of the importance of being fit, so you can participate in fun events like this – and hopefully inspire someone in your family to swim with you. We had seven family teams competing this year and we hope to increase the dramatically next year.”
Trophies were handed out to the top two overall male and female finishers, the top two finishers from every age category (as well as the wetsuit division), and the top two family teams.
Located on Old Post Road in the heart of the Fairfield, the Y offers an array of health and human services to all including their summer camp and swim programs, to teen leadership and senior wellness, In 2013 Fairfield YMCA gave away $65,000 in scholarship money to help families in need. This year the Y needs to raise $100,000 for the Annual Campaign. Since the Y is a non-for-profit organization, it depends on their community to help with scholarship funds.
If you were unable to swim in the race, you haven’t missed your chance to support the Fairfield Y Open Water Mile Swim and the YMCA Annual Campaign. There are several raffle prizes showcased at the Fairfield Y branch – winners will be selected on October 5. An NFW watch, a free year of membership at the YMCA and a ride in a Fairfield Police care are just some of the prizes that will appeal to boys, girls and families.