The Pennock Island challenge started in 2004 by William Schulz as a one time event to raise money for the American Diabetes Association and awareness about diabetes.
The first swim raised about $6000.00 for the ADA. Curiosity about open water swimming and the lack of any organized open water races in Alaska prompted the repeat of the swim in 2005. The 2005 swim featured 24 swimmers including an Olympian and U.S. National open water swimming champion. In 2005 the event raised nearly $12,000.00 for the ADA. Interest began to grow with many inquiries but no real action, the 2006 featured 21 swimmers from Ketchikan and around Alaska and raised about $10,000.00. In 2007 the swim was sanctioned by USMS and took a dramatic turn towards success. We had 39 swimmers enter, from three different countries, bringing a whole bunch of open water experience with them. The event raised $13,000.00 for the American Diabetes Association. The 2008 swim features online entry and fundraising throughwww.active.com we are very excited to offer this feature and hope that it will allow greater success for the event.
The Pennock Island Challenge race is an 8.2 mile open water race around Pennock Island located in the Tongass Narrows in front of the city of Ketchikan Alaska. The race is usually current assisted and is sheltered from large surf everywhere except the south end. The water temp will be from the mid 50s to the low 60s, air temp at this time of year will range from the low 60s to the mid 80s. The race is open to all registered masters swimmers and foregein equivalents. Swimmers can enter as solo or as members of a relay. Wetsuits are allowed, but will have their own awards category. Non wetsuit swimmers will be in the traditional masters age groups.
The Pennock Island Challenge event is a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association and is built around a three part fundraising plan. We have a swimming race that brings attention to the diabetes cause and raises monies from entry fees. We encourage the participants to raise funds and give awards for those efforts. Locally we join in the fundraising effort through cash donations and a raffle. The community really comes together to support this event with hotel rate specials and discounts for the participants at local area tour attractions.