Sunrise Swim for Strength raises $3,500 for TriMuskoka initiative to install public outdoor fitness equipment

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Triathletes from near and far tested the waters in Fairy Lake this morning—it’s a little warm many said—24 hours in advance of the Ironman Muskoka 70.3, raising funds for a local community health initiative in the process.

The Sunrise Swim for Strength is both an opportunity for athletes to get a feel for the swim course they’ll follow tomorrow and a fundraiser for a local, health-related project. The inaugural swim in 2015 was a fundraiser for Hospice Huntsville and this year will support TriMuskoka’s MSCLE (Movement for Strength, Conditioning and Active Living for Everyone) Project.

There were 115 swimmers registered for the event, a 1.6km non-competitive swim from Camp Kitchen to Alice Island and back again. Athletes could choose to swim either the entire distance or just a portion.

Some tested the water temperature—which was a balmy 76°F, just barely within the Ironman Muskoka 70.3 cut-off for wetsuits—in both a wetsuit and regular swimsuit. Event co-director, Rich Trenholm, said that given the temperature, many athletes will likely choose to go without a wetsuit at tomorrow’s race.

Volunteer spotters in kayaks helped ensure swimmers were safe

Volunteer spotters in kayaks helped ensure swimmers were safe

A variety of support boats kept an eye on the athletes, too

A variety of support boats kept an eye on the athletes, too

Swimmers could swim the full 1.6km, which took them around Alice Island, or they could turn around at any other point on the course

Swimmers could swim the full 1.6km, which took them around Alice Island, or they could turn around at any other point on the course

Post-swim, volunteers served up water and hot coffee from Inspire Coffee Roasting Co.at the swim-up NyDock coffee bar. On shore, swim participants could fuel up with a continental breakfast courtesy of Henrietta’s Pine Bakery and Bullock’s Your Independent Grocer.

Matthew Bishop calls out swimmer numbers to other volunteers, a process that ensures every athlete is safe and accounted for after their swim

Matthew Bishop calls out swimmer numbers to other volunteers, a process that ensures every athlete is safe and accounted for after their swim

Volunteers Carolyn Croxall and Hayley Oke serve up a continental breakfast courtesy of Henrietta's Pine Bakery, Bullock's Your Independent Grocer, and Inspire Coffee Roasting Co.

Volunteers Carolyn Croxall and Hayley Oke serve up a continental breakfast courtesy of Henrietta’s Pine Bakery, Bullock’s Your Independent Grocer, and Inspire Coffee Roasting Co.

“It was an amazing morning to have a swim with so many people from around the world who decided and took the effort to come to our community, to enjoy the beauty and splendour that we all enjoy and call home,” said Trenholm. “This is the fifth year that we ran the event and every year people are so happy to come out to do the swim and take part in such a great community event that has such a fun and relaxed feel after months of preparation for a very intense event such as Ironman 70.3 Muskoka.” Trenholm thanked sponsors Inspire Coffee Roasting Company, Henrietta’s Pine Bakery, Bullock’s Your Independent Grocer, and Pipefusion, “and all of our amazing volunteers who made this happen!”

Volunteers (clockwise from left) Deb Harrold, and Matthew, Lindsay and Ty Bishop

Volunteers (clockwise from left) Deb Harrold, and Matthew, Lindsay and Ty Bishop

The $3,500 raised at the event will support the MSCLE Project, a multi-phase installation of publicly accessible, body weight-based functional fitness equipment in central locations around Huntsville. It will cost an estimated $200,000 to $300,000 to complete the project, and TriMuskoka is looking for community partners as well as both financial and in-kind donations to bring the idea to fruition. (Donations can be made at the link on the TriMuskoka website.)

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