For the seventh straight year, Marietta native Bradley Safalow will be participating in Swim Across America’s Boston Harbor Swim.
Swim Across America is a non-profit organization that supports cancer research funding through swim-relay events across the nation. Money raised stays local to different hospitals and cancer centers.
“It's one of my favorite days of the year,” said Safalow, who will compete in the 23rd annual Boston event July 12. “It's an incredible experience to be out on the water with all these swimmers who are motivated and excited about taking on a big physical challenge, but all in the spirit of raining money for cancer research and trying to make a difference.”
Safalow does events with Swim Across America in different locations like Atlanta and Long Island, but he enjoys the Boston one because its a bigger challenge.
The Boston Harbor Swim is a 22-mile relay-style open-water swim that begins in Rowes Wharf behind the Boston Harbor Hotel. Each swimmer has a fundraising requirement pledge of $2,000.
Safalow's, whose goal this year is to raise $10,000, has raised close to $70,000 over the past seven years. Money raised will go to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and MassGeneral Hospital for Children, both located in Boston.
“My family enjoys being in Boston, and the beneficiaries do tremendous work both to help people who are survivors of cancer and to find treatments so people can cure it,” Safalow said. “The people that organize it are incredible.”
Safalow trains for the event all year by swimming at least three days a week and doing cross-training. As difficult as the swimming may get, the reward comes at the end, and it makes the training all worth it.
“The best elements are finishing the event and getting to see my kids and talk to them about my experience through all of this,” Safalow said. “At the end of the swim, we get to have this session where we listen to various doctors directly about where this money goes and how this directly impacts various treatments to help the fight against cancer.”