Culver City Observer -

It's the Fifth Annual Coast 2 Coast Swim Challenge


With the summer swim season right around the corner the LA Tri Club invites everyone into the pool to help prevent child drownings on Sunday, May 31 from 5:30 am to 4 pm at the fifth Annual Coast 2 Coast Swim Challenge (C2C).

The C2C aquatic marathon raises funds to provide free life-saving swim lessons to disadvantaged kids across Southern California.

The C2C was established by the LA TriClub in 2011 to help reverse alarming drowning statistics: drowning is the leading cause of death among children 14 and under in California.

Since its inception hundreds of swimmers have participated in the C2C, swimming thousands of miles and raising the funds to provide lessons to more than 3,200 kids in the Southland.

Angelenos of all ages and abilities will unite to collectively swim as many laps as possible over the course of 10 ½ hours at the Culver City Plunge located at 4175 Overland Avenue. It doesn't matter how fast you are or how many laps you do, everyone who participates in the C2C is part of a winning campaign that teaches kids, who otherwise would not have access to swim lessons, how to swim and be safe in the water.

"For just $25 you can be part of the day's festivities that include free massages, coached sessions from top pros, DJs playing music, prize drawings, a fitness expo and more," said Larry Turkheimer, LA Tri Club co-founder and C2C director.

In 2015, the C2C continues to grow in exciting ways. Ironman World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist in triathlon Michellie Jones will join the roster of elite coaches and athletes offering training sessions.

Jones will lead a special Formula 1 sprint clinic from 8 am to 10 that includes a swim workout followed by a bike trainer workout and a run. (Advance registration is required for the clinic.)

Throughout the day C2C participants can drop in for sessions with USC's Dave Salo, the PAC 12 Women's Coach of the Year; Rad Hallman, USC Triathlon coach; Stuart McDougal, Total Immersion coach; Bryan Mineo, accomplished open-water coach; Gerry Rodriguez, head coach of Tower 26; Niecia Staggs, Team Equinox swim coach and Kenneth Rippetoe, founder of One with the Water.

The C2C campaign is also expanding with a satellite program involving collegiate triathlon teams. First in the water was the University of Southern California team, which held an on-campus C2C on April 17 at which 45 students swam upwards of 80 miles and raised $1,000. Teams at UCLA, UCSD and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have also signed on to raise funds and awareness of the issue.

Registration is now open for the LA C2C at Participants can sign up for one or more 30-minute stages. Long-distance swimmers who want to rack up extra miles for the cause can register for 75 spots exclusively reserved for "Launchers."

With event costs totally underwritten by LA Tri Club and sponsors, 100% of the proceeds from the C2C pay for free swim lessons for underserved children in the Southland.

For information or to register, visit

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