by Coach Cheri Zimdars
The J-Hawk Aquatic Club sponsored a 5K and 10K Run/Walk Social Distancing Race on Sunday, July 12th. 45 athletes raced in person, while 25 raced virtually from home.
“This was our first in person event since COVID and we were so excited to see our racers and know we could hold this event safely, for our athletes”, said Cheri Zimdars, one of the event directors and head coach of the J-Hawk Aquatic Club. Racers started six feet apart, two at a time, every minute, to ensure they stayed socially distanced. “We had racers coming from other communities and from out of state to participate so they could see how a socially distanced event could work, as they want to put events on themselves. It really showed people that events can be held very safely with racers keeping their distance,” said Zimdars.
All volunteers wore masks and several wore gloves, as well. All awards were mailed.
CONGRATS TO ALL OUR RACERS!!
5K In Person Overall Winners:
Men – Ben Stricker 17:51
Women – Heidi Mane 21:32
10K In Person Overall Winners:
Men – Jim Stumpner 43:55
Women – Dana Foucault 53:10
5K Virtual Overall Winners:
Men – Jerry Schuetz 23:50
Women – Katie Johnson 26:57
10K Virtual Overall Winners:
Alyssa Fons – 1:18:42
Here is what Don Meixelsperger, of Sauk City, emailed after the race, “Thank you both for putting on a great race! It was a great time and a fun event. Everything was well organized and explained so everyone knew what to do and where to go. This includes how prepared everyone was for social distancing. You should be extremely proud of yourselves and the volunteers who did an outstanding job! Your sponsors should be very proud as well of the great work and example you set!”
We want to thank our sponsors for supporting the J-Hawks: Fort Healthcare, PremierBank, Pope Transit, Culver’s, Frawley’s, Burtness Chevrolet, Tincher Realty, John’s Recycling, Leif Knudsen CPA, Soffa and Devitt Law, and Whitewater Chiropractic.
The J-Hawks is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that offers swim lessons and swim team. No child is ever turned away due to finances. “Our goal is to get kids swimming, both for safety and as a lifelong, fun activity and sport. Children on free school lunches do not pay for lessons or the monthly practice fees. Children on reduced school lunches only pay half. This is truly a lifelong sport. There are people in their 80’s and 90’s who still swim laps or compete. You don’t see that with many other sports.”
The J-Hawks have been hit by COVID just like other businesses. The Earlybird Triathlon, which brings in $10,000 to the club, had to be cancelled, so the J-Hawks are trying to get creative in offering different events that promote safety, but can be fun, too. Starting in May, the J-Hawks offered free virtual programming to their athletes, which included yoga, HIIT, and Crossfit. The goal was to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Also starting in May, they added lake swims which took place until July 1st, when local pools started opening. “It was critical, for the kids’ health, that they see their teammates and stay active. We do everything with social distancing in mind. Kids must be 6 feet apart and swim 1 per lane, or 2 per lane (opposite ends of the pool). Free public virtual events have also been offered, as the J-Hawks want to see everyone stay motivated to be active and healthy during this time. We’ve had 2 free events so far and have another free virtual event, in August, with running, walking, cycling, triathlon, and duathlon events being offered. A swag option is available for anyone wanting a shirt and finisher medal.”
If you would like to help the J-Hawks continue to help kids, please contact Cheri Zimdars at firstname.lastname@example.org.