The first time Kelly Lennon attempted to swim across Lake Champlain--she had to quit due to the ice cold water.
"I was wearing a practice suit, and the temperature of the lake was not fitting for a practice suit, so I ended up getting out probably not even 20 minutes into the race, so technically I guess this was my first time actually completing it." said Kelly Lennon, a UVM Swim Team member.
One year later she did more than attempt the journey--she came in 1st at the Lake Champlain Open Water Swim. Swimmers set out in Essex, New York Saturday morning and headed on a nearly 4 mile swim to the Charlotte public beach.
"Once I dove in, I was like ok, this is much better than last year. It's much warmer. I knew it was gonna be totally fine. The water was really calm. There weren't really a lot of waves. A couple times it got a little wavy, but overall perfect day for a swim. Perfect," Lennon said.
More than 30 swimmers hit the water to participate for the 3rd annual race. The race is designed to give people a chance to swim across the lake that they wouldn't normally have.
"As a swimmer you're not really allowed to swim across Lake Champlain for safety reasons, because of fast boats, so we're just providing the ability for the swimmers to come across the lake, 02:51:33 and then we just organize it with some volunteers and friends, and we have the help of the local rescue agencies," said organizer Christophe Lissarrague.
The first three men and women to finish receive awards. Each participant is asked to donate to the Lake Champlain Committee--a non profit that advocates for improving the lake's quality.
"This incredible, clear water--that doesn't happen all the time on Lake Champlain, and not in all places, and so as much as we wanna celebrate today, we also wanna advocate for people to get actively involved in protecting this resource," said Lori Fisher, Lake Champlain Committee Executive Director.
Celebrating the lake's health--by diving in for a long swim.