Fifty 10k’s in 25 days, promoting water safety across America

News 2 at Ten Sunday
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 1:17 AM CDT
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HARLAN COUNTY, Neb. (KNOP) - A flat tire in New York, more tire trouble in Tennessee, miles of driving, a sign warning of water moccasins and alligators (that they did not see until after the swim), and of course a stop in Nebraska; two brothers from Arizona have been on the adventure of a lifetime.

On July 20 Joe and John Zemaitis of Phoenix, Arizona began a new adventure, swimming the first of fifty 10Ks across the nation. They started in Hawaii, then Alaska, and then clockwise around the Continental United States. Joe and John swam together in one 10K per state, per day, but sometimes they swam two or even three 10K’s in a day to keep up with the schedule of their challenge.

The challenge is “something new and exciting,” according to Joe, Founder/Head Coach/Owner of Swim Neptune in Phoenix. Joe and John are promoting water safety, drowning prevention, and competitive and open water swimming.

Both Joe and John have been swimming for as long as they can remember. They partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation to swim a 10K in all 50 states within 30 days. They finished in 25 days.

Joe and John are grateful for the support they have been shown. Their goal was $10,000 for the foundation. They raised $11,633 for the USA Foundation.

According to childrensafetynetwork.org, nearly 900 children and adolescents ages 0-19 drown in the U.S. every year. Nearly 3,700 people of all ages in total die from drowning. The network says drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children ages 1-4. Among children aged 5-19, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury deaths.

Risk factors for drowning include:

  • Lack of swimming ability
  • Lack of barriers controlling access to water
  • Lack of close supervision
  • Proximity to a body of water (swimming pools, lakes, rivers, or ocean)
  • Failure to wear life jackets
  • Seizure disorders
  • Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water

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