The temperature of Puget Sound waters hovers around 55 degrees in the summer, so there aren't many good reasons to jump in.
Thirty-five people found one Monday.
They plunged into Tacoma’s Commencement Bay to help raise money and awareness for Gift for a Child, a national nonprofit organization that benefits foster children.
Participants in the inaugural AquaRun swam 1.2 miles from Jack Hyde Park near Old Town to Marine Park before donning their running shoes for a 3.1-mile out-and-back run along Ruston Way.
Race organizer Zena Courtney said the event went smoothly for the most part. One participant did bloody his nose after swimming into a submerged pylon, but he went on to win the race, Courtney said.
The event raised about $10,000, she said.
“We’re exceedingly happy,” Courtney said. “We plan to do it on an annual basis.”
Terry Mutter, 49 of Normandy Park participated in the race.
Mutter said he enjoyed the open-water swim portion best. Swimming in the Sound is more challenging than swimming in a pool or lake, what with the tides, wind and cool water temperatures, he said.
“It is a little chilly, especially on your face, hands and feet, which are exposed,” said Mutter, who along with other participants wore a wet suit for the swim event. “After 10 minutes, those kind of numb up a little bit.”
The payoff? The smells and sights of the bay, including the eel grass and sea creatures visible on the Sound floor, he said.
“And it’s for a good cause,” Mutter said.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644 firstname.lastname@example.org