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The practice of setting New Year’s resolutions has been around for years.  The concept is simple.  What trait or behavior would you like to stop or start in the following year?  For most it is a chance to change eating habits, family affairs, and recently, use of technology.  Some take on the challenge of changing their fitness habits.  This is no easy task as time, money, resources, and access is limited.  That does not stop the determined.

The SwimRVA New Year’s Challenge is the perfect end to a year and the perfect start of a new one.  This event, put on by SwimRVA and hosted by Peluso Open Water, is held every year on New Year’s Eve.  People come from all over the greater Richmond region to challenge their friends, their neighbors, their family, or themselves.  How many 100 yard swims can you complete in the time allotted?  Some choose to do 5 x 100’s, 20 x 100’s, or the ultimate challenge of completing 100 x 100’s.  That’s 10,000 yards in three hours.  Whatever your goal may be, it is always worth the challenge.  

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To ring in 2017, SwimRVA served 89 challengers.  Each challenger set a goal for their challenge.  Collectively the challengers aimed to swim 4,149 x 100’s.  That’s 414,900 yards.  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, CHALLENGE DEFEATED!  When the SwimRVA Bell of Success stopped ringing, a total of 451,000 yards were swim.  That’s 256 miles which is the same distance from Richmond to Charlotte!
One brother and sister had a goal of 16 x 100’s coming into the event.  They made a deal with their mother that if they beat their goal she would swim next year.  Not only did they beat their goal, they swam 112 x 100’s!  SwimRVA will have at least one more participant next year!

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One of the main reasons SwimRVA puts on such an event, outside of getting local Richmonder’s to challenge themselves to be aquatically active, is to raise money for the Drownproof Richmond Initiative.  Regional aquatic agencies are working collaboratively to ensure every second grader learns to swim.  SwimRVA works with 18 different schools at three different locations to provide this necessary skill to all students regardless of race, income, or disability.  SwimRVA received $3,460 in registration fees.  Additionally, 32% of the challengers made a contribution totaling $2,430.   $5,890 will serve to provide students with the life-saving skills to be water safe and the tools to stay active, healthy, fit for the rest of their lives through aquatics.  That’s enough to cover an entire school and a new SwimRVA New Year’s Challenge record!  SwimRVA could not provide cost-free Learn-To-Swim programs without the amazing and unwavering support of its participants, advocates, and challengers.

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What is your 2017 resolution?  What is your goal for the year?  Maybe you just want to get back in shape.  Some people have made goals to learn to swim as an adult.  Some are preparing for the SwimRVA 10K Challenge in April of 2017.  If you are looking to participate in your first sporting event as an adult, you can try the 2017 SwimRunVA event on October, 21, 2017.  Whatever you resolution is, set your goal, work hard, find help, and achieve it!  2017 is a new year and a new you.  Live young. 

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Congratulations to all the participants this year and good luck on your goals in 2017!  SwimRVA will host the SwimRVA 10K Challenge on April 2nd, 2017 as another opportunity to stick to your resolutions and help give back to your community.  Registration is now live so sign up today and stay active!