by Rachel Mayan
Not even two months away from one of Hockessin Athletic Club’s biggest fundraisers of the year, and almost 70% of the available time slots are filled by swimmers eager to swim for a cause.
Frozen Frogman, an outdoor winter swim event, raises money for the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF). TMF is a non-profit organization that aims to promote character in future generations by empowering veterans and families of fallen heroes.
The organization thrives on its namesake’s words: “If not me, then who?”
This unique event in the brisk middle of winter offers participants the option to swim one mile, a 5k (3.1 miles), or compete in a BUD/s Challenge. The BUD/s Challenge was inspired by the physical fitness test required of individuals entering the Navy and includes a timed 500-yard swim, two minutes each of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, and a 1.5-mile run.
For Alison Meehan, this year’s event will be her third in a row. She feels it is a great way to exercise her passion while giving back. “It’s a perfect event combining the challenging sport of swimming and the benefit of supporting our military,” she said.
Meehan enjoys the energy and spirit of the event, too. “I love the social aspect and the camaraderie the event brings,” she said.
Ray Peden, another returning swimmer and retired Delaware State Trooper, plays a large part in contributing to the camaraderie of the event. Each year, Peden rallies together a team of close to 30 swimmers to swim the 5k or one mile all together as a group.
When asked what motivates him to get so involved each year, he said it’s the cause. “The cause is not only dear to me but all dedicated Americans,” he said.
When he first heard of the event and the heroes it honors, he was especially moved. The three events offered at Frozen Frogman honor fallen heroes Navy EOD1 Sean Carson, Navy EOD LT Chris Mosko, and Navy SEAL LT Brendan Looney.
“I was very fortunate years ago to meet Chris Mosko when he was an age-group swimmer here in Delaware,” Peden said. “When I heard he lost his life, I felt obligated to remind everyone, especially the Delaware swimming community, that he lost his life fighting for us. When I heard this was dedicated to him, I really wanted to get involved.”
Swimmers from all over the region come to participate in Frozen Frogman, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Manahawkin, New Jersey to even as far as Georgia, traveling many miles to support such a moving cause.
This year’s Frozen Frogman is set for Sunday, January 27, 2019 in the outdoor pool at Hockessin Athletic Club. The excitement and flood of registrations surrounding this year’s swim has inspired HAC to create a weekend of it – now participants who missed out on Sunday’s remaining spots will have the opportunity to swim on Saturday, January 26th from Noon to 5:00 pm.
A few Sunday spots remain in the afternoon, and once Sunday is full, new registrants will be given Saturday swim times. Given the buzz of the event, interested swimmers are encouraged to sign up soon before pool space runs out. For swimmers unable to make either day but interested in supporting the cause, remote swim options are welcome.
For more information on how to get involved or to register, visit: hac.fit/Frogman2019