The Groningen Swim Challenge over the weekend raised 217,000 euros for the UMCG Cancer Research Fund.
Translation by Traci White
The previous record amount of money raised in the annual event was 70,000 euros. Early on Saturday morning, 250 swimmers took to the water in Lauwersoog and Zoutkamp and headed toward the city. The Groninger Internet Courant reports that the first swimmers began the 50 kilometer relay race at 5:30 a.m. and the first participants arrived in Groningen just after 6 p.m.
The epic swim was not the only fundraising swimming event in the north this weekend: the City Swim, which was held in the city of Groningen, also raised money for the UMCG Cancer Research Fund.
The total amount raised by the swimming events, 217,000 euros, was announced on Saturday evening, but the Groningen Swim Challenge website will still be accepting donations throughout September. As of Monday afternoon, an additional 2,000 euros had been raised.
The record-breaking total may be at least partially explained by continued interest in charitable swims thanks to Maarten van der Weijden’s attempt to cover the entire Elfstedentocht route for charity. The Olympian and cancer survivor has now raised more than 4 million euros for cancer research.
This year’s edition was the fifth time the relay race has been held. Each swimmer covers a stretch of about eight kilometres and raises at least 300 euros.