Go the Distance or Swim the Lake for Hospicare!

Questions about the 2021 Women Swimmin' for Hospicare

FAQ Revised 7/26/21 

You can read about our safety protocols in the Participant Safety Manual.

FAQ FOR SWIMMERS - Are you one of the swimmin' women ready to jump in the waters of Cayuga Lake on August 14? We'll host 1.2 mile out and back swim that begins and ends at the Yacht ClubBecause of pandemic restrictions, we will be livestreaming the swim so that your friends and family can cheer you on! 

Q: What will the swim route be? 

A: We are so happy that we are able to get back in the water this year! The swim route will be a 1.2 mile out and back swim that starts and ends at the Ithaca Yacht Club (IYC). Due to COVID regulations, we are unable to bus swimmers across the lake to Bolton Point.  Our swimmin’ women will jump off the IYC north dock, head north east, then round the northern most buoy to head south. Swimmers will then round another buoy just south of IYC and then head northwest back to shore to get out at the south dock at IYC.

Q: What if the lake conditions are bad the morning of the swim?

A: If there is uncertainty about lake conditions due to weather (a threat of a storm, rough water, etc.) or the presence of harmful algae blooms (HABs), the Safety Team will assess the situation the morning of the swim and post updates on womenswimmin.org or facebook.com/WomenSwimmin.


Q: What about Hazardous Algae Blooms (HABS)?

A: In the weeks preceding this year’s event, Hospicare staff will monitor information about lake conditions to learn of any reports of harmful algae blooms (HABs) and will act in accordance with the established protocol. Sources of information include local media, the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the local state parks offices, the Ithaca Yacht Club and the Tompkins County Department of Health (TCDOH).

Updates, including the details of the protocol, will be posted on the event website, womenswimmin.org or facebook.com/WomenSwimmin.

If HABs are actively present at or near the course within 72 hours of the event, the swimming portion of the event will be cancelled. If HABs have been reported but are not actively present at or near the course within 72 hours of the event, monitoring will continue until the morning of the event.

Women Swimmin’ organizers will keep all swimmers and boaters apprised of the HAB risks and assure them that no swimmer, boater or volunteer will be required to participate by virtue of their registration for the event. It is understood that despite the safety protocol, some swimmers, boaters, and volunteers may not be comfortable coming in contact with the lake water and should base their participation in the event on their own assessment of risk and their own personal preferences.

Q. Who can I swim with?  

A: In June, you will receive an email asking you who you would like to swim with, and that group of swimmin’ women is called your POD. Your POD will be given a specific time for your arrival at the IYC. On swim day, there will be clear guidelines on how you will line up to get in the water, adhering strictly to social distancing rules. Please carpool together if your friends are in your bubble.  

Your Fundraising Team can be the same OR different from your POD, and it can be made up of swimmers, or friends who are Going the Distance. 


Q. Who is invited to swim on August 14?

A. Our swimmin’ women – including all who identify as female – must be 18 years of age or older (for insurance reasons) and raise a minimum of $250 for Hospicare by swim day. And don’t worry: we’ll give you lots of support and guidance for raising money throughout the summer! You may be surprised by how generously your friends and family give once they find out about your endeavor.


Q: Can I have an escort boater?  

A: Your safety is our top priority, and we understand how important it will be to feel surrounded by kayakers who can help. Due to limitations involving the number of people we can safely host at the event, this year is a little different. Instead of swimming alongside escort boaters, you will swim through a lane of boaters who will be on the water for the entire time and who will keep you on course. Our trusted Kayak Safety Team will be enlisting experienced boaters to make the route safe for swimming. There will be double the number of boaters you’ve traditionally seen line the course, as well as motorboats and trained lifeguards ready to assist at any time.  

Your favorite boater can help you train before the event, our traditional boaters are invited to Go the Distance by setting their own goals this summer and spreading the word about our services.  

 

Q: Will there be breakfast? 
A: Ithaca Bakery will provide a TO GO breakfast for all swimmers and boaters. Hot coffee and tea will also be available in to-go cups. Due to the parking limitations and the guidance we have received from the Tompkins County Health Department, participants will not be able to stay or mingle at IYC after their swim.  

 

Q: Where can I park?  
A: We encourage you to carpool or take the shuttle buses from Cass Park. You can park in the two Glenwood Pines parking lots and walk back and forth. We will also have golf carts to bring you back and forth between your car and the lake if you feel you can’t walk that far. If you have someone dropping you off, they must wait in the car in the parking lot. Due to COVID regulations and the guidance we have received from the health department, we are unable to have any additional guests on the IYC grounds. 

 

Q: What should I bring to the Swim? 

A:  Bring your towel, swim cap, goggles (if you want)and the disposable face mask (we will provide one for you in your swimmer's packet). We will provide a bag for you to store your towel (and glasses and cell phone) and will hand it to you when you get out of the water. 

 

Q: What if I get tired during the swim?  
A: The Kayak Safety Team will be there to help you. If you feel you cannot finish, we’ll have jet-skis available to pick you up and take you to shore. Your safety is our top priority. The big motor boat you’ll see has an 18 foot tower bridge with 3 spotters to watch the entire course and can radio the safety team whenever anyone looks like they may need help.  


Q: Can I wear a wetsuit or use flippers on Swim Day?

A: Goggles, wetsuits, lava pants, and fins/flippers are all acceptable equipment to use during Women Swimmin’, but only if you’ve been swimming with them regularly prior to the swim. The day of Women Swimmin’ is not the time to try out new equipment.


Q: Will there be an after party? 

A: We’re sorry to say that there will not be an after party in 2021. Due to limited parking and COVID regulations, we will be limiting the number of people on site (swimmer and boaters only). We will be livestreaming the closing ceremony on Facebook Live so that you and your loved ones can join in the fun virtually. The Closing Ceremony will be held on Monday. August 16, 7-8pm via Zoom. 

 

Q: Can I wait on the dock for the rest of my team?  
A: At the insistence of the Public Health Department, we need to keep the number of people on the grounds limited, and no congregating is allowedAll swimmers will be asked to get pick up their goodies, to go breakfast and head to their cars (or shuttle busses) after their swim. We ask that if you rode together, that you wait in your car for your friends. 
 

Q: Will there be someone to take pictures of us when we get out of the water?  
A: Of course! We will also have a live-stream link so that your friends and family can watch you from the comfort of their homes. 

 

Q: Will I be able to change out of my swimsuit after my swim? 
A: There will be no dressing room available at IYC. Consider having some sweats or a bathrobe in the car to put on over your swimsuit until you get back home. 

 

Q: Will you be requiring swimmers to be vaccinated? 

A: We encourage all swimmers to get vaccinated but will not be requiring proof of vaccination in order to participate. We are following local and state guidelines to assure that the event is safe as possible. All Covid protocols will be in place including masks and social distancing at the IYC. If you are not comfortable participating, please consider supporting Hospicare by Going the Distance between May 3 and August 14.  

 

FAQ FOR BOATERS:

Our traditional boaters are invited to Go the Distance between May 3 and August 14 by setting their own goals this summer and spreading the word about our services. 

Q: Can I be an escort boater on August 14 

A: This year is a little different and swimmers will not have an assigned boater. With an anticipated 200+ swimmers, safety is our top priority! If you or someone you know has a kayak and would like to line the swimmers course on August 14, please invite them to email womenswimmin@hospicare.org for more information.  Swimmers will not have an assigned boater. The Kayak Safety Team and Support Boaters like YOU will be lining either side of the swim “lane” intending to help keep the swimmers on course.  All boats will be on the water for the entire swim (approximately 7-10am).


Q: When is the mandatory Boater Meeting?

A:  Friday, August 13 - 7pm - location: Cass Park (pavilion near Children's Garden)

Q: What about Hazardous Algae Blooms (HABS)?

A: In the weeks preceding this year’s event, Hospicare staff will monitor information about lake conditions to learn of any reports of harmful algae blooms (HABs) and will act in accordance with the established protocol. Sources of information include local media, the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the local state parks offices, the Ithaca Yacht Club and the Tompkins County Department of Health (TCDOH).

Updates, including the details of the protocol, will be posted on the event website, womenswimmin.org or facebook.com/WomenSwimmin.

If HABs are actively present at or near the course within 72 hours of the event, the swimming portion of the event will be cancelled. If HABs have been reported but are not actively present at or near the course within 72 hours of the event, monitoring will continue until the morning of the event.

Women Swimmin’ organizers will keep all swimmers and boaters apprised of the HAB risks and assure them that no swimmer, boater or volunteer will be required to participate by virtue of their registration for the event. It is understood that despite the safety protocol, some swimmers, boaters, and volunteers may not be comfortable coming in contact with the lake water and should base their participation in the event on their own assessment of risk and their own personal preferences.




FAQ FOR VOLUNTEERS 

Q: Can I volunteer the day of the event?  

A: This year the event will take place at one location (IYC) so there will be no volunteers at Cass Park or Bolton Point. Due to the parking limitations and the guidance we have received from the Tompkins County Health Department, we are extremely limited as to how many people we can have at the IYC on swim day.  

We will miss you dearly on swim day and can’t wait for things to get back to normal! We are hoping that our volunteers will Go the Distance between May 3 and August 14 by setting their own goals this summer and spreading the word about our services. 

 

 FAQ FOR GO THE DISTANCE PARTICPANTS - Looking for a way to participate that works for you? We hope that you will join us between May 3 and August 14 by setting your own goals this summer and spreading the word about our services. 


Q: Who can participate? 

A: You can! The event is open to anyone, anywhere. All ages, all genders, all activities, all together! This is a great opportunity for a family to work together as a team towards a common goal. 

  

Q: How does Go the Distance work? 

A:  Challenge yourself: How do you want to "Go the Distance" for Hospicare? Do you want to set a daily, weekly or monthly goal for yourself? Do you want to challenge yourself to walk a certain number of steps every day, or do a certain number of push-ups? Do you want to paddle the perimeter of one of the Finger Lakes? Do you want to bike up a mountain, or chop a certain amount of wood for next winter's fires?  You could even set a goal to train your body to be able to one pull-up by August 14!   
 

Bottom line: you make the rules for your participation, and we are here to celebrate your creativity and support you every step of the way!  
 

Q. Where does the money go? 
A. Each year, Hospicare must raise nearly $1 million to meet the costs of palliative care, hospice and bereavement services not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance and private pay funds. Go the Distance/Women Swimmin’ for Hospicare is an essential part of our work in reaching that goal, allowing everyone who seeks our services to receive compassionate care while maintaining as much personal independence and autonomy as possible.   

Thanks to the generous support of our corporate sponsors, all funds raised provide important physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual support to patients, families and friends facing the hard issues of mortality and loss. Funds also allow us to provide items such as medications, oxygen, specialized medical equipment, and more to patients in their own homes and to those in our Residence. We never turn anyone away because of insurance status or the inability to pay. Thanks to the generous support of our corporate sponsors, 100% of the money raised by swimmers and our 'go the distance' participants goes directly to patient and family care.