Open water swimmers diving into the Detroit River at the start of the Motor City Mile swim, with the city of detroit in the distance.

Motor City Mile Open Water Swim, Detroit

The Motor City Mile is an annual open water swimming race held in the Detroit River, Michigan. The event is part of the Swim Across America (SAA) race series.

The race consists of various loops of a half mile course marked by buoys in the Detroit River off the shore of Belle Isle Beach. The half mile course is one lap. The Motor City Mile course is two laps. The two mile course is four laps. The format of the race allows for spectators to easily enjoy the progression of their participants and to watch the drama of the race unfold from the shoreline, making for a great atmosphere.

Swim Across America organizes open water swim events in cities all over the USA. Proceeds from the swims go towards cancer research, clinical trials, and patient programs.

As with all SAA events, participants are required to raise money for the charity (at least $400 by event day for adults, $200 for under 18s). There is also a self-donation towards race entry. Many schools, teams, and other organizations form teams with a captain and fundraising manager.

We love the Swim Across America race for its emphasis on community. Swimmers who want to take part but lack the confidence to race alone can request an ‘angel swimmer’ to swim the race alongside them. This is a great way to make the incredible experience of race day accessible to more people, and surely a hugely rewarding experience for the angel as well. Hopefully more races will follow this example and offer additional support.

The Motor City Mile Facebook page is well-moderated and is a great source for race updates and discussions.

You can donate to Swim Across America here.

Motor City Mile Open Water Swim, Detroit
Belle Isle Beach House
Riverbank Dr
Detroit MI 48207
Race time: July 12, 2024 7:00 am
Price: $50-$100 entry fee, plus you must fundraise at least $400 (adults) or $200 (u18)
Distance: half mile, 1 mile, 2 miles, virtual swim option

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