Skye Fletcher with his spotter Mike, after completing the 18 km half marathon. Photo: Elizabeth Henne

Skye Fletcher with his spotter Mike, after completing the 18 km half marathon. Photo: Elizabeth Henne

Big Effort Swim at Christina Lake raises funds for charity

The event is the longest open-water swim event in Canada — a whopping 36 kilometres

The first-ever Big Effort Swim at Christina Lake this past Saturday was a massive success, according to event organizers.

The Big Effort Swim is an open-water endurance swim event for charity and is the longest open-water swim event in Canada — a whopping 36-km swim to the north end of Christina Lake and back to Christina Lake Provincial Park in the south end.

Three swimmers attempted the 36-km marathon swim. Ben Blackmon and event co-founder and director Sasha Tyoschin, finished the swim in 12 hours and 25 minutes, and Gerry Lamarche completed 27-km in the 14 hour time cap.

Six swimmers completed the 18-km half-marathon to the north-end, the fastest time being an impressive 4 hours and 54 minutes by Quinnlan Bymoen.

All nine swimmers commenced their swim in the dark at 4:00 a.m. at Christina Lake Provincial Park and the whole event was live-tracked.

There was also was a 750-metre swim and 4-km swim that started midday and 31 swimmers swam in that event.

The Christina Lake Fire Rescue Department showed their support and hosted a cook-out BBQ for lunch.

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A post-swim beach celebration followed with everyone cheering on Blackmon and Tyoschin as they finished their swim at 4:30 p.m.

To end the day, local band The Benders and local musician John Vere performed on the beach while everyone enjoyed a pig roast BBQ.

The event itself was organized by executive director Victoria Henne, a Christina Lake local, director Sasha Tyoschin, who swam the 36-km and Pamela Kinga.

The trio says they are so grateful for the support they received from the community and those who volunteered. They look forward to hosting the event again next year.

Big Effort Swim raised over $15,000 up to the event day with more funds still coming in.

The Christina Lake Firefighter Society, the Christina Lake Stewardship Society, the Christina Lake Arts & Artisans Society, as well as Canadian Breast Cancer and Cure SPG50 will be the recipients of all funds raised.

You can still donate at www.bigeffortswim.com.

The Big Effort Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2022 by three friends and athletes who wanted inspire a new genre of fundraising through extreme sporting events. Its focus is on others — helping people push their own physical limits, thus providing both physical and mental health, meanwhile supporting the community and its environment.

Its mission statement is: “The ability to recognize the enormity of one’s impact; which requires big effort, the bigger the effort the bigger the impact.”



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Swimmers readying for the 750-m and 4-km swim. Photo: Rylan’s Photo Life

Swimmers readying for the 750-m and 4-km swim. Photo: Rylan’s Photo Life

Big Effort Swim founder and director Sasha Tyoschin (left), Victoria Henne, operations and outreach (centre) and Pamela Kinga, marketing and digital (right). Photo by Elizabeth Henne

Big Effort Swim founder and director Sasha Tyoschin (left), Victoria Henne, operations and outreach (centre) and Pamela Kinga, marketing and digital (right). Photo by Elizabeth Henne