Stephanie Miles

Participants in the Miami to Miami Bicentennial Distance Challenge must swim 14,850 yards before spring break.

Students have the chance to swim from Miami University to Miami, Fla. with the Recreational Sports Center (RSC)’s Miami to Miami Bicentennial Distance Challenge.

In the Miami to Miami Bicentennial Distance Challenge, participants swim the distance from Oxford, Ohio to Miami, Fla., the equivalent of 1,188 miles.

According to Jamey Rutschilling, assistant director of the aquatic center and programs, 25 yards in the pool will be equivalent to 2 miles of the total distance.

The rules of the challenge include that all swimming must be completed in the RSC facility by March 6, the Friday before Spring Break, and anyone who has access to the RSC is able to participate in the swim challenge. The participants tell a staff member how many laps they completed each time they swim, which is recorded into a log and also displayed on a bulletin board, Rutschilling said.

“It is a motivational program to keep people swimming,” Rutschilling said.

Rutschiling said all swimming participants will receive a complimentary body composition test before and after the challenge.

Senior Emily Schrenk is already swimming her way to complete the challenge. Schrenk, who swam competitively in high school and is currently a regular at the RSC, said she wanted to switch up her exercising by completing the swim challenge.

She said that she registered for the challenge to get good exercise, get toned and improve her health.

Schrenk said she is planning to swim three times a week in order to finish on time. With a busy schedule, Schrenk said she prefers swimming at night.

Rutschilling said there is a map available at the RSC highlighting different cities from Miami to Miami, Fla. to see what mileage puts the participant in what state.

“They have a map to show you how far you are,” Schrenk said. “I think I’m somewhere in Georgia right now.”

In its fifth year of operation, there are currently 175 participants signed up, six of which have already completed the challenge. Last year 150 participants registered for the program and 82 completed the distance, according to Rutschilling.

Rutschilling said there have not been many changes made for this year’s challenge compared to previous years, but they are taking into account Miami’s bicentennial celebration.

“We’re trying to put a bicentennial spin on the challenge by trying to get 200 people to sign up,” Rutschilling said.

Schrenk said she believes the challenge is especially beneficial for beginner swimmers because it allows them to swim at their own pace in a two-month time period.

“I can tell people I swam to Miami, which is awesome,” Schrenk said.

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