Sports

Markwith, Godfred swim around Island, raise $4,000 for charity

Rachel Godfred, left, and Sara Markwith swam the 14 miles around Mercer Island as a part of their Culminating Project. The two girls also raised over $4,000 for Children’s Hospital. - Contributed photo
Rachel Godfred, left, and Sara Markwith swam the 14 miles around Mercer Island as a part of their Culminating Project. The two girls also raised over $4,000 for Children’s Hospital.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Some athletes have swam around the Island for charity. Some have attempted the feat as a school project. Some have done it for a challenge. For Rachel Godfred and Sara Markwith it was all of the above.

“We both swim a lot and it is a bit easier to do it with someone else than to do it alone,” said Godfred. “We made sure to pace ourselves.”

The two girls are entering their senior year at Mercer Island High School and attempted the 14-mile swim as a part of their Culminating Project.

“I knew that Sean Sussex had done it and we wanted to do something for our project that was related to our biggest passion,” said Markwith.

The two girls planned the event for nearly five months and decided to include it as a charity event for Children’s Hospital. The generosity of others surprised the two Islanders.

“I thought we would make $300 from our family and friends and the hospital would laugh at us or something,” said Markwith. “But we just keep getting checks in the mail.”

The tandem have accumulated over $4,000 for the charity.

“There are a lot of generous people out there,” said Godfred. “I was very surprised.”

Both girls swim for their high school team and the King Aquatic Swim Club. They are used to swimming every day. Markwith and Godfred swim three hours a day. The two girls planned the event for the end of their only two weeks off from swimming all year.

“You can’t take any days off from swimming or you get out of shape,” said Markwith. “I didn’t even think about it and just got in and did it.”

As they were planning the event, they recently swam from Godfred’s house on the southwest side of the Island to the Beach Club to get a taste of what they were up against. But that swim didn’t compare to the rain, wind, choppy water and currents they experienced on the actual swim.

“Part of the time the current would push you back,” said Godfred. “It was nice to be doing it with someone else.”

Both Godfred and Markwith had a support group out on the lake including Alice Godfred, Rachel’s mother, on a jet ski and family members in a boat where they would take eating breaks.

Although the weather did not cooperate, both girls were glad to have accomplished a feat that not too many Islanders have completed.

“We both swim a lot so it was nice to make our project something a little more personal,” said Godfred. “But the most surprising thing was all the attention and how much money we raised.”

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