Reach the Beach - Chicago

Agenda & On-site Information


First draft of Agenda is below.

While the agenda and complete on-site information is still a work in progress at this point, we can certainly give you a general idea of what to expect.  In addition to the rough Agenda below, this page will have Hotel information, Packing suggestions, etc.



Thursday Evening, July 7th:  We are planning something special for our top fundraisers who may in turn extend the reward to their top donors.  The Veterans you supported will also be there to meet you.  Let’s just call it, “The Chicago Experience!”  We’re excited to tell you more about this!  



Friday - Early Evening, July 8th:  The Packet Pick-up & Informational Meeting will likely be held at the hotel where we will have a discounted room block.  Beverage service will be provided.  If staying there, it will be a short commute to your bed for the big day ahead.



Saturday – Early Morning (before dawn), July 9th 


  • Load the Boat:  Pack your gear on your support boat at the 31 Street Harbor marina, just 1 mile north of the Oakwood Beach starting line.  Meet your support team if you did not already meet them at the Friday evening event.


  • Check In:  We have reserved parking for you at Oakwood Beach where you will check in.  Packets will be available here too.  Leave a bag in the vehicle for when you finish.  Restrooms are on site for changing.


  • The Start (at dawn) – 5:30 a.m. CDT:  Your team will start from the beach and swim out toward the sunrise and to your support boat which will begin escorting you.



Saturday Mid-course Rendezvous with Veterans:  The Veterans will be attending the Casting Out Burdens retreat and will enthusiastically mark the turnaround point for you!



Saturday – The Finish:  15-hour cut-off time is 8:30 p.m. CDT (sunset).  You will finish at Oakwood Beach where you started.  Your family & friends may track you (probably through the RaceJoy app).


  • Plant the Flag:  We will have the Stars & Stripes for you to proudly plant in the sand, providing a great finish line photo opp for your team!  This will be a Swim Mission 22 tradition.


  • Food & Beverage:  A delicious, boxed picnic-style meal awaits you.  Don’t eat the box.  Well, it does have fiber.


  • Awards:  All Key to the City Finisher Awards and Division Champions Cannonball Trophies for the relay race are presented upon arrival at the beach.  Other awards must be shipped following GPS calculations and custom engraving of plaques.


  • Bag Pick-up:  Retrieve your gear at the 31st Street Harbor marina.



If you are hanging around Chicago for a few days …



Monday, July 11th @ 8:30 p.m. CDT:  See Jim “The Shark” Dreyer off when he starts his Dusk ‘til Dawn Cannonball Swim from Oakwood Beach for our Veterans.  How far will he get overnight?


Tuesday, July 12th:  The Veteran Swim Team will finish at Oakwood Beach after finding and picking up The Shark offshore and beginning their inspiring swim to shore at 5:30 a.m. CDT (dawn).  We will keep you apprised of their ETA at the beach.



*  Media (Smile for the camera):  We expect media to show up at the start/finish lines and

maybe even on chase boats for the public & Veteran swims.