Teal Lake finishers affected by diabetes

ISHPEMING – The top finishers in the 11th annual Swim Teal Lake found motivation for this race because they have relatives with diabetes, since the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network benefits from the event.

“My brother-in-law’s dad has diabetes, so it’s definitely a good cause,” said Cody Kayser of Manistique, the first male finisher in 48 minutes, 57.1 seconds.

Tara Dowling of Marquette, who will enter her senior season this fall as a member of the Northern Michigan University women’s swimming and diving team, had similar sentiments.

“It’s a great cause and I’ll definitely do this next year,” she said, adding she has grandparents with the disease. “I love doing this.”

Dowling posted a time of 51:08.4 to take top female honors

The course, 2.25 miles long, started on the Negaunee side of Teal Lake and ended in Ishpeming at the Al Quaal Recreation Area. Each swimmer was accompanied by a volunteer kayaker to help guide them across.

The swim was originally started to help raise money for a local diabetes family camp.

But donations go to UPDON to strengthen diabetes care and support across the U.P., according to the Swim Teal Lake website.

This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Natalie “Nat” Strand, who was part of the winning team on Season 17 of the CBS reality series “The Amazing Race” and a Type 1 diabetic.

Strand emphasized the importance of staying active and pushing through the road blocks that come with diabetes.

Elizabeth Bailey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is photos@miningjournal.net.