Good news, T.I. swimmers and open water enthusiasts! There’s still time to register HERE for the Terry Laughlin 2 Mile Memorial Cable Swim and the Betsy Owens 1 Mile Memorial Cable Swim at Mirror Lake on Saturday, August 11 in the village of Lake Placid, NY. Registration closes this Monday, August 6, at 11:59pm EDT. As many readers of this blog may recall from his numerous posts about this race over the years, “The Betsy Owens” was Terry’s favorite and most frequently-attended open water event. Many thanks from the Laughlin Family to Terry’s longtime friend Ann Svenson (former director of the Betsy Owens Memorial Swims) for honoring Terry by re-naming the 2 mile event in his memory. It’s a fitting tribute with this event that meant so much to him. Another exciting update is that “the Terry 2 Mile” has just been selected to host the 2 Mile Cable Swim National Championship event in 2020!
(Terry & Ann Svenson at the 2006 Betsy Owens event– both broke national age-group records in the 1 mile and 2 mile cable swims that year)
Svenson, a USMS Long Distance All Star, national record holder, and one of the first Total Immersion coaches, wrote in “Remembering Terry Laughlin,” published last November in “Adirondack Sports”:
“In 2006…Terry broke two US Masters Swimming open water national records in the one-mile and two-mile cable swims (the only open water events for which records are held as they’re swum around a precise quarter-mile cable course) at the Betsy Owens Memorial Race in Mirror Lake, Lake Placid – his favorite swim event. As a result of these swims, Terry achieved Long Distance All-American status and was named to the 2006 USMS Long Distance All Star team. In August 2018, the two-mile cable swim will now be the Terry Laughlin Two-Mile Race, and the one-mile will now be the Betsy Owens One-Mile Race. They were friends and she would be proud to share the bill with him. Terry contributed quarterly swimming columns and photos to Adirondack Sports & Fitness magazine from 2001 to 2010, which were widely read and shared. He always signed his missives ‘Happy Laps’ and it’s his greatest contribution to the swimming world.”
(Terry with Beth O’Connor Baker at the finish of the 2017 Betsy Owens 1-mile. Terry coached Beth to the 1980 Olympic Trials in 200-meter butterfly– last year, both swam the Betsy Owens 1-mile and her 20 y.o. son Ryan won the Betsy Owens 2-mile)
In Terry’s blog post last year, reflecting on the 2017 Betsy Owens, Why I Felt Gratitude and Joy After Finishing 48th of 50, he wrote:
“The Betsy Owens Memorial Cable Swim has been my favorite open water event for, well, ever. It’s swum in Mirror Lake, a body of water of unsurpassed beauty in the center of historic Lake Placid, NY, with a stunning Adirondack Mountain backdrop. The stainless steel cable, anchored a meter below the surface provides the equivalent of a lane line in open water. The entire field is strung along either side of the cable, rather than dispersed, which gives one far more of a feeling of swimming with your fellow OW enthusiasts. And finally, since 2005, it has memorialized my good friend Betsy Owens, who’d been an energetic, dynamic leader of Adirondack Masters until her death from breast cancer in 2004. I’ve missed the event only a few times in nearly 20 years. Participating in it brings incalculable pleasure and richness into my life. Last Saturday I enjoyed a full day in a setting of great natural beauty with a dozen or more good friends, first while swimming, then at a post-race lakeside picnic, and finally for post-picnic beers at the Lake Placid Brewpub, where we have long had a standing appointment each year after Betsy Owens. If at all possible, you’ll find me back at Betsy Owens the second Saturday in August 2018.”
Terry will certainly be there in spirit on August 11th and would be so proud to receive the honor of the 2 Mile bearing his name this year, alongside his friend’s name, Betsy Owens, for the 1 Mile. We hope to see you at the lake!
(Terry with longtime friend Steve “Bear” Schtab at the 2005 Betsy Owens– Steve was a star swimmer on the first age-group team Terry coached, at Eastern Queens YMCA in Bellerose, in the mid to late 1970’s)
Enjoy this look back at previous blog posts Terry wrote over the years, recounting his experience preparing for and swimming the Betsy Owens Memorial Cable Swims:
- 4/20/09: What kind of training does it take to break a National Open Water Record?
- 8/26/10: A Meditation on Swimming Faster
- 5/3/13: How Age and Cunning Can Win the Day in Open Water
- 7/12/13: Enjoyment Meets Improvement
- 7/29/13:‘Drafting Off’ My Inner Voice
- 8/26/16: Zero Cancer Swimming: Healing “Exercise” and Striving Together
(Terry at the 2016 Betsy Owens with T.I. fan John Lomasney and other members of the Binghamton University Masters Swimmers– “BUMS”– Terry wrote about swimming with John during the 2 Mile in the 2016 blog entry linked above)