These people run, bike, kayak, row, swim around or across the Great Lakes

Lake Michigan at sunset. What do it inspire you to do? Photo: Lars Lenz. 

The Great Lakes inspire people to do great things.

Or at least very quirky things.

Whether it’s raising awareness for a cause or just being near the water, people use the lakes as backdrops for adventure.

Echo recently featured Jenn Gibbons, rowing the perimeter of Lake Michigan to raise money for a rowing team of breast cancer survivors.

And in April, we covered two Minnesota bicyclists circling the perimeter of the Great Lakes. They’ve now reached Michigan and are traveling up Lake Huron’s western coast.

They aren’t the only ones whom beach-goers should look out for this summer:

  • Stephen Brede is kayaking around Lake Erie; it’s the third Great Lake that he’s circled that way.
  • Steve Cannon is running 40 marathons in 40 days around Lake Michigan to raise money for The Lance Armstrong Foundation.
  • Sara and Jeff Tow hope to be the first married couple to swim across Lake Michigan on August 15.

Not everyone’s Great Lakes challenge is as intimidating.

On May 24, two Michigan women achieved their goal to swim in all five Great Lakes in 24 hours. It took only 15 hours of driving time.

Gibbons, rowing Lake Michigan for almost three weeks now, understands where the inspiration comes from.

“People have such an attachment to the Great Lakes,” she said. “They want the lakes to get press so communities stay excited about them.

“It makes me think more people need to get out here and do things like this to raise awareness about our Great Lakes.”

Are they? Who else is doing a Great Lakes challenge this summer?

  • Pingback: Two women take dugout canoe around Lake Michigan | Great Lakes Echo

  • Amy

    Great to hear all of these Great Lakes adventures! Just happened upon this as my friend Mary and I take a weather day at a local library — we are traveling around the perimeter of Lake Michigan in our handmade dugout sailing canoe. Check out our blog if you’re interested in seeing how it goes! lakemichiganinadugout.blogspot.com