HELENA — Every year the Helena Family YMCA hosts the Ed Kellner Mile Swim event, where competitors try and swim a mile as fast as they can. Kellner, according to the Helena Family YMCA, was an inspiration to many in the facility's aquatics department and logged more than 2,000 miles while swimming the Missouri River, which was their inspiration for honoring him with the event.
"He was one of our longest members, who inspired many other swimmers to be a swimmer," said YMCA marketing director Alana Cunningham. "He was very active in the aquatics community here in the Helena Family YMCA."
The event is held every year and normally garners around 30 swimmers who attempt to swim all 5,280 feet, but this year due to COVID-19, the number has been cut down significantly as they can only have members participate.
"Usually, we will have about 20 to 30 participants at the event, and this year, we only have about 14 to 15 participants. I think a lot has to do with COVID and we are only allowing members to participate because it's one of the regulations and guidelines," said Cunningham. "We are definitely seeing an impact, but individuals can still help out even if they don't want to swim the whole mile, which I know can be very intimidating."
The event begins on Dec. 31 at 7 a.m.
The signup fees for the event go directly to help the aquatics department at the Helena Family YMCA. To learn more, please click here.