Riverkeeper 4K: A Family Affair

Andrea Anzai (second from right), the youngest in a family of elite swimmers, needs your support so future generations on both sides of the river can enjoy a swimmable, drinkable, fishable river.

Andrea Anzai crashed through waves last summer at Ottawa Riverkeeper’s inaugural inter-provincial swim. The open water was a far cry from the orderly lane swimming she’s used to doing in pools year round. She’s returning to the Riverkeeper 4K on August 15 determined to best her time.

Andrea coaches kids and trains with Swim Ottawa under her mother Marie Anzai’s guidance in indoor and outdoor pools. The competitions Andrea participates in most are carefully timed with the water temperature controlled and perfect. She’s an elite swimmer and it runs in the family.

After all her parents met on a dock and the entire family is involved in the 2015 Riverkeeper 4K. All six Anzai family members are participating in various roles making the swim a frequent topic of dinner time conversation.

Mom Marie is the volunteer finish judge. Patriarch Tom runs Swim Ottawa and is our swim’s race director. In fact, the interprovincial swim was Tom’s brainchild and quickly became a family affair. Andrea’s siblings Emily, Trevor and Kenton are volunteering as lifeguards and escort paddlers.

“Volunteers are an important part of the puzzle making the Riverkeeper 4K possible and fun. In addition support from our generous sponsors: AnzaiBushtukah, International Academy of MassageJackpineLush, Ottawa City RaftingRainbow Foods,  Rideau Rowing and PaddlingSwim Ottawa, and Whole Foods Market  means 100 per cent of the pledges collected go to our popular Riverwatch Program,” says Development Director Ruth McKlusky.

Andrea Florida2014 BK Dol

According to Andrea the feeling of accomplishment she had when she reached the finish line in 2014 made the whole 4 kilometer swim between two provinces worth it. “When you’re swimming in an open water event it isn’t about your time. It is about finishing the race. That awesome feeling made swimming again this year an easy decision.

Come cheer on Andrea as she strives to beat her 2014 time of 1:06:00 at the Lac Deschenes Sailing Club finish line between 9 – 10 a.m. Support Andrea by donating to her fundraising campaign here. Proceeds from the swim will be used to purchase water testing kits for our volunteer Riverwatchers since  monitoring and testing water quality helps ensure that future generations will enjoy open water swims like our Riverkeeper 4K.


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