Courtesy of Blue Ollie, Chicago, Illinois.

The Big Shoulders 5K race directors caused quite a stir in 2008 with their event t-shirts and medals with the likeness of President Obama.

Unlike Hurricane Hanna’s cancellation of the Brooklyn Bridge Swim, Hurricane Gustav only caused a water temperature drop at the 2008 Big Shoulders Swims.

Under a gorgeous fall morning, 410 swimmers completed the 5 km swim and 193 swimmers entered the 2.5 km race in Lake Michigan.

Although Hurricane Gustav lowered the water temperature by 10°F in Lake Michigan, the lakefront was relatively calm on race day. Northwestern University’s Eric Nilsson showcased his stamina and won the 5 km in 56:38, followed by Washington D.C.’s Steuart Martens at 57:21, and Mike Alexandrov at 57:24.

1998 world 5 km champion and fellow Northwestern University Wildcat Erica Rose led the women’s field with a time of 1:01:13, followed by Indy Swimfit’s Victoria Rian at 1:02:50 and Kelly Perry at 1:04:19.

English Channel legend Michael Read and ubiquitous Bill Ireland also competed.

For more information on the largest race in the American Midwest, visit here.

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