On January 21, 2018, Admiral Farragut Academy 2nd grade teacher and avid swimmer, Maren Lynch, swam 3.1 miles across the Tampa Bay for the Tampa Bay Frogman swim “Never Leave a Man Behind” charity event benefiting the Navy Seal Foundation.
Each swimmer represented a fallen soldier.
“I swam for 22-year-old Navy Seal Tyler Trahan EOD2 from East Freetown, Massachusetts,” said Maren. “Tyler was deployed with his east coast-based seal team in Taqaddum, Iraq and was killed on April 30, 2009, while conducting combat operations. Two marines were also killed during this operation.”
In order to participate in this charity event, swimmers were asked to raise a minimum of $1,500 with a total fundraising goal of $700,000. Maren used a fundraising website where others could donate and she could share her thoughts as she prepared for the race. Overall, Maren was able to raise $2,510 for the foundation.
“This was the most emotional event I have participated in and the most difficult swim I have ever done,” said Maren who, in the past, has participated in the Lido Key race that was 7-miles long and a 12-mile relay around the island of Key West. “It was not the longest swim, but the cold water, the wetsuit, and ridiculously-strong current made this more challenging to me than any I have done in the past. I even asked for Tyler’s help when I got scared.”
Along with Tyler figuratively by her side, Maren also had the help of a kayaker and close family friend, Craig Mallon. “Craig was in charge of keeping me in line, both directionally and mentally,” explained Maren. “He is a long time friend, best friend to my husband, and God Father to my one of my children; I am so grateful for him.”
Although the conditions were tough, Maren swam well and arrived at Picnic Island with a time of 1:26. Out of 175 participants, 25 of which were female, she earned 4th overall female and 34th overall.
“I am humbled and honored to have swum for Tyler, and proud that I was able to give back to his family and other families who have lost their loved one,” said Maren.