Swim the Hour of Power and Join the Fight Against Sarcoma

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

By Molly Lloyd, Swimming World College Intern

The men and women’s swim teams at Carelton College in Northfield, MN have been swimming the Hour of Power in honor of their late teammate, Edward H. “Ted” Mullin since it was first started on November 7, 2006.

The Hour of Power is simple: you get in relays of about eight to 10 people and for one hour, you swim all out fifties. For one hour, you give it your all. For one hour, you leave it all in the pool.

Ted Mullin


Photo Courtesy: Sarah Rubinstein

Ted Mullin was a charismatic, dedicated swimmer at Carleton College when doctors found a malignant tumor behind his right knee in the spring of his sophomore year in 2004. Ted was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma– a rare form of cancer found in the soft-tissue. For treatment, Ted and his family turned to The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and from June to November of 2004, he went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as surgery, to eradicate the tumor and disease from his body.

Ted returned to Carleton for his junior year and was in remission, until scans taken at the end of that year revealed that the cancer had come back and had metastasized to his lungs. Despite these challenges, Ted still served for two years as a captain for the men’s swim team at Carleton and led two Relay for Life teams, in 2005 and 2006.

Due to the reemergence of his cancer, Ted had to go through even more chemo and radiation in hopes of returning to being in remission, but the cancer had become unstoppable. Ted returned to Carleton for his senior year, knowing that he wasn’t going to graduate with his friends, classmates, and teammates. He knew that Carleton is where he wanted to be and his resilience and spirit got him through his senior year and allowed him to say goodbye to his friends.

Ted was described by his teammates as enthusiastic, fun and hard working– he was the kind of person who would consistently put others before himself and never thought twice about it. He was always excited about swimming and was the first one to congratulate other swimmers on their races, even swimmers from the opposing teams. He had a genuine love for swimming and for his team that was hard to come by.

Ted died on September 3, 2006 at the age of 22 and is survived by his parents, Mary Henry and Rick Mullin, his brother, Evan, and his sister, Catherine.

The Ted Mullin Fund


The Carleton Swim Team after the Hour of Power in 2014. Photo Courtesy: Carleton College

Following his death, Ted’s parents established the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. They did not believe there was enough research about sarcoma, specifically within the ages of 15 and 22, and began to raise money for sarcoma research. Since 2009, the Ted Mullin Fund has raised a total of almost $900,000 dollars (more than $550,000 from the Hour of Power alone) and has donated all of that money to the University of Chicago, in hopes that they’ll be able to find a cure for the disease.

According to the Carleton College Men’s Swimming and Diving website, “the Ted Mullin Fund has supported research into novel chemotherapy/biology agents for sarcomas, new ways to administer chemotherapy in this disease, techniques to visualize more accurately the tumor response in the patient, novel genomics strategies to identify high-risk sarcoma patients, molecular techniques to personalize therapy to maximize benefit while reducing treatment-related toxicity and treatments for metastatic or resistant disease that use the patient’s own immune system to attack residual tumors.” The money has been raised through donations through the Hour of Power, philanthropy, as well as through selling their Cancer Sucks merchandise.

The Hour of Power


Macalester College swimmers show off their “Cancer Sucks” caps. Photo Courtesy: Carleton College

The Hour of Power was created by Ted’s teammates at Carleton College on November 7, 2006. In the event, swimmers form relays of eight to 10 people, and for an hour, they swim nonstop fifties and they give it their all. In the leave-it-all-in-the-pool event, anyone can swim any stroke, but the objective is to keep all lanes of competitors in each pool on the same length. The official Hour of Power event occurred on Tuesday, November 10 at 5 p.m. EST, but teams are encouraged to participate whenever they can.

When it started back in 2006, the Hour of Power had only 15 teams participating, but by 2014, 183 teams (around 8,700 athletes) participated in the Hour of Power. This includes college teams, high school teams, club teams, as well as self-made teams, such as swimmers who study abroad and decide to participate together. In 2006, those 15 teams raised a total of $11,000, and in 2014, the 183 teams collectively raised $67,350 for the Fund. Within its nine years of existence, the Hour of Power has raised over $550,000 to donate to sarcoma research.

The Hour of Power is about hard work, team unity, and having fun– all things that reflect the kind of person and swimmer Ted was. The positive energy that radiates from the pool deck during the Hour of Power is undeniable and unmistakeable; there’s nothing better than being on deck with your team, working hard, in hopes of one day seeing a world without cancer. The Hour of Power is a proper tribute to Ted’s memory, as well as an incredible opportunity to raise awareness and money for cancer research, which can help cancer patients and their families make it through the disease.

For more information about the Ted Mullin Fund, the Hour of Power, or about how to get involved, visit: The Ted Mullin Fund and Carleton’s informational page about the event.