The new kids on the block, Southern Oregon Masters Aquatics (SOMA), will play host to two open water swimming events in beautiful Southern Oregon:
Both of these events will be part of the 2018 Oregon Open Water Series and will offer the opportunity for swimmers to choose from distances of 1500 or 3000 meters, or both! Both the 1500 and 3000-meter events at Eel Lake and Lake of the Woods will be featured swims, earning points toward the Oregon Open Water Series for swimmers who finish in the top 10 in their age group. Score enough points and get into the top 3 in your age group to earn an awesome age-group award! If you score the most points of any age group, you will be the overall series champion, earning a sweet award! Or go for the “full participation” award by swimming at least one event at every Oregon Open Water venue in 2018.
The Eel Lake Swims have been running for 12 years now, this year being the 13th. SOMA inherited this swim from Central Oregon Masters Aquatics (COMA) in 2018 because the logistics of running the event weren’t going to work out for them. Matt Miller will be the new race director and Jayna Tomac and Ralph Mohr in Coos Bay will be heavily assisting with the event.
Eel Lake is a beautiful freshwater lake nestled in pine trees on the Oregon coast, on Highway 101 between Reedsport and Coos Bay. Eel Lake is located within William M. Tugman State Park, which offers excellent camping facilities. Historically the Eel Lake Swims have been the last event in the Oregon Open Water series and served as the annual big pay-off Super Bowl bet between Connie Schuman and Dan Gray. Since the Patriots finally lost this year, Dan Gray will be graciously hosting this time around!
Given the beautiful scenery, great food, awesome camaraderie and fun camping opportunity, this is an open water event that should not be missed!
The Lake of the Woods swims will be added to the Oregon Open Water Series this year for the first time. Lake of the Woods is a freshwater lake nestled 4900′ up in the Southern Cascade Crest just off U.S. Highway 140 between Klamath Falls and Medford. The beautifully clean and clear natural spring fed lake is surrounded by old growth Douglas Fir, Lodgepole Pine, and Ponderosa Pine. Serving as the backdrop are the 9500′ Mount McLoughlin and the 7300′ Brown Mountain volcanoes. Lake of the Woods has excellent camping facilities, as well as the Lake of the Woods Resort which includes cabin rentals and a restaurant.
The Lake of the Woods swims are part of a large-multisport event weekend put on by the Rogue Valley Race Group. From triathlons to aquabike duathlons to trail marathons, this event has something for everyone! So bring your family out to this beautiful southern Oregon lake for a very enjoyable and memorable weekend. Details about all of the events offered and more information can be found on the Lake of the Woods Tri website here:
I’d also like to quickly mention the other wonderful southern Oregon open water swim: Applegate Lake. Most of you should be aware of this event, as it’s the longest-running open water event in Oregon and is one of the best events on the west coast. This year it will host the USMS 10K National Championships. SOMA swimmers Mike Servant and Matt Miller will be race directors for the 2018 Applegate Lake event for the 2nd year and we are excited to direct this amazing event that receives rave reviews from participants. Registration is already open so sign up here:
With three Oregon open water events in southern Oregon this year, the opportunities to get outside and have fun with your friends at beautiful venues have never been more ample. Be sure to get out there and enjoy these opportunities to the fullest while making new friends, strengthening old friendships and accumulating memories to last a lifetime!