Long Distance Swimming – June 2018


We’re heading into the most compact and busiest summer season that we have ever had in Oregon.  Not only are we hosting the “My Oregon Swimcation” Festival in one week in early July—including the Portland Bridge Swim, the Foster Lake 2-mile Cable Swim, and the Applegate Lake 10-km Swim as USMS Open Water National Championship swims—but we continue in the following weekends with the OMS Summer Championships at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham and the Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival at Elk Lake.  I hope that you have been preparing to participate fully in this fine string of opportunities for YOU.

Here’s the basic information:

  • My Oregon Swimcation – The Portland Bridge Swim (Sunday, July 8): It has been fully subscribed since mid-January, but it’s worth a look if you’re in the Portland Metro area that day.
  • My Oregon Swimcation – Foster Lake Cable Swims (Thursday, July 12): My emphasis in this article; more below…
  • My Oregon Swimcation – Applegate Lake (Saturday-Sunday, July 14-15): This event features the USMS Marathon (10-km) Open Water National Championships or a 2500 or 5000-meter swim on Saturday, run simultaneously, and the 1500-meter swim & and the popular 3 x 500-meter pursuit relay on Sunday.  Info & online entry at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=2128&smid=9709.
  • OMS Summer Pool Championships – MHCC in Gresham (Friday-Sunday, July 20-22): The annual Gil Young Meet, in the beautiful MHCC outdoor 50-meter pool, has been moved into July due to impending pool maintenance.  Info & online entry at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1352&smid=10792.
  • Cascade Lakes Swim Series & Festival at Elk Lake (Friday-Sunday, July 27-29): This event will retain  the traditional ‘five swims in three days’ format.  Info and online entry at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1756&smid=9711.  Online entry only except for day-of-race entries.

At the risk of shilling only my own event (disclosure: I’m the founder and event director for the Foster Lake Cable Swims), I’d like to emphasize the cable swims in this article.  My key points…

  • To make the three-swims-in-one-week ‘My Oregon Swimcation Festival’ possible, I took a potentially risky hit for Oregon’s sake and scheduled this event Thursday morning (becoming the first USMS-sanctioned open water swim ever to do so!).  I know that some—perhaps many—of you will need to take a day off from work.  Please support the swim and plan ahead by scheduling a vacation day now and joining us at the lake then.  This swim is approaching fast, so you need to do this NOW.
  • Foster Lake is our most centrally located event venue.  It’s centrally located within two hours of home for most Oregon-registered swimmers, allowing many/most of you to travel to and from the swims on event day.
  • Foster Lake is the only permanent cable swim course west of the Allegheny Mountains (not the Rockies, the Alleghenies!).  I think that this fact is grossly underappreciated by local swimmers.  Swimming on the cable—particularly in championships events—is a treat that most of you take for granted yet is not easily available to most swimmers in the country.
  • Foster Lake features the USMS Two-Mile Cable Swim National Championships.  The one-mile swim will be the OMS Open Water Individual & Team Association Championships.
  • Both one & two-mile swims are on a certified course, so National, Oregon, and course records are in play.  Visit www.comaswim.org for the records (and all of the down-and-dirty details that you’re gonna need to know for these swims).  Speaking of records, the Oregon Club dominates the USMS national records for the one & two-mile cable swim relays.  Relays are entered after all swimmers’ times are recorded, with the optimal combinations of OREG swimmers, much like our relays for pool postal events.  We hold 15 of the 18 current records for one-mile relays and 16 of 19 for two-mile relays.  But in an admittedly greedy effort to make a clean sweep, we need three speedy women in the 65+ age group (75+ too if we can) join us to break the softest of the national cable relay records in both distances and the mixed relays that go with them.  It’s a big day of swimming but glory awaits.  Of course, we could use really speedy swimmers in all age groups (especially the younger age groups) to improve some of the national records that we already hold.
  • Sadly, I’m leaning strongly towards putting this event on pause in 2019.  It’s a big challenge for COMA to come over the river and through the woods—and over the mountains too—to run this event, then turn around to run our signature event at Elk Lake only a few weeks later.  So this might be the last chance for a while to do our thing on the cable course.  Take advantage of it while it’s here.
  • Online entry only at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1756&smid=9712.  NO day-of-race entries; entry deadline is Monday, July 2.

Good luck and good swimming!

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