National Records crushed at the 5K & 10K ePostal Swim at Amazon Pool in Eugene, Oregon 4

Leah Harris and Mike Oxendine before their 10K at the Amazon Pool.

Leah Harris and Mike Oxendine before their 10K at the
Amazon Pool.

Seventeen swimmers bravely showed up for and completed a 5K or 10K ePostal on May 26th in the Amazon Pool in Eugene, Oregon.  This year showed the best turnout yet since 2014, the year we started this opportunity, and we were blessed with a beautiful warm and sunny day for swimming (perhaps a bit too sunny judging by the sunburn some of us got)!  A huge congratulations goes out to everyone who tackled one of these long arduous swims.  In my opinion, these are the most challenging USMS National Championship swims of the year, both mentally and physically (especially the 10K) whether in the pool or in the open water.  Anyone who does these events should be proud to be one of the few people to achieve a finish in these demanding swims.

Leah Harris' 10K sunburn!

Leah Harris’ 10K sunburn!

Since 2014, Oregon Masters Swimming has been renting the Amazon Pool in Eugene, Oregon, for 4 hours on one of the final weekends in May in order to allow swimmers an opportunity to swim their 5K or 10K USMS ePostal National Championship.  This year we had the pool from 2pm to 6pm on Saturday, May 26th.  Finding pool time to swim 10,000 meters (or even 5000 meters) in a long-course configuration (the 5K and 10K must be swum LCM) is next to impossible for many people, so this gives long-distance swimmers a great opportunity to do the swim without having to fight, beg, or steal to get pool time.  Our wonderful OMS board has voted to subsidize 50% of the rental cost each year and the rest of the cost is paid by the swimmers who participate and contribute $20 each to swim.

The turn-out, geographic distribution, and performances for this event were successful in every way.  Swimmers came from as far south as Ashland, Oregon, and from as far north as Seattle, Washington.  There were five swimmers over the age of 70!  The youngest swimmer was 24 year-old Erin Cavender, who set a new Oregon Record in the 10K with a time of 2:33:17.  The oldest swimmer was 96 year-old Willard Lamb, who swam his way to a new Oregon and National record in the 5K with a time of 2:08:06…at 96 years old!!!  What?!  Truly amazingly impressive, everyone agreed.

Bob Bruce broke the 10K Oregon and National record for men 70-74, going 2:46.09, but, due to Dan Kirkland starting the event after Bob, Bob held the National record for just 15 minutes.  Dan Kirkland posted an incredibly fast time of 2:34:31, bettering the new National record for men 70-74.  Congrats to all of the new national record holders!

Two other Oregon records were set, one by Sara Shepherd who swam her 10K in 2:31:42 and the other by me (Matt Miller) who completed a 10K in 2:17:34.

We plan to offer this 5K/10K opportunity in Eugene again next year.  I would strongly encourage everyone to consider doing one of these two long swims at this venue next year.  It works really well as part of a regular annual training cycle to kick-start the long course and open water seasons, and provide you with a good way to measure your fitness level heading into the season.  Being aware of this opportunity, you can watch for it next year!

Full (mostly complete) results from everyone’s swims are listed below.  Again, I would like to personally congratulate everyone who did one of these daunting swims, especially those who did it for the first time.  You all did great!!  I hope to see everyone come back next year and welcome more new faces in the pool trying their first 5K or 10K ePostal swim at Amazon Pool in Eugene.


5K Swimmers included (in alphabetical order):

Rob Birdwell                                         50-54             Corvallis, OR              1:15:55
Tim Cespedes                                       55-59             Beaverton, OR              1:29:08
Willard Lamb                                         95-99             Vancouver, WA             2:08:06                              NATIONAL RECORD
Stephanie Martin                                  55-59             Gold Beach, OR            1:19:05
Michelle McRae                                    40-44             Seattle, WA                   1:XX:XX
Ralph Mohr                                            75-79             Coos Bay, OR                1:38:34
David Radcliff                                       80-84             Hillsboro, OR                 1:35:17
Scot Sullivan                                          50-54             Portland, OR                  1:06:26
Johnny Van Velthuyzen                      35-39             Seattle, WA                   1:17.XX

10K Swimmers included (in alphabetical order):

Bob Bruce                                              70-74             Bend, OR                       2:46:09                               NATIONAL RECORD
Erin Cavender                                       18-24             Beaverton, OR              2:33:17                                  OREGON RECORD
Leah Harris                                            30-34             Medford, OR                 3:11:56
Dan Kirkland                                         70-74             Battleground, WA        2:34:31                               NATIONAL RECORD
Matt Miller                                             40-44             Ashland, OR                  2:17:34                                  OREGON RECORD
Sara Shepherd                                      35-39             Beaverton, OR              2:31:42                                  OREGON RECORD
Mike Oxendine                                     35-39             Talent, OR                      2:51:24
Don Uhlir                                               60-64             Gold Beach, OR            2:46:53

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4 thoughts on “National Records crushed at the 5K & 10K ePostal Swim at Amazon Pool in Eugene, Oregon

  • Laura Schob

    Impressive swims, Oregon masters! I enjoyed reading this article, Matt. Perhaps the 10k can be held earlier in the morning to avoid sunburn, or swimmers can wear a thick coat of Badger/ or a pure zinc oxide sunscreen.

    • Matt Miller Post author

      This is the first year we’ve done this swim that it was so intensely sunny and warm. Usually, in late May the weather is a bit cooler and sunburns are less of an issue. The reason we do the swim mid-day is so that most people can make a day trip out of it instead of having to spend the night or get up at an unreasonably early hour. Most people drive quite a distance to do the swim.

  • Jeanna Summerse

    It’s pretty hard to find a sunscreen that will last over 3 hours. When I do the 10K I plan on STOPPING, GETTING OUT, waiting for my back to DRY, and putting on MORE SUNSCREEN partway through the swim. Sounds like a good excuse to rest!

    • Matt Miller Post author

      Haha, for sure Jeanna! Yes, I think everyone put on sunscreen but it was so warm and sunny that it didn’t last the whole 3 hours for most people. I think the really thick white stuff zinc oxide might last the whole time, as I’ve seen people doing super long swims with it, but I’ve never purchased or tried any myself.