2011 Race Schedule (tentative)

Here in Chicago, the trees are gradually defoliating, and the Parks Department finally removed the buoys from our beloved cove south of Promontory Point… which can only mean one thing: Time to start filling in the 2011 Open Water Calendar! In 2010 I attended 12 events (some with multiple races) over 6 months. Eight of these involved air travel. That’s a race (at least) every other week on average. It was super fun, but not so conducive to peak performance. My ‘A’ races – supposedly, the Noblesville 10K and the Big Shoulders 5K – turned into ‘B+’ races because of the near-constant disruption of training.

As for next year, let there be no doubt: MIMS is the ‘A’ race – the main course. Everything else is either aperitif or digestif.

The season will begin April 9 at the Nike Swim Miami. This is a fairly standard 4-loop 10K in a protected nook of the Biscayne Bay. After a long winter of pool training in Chicago, it will be a useful fitness test and good opportunity to de-ice my open-water chops.

Then it’s back to Florida on April 23 for the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim. This is a 24-mile point-to-point traversing nearly the full length of Tampa Bay – from the base of the Sunshine Skyway in St. Petersburg to Rocky Point in Tampa. Given the big tidal assist at MIMS, this will be effectively my longest race of the year.

May will consist of a final training ramp-up into my taper for the 28.5-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on June 18.

July 9 I will meet up with friends-of-the-blog Sully and Rob D. in northern Vermont for the Kingdom Swim. The 10-mile course (there are also 6, 3, and 1-mile courses) in beautiful and memorably-named Lake Memphremagog will take us to the edge of the Canadian border – so in a sense, we can say we “swam to Canada and back.”

In mid-July, my wife and I may be traveling to Stockholm, Sweden for a conference. I have the vague sense there’s a decent open-water scene in Stockholm during the summer… perhaps Mike T. will have some ideas?

Assuming I’m not completely out of shape when I return to the States, I have my eye on the Boston Light Swim, an 8-mile point-to-point through the cold waters of Boston Harbor, on August 13. (Update March 2011: Nope, not this year!)

I’m considering two other August swims, but only because they’re short, and drivable from Chicago. They are:

  • the Point to LaPointe Swim – 2 miles in Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin (August 6);
  • the 2.4-mile USMS national championship race in Madison, Wisconsin (August 20). (Update March 2011: Nope – I’ll be in California, getting ready for Catalina.)

I’m leaving September and October open for the moment, in case I make a date with the Catalina Channel. (Update March 2011: My Catalina attempt is set for late August.) Depending on what happens with that, other late-season swims may include:

So, I’m looking at one swim a month – Miami in April, Tampa Bay in late April (call it May), MIMS in June, Kingdom in July, Boston Light Catalina in August, and Catalina Ederle in September October. The travel schedule will (I hope) be less disruptive, though, as Sully pointed out in a recent comment, I’ll exceed my 2010 racing mileage (57.4 miles) in just the first three swims of 2011.

And to think – only 16 months ago I could hardly finish the Fat Rabbit 3K in Columbus!

14 thoughts on “2011 Race Schedule (tentative)”

  1. Nice list! I’m still contemplating mine. After spending the weekend in New York I have to admit I’m much more interested in MIMS now… maybe 2012…

    But Stockholm? Oh man, I love that place and have been unsuccessfully trying to go back for like a decade now. I have no ins to their open water scene but I do speak Swedish so if you need to hire a traveling translator I’m your guy 🙂 Seriously though, keep an eye out for a guy on the USMS forums, I think it’s Ryno or Rynko or something like that. He’s a USMS member living in Sweden and could tip you off to what’s going on around there.

    1. Yeah, between NYC Swim and CIBBOWS, New York has a pretty top-notch OW scene.
      I only wish we were so organized here in Chicago…

      I’ve heard only great things about Stockholm. If we do end up going I’ll definitely get in touch with that Rykno dude.

  2. I’m heading in the opposite direction of you and Rob…one 10k cured me of any marathon swimming fever. So it’s back to the pool! But I’m sure I’ll race open water some next summer — though I’m thinking 5k will be the longest. Far more enjoyable to read about your exploits.

    1. That’s a bummer – you’re so good at it! Or maybe I should count my blessings, given that you’re joining my age group next year 🙂

      I like your idea of going for the USA-S 5K… I’d try it myself but the timing vis-a-vis MIMS is terrible.

      1. I’ll just have to see about the USA-S 5k…I really only have a shot at it if the cut is pretty slow. I definitely won’t be training for it. My coach’s words to me after the summer: “I really don’t think you should swim anything further than 200.” Kind-of hard to find open water races that fall into that category.

        1. An open-water 200 would be sort of awesome, though. Can you imagine the violence?

          Whatever it takes to find engaging challenges, I guess. I did mid-distance in high school and college, but I can hardly touch it these days. I just don’t have the speed anymore… and I still remember my times down to the hundredths 🙁

          BTW, congrats on your relay record that I read about!

    1. I can’t wait to hear your plans. I’m not sure how you top what you did in 2010… but I suppose you don’t need to. If all else fails, maybe I’ll find a way out to the CIBBOWS Vet’s Day race.

  3. You’ll miss out on Sweden’s big party, the Vansbro Swim. It’s an entire weekend. Folks camp out. It’s in the boonies as I understand it (also from Rynko), but tons of people go and there are swims of various lengths. http://www.vansbrosimningen.se/docs/page101.html

    Later in July, there are two others that were swum this year, as per openwaterswimming.eu:

    Sollefteå Älvsimt [Open Water], Sollefteå, Sweden
    http://www4.idrottonline.se/templates/Workroom.aspx?id=407292 (can’t figure out the distance, but looks short)

    This one I can’t figure out at all. May have to use Google language tools:
    Ferlindoppet, Filipstad, Sweden

    The Danish Swimming Union doesn’t have their 2011 sked up yet. But this year, they had races every summer month except July! Anyway, if there is a Danish race, and you can get to Malmo, Sweden, then it’s a ferry over to Copenhagen.

    1. The Vansbro Swim looks fantastic – sort of along the lines of the Cascade Lakes Festival in Oregon. Afraid I will miss it, though.

      I really wish openwaterswimming.eu would hire a web designer. The site has so much great content, but it’s such a disaster to navigate!

    2. It looks like the Sollefteå Älvsimt has a 900m and a 2500m race. The Ferlindoppet site doesn’t have any info on it yet for next year, but this year they swam 1300m according to the local paper.

      1. Awesome. The Google translation tools built into Chrome are magical, but nothing beats having my very own adventure-bearded translator.

  4. Swim Miami 2011 is back and now going to be webcasted! I wanted to first thank you for your previous coverage in this event and am looking to see if you would be interested in embedding the live syndication on your website. This will be one of the only live webcasted open water events in the world and in turn could bring a large audience and awareness to your site and the sport of open water swimming. Please let me know if you are interested.


    Ryann Labreche

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