I had the idea late last night for a casual open water swim series that I am calling "Tour de Lakes". The idea is similar to the Tour de France and would have multiple stages of swimming at different venues. Times from each stage would be added together to come up with a final time for each swimmer. Part of the idea is to show off all of the great swimming holes in Utah and to let swimmers try out a bunch of venues that they may not otherwise swim in.
Here are some of the things I have been thinking about:
The venues could be small ponds or could be large reservoirs or lakes. Ideally they would be unique places where there isn't already a triathlon or other event. Since you can't really have hills or climbing stages in swimming, it would be cool to find venues with islands or other features to swim around to add diversity.
In addition to each stage being held at a different venue, each stage would also be a different distance. The distances would range from "time trials" to longer endurance distances. I am thinking there could even be teams. That way if someone wants to swim a 1 mile stage but doesn't feel up to a 5K or 10K stage, they could form a team and have someone more comfortable with the longer distance swim that stage.
There could be any number of stages depending on what people want to do. The tour could possibly even last all summer with one or two stages each month. It might even be fun to have a "cold water" stage in the early or late summer to add a little diversity and excitement. Stages could be out and back, point to point, laps, etc. depending on the venue. We could even get a yellow cap for the leader!
I am thinking of keeping it casual and friendly and not so much of a competition or organized event. Each person who wants to participate would just pay the entry fee for each venue and maybe kick in a little to have cool t-shirts made. The idea of keeping it casual eliminates the need to buy permits and insurance for each venue and would keep the cost of participation to a minimum. It would be more like a group of swimmers getting together for a practice with a little friendly competition thrown in. Swimmers could possibly even time themselves and then just check in with their time at the end of the swim.
Having support kayaks would be recommended (especially for the longer stages), but would be left up to each individual swimmer. Since there would be no insurance, etc. each swimmer would be responsible for their own safety.
So...what do you think? Is this something that anyone other than myself thinks would be awesome? I am interested to hear your ideas and suggestions for venues.