3.23.2009

Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim

The Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim is the only open water swimming event in Utah (not including open water triathlons). The date has been set for this year's event and will be held on Saturday August 15, 2009. With 1 mile, 5K, 10K, and 10 mile distances, there is something for everyone. Having participated for the first time last year, I am excited to swim again this year. The venue is perfect and most of the course is protected from boats.

The Deer Creek swim was noticed by the 10K Swimmer blog (an excellent source of information about open water swimming throughout the world). Click here to see what they said about the event.

Also, here is a video documenting the first swim which was held two years ago.

Something For Triathlon Race Directors to Think About

I love that the sport of triathlon is growing in Utah. As mentioned in previous posts, Utah is full of amazing venues for open water triathlons and swims. New events are added every year and I am always meeting people who are trying the sport for the first time. However, take a look at the 2009 calendar of open water events and you will only see one race that is purely a swimming race (the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim).

It seems to me that triathlon race directors could easily add a "swim only" category to their races and collect a little more in entry fees by doing so.

I imagine that people participating in the "swim only" category would all start in one wave (either by themselves or with athletes participating in the triathlon) and could wear the same timing chips that the triathletes wear. The timing system is already set up to record swim splits and I would guess that it would not be difficult to add a "swim only" category (similar to an age group or distance category) that would only record the swim time.

I suspect that it would not require any more support than is already in position for the triathletes.

With minimal added expense, race directors could charge a separate fee for the "swim only" category which would only be icing on the cake to their triathlon race fees.

Maybe this is something that race directors have simply not considered. Or maybe they have and have come to the conclusion that there is not enough demand. But with the growth of open water swimming across the country and across the world with the addition of the 10K open water swim to the Summer Olympics, it's something to think about...

3.22.2009

2009 Utah Open Water Calendar

Utah has so many incredible venues for open water swimming. This is evidenced by the following 2009 open water calendar. If you see an open water event that I am missing, please let me know.

Date

Race

City

Venue

Distance

Website

Saturday May 9

SGTri

St. George

Sand Hollow Reservoir

750 / 1500

www.bbsctri.com

Saturday May 23

Stansbury Tri

Tooele

Stansbury Park Lake

750 / 1500

www.ustrisports.com

Saturday May 30

Salem Spring Tri

Salem

Salem Lake

800 yards

www.racetri.com

Saturday June 13

Utah Summer Games

St. George

Sand Hollow Reservoir

750 / 1500

www.bbsctri.com

Saturday June 13

Battle at Midway

Midway

Deer Creek Reservoir

750 / 1500

www.bamtriathlon.com

Saturday June 20

Provo Tri

Provo

Utah Lake

750 / 1500

www.provotri.com

Saturday June 20

TriUtah Cache Valley Tri

Hyrum

Hyrum Reservoir

750 / 1500

http://www.triutah.com/

Saturday June 20

San Rafael Classic

Huntington

Huntington Lake

750 / 1500

www.sanrafaelclassic.com/

Saturday June 27

Dino Tri

Vernal

Red Fleet Reservoir

750 / 1500

www.dinotri.com

Saturday June 27

Rock Cliff Tri

Park City

Jordanelle Reservoir

750 / 1500

www.ustrisports.com

Saturday June 27

SunDog Bear Lake Tri

Garden City

Bear Lake

750 / 1500

http://sundogsport.com/

Saturday July 11

TriUtah Echo Tri

Coalville

Echo Reservoir

750 / 1500

http://www.triutah.com/

Saturday July 18

Hillman Triathlon

Blanding

Recapture Reservoir

750

http://hillmantriathlon.info/

Saturday July 18

Scofield Triathlon

Scofield

Scofield Reservoir

750 / 1500 / 1.75 miles

www.bbsctri.com

Saturday August 15

Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim

Midway

Deer Creek Reservoir

1 mile, 5K, 10K, 10 miles

http://deercreekopenwater.home.comcast.net/

Saturday August 15

Utah Half

Provo

Utah Lake

1.2 miles

www.racetri.com

Saturday August 22

TriUtah Jordanelle Tri

Heber

Jordanelle Reservoir

750 / 1500

http://www.triutah.com/

Saturday August 29

Bear Lake Classic

Garden City

Bear Lake

750 / 1500

www.bbsctri.com

Saturday September 12

TriUtah Ogden Valley Tri

Eden

Pineview Reservoir

750 / 1500

http://www.triutah.com/

Saturday September 12

Camp Yuba Triathlon

LeVan

Yuba Lake

750 / 1500

www.racetri.com

Saturday September 12

Bear Lake Brawl

Garden City

Bear Lake

750 / 1500

www.goldmedalracing.com

Saturday September 19

Daybreak Tri

South Jordan

Daybreak Oquirrh Lake

750 / 1500

www.ustrisports.com

Saturday September 26

Kokopelli

St. George

Sand Hollow Reservoir

750 / 1500

www.bbsctri.com


*The Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim is the only purely swimming event on the calendar.

3.19.2009

Ironman St. George

It was announced yesterday that St. George, Utah will be the home of a new Ironman event with the first race being held on May 1, 2010. Why do we care about his at Utah Open Water? Because the first leg of the race is a 2.4 mile swim in the beautiful Sand Hollow Reservoir. Sand Hollow is a great venue for open water swimming with water temperatures in the low to mid 70's during late spring and early summer. It is the home of many other popular area triathlons including the SG Tri, Utah Summer Games Triathlon and Kokopelli.


From the Ironman St. George website:
“St. George is the ideal setting for our newest Ironman event,” said Steve Meckfessel, Chief Operations Officer for World Triathlon Corporation. “The community’s experience in hosting the popular St. George Marathon, the scenic landscape of surrounding Washington County and the proximity to core triathlon markets in the region will contribute to Ford Ironman St. George quickly becoming one of our most popular races.” The swim will be held at the Sand Hollow Reservoir, with athletes entering the water via the boat ramp for the one-loop swim. Following the swim, the bike course will lead athletes through the towns of Hurricane and Washington, before making its way toward the city of St. George. At the end of a picturesque, two-loop section, the bike course will offer views of Snow Canyon before heading into downtown. After entering transition in St. George’s historic Town Square, athletes will begin the two-loop marathon course that heads out for a climb toward Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. This challenging course will wind through Pioneer Park, neighborhoods along Diagonal Street, with a turnaround point located at Main and Tabernacle Streets. The race will finish alongside Heritage Tower with a backdrop of downtown St. George.

“Ironman is the world’s premier endurance event and we think it is perfectly suited for St. George. The determination and tenacity demonstrated by Ironman athletes resembles the fortitude of the early settlers in this area and the spirit our residents. The course highlights the striking scenery and contrasting landscapes. We are thrilled to offer athletes and fans an experience they are sure to remember,” stated Kevin Lewis, Sports & Events Director, St. George Area Convention and Tourism Office.
St. George is a unique venue for an Ironman event with beautiful changes in scenery and warm spring weather. With the growing popularity of triathlon in the region, I have no trouble believing that this is going to become a big event.

Now if they would only let those of us not ready to tackle the 112 mile bike ride and marathon run just enter the swimming portion of the race...

An Introduction to Utah Open Water

There is something about swimming in lakes, reservoirs and rivers that I love. Maybe it's the scenery or the freedom of not being confined to an indoor pool. Maybe it's the added challenge of wake, waves and currents or feeling like I am actually going somewhere and not just swimming laps. And maybe it's the enjoyment I get out of seeing just how far I can push myself. Whatever the reason, it's a great sport and Utah is a great place for it.

Utah has some of the most beautiful scenery that I have ever seen and some of that scenery is right around Utah's many lakes and reservoirs. Triathlon in Utah has been taking advantage of many of these locations for a while now, but there are still many locations that deserve the attention of open water swimmers and race directors.

There are countless running, cycling and triathlon groups in the state, but what about us swimmers? Sure there are plenty of Master's teams, but what about those of us who want to focus on distance and open water when the weather is good? With the growth of open water swimming and the introduction of the 10K swim to the summer Olympics, I think it's time that we get something started here in Utah.

With that said, here are some things that I hope to provide through this website:
  • Resources and articles related to open water swimming
  • Scheduled workout swims during the warm months
  • Reviews of the many great places to swim in Utah
  • Calendar of open water events in Utah
  • Anything else you or I can come up with
Whether you are a triathlete looking for some tips on how to improve the swim leg of your races or a seasoned open water swimmer who has completed a swim across the English Channel, I hope that you will find something useful here.

If there is enough interest, I think it would be cool to start a Utah Open Water (UTOW?) team and maybe even put on a race or two. (If nothing else we could get some cool shirts or swim caps made).

Although I have been swimming for years, I am fairly new to open water swimming and am by no means an expert. I am open to any suggestions that you may have about the direction of this site and welcome any comments, links, submissions, etc.