7.23.2014

Bear Lake Monster Swim - 2014

Relay team finishing the Bear Lake Monster Swim. Look at that water!!
I'm finally getting around to a write up about the Bear Lake Monster Swim that happened this last Saturday.

We got to Bear Lake late in the afternoon and the family and I played at the beach until it was time for the pot luck dinner and packet pick-up.  The water was awesome.  This really is the gem of open water swimming in Utah. There were quite a few swimmers and their families who showed up for dinner and we had a good time talking and getting to know each other.

The next morning I got to the marina pretty early, before the gate was open. Some of the swimmers were already there and were unloading their kayaks and getting ready to drive to the finish line to drop off their cars.  It was pretty windy, and a little chilly.  I could tell some of the swimmers were getting a little nervous.  By the time the race started, the weather had calmed down and was pretty nice.

After getting everyone checked in, Gords gave the pre-race meeting and we headed down to the shore.  This year we were lucky to have three people directing the race: Gords, Chad and myself.  It helped a lot to have three people running the show.

The relay swimmers started first, just a little bit behind our planned start time.  About five minutes later, the solo swimmers started.  We packed up everything at the pavilion and I headed over to help set up the finish line.  Chad got in his boat to patrol the course and Gords was paddling for one of the solo swimmers.

My dad and brother had set up the huge red arch by the time I got to the finish line and I helped them get everything else set up.  Finishing at Cisco Beach isn't ideal.  It's really rocky and the bathrooms and amenities aren't as good as at the marina.  On the other hand, we were able to start a full hour earlier and missed the heaviest boat traffic near the marina.

Deni Cullom was the first swimmer in with a new record time of 2:19:47.  We also had a new female record set by Chelsea Carmichael with a time of 2:26:17.  (Full results here) The swimmers were finishing all up and down the shore.  Next year I think we need to set up another arch on the shore to mark the finish line.  That way I won't have to run up and down the shore getting swimmers numbers to get their finish times.  The slippery rocks were also a problem and next year we need to get some carpeting to lay down so that it's easier to get out of the water.

Sarah Jones finishing her swim.

Utah open water pioneer Jim Hubbard finishing his swim.
Overall I think the event went well.  We didn't have any accidents and all the swimmers were accounted for.  So far the feedback we have received from the survey we posted has been really positive, but there are also some ideas for ways we can improve.  This was my favorite quote from the survey:

The atmosphere was awesome. It felt like a family.

We're all about having a good time and try to treat all the participants like family.

We've got a few bugs to work out, but I'm already excited for next year's swim on July 18, 2015!  Some swimmers were so excited about the swim that they are planning to go back later this summer to do a double crossing!

6 comments:

Gordon Gridley said...

What's Sarah saying with her finger pointed in that picture? You gotta caption that. I have a few good ones in mind.

Josh said...

Ha! I didn't notice that! The same photo is in the Facebook album. You should add some captions there.

Jenn said...

Hi, not sure how I came across this, but is this in the UT or ID side? Im really curious which beach this is. Thank you!

Josh said...

This is from last year, I still haven't posted about the race thus year. This is on the Utah side. Starting at the Bear Lake marina and finishing at Cisco Beach.

Kelly Palace said...

Beautiful lake!

Kelly Palace said...

Beautiful lake!