SwamThat Race

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Hello SwamThat Nation;

This may be the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. The good news is that my amazing wife received a promotion to corporate PetSmart and as a family we have moved to Phoenix Arizona. The bad news is that I just can’t logistically run SwamThat Race from such an insurmountable distance. I approached many groups in an effort to move it to new management. They expressed concern over the challenges of its operation. Because of this move, I’m closing down SwamThat Race as we know it.

Once all of our stuff gets out of storage and we are in a house I’m considering utilizing all of our SwamThat Swag for a virtual race. Let me know if you are interested.

As I have plenty of swag, and the 2019 shirts in hand, so we are going to try something new. This year we are running a virtual race (you swim, I provide swag). If by popular demand, we may bring it back in the future. Your race distance needs to be a personal stretch goal, and/or location swim of your choosing. I’ll provide the swag, coaching (I’ll design workouts, and be available for 1 phone consultation) via and online coaching group and be a cheerleader on your behalf. It’s up to you to complete the goal, but you’ll have me in your corner. Please state your goal or intended swim location / distance within the notes of the order. If there is anyone wanting to swim in Lake Pleasant north of Phoenix I would be happy to join you.

All proceeds from this will be used to support, publish, and distribute children’s books under my ‘buy one give one’ model through FeltIt InMyHeart Press (my new baby). Together you get SwamThat gear, coaching and a feel good about helping a child at risk for illiteracy have fun material to read, and I (Arlo Lorenz) get the ability to produce that material. It’s a win, win, win, (infinity) win.

Here are the funding levels, and what you get:

Tier 1) $20

SwamThat T-shirt

Tier 2) $30

SwamThat T-shirt, Cap, and Medal.

Tier 3) $40

SwamThat T-Shirt, Cap, Medal, and Gear Bag.

Tier 4) $50

SwamThat T-Shirt, Cap, Medal, Gear Bag, and a set of (2) SwamThat stemless wine glasses.

Tier 5) $70

SwamThat T-Shirt, Cap, Medal, Gear Bag, set of (4) stemless wine glasses, and a signed copy of The Lonely Bench. This will fund a donation copy to be given to an or organization servicing or a youth at risk for illiteracy as well.

Prior Race details:

Race Held 09/08/2019. SwamThat Race is an independently insured race, it’s a sign up and swim event with a liability waiver. Emerson bay is a protected bay near the southern tip of west Lake Okoboji. Depth is 30 feet, expected temperature is 72 degrees.

Races available: 2.5K, 5K, 7.5K, and 10K.

Children’s events: 150M, and a 300M circle swim course. Lifejackets are allowed for these events, and as long as a parent has a liability waiver on file they may swim with their child for no additional cost.


A Kayak Spotter required for each swimmer in the 7.5K, and 10K distances, and must be provided or arranged for by the swimmer.

Volunteer Kayakers will patrol the course for the 2.5K, and 5K distances. If you know of a volunteer kayaker who would like to participate as a members of the safety team, please encourage them to sign up.  They will recceive a free meal, and choice of T-shirt from past years.

Individual Kayakers for the 7.5K, and 10K events are solely responsible for their swimmer. They will carry all nutritional needs and an additional life jacket.

The course will be marked with a total of 11 buoys in alternating colors for maximum visibility. Course dimensions will total 2.5K, side one will be 1150 meters, side two 250 meters, side three 1000 meters. The course will be swam counter clockwise. Different color caps will be provided for each race type.

Check in - 6AM- 6:30AM.
Safety meeting – 6:45AM.
7.5K, 10K – 7:00AM Start time.
5K – 7:10AM Start Time.
2.5K – 7:20AM Start Time.
Children’s 150M, and 300M event check-in - 10:00AM – 10:45AM
Children’s 150M – Start time 11:00AM – Lifejacket optional
Children’s 300M – Start time 11:15AM - Lifejacket optional
Age grouping – Unless otherwise designated:
6–9, 10-14, 15-19, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+

Awards - Awards provided for top three Male and Female participants in each age group within each race type. Wetsuits are allowed, and encouraged, as participation in a life goal, is more important than silly rules that keep us from it. A separate division will be opened in each grouping for participants wearing wetsuits as needed. Awards also provided for personal records, you must let us know about it.

Safety – Course will be patrolled by Dive and Rescue. We will have stationary kayakers as specific points between buoys, and roaming kayakers to patrol and support. Two anchored boats at the long corner positions to check off swimmer progress. Swimmers will have additional responsibility as they will need to yell out their cap number at each of the corners to be recorded. At the beach location this could allow us to record split times for our longer events. Okoboji Dive and rescues will be onsite for medical, and safety support. In past years they have provided two boats for the event.

Emerson Bay State Recreation
3100 Emerson St
West Okoboji IA 51351

2.5K – One time around the course, this race measures just over 1.5 miles.
5K – Two times around the course, considered a half marathon by Olympic standards this race measures 3.1 miles.
7.5K – Three times around the course, this race measures over 4.5 miles.
10K - Four times around the course, considered an Open water Olympic Marathon, measuring 6.2 miles.
150M Children's Event - 150M course.
300M Children's Event - twice around a 150M course.


Saturday night dinner will be held at the Emerson Bay shelter at 6PM Saturday night, and your ticket to race provides entry into the dinner event.  Food will be catered in for the event.  Course description, safety information, and race details will be provided. Bring foldable chairs, and pick your spot, or sit on a picnic bench provided in the park.


Thank you, 

Arlo Lorenz