OW swimming in the DC area

IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
edited June 2012 in Locations & Networking
I am looking for recommendations for OW swimming in the DC area (Northern VA and southern MD). I'll probably be living in the Old Town Alexandria area later this summer, and would love to find areas not too far of a drive, or better yet a metro ride, from Alex.

I've heard that swimmers jumping into the Potomac and having a nice swim have gotten stopped by patrols and told to get out, so bonus points if you recommend a place that'll keep me out of the clinker.

I've swum in Lake Audobon in Reston before, but that's a bit far for a weekday evening swim.

Thanks in advance and cheers to all from Moscow (Russia, not Idaho),

We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams


  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Bump. Leaving Moscow in 6 and a wake up.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • There's a new group called WaveOne Swimming that operates out of National Harbor over in Maryland. It's just south of the Beltway/Woodrow Wilson Bridge. They have weekly open water swims in the summer.

    NH is not Metro-accessible but it's a short drive or bike ride from Old Town. (Road bikes are not recommended. The Wilson Bridge is OK but the path leading up to NH is made out of crushed oyster shells. Very rough on skinny road bike tires. However, you can take a shortcut up a side trail and head back down on a local road.)

    There was also a new open water swim event today, Washington's Crossing, from Old Town to National Harbor. Even though the field was limited to 125, the event had not sold out as of yesterday. I don't know if it went on as planned. I do know that a nearby triathlon was canceled today because of the hot weather.

    I've never swam at National Harbor. I was planning on doing the inaugural National Harbor Ironman 70.3 race in August... but that was canceled. Don't know if they will try again next year. Word was that there were not enough registrants to justify holding the race. They decided this a couple months ago, when there was still a couple months before race day. Very odd. I think people might be scared off from National Harbor events because of the parking and access issues. There was a huge mess with a running race over the winter at NH, with many people unable to get to the complex in time because of traffic backups on race day.

    Note: I'm not a marathon swimmer. Just someone who has done a few open water swim triathlons at Olympic and near-Half Ironman distances. I'm improving but I'm a much better cyclist than a swimmer. Strange because swimming is what led me to start training for triathlons in the first place.
  • The DC Triathlon Club is a good source for more info about DC-area open water swim events and training areas.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Thanks Potomac Tri! Appreciate it. Looking forward to getting to the area. I had read about the WaveOne Thursdays, but the price tag and location kind of put me off. Only positive about it is my future work area will be Bolling AFB, so that's nice and close.

    I'll check out the DC Tri club website.


    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

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