Philly area Open Water Races

If you got rained out at Steelman last weekend, here's a perfect "make up" race for you.
French Creek Racing's third annual River Day SwimFest is scheduled for Saturday 7/28. Rain date is Sunday 7/29. Registration will open at 7:30AM. The 5K starts at 8:30AM, 1 Mile starts at 11:30AM, and the 800 meter race starts at 12:30AM.
1 Mile and 5K courses -
800 meter course -
All details can be found on our registration page -
For only $40, you can RACE ALL 3!

If you're looking for something a little longer, check out the 8 Mile Bender Memorial Swim. Tackle the whole thing yourself, or team up with 1-3 others in the relay division. Course map: Full race details here:
Sign up before 8/1 for only $100. If you can't bring your own kayak and paddler, we'll supply both for an extra $70.

Both races take place adjacent to Valley Forge National Historical Park, less than 20 miles west of Philadelphia. Questions/Concerns? Email



  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Those signed up/signing up for River Day swims, important announcement from John Kenny....

    Please share this important update with anyone you know registered for River Day or considering a race day entry:

    RIVER DAY UPDATE: Due to the unseasonably high flow rates, we are not able to hold the open water races in the river this weekend. For those who registered or were planning a race day entry, please read the alternatives carefully. Anyone who is registered may select one or both of the following options at no additional charge:

    1. Long course pool races - 7:30AM, Upper Merion Township Swimming Pool - 431 W. Valley Forge Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406. Check in between 7 and 7:30AM. Race day entry available.
      Circle swimming required. You'll be seeded according to race and seed time. Approximate start times as follows:
      5K will have 3 lanes available. Start time 7:40AM.
      1500m will have 3 heats of 3 lanes each. Start times 7:40, 8:40, and 10AM. We are likely to start earlier, as soon as all swimmers have completed their distances.
      800m will have 1 heat of 3 lanes at 10AM.

    2. Official River Day SwimFest to be combined with Open Water Race #4 on 7/31. Race day entry available.
      Heat times approximately as follows:
      5PM - Heat 1: 5K
      5:30PM - Heat 2: 5K and 1 Mile
      6:00PM - Heat 3: 5K and 1 Mile
      7:00PM - Heat 4: 800m Seeded wave, and 1 Mile
      7:03PM - Heat 5: 800m Party wave
      7:30PM - Heat 6: 800m and 1 Mile
      For those attempting the triple combo, the suggested heats would be: 5K at 5PM, 800m at 7PM, and 1 Mile at 7:30PM.
      All swimmers must be off the course by 8:20PM due to sunset/daylight.

    We apologize for any inconvenience, but look forward to seeing you tomorrow or Tuesday night!

    DPM50....Schuylkill not behaving lately. Sigh!

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    I'm planning on the pool events, maybe also the 3 event option Tuesday.

  • ruthruth New Jersey, USAMember

    Reasonable but also :(

    I might try to do Tuesday's swim, but it's kind of a schlep on a school night.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    I'll see how well I recover from the pool swims--right arm/shoulder felt tight in last night's practice. But great chance to get in almost double the distance within a few days if my aging body can stand it. :)

  • ruthruth New Jersey, USAMember

    I came out last night for the River Day re-do. I managed to finish the 5k, in a bit under three hours. That current was no joke!

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    edited August 2018

    I opted for the mile, as I had done the pool 5k Sat. and shoulder was a little tweaky. That mile took me a year (an exaggeration, but it didn't seem so at the time). I had the idea of stepping out after 800, but my coach (also RD) stayed on my case until I got back in and went around another lap. I missed the second buoy near the bridge both times--had thought I'd calculated things right so I'd have room to pass both buoys, but after the first, I was being pushed sideways and couldn't reach the second one. So I don't think it was an official finish, but it was a great workout! Flow rate was over 4400 cfs last night! The upriver section was like swimming in an endless pool with water jets turned full blast! My five mile Great South Bay Swim wasn't even as hard.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    edited August 2018

    Well, the current was unkind Tuesday, but there will be more opportunities. Open water race no. 5 is this coming Tuesday, and, of course, the Charles Bender Memorial Swim will be on 8/31. You can still sign up! I'm going with the relay this year instead of the solo, since it gives me a chance to practice kayak support--and to bond with swimmer friends. You can choose the solo or relay option (up to four team members), and if you do the relay, you and your teammates decide the order of swimmers and the amount of time/distance each person does. You can even decide on strokes! Anyone for an 8 mile IM or medley relay? :)

    PS My teammates and I are going with freestyle, thank you! :)

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