Important Dates

Registration Opens: Friday, February 1, 2020

Early Bird Registration: Wednesday, May 15, 2020

Registration Deadline: Friday, July 24, 2020

Packet Pickup: Saturday, July 25, 2020

Event: Sunday, July 26, 2020

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup Saturday, July 27th, 2019 from 1-3pm at Temperance Beer Co2000 West Dempster Street Evanston, Illinois 60202

If you can't make it to packet pick-up, you will be able to pick-up day of the event, but we highly encourage you to get your packet on Saturday to beat the crowds and be able to enjoy the free coffee, bagels, fruit and camaraderie before the race (camaraderie not guaranteed!). 

Choose Your Distance

All distances will adhere to the rules set up by the governing body of Open Water Swimming.  All races will take place off Dempster Beach in Evanston. Each will feature in-water staggered starts organized by age groups, with on-land finishes. 

A post-race ceremony will recognize the top finishers in each event: wetsuit and non-wetsuit, plus other awards that might include “most outrageous” swimsuit or the weirdest swim stroke.

Event Schedule

Below is our event schedule. This schedule is subject to change as we approach the date of the event. We will update this info if that happens and email all registered participants as well as post in our social media.

4K Schedule

  • 6:30am to 7:00am: check in

  • 7:15am: safety talk

  • 7:30am: swim start

2K Schedule

  • 6:30am to 7:00am: check in

  • 7:15am: safety talk

  • 7:45am: swim start

1K Schedule

  • 6:30am to 7:00am: check in

  • 7:15am: safety talk

  • 8:00am: swim start

Note: swim start times are approximate. Please remain in the start area after the safety talk to ensure you don’t miss your start time.


The awards ceremony will take place at 10:30am on the beach. Prizes will be given to the top male and female wetsuit and non-wetsuit swimmers in each event.

Race Course

The race course is a 1K GPS buoyed rectangle. Swimmers will start at the southwest corner and be directed clockwise, first heading northwest, then turning northeast before returning southeast and finally southwest, back to the starting area. Buoys will be placed at the corners and half way points.  

The 1K swimmers swim 1 loop, 2K swimmers 2 loops, and 4K swimmers 4 loops.

Event Pricing

  • Early Bird Pricing (Before May 15th):

    • 4K - $70

    • 2K - $70

    • 1K - $40

  • Between May 15 - July 24:

    • 4K - $80

    • 2K - $80

    • 1K - $50

  • Registration closes at 6pm Friday July 26th. We will have walk-up registration available at both packet pick-up and day of the event for a $15 service surcharge.

What to Bring

Please remember to bring the following items: sunscreen, a baseball hat or equivalent to shade your face (not to swim in!), sweatshirt, sweatpants, wetsuit (optional), board shirt (this goes underneath the wetsuit to prevent chafing around the neck), Vaseline or BodyGlide (for under the arms, neck area), and of course goggles! Sorry, no pull buoys, hand paddles or fins.

Lake Conditions

Lake Michigan is a large body of water whose conditions can vary immensely. Great Lakes swim participants might swim in a mirror calm lake throughout--or confront four-foot waves with white caps. Your best options are to be prepared for possible rough spots, or to bow out gracefully if the conditions are beyond your experience. (We would rather you celebrate the beauty from the lakefront rather than drag you to shore dripping and dizzy.) Lake temperatures can also be challenging, varying from 54 degrees to 76 degrees Fahrenheit based on weather conditions. There will be swim suit and wet suit categories for each race. Should the lake temperatures drop overnight, “day of” changes will allow those interested to switch to the wet suit group. 


In collaboration with the City of Evanston Aquatics Department, we will provide for water safety during the swim.  Lifeguards will be placed on land and water throughout the course. Fire, rescue, and first-aid staff will also be on site. 

Swim caps, color-coded for each distance category, are mandatory. Substitutes will be provided for swimmers who are allergic to latex.


Wetsuits will not be available for rent. You can purchase your own before the race, either online or from local retailers like REI and Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

Cancellation Due to Conditions

If weather or other issues prevent a safe swim as determined by the City of Evanston Aquatics Department, we’ll cancel the race. In that case, we’ll distribute shirts and medals. We cannot offer refunds or deferrals, and there is no alternate date. The cost of the event is fixed and the all funds have been spent by race day. If the race is cancelled due to unsafe conditions we encourage all swimmers to make plans to stay and enjoy Evanston’s beautiful lakefront and build a sandcastle instead. Use the opportunity to make new friends who enjoy open water swimming, or relax and enjoy the coffee, bagels, and bananas that will be available to participants.