Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim (Sanctioned)

Contributed by Kate Radville, CRSC

BOSTON, MA -- The Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim will take place on June 2, 2018. The USMS sanctioned swim will feature chip timing, fabulous t-shirts, fun prizes, gorgeous scenery and a convenient location in the heart of downtown Boston. Wetsuits are optional, making this the ideal early season tune-up for your open water swimming.  Please visit our website for registration information or email us with questions. Join us to either swim or volunteer and help us make our tenth swim our best swim yet!


MAMA Swimmers Lead the Way at the Mighty Merrimack Swim

Contributed by Al Prescott (MAMA), NE LMSC Treasurer

LOWELL, MA -- The Minuteman Masters turned out in force to support the Mighty Merrimack 1- and 2-mile Swim on August 6. Next year's race is scheduled for August 5, 2018.

Pictured left to right are:

"Big" Al Prescott, 1st overall non-wetsuit, 1 mile
Mark Devlin, 1st overall non-wetsuit, 2 mile
Kathy McGovern, 1st overall female, 2 mile
Denise Veenstra, 1st place age group, 2 mile
Maria Beconi, 1st place age group, 2 mile


Swim With A Mission A Huge Success

Contributed by Stacy Sweetser, Sweetwater Swim Studio

BRISTOL, NH -- The inaugural Swim With A Mission (SWAM) took place Friday, July 14, 2017 in Newfound Lake at Wellington State Park. The 5K, 10K and 10-Mile Relay events fundraised for the Navy SEAL Museum, Veteran’s Count, and Bridge House Homeless Shelter and Veteran’s Advocacy organization. The event was well attended with over 100 swimmers, dozens of volunteers on land and water, and spectators galore.

Navy Seals lined the beach as twenty-eight 5K swimmers took to the crystal clear water of Newfound Lake at 7:00am. Ten minutes later, nineteen 10K swimmers followed. The sixteen relay teams (2-5 swimmers) had a staggered start at 7:20am for their 10-mile swimming journey around the lake.

Crowds of spectators filled the State Park for a post swim festival. Spectators were able to get up close and personal for the beach swim finish and watch various Navy SEAL demonstrations in air, on water, and on land with their K-9 squad. Veteran George Brunstad, a B-52 bomber pilot and renowned open water swimmer, attended as a special guest.





Taylor Hough, age 14 of Laconia, NH, took the women's title with a time of 1:24:57. Aubrey Patrick, age 15 of Bedford, NH finished 2nd and Sarah Barrett, age 22 of Goffstown, NH finished 3rd.


Edmund Gendreau (GBM), age 55 of Rye NH, won with a time of 1:14:58. He received a special award for fastest 5K in honor of SCPO Daniel R. Healy, Navy SEAL. Bruce Mohl, age 71 of Bonita Springs, FL finished 2nd and Jeff Stuart, age 56 of Manchester, CT finished 3rd.



Vera Rivard, age 13 of Springfield, NH with a time of 2:42:32. Jana Slezak, age 52 of Rye, NH finished 2nd and Nelle Killourie, age 44 of North Conway, NH finished 3rd.



Connor Robinson, age 19 of Wallingford, CT, placed first with a time of 2:08:36. He received a special award in honor of Jeremiah Fitzgibbon, world-class swimmer/triathlete, for fastest 10K. Geoffrey Michaud, age 52 of Manchester, CT finished 2nd and Maury Mckinney, age 56 of North Conway, NH finished 3rd.

10 Mile Relay

The winning relay team, Team SweetWater Swim Studio

Team SweetWater Swim Studio (SWS/GSP), which consisted of Stacy Sweetser, Randy Clark, Karin Biskovich, Johanna Lawrence, and Rebecca Hecox, took the team title with a time of 4:01:38. Team Connection placed 2nd and Team Tools placed 3rd.

SWAM website

 SWAM Facebook

Union Leader Article

12th Annual Narrow River Turnaround Swim

Contributed by Alison Kates, Program Coordinator, Narrow River Preservation Association


Race photos


NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI -- On Saturday, June 24th, 114 swimmers took part in the 12th Annual Narrow River Turnaround Swim, braving torrential rain. Starting and finishing at La Farge Park in North Kingstown, the route led swimmers a half mile down the Narrow River, where they turned around to return and complete the mile swim.  

2017 Narrow River Turnaround Swim first place finishers (L to R) Stuart Cromarty, Diane Leith Doucett, and Matt Gilson. Photo credit: Frank McQuiggan 

This year the swim was held on the birthdate of the late W.E.R. La Farge, a longtime benefactor of the Narrow River. W.E.R. donated the land for La Farge park to the Town of North Kingstown and a nearby plot of land to the University of Rhode Island Rowing Team for their boathouse and access to Narrow River. W.E.R.’s daughter, Louisa La Farge, and granddaughter, Lindsay La Farge Rosston, swam in the race and his step-daughter, Heather Lee, was the honorary swim starter.

Stuart Cromarty won the Men’s Wetsuit Division while Matt Gilson placed first in the Men's Non-Wetsuit Division. Diane Leith Doucett took first in the Women’s Non-Wetsuit Division and Emily Mitchell won the Women’s Wetsuit Division.

The Narrow River Turnaround Swim is hosted annually by Narrow River Preservation Association (NRPA), which aims to protect and preserve the Narrow River and its Watershed. The swim is generously supported by local sponsors and by URI Rowing and O.A.R.S..

Check out The Narragansett Times coverage of the race here.

Athlete Report: Mashpee SuperSwim

Contributed by Matthew Wiens, Charles River Masters

Charles River Masters after the Mashpee SuperSwim

MASHPEE, MA -- One hundred thirty-nine swimmers participated in the Mashpee SuperSwim during the cloudy morning of June 19. The water of Johns Pond was cool, but pleasant, and quite comfortable for a swim. Swimmers of diverse backgrounds and ages competed in one of three race distances: ½ mile, 1 mile, and 3 miles. 

Local masters athletes, including several of my Charles River Masters (CRM) teammates, took many of the top podium spots. CRM's Kendra Walton took first overall in the women's 3-mile race, while Jessica Stokes won the women's wetsuit division and Christina Smith matched that at the 1-mile distance. SwimRI's Vince Burks and Bruce Novis took top honors in the 1-mile wetsuit and non-wetsuit races, respectively. Bill Ryan, from Pinehills Masters, won the half mile race and Guy Davis of Great Bay Masters won the men's 3-mile wetsuit division. This was my first Mashpee SuperSwim, and I'm already looking forward to next summer!

4th Annual LandShark Swim Dominated by New England LMSC Swimmers

By Alana Aubin, NE-LMSC Communications Chair

Women's 1-mile podium

AMESBURY, MA -- B&S Event Management kicked off the 2017 B&S Open Water Swim Series on Saturday, June 10 with the 4th Annual LandShark Swim. The event welcomed 153 swimmers to Lake Gardner and featured race distances of 1/2 mile, 1 mile, and 2 miles. Balmy weather and a water temperature of 66 degrees made for excellent race conditions. Many New England LMSC athletes made the podium and, after enjoying a post-race breakfast buffet catered by Every Little Breeze Catering, took home a soft-side cooler as a prize.

In the 1/2 mile race, Tom Phillips of Greenwood Masters (GWDM) was the overall champion with a time of 14:13.9, while fellow NEMer Bill Tharion placed third.

Men's 1-mile award winners

At the 1-mile distance, Ildiko Szekely of Boston University Masters Swimming (BUMS) successfully defended her 2016 title to take the 2017 championship in 25:02.5. David Bentley of Charles River Masters (CRM) was the second overall male finisher.

CRM's Katie Levenstein won the women's 20-29 age group, and Katie Dwyer (Unattached) finished second in the 30-39 group. Deborah Sakr of the Granite State Penguins (GSP) won the women's 50-59 age group, while Sweetwater Swim Studio's (SWS) Amy Morin placed third. Anne Verrill (Unattached) grabbed first in the women's 60-69 division ahead of Cathy Utzschneider (Unattached).

Top 3 in the men's 2-mile

On the men's side, John Brady of Great Bay Masters (GBM) won the 50-59 age group and Carl Dearmin from YMCA North Shore (YNS) was second. Andover North Andover's (ANA) Frank Maldari was second in for men aged 60-69.

Great Bay Masters turned out in force for the 2-mile race, led by Guy Davis. Davis finished first overall in 50:53.6, beating out Chris Borgatti (Unattached) and GBM teammate Ed Gendreau. Kirsten Read won the women's race in 51:07.3, finishing ahead of Erica Carroll (BUMS) and Alana Aubin (CRM).

Women's 2-mile podium

Lauretta Bailin (Unattached) was third in the women's 30-39 age group, while NEM's Thomas Volper won the men's division. In the 40-49 age group, Cindy Regnante and Monica Cohen, both Unattached, were first and second for women, while Jonathan Moore of NEM was second for the men. DJ Jenson, of GBM, won the men's 50-59 age group, while Nancy Tunstall from Weymouth Club Masters Swimming (WCMS) and Julie Burnett of Minuteman Aquatics (MAMA) were second and third on the women's side. GBM's Steve Miller was first in the men's 60-69 group, beating out Dave Welch of Andover North Andover (ANA). GBM's Robyn Shiely won the women's 60-69 age group.

The B&S Open Water Swim Series continues on June 24 with the 1st Annual Swampscott Harborfest 1/2, 1, and 2 mile races in Swampscott, MA.

Photos originally posted on the event's Facebook page.

Ninth Charles River One Mile Swim: A Fun Morning on the Esplanade

Contributed by Kate Radville, Race Director

BOSTON, MA -- On June 3rd, 2017, the Charles River Swimming Club hosted its Ninth One Mile Swim in the Charles River Basin. The race, which took place on a single loop course between the Massachusetts Avenue and Longfellow bridges, was the largest in the club’s history. 

Wave 2 prepares to start a few minutes behind Wave 1

This year's edition drew a large, enthusiastic crowd to the river, and sold out at 200 swimmers. Electronic chip-timing allowed for accurate, real-time results despite the race’s unique in-water finish. Conditions were challenging given cool air and water temperatures, a steady head-wind during leg one, and considerable chop. Regardless, many fast times were posted by local masters swimmers. Trent Staats of Charles River Masters was the overall winner in 23:12.1. Sarah Weas of Boston University Masters was the first female finisher with a time of 25:42.5.  

Swimmers complete the loop and finish at the dock

The Charles River Swimming Club is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2005 with the dual purpose of organizing competitive swimming events in the river and facilitating the return of public river swimming to the Charles. After a long history of pollution, the Charles has benefited tremendously from the Clean Charles River Initiative, which began in 1995. The river is now clean enough for swimming on most summer days, and the club hopes to raise awareness of this fact.

Award winners received an 'I Swam the Charles' pint glass and a day of kayaking, SUPing, or canoeing on the Charles, courtesy of Charles River Canoe and Kayak

Swimmers who are interested in either participating in next year’s event or in volunteering should visit the club’s website at Those with specific questions about getting involved should contact Kate Radville, Charles River Swimming Club Vice President, Race Director, and Charles River Masters swimmer.

The Club, which is run entirely by volunteers, would like the extend its gratitude to the swimmers and volunteers who made this year’s event such a success.  We look forward to celebrating our tenth swim race in 2018!

In Search of Memphre 2016 and My First DNF

Contributed by Nathaniel Dean

On the night of September 9th, Nathaniel Dean, a member of Cambridge Masters Swim Club, attempted to swim across Lake Mempremagog - 25 miles from Newport, VT to Magog, Quebec, Canada. He ended his swim for safety reasons after completing 12.5 miles in 6 hours. This swim report was originally published in the Marathon Swimmers Forum. It is reposted here with permission. 

Figured I'd share a swim report, since I haven't been on the forums in a while and I felt that some people could learn from my experience. I swam in In Search of Memphre this weekend but didn't make it the full distance to Magog. Here's a rundown of the weekend, and where I broke down, and some things I learned over the weekend that hopefully would help other people, including myself... I plan to go back and complete next year.

I should emphasize that none of this is to be read as an excuse. All of the mistakes leading to this DNF were solely my own, and while that is a bitter pill to swallow, I was fortunate that it happened in friendlier waters with decent support and with enough training to know that things were going very wrong, knowing when to pull myself out instead of getting myself into a dangerous situation.

For those who don't know the Kingdom, Lake Memphremagog is a very large lake stretching from Newport, VT on the south to Magog, Quebec, Canada on the north. A number of swims occur on that lake including a series during the Kingdom Games, which has a variety of distances ranging from 1 mile to 25km. ISOM is the longest of the lot, stretching from Newport to Magog, a distance of 25+ miles. This swim is to support more open borders between the two towns to improve the economy of both cities.

Two people were on the swim this year, and hats off to Mark Smitherman who accomplished this hard swim in 13 hours. We spoke a few time prior to the swim, as well as on the dock starting off, and he was a very collected and determined individual, not to mention a very good swimmer, hats off to him! I'd love to read his race report to see what happened on his trip, not to mention at the end of the swim.

The swim started at the Newport docks shortly after midnight on Friday into Saturday, accompanied this year by a 13' boat with support crew with gas motor and a very experienced kayaker. My crew consisted of my wife Katharine Owen and a fellow swimmer whom I helped train for the 25km swim two months prior, Daniela Klaz. My kayaker was Gary Golden, who handled his kayak very well.

Direction of the swim was north, and a gentle wind from the south pushed us at the beginning. Start was at 12:20am. My feed schedule this year had changed; in previous years I have fed every 30 minutes, and this strategy got me through both Catalina and MIMS, with the caveat that I had more "stuff" in my system, and thus it took longer to eliminate. My observers in the past had commented that this was something I needed to work on, so I came up with this compromise. So this year I had trained and planned to change my schedule from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, thinking this would take the pressure off my voids, encourage fewer breaks in general and increase my speed.

However, that training was not sufficient. Figuring I had already done sufficiently long distances and thus could handle longer distances, I focused on more intense shorter swims, which were also easier to fit into my work schedule. However, that combined with the feed change would set off one of a series of dominoes that would call the end of my swim far sooner than I had expected. That doesn't mean that I necessarily approve of training up to race simulation distance (I'm still of the opinion that shorter focused practices do more for you than junk yardage), but doing swims with a new feed schedule is definitely crucial to making that feed schedule stick and confirming that it is the right move.

The first three feeds (up to 2h15m elapsed time) go really well, and I'm in good spirits as I am told on the third feed that I've already crossed into Canadian waters. I had recalled that the water temperature drops a couple degrees when you do cross over, as the water is deeper at that part of the lake. I have a couple of small worries though: 1. The boat fumes were starting to overcome me, as I haven't swam around boat fumes in a while, so my support crew had to pull away, not to mention the boat fumes were getting to my crew as well. This means that I didn't get as much protection from the wind as I would like, and this would come into play later. 2. My feed system is a double ended carabiner on a rope, with hookable Blender Bottles containing the mixed feeds (for the record, this is the most fool-proof method of feeding a swimmer and I would not encourage any other feeding method). But this means that the crew has to throw the feed in front of me and then slow down so I don't have to chase the feed. But, these boats couldn't go slow enough unless they idled, and if they idled the fumes would concentrate and sometimes the engines would stall, so we didn't run the boat slow and I still had to chase my feeds.
3. For my other night swims, I have hooked a chemical glowstick onto the back of my goggles, and since this system has worked for me in the past, why mess with a good thing? This time though, my stroke had changed enough that it was easy to wedge the glowstick between my goggles and my shoulder as I breathed on my left, making it difficult for me to fall into my usual bilateral-3 pattern. 4. I had instructed my crew to use hand signals with me to signal feeds, changes in speed/pace, positioning, and other key instructions. While this had worked in previous swims where there was a lot more light from a bigger boat, in this situation the lighting was much more subtle, and the only thing I could see in my blurry goggles (defogger not working was the least of my concerns) was the light from the headlamps. So, every time Kate looked at me to count strokes per minute, I would think they were trying to signal me somehow so I'd lift my head. This also played a factor into the later hours.

At about 3 1/2 hours in, these little issues started to stack upon one another. Since I had switched from bilateral-3 to 4-2-4-2-4-2 on my right side, I was now only looking at my kayaker on the right and not the support boat on my left, making it a bit more complicated for my boat to signal me. But, I knew they were close because I could smell them. The support boat was on my left and the wind had shifted unpredictably from the south to the west and kicked up to 8 knots, meaning the fumes were blowing into me nonstop. The wind also dropped the perceived temperature of the air, which was a complete surprise to me, and one of the things I learned the most from this swim: air temperature is just as important as water temperature. The water temp was in the 70s, practically bath water. The air temp was in the low 60s, but because of the wind felt 10 degrees colder. The support boat was further out doing the right thing, but I ended up getting the fumes anyway and the wind still hit me.

That's when my traps started to seize up. The trapezius muscles extend from the neck to the shoulder and back down to the spine in a diamond pattern in your back. I was depending on them because I was shrugging my shoulders trying to keep the glowstick from not wedging on my shoulder, shortening my stroke and in the process making the situation worse. My crew gave me new goggles at the 3:45 feed (always bring backups!) that worked amazingly, but the damage had already been done. I had picked up my pace to keep ahead of the cold I was perceiving in my arms.

At this point, I started to weave between the support boat and the kayak. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this had more to do with both the support boat and kayak being pushed by the winds, making it hard for them to keep a straight line (the fact that either of them could keep a straight line at all is a testament to the mettle and capacity of all involved). However, I was under the impression that I was losing it.

4:30 couldn't come soon enough, and I gulped down my hot feed (one every three feeds). Another mistake: not only had I changed my feed from 30 to 45 minutes, I had also changed the frequency of hot feeds to cold from every other feed to every third feed. Instead of getting a warm feed every hour, it was every 2 1/4 hours. Having figured that the water temperature was 70 I didn't expect to get cold. But, sure enough, I did.

5:00 hits, the sun is starting to peak, and I'm literally counting the seconds to the next feed. At 5:15's feed I own up to it with my crew: I say that the goggles were working great but I was not, that at that point my traps seized so much I couldn't turn my neck and I had to rotate my entire body to get my face out of the water, that I was cold, and I was fighting really hard to stay with it. I was really weaving between the boat and the kayak at this point.

How much of this was psychological and how much of it was physical hypothermia I couldn't tell. All the little factors stacked up to a big monster. The inside joke of ISOM is that the swim is to search for the fabled lake monster Memphre. At this point I felt that the real monster was an amalgamation of all these little demons given a big inky canvas to weave stories of doom. I've observed for the Ice Mile, and have seem people go through mild to severe hypothermia. I've observed for marathon swimmers and while I'm lucky to not to have to pull anyone, I've seen people get out completely shivering after an 8+ hour swim in 75+ degree water. I've read about all the unfortunate people who have died during swims.

I glanced at the edges of the lake, mentally calculated how long it'd take for people to get me to shore if I really started getting in trouble. If I developed the mask, if I started experiencing the claw in my stroke. None of this was actually happening to me: In fact, my stroke rate was staying pretty constant, and my crew pulled in closer to give me comfort and warmth, only for me to think they were really worried for my safety and as a side effect made it seem like I was bouncing around even more between the boats.

So 15 minutes to my next feed (which would have been a warm one), just when the sun was coming out, just when all of this could have gotten to get better, I pulled myself. I still contend that it was the right move. My crew was surprised, they asked me if I was sure. I cursed to the sky and said yep. I was pissed that I psyched myself out, but it was still a good move. I honestly felt that was at least mildly hypothermic, and was shaking and purple when pulled onto the safety boat and onto shore. Now, I've swum BLS in 58-62F and other cold swims, so who knows how much of this was psychological or physical. I contend that the difference didn't matter at that point. I let all these little things pile up into a real monster and get the better of me.

I'm proud of making it 12.5 miles in 6 hours. But I did make some major mistakes that I felt that I could help others not make:

  1. Get a light that doesn't extend down the neck. Those round lights like the one Mark had on his goggles are amazing and will not interfere in any way with the swim.
  2. Train in cold AND WIND. It's a backwards feeling for the water to be warm and the air to be frigid, and it can really strip you of heat.
  3. For nighttime swims, have light signals instead of hand signals. Not dry erase boards, not yelling (most times you can't hear your crew), but light signals are the clearest and can be seen through foggy goggles.
  4. I'm still not sure how to prepare for swims with fumes. This still gets to me.
  6. Proper training lets you conquer the little demons one by one so you can stop them before they can combine to be a Voltron of evil.

That lake is no joke. It is a hard swim. Do not underestimate it. I plan to face it next year with way more open eyes than I had before.

--Nathaniel Dean

MBCC Against the Tide Hopkinton Recap & Cape Cod Precap

Contributed by Ruth Anam

This past Saturday, June 18, marked the 24th anniversary for Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition’s (MBCC) Statewide Annual Against the Tide Swim, Kayak, Walk, Run, and/or Aquathon fundraising event at the beautiful DCR’s Hopkinton State Park. Hundreds of participants, including dozens of swimmers, joined the effort to raise over $86,000 (and still counting) towards MBCC’s unique goal of breast cancer prevention. Awards and prizes were handed out throughout the morning to the top fundraisers and fastest competitive athletes. 

If you were unable to take part in the event festivities this time, MBCC will be holding another morning-only, family-friendly Against the Tide event on the Cape. The 17th Statewide Annual Swim, Kayak, Walk, Run, and/or Aquathon event will take place on Saturday, August 20 at DCR’s Nickerson State Park (Flax Pond in Brewster, MA). Participants will enjoy swimming in the pristine waters at Flax Pond and can take pride in participating in one of the America's Top 50 Open Water Swims. Against the Tide consists of the following swim components: a 1-mile competitive swim beginning at 8:30 AM and a 1-mile recreational swim beginning at 9:45 AM. There is also an Aquathon option starting at 8:30 AM for individuals to take part in the competitive swim and dash straight into the USATF-certified 5K or 10K run. There will be an Aquathon Transition Tent to hold participants’ belongings. 

There really is no reason to miss out on the August 20th Against the Tide event: registration is $40 per event activity for adults and $25 per event activity for students, with all proceeds going towards MBCC’s unique prevention work. Bring a friend, family member, or a colleague! All walk-in registrations are welcome after online registration closes at noon on Friday, August 19. Additionally, the MBCC is in need of angel swimmers for the August 20 event. Please contact Ruth Anam if you are interested in this volunteer role. To register for Against the Tide and for more information, please visit and/or call 1-800-649-6222.


Eighth Annual Charles River One Mile Swim Recap

Contributed by Kate Radville, Race Director

Competitors at the start of the Eighth Annual Charles River One Mile Swim

On June 11th, 2016, the Charles River Swimming Club hosted its Eighth One Mile Swim in the Charles River Basin. The race, which took place on a single loop course between the Massachusetts Avenue and Longfellow bridges, was the largest in the club’s ten-year history.

This year's race drew a record number of swimmers to the river. The introduction of electronic, chip timing allowed for real-time results and an expanded field of 144 athletes. Conditions, including bright sun and flat water, were ideal for an open water competition. For the second year in a row, the top finisher was a woman. Alana Aubin (26) of Watertown, Massachusetts narrowly edged out Frank Wuest (56), of Boston, Massachusetts to earn her victory. Overall and age group winners earned gift certificates for a day of canoeing, kayaking, or stand up paddle boarding with Charles River Canoe and Kayak, one of the club’s generous sponsors, as well as "I Swam the Charles" pint glasses. 

The Charles River Swimming Club is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2005 with the dual purpose of organizing competitive swimming events in the river and facilitating the return of public river swimming. After a long history of pollution, the Charles has benefited tremendously from the Clean Charles River Initiative, which began in 1995. It is now clean enough for swimming on most summer days, and the annual swim race is organized in part to raise awareness of this fact. 

Overall winner Alana Aubin receives her prizes from race director Kate Radville

Overall winner Alana Aubin receives her prizes from race director Kate Radville

If you are interested in getting involved with the club as a volunteer or participating in upcoming events, please visit the club’s website at The club is run strictly by volunteers and would like to extend its gratitude to the swimmers and volunteers who made this year’s event such a huge success.