A Memorial Day Weekend Tradition Draws Elite Swimmers to Lake Audubon

by SwimSwam 0

May 22nd, 2018 Masters, Open Water

Courtesy: Jim McDonnell Lake Swims

RESTON, Va. – Hundreds of swimmers from across the country will splash into Reston, Virginia’s Lake Audubon on Memorial Day weekend for the 31st annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swims (JMLS). This year, up to 200 of them will be vying for national championship status.

“Reston Masters is excited to host the 2018 U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) Middle Distance Open Water National Championship,” said Reston Masters President Brian Evans. “Our 2-mile swim is the kick off race of the USMS championship series and we are ready to deliver a top-notch, well-organized experience for JMLS competitors.”

The event begins Saturday, May 26 with an open water swim clinic and 1-mile practice swim on the Lake Audubon race course. Sunday, May 27 features 1-mile and 2-mile races. The 2-mile race serves as the USMS championship race.

Swimmers of all abilities compete every year. This year’s field includes elite swimmers like 66-year old Shirley Loftus-Charley, a USMS All-American and All-Stars champion and record holder, who is competing in her 31st consecutive JMLS.

Swimmers in the 30-34 year age group will be watching out for distance swimmer and triathlete Shannon Greene. Shannon has placed first in the 1-mile race three times, and has taken first in the 2-mile twice.

“You can expect to see some fast swim times,” said Evans.

One swimmer is hoping to score a qualifying time to compete with Special Olympics USA, and two visually impaired swimmers are also taking on the challenge.

Competitors will swim counter-clockwise around buoys over a 1-mile course. Those swimming the 2-mile race will make the trip twice.

The race is named for Jim McDonnell, a local swimmer, coach, and one of the founding members of Reston Masters in 1974. McDonnell died of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1998 and the event was renamed in his honor. Every year, JMLS donates a portion of its proceeds to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Reston Masters’ Jim McDonnell Lake Swims is rated one of America’s top 50 open water swims. The event is sanctioned by Potomac Valley Local Masters Swimming Committee and USMS.

Where: Lake Audubon, 2070 Twin Branches Road Reston, VA 20191

Sunday, May 27, 2018: JMLS 1-Mile Race, USMS Middle Distance Open Water National Championship (2 miles), and JMLS 2-Mile Non-Championship race
• 8:00 am: 1-mile race begins
• 9:00 am: 1-mile race ends
• 9:15 am: Check-in for the 2-mile championship and non-championship races closes
• 9:45 am: USMS 2-mile championship race begins
• 9:55am (approximately) 2-mile non-championship race begins
• 11:30 am: 2-mile USMS Middle Distance Championship race ends
• 11:40 am: 2-mile Non-Championship race ends

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