Guide to Schedules

The former Quick guide to schedules got this makeover for 2022.


Each schedule sorts swims by date, time, and name.

Unconfirmed and estimated dates are indicated by question marks; likewise for times.

When you click on the Location link, your browser will take you to Google Maps, showcasing the swim's location. These links aim to map check-in or obvious parking. That target is tricky for some events, and thus these links are more reliably taken as initial heuristics. Some are unsuitable for final driving directions. See also section Beyond Basics, below.

In the column, "mi" abbreviates mile(s) and "km" abbreviates kilometer(s).

The More column names the body of water you'll be swimming in and gives the starting time. The time listed can be somewhat fuzzy. It is the starting time of the (first) race or of any pre-race meeting. Check-in usually closes earlier.

The More column may also include codes Ⓓ, Ⓚ, Ⓡ, Ⓜ, and for supplemental info. Ⓓ means that the event's timetable permits double-dipping when multiple distances are offered (so you can swim more than a single race). Ⓚ means a kids' race of some sort is offered, usually a short out-and-back course. Ⓡ means there's an option for relay teams. Ⓜ means that USMS has sanctioned the event in whole or in part, and you must be a USMS member to enter. Ⓣ similarly indicates that USAT membership is required.

A schedule's page also lists any swims that are not offered this season or swims that appear to be defunct. This list follows the table of scheduled swims. A swim listed as not offered this season is expected to return next season. For 2020 and 2021, the typical culprit was the Covid-19 pandemic. There are a few swims that alternate seasons or otherwise skip a season from time to time. A defunct swim appears to be gone for good but is mentioned for a while just in case someone knows better; kindly say so if that's you.

Beyond Basics

A confirmed date is what's posted without qualification on an event's website (or sometimes emailed to me by an organizer). In contrast, a posted date is unconfirmed if its website qualifies it as pending, preliminary, tentative, or similar. In the absence of a posted date on the event's website, a schedule gives an estimated date; see next note. Once a schedule lists a swim's date as confirmed, any subsequent change to that date is unlikely to be corrected (because I stopped looking).

Here's the skinny on estimated dates. Schedules for a new season (e.g., 2022) are started in early winter of the current season (e.g., November 2021), long before most events post dates for the new season. Consequently, each swim's date in the new season is estimated from its date in the current season; the latter date is projected forward one year. For example, a swim held July 10, 2021, is projected to July 9, 2022—both Saturdays. Likewise, a swim on August 8, 2021, is projected to August 7, 2022—both Sundays. This simple expedience turns out to be pretty good. Keep in mind that the estimates are plus/minus seven days: Most events run on weekends and may shift forward or back a week from year to year. Another common wrinkle is a switch between Saturday and Sunday on an event's usual weekend. Occasionally, an event jumps beyond the purview of the estimation scheme. And a global pandemic can throw an ape wrench into the works, too.

The schedules also use colored flags to mark swims that are rescheduled, suspended, canceled, not offered, or defunct:

For 2022, many apparently defunct swims linger in the listings because of the pandemic's upheaval during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

There's more to say about location links. Details of the location are available by clicking the sequence "▶ …" following the map link. The link's underlying address pops up along with its coordinates of latitude and longitude. You can use this info for your car's GPS navigator via copy-and-paste. Next come clickable symbols 🄱, 🄶, 🄼, 🄾, and 🅆, which link to Bing Maps, Google Maps (as above), Mapquest, OpenStreetMap, and HERE WeGo, respectively. So, you've got some options to suit your cartographic tastes. When this pop-up is visible, a down-pointing triangle (▼) replaces the right-pointing triangle (▶); click "▼ …" to burst the pop-up. (Your browser may use other symbols instead of these triangles; the ellipsis stays put.) This pop-up panache has its pros and cons but overall seems handy for providing details on demand.

In details of addresses, "SP" abbreviates "State Park" (US), "PP" abbreviates "Provincial Park" (Canada), and "RP" abbreviates "Regional Park" (Canada).

In the schedules, a handful of NJ swims link to pages of supplemental information about the swims; these are marked with symbol (i.e., circled plus sign). The supplemental pages are notes on swims I have done.

A schedule date, in the page's lower left corner, shows when the last significant change was made to any of the schedule's data. If you've already checked the schedule after this date, there's nothing new to you on the schedule. The date does not imply that all of the swims' data are current as of that date, however, because updates are often made piecemeal. Similarly, the homepage date shows when the last significant change was made to any of the schedules.

You can see when a specific swim's data were last updated by hovering-over or tapping the More column for the swim. A pop-up timestamp like "2022-02-22 02:22" shows the date (year, month, day) and time (hour 0–23, minute); the time zone is EST/EDT. For a swim with an estimated or unconfirmed date, the timestamp does not necessarily reflect when the swim's website was last checked; it's likely been checked since. For a swim with a confirmed date and time, the timestamp usually records when the swim was marked as confirmed.