Jim McDonnell Lake Swims

The Jim McDonnell Lake Swims include one-mile and two-mile races in suburban Lake Audubon of Reston, VA, on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. An open-water clinic and a mile practice are offered on Saturday as well.

This small lake is surrounded by housing and appears to be man made; it's not in itself a destination. But the late-May date makes this event one of the earliest in the extended region, and Philly-area swimmers willing to travel a little can get a jump start on the season. The races are staggered to allow multiple entries, although the basic one-mile circuit is the same. Logistics are easy with check-in, start, finish, and amenities located in the same spot and with free parking nearby.

You must be a USMS member to enter any event.

When, what, where
May 26, Sunday, 7:30 AM; 1 mi, 2 mi; Lake Audubon; 🌎 Reston, VA (2070 Twin Branches Rd).
See also
Event's website.
Registration
Pre-registration is required and fills in early May. Online-only registration opened January 1 and will close May 17. Check-in at the Lake Audubon community pool, 2070 Twin Branches Road.
Parking
Free street parking along both sides of Twin Branches Road. Allow about 10 minutes to walk to registration.
Restrooms
Swimmers may use locker rooms of Lake Audubon pool.
Bags
Leave bag at registration area.
Wetsuits
Permitted in separate divisions, popular.
Start
Start at boat ramp adjacent to registration. Swimmers line up according to assigned waves of about twenty. Waves enter water about 20-30 seconds apart and line up for deep-water start. While this division accommodates the narrow ramp for entry, it has the beneficial side effect of reducing mass-start madness. Watch drop-off at end of cement ramp.
Course
The course comprises a mile counter-clockwise circuit around about eight buoys and roughly traces out a hatchet. Good marking and flat water together make navigation easy. Two-mile swimmers round this basic course twice. (See course photo.)
Finish
Swim to the boat ramp, step up, and exit into the chute across the finish line. Watch out for the rough edge of the cement ramp.
Timing
Body marking and electronic ankle chip.
Amenities
T-shirt, cap. Sandwiches, soft drinks, fruit, cookies, coffee, water. Community pool is available for swimmers to warm up and cool down.
Inception
1988
Last wet-feet review
2007