Welcome to the Jim McDonnell Lake Swims
The Jim McDonnell Lake Swims (JMLS) and Open Water Clinic is a two-day event held each year over Memorial Day weekend in beautiful Lake Audubon in Reston, VA.
This year the 1-Mile and 2-Mile races will be on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Section covers the following topics:
- Course Map
- Signing In
- Warm-ups and Cool-downs
- WetSuits and Water Temperature
- WetSuit Rentals
- Timing Chips
- At the Starting Line
- Switching Wetsuit/Non-Wetsuit Division
- Swimmers with Disabilities
- Food and Drink
To view the course map for the swim, click on the following link: Lake Audubon Course Map (jpg Format)
The Jim McDonnell Lake Swims are Sanctioned by Potomac Valley LMSC for USMS, Sanction (USMS Sanction #107-W001). The following link enables you to familiarize yourself with the USMS rules for the swim (in PDF format): USMS Open Water and Long Distance Swimming Rules
Swimmers and their families are welcome to volunteer to help run the swim. If you are interested, please sign-up here to volunteer. Thank you…it makes a difference! All volunteers will receive an Event T-Shirt and Free Lunch!!
Please note the following requirements before swimming in the clinic swim or races:
- A picture ID is required at check-in.
- USMS registration or OEVT registration must be complete.
- All fees must be paid.
- Be prepared for a 50-minute time limit for the 1-mile swims, 90-minutes for the 2-mile swim.. Time limits begin after the last wave starts.
Warm-ups and Cool-downs
Unfortunately, we do not have space on the course for warm-up and cool-down. The Lake Audubon pool will be open from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM for warm-up and cool-down swims. The only requirement is that you wear your swim cap so that the guards know that you are a competitor.
Wet Suits and Water Temperature
Our lake swim is a USMS sanctioned event and governed by their rules. This includes the restrictions concerning water temperature and wetsuit use.
The JMLS categories of “Non-Wetsuit” and “Wetsuit” are defined by USMS Category I and Category II, respectively:
- JMLS “Non-Wetsuit” (USMS Cat I): The swimmer shall wear only one swimsuit in one or two pieces. All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials. For both men and women, the swimsuit shall not cover the neck and shall not extend past the shoulder nor below the ankles.
- JMLS “Wetsuit” (USMS Cat II): Material may be buoyant or heat retaining; no restriction on coverage.
The rules state that “wetsuits or any other heat-retaining swimwear may be allowed at the discretion of the event director when the water temperature does not exceed 78 degrees Fahrenheit…” This 78 degree limit will be enforced i.e. NO WETSUITS will be allowed if Lake temperature is above 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The Lake Swim had temperatures of greater than 78 degrees for the first time ever in 2012. The temperature of the water will be provided regularly; typically 2 weeks before race.
Please note that USMS rules do allow the use of other Category II swimwear, excluding wetsuits, at temperatures greater than 78 degrees. More information on conforming swimwear is available in section 303.7 of the USMS Rulebook
For rentals, swimmers should note that once Transition Triathlon rents a wetsuit, most of the rental fee may then be used toward the purchase of a new wetsuit. The suits are not the normal rental suits, which tend to be fairly low quality, but are mostly ‘top of the product line’ options that are usually appreciated by discriminating athletes. For more information contact Transition Triathlon directly.
We use the ChronoTrack disposable timing chip. Both the chip and bands are recyclable and there will be a recycling receptacle at the end of the finish area. Please return all chips to be recycled. The ChronoTrack chip is very sensitive. Please do not walk near the mats wearing your chip, unless you are participating in the race and entering or exiting the lake with your Wave, or your chip may inadvertently be registered in the timing system.
At the Starting Line
When you come to the starting line you must have:
- Your race and wave number on your arm.
- The timing chip you received in your packet. USAT timing chips will not register with this timing system. Please use the chip intended for the race you are swimming if you have registered for multiple races.
- The swim cap you received at check-in.
- The BIB you received at check-in under your cap.
- Please start with your proper wave to ensure a correct finish time.
Switching Wetsuit/Non-Wetsuit Division
Considerations for switching wetsuit division before race:
- You may switch between wetsuit and non-wetsuit at the starting line. Wet suit and nonwetsuit swimmers will be identified electronically along with a manual back-up process. Please follow the starter’s instructions to make sure you are scored properly.
Swimmers with Disabilities
If you have a disability that needs our attention, please notify us prior to the event, so we can prepare for your needs.
Awards will be available as soon as results are posted. The first three places in each age group (wetsuit and non-wetsuit) will receive a custom JMLS medal. You must be present (or have someone there to pick up) to receive your award.
Food & Drinks
JMLS provides food and drinks for all swimmers on Sunday.