68F/20C and 86 swimmers... best swim this year!!!
68F/20C and 86 swimmers… best swim this year!!!

So what was the big secret surprise swim last week?  It was the test run of the LOST Mile!

As you hopefully are aware, at the LOST Race this year we are introducing the LOST Mile as well!  We got the idea from our race last year, when the water was 55F, so we had to shorten the race and made two shorter races; a 1k and 500m.  We made lemonade out of the cold water we were dealt last year and it worked out well.  But more than that it gave us the idea to introduce a shorter distance and make it a loop course at the finish!

It made for much better spectating and it allows for swimmers who aren’t up to the 3.8k distance to still get a good solid race in… and have some open water fun!

So last Saturday we thought we’d give it a try.  We set up the course, essentially a long rectangle.  And it’s a good thing we did set things up and try it out first… because we did have one big problem… the first buoy lost its anchor and started drifting across the lake… just as the swimmers where approaching it! haha.

Following the drifting buoy! Haha! It was funny to watch on land... and glad it didn't happen on race day!
Following the drifting buoy! Haha! It was funny to watch on land… and glad it didn’t happen on race day!

We did a mass start, just for practice, for those that were interested.  For those that weren’t, it didn’t matter, you could still do the course or do the normal triangular course.  But only seconds after the start when the lead swimmers were headed out to the first buoy, it started drifting away.  Not fast enough that anyone noticed at first… so the whole herd of swimmers were chasing it to try and go around it.  It was hilarious… watching it from the shore at least!  But I’m just glad it happened on the test day and not race day!

The finish area!
The finish area!

Miguel paddled out and got it and the swimmers continued on.  Some did the short course, most did the Mile and a lot did 2 Miles!  Well done!

Not surprising though… it was the best day this year!  68F, flat as glass and 86 swimmers.  We even had a few of the LOST Sunrisers who got up early and swam a test swim of the 3.8k LOST Race route, just for fun.  They were coming in just as we were starting out.

Speaking of the LOST Race and the LOST Mile, we are bringing back a great tradition.

Back when Maisey painted "Maisey Award" stones for each finisher!
Back when Maisey painted “Maisey Award” stones for each finisher!

The first year of the LOST Race there was a grand total of 8 swimmers.  And one of my daughters, Maisey, who was 12 years old at the time (9 years ago… if my math adds up!) made some prizes.  She took a few of the stones from LOST Beach and painted them up to look like medals.  Kinda fun and quaint.  The next year she did it again… except there were 39 swimmers!  The following year she had to cut back and only give them to the top 3 swimmers in each division, because there was 64 swimmers!  I think the following year we had everyone paint their own rock and then they picked a different one out when they finished.  Anyway it was cute and pretty grass roots.

The good ol' days are back... The Maisey Awards are now the Emma Awards!!!
The good ol’ days are back… The “Maisey Awards” are now the “Alison Awards”!!!   And they are AWESOME!
Don't forget to sign up for the LOST Race or LOST Mile next weekend!!! First 133 get a pint glass just like mine! (beer not included!)
Don’t forget to sign up for the LOST Race or LOST Mile next weekend!!! First 133 get a pint glass just like mine! (beer not included!)

But we kept growing.  And I’m not complaining about that, but we had to get insurance, timing systems, medals, caps, etc and the Maisey Awards kind of fell by the wayside.  But at the LOST Board Meeting this year, Alan Swankie, volunteered his daughter to pick up the tradition!  And what an awesome job she did.  Very cool… the good ol’ days are back again!

Mind you, I am kind of excited about the LOST beer glasses too!  (big thanks to LOSTie, John Stribany, for donating those!)


The LOST Race and LOST Mile courses
The LOST Race and LOST Mile courses

FAQ’s about the races:

  • we made it very accommodating, we’ve done a few races ourselves and know what you like… you can switch from the LOST Mile to the LOST Race (& vice versa) on race day morning!  (same price).  Weather changes, confidence changes, temperature changes, etc… hey, it’s open water swimming!  Just make sure you tell us at check in!!!
  • you can switch from wetsuit to naked, for the same reasons!  But again, tell someone at Registration!
  • yes, we have race day registration! (cash only)
  • but… the LOST beer glasses are limited to the first 133 (total) swimmers registered!
  • note: there are 2 starting locations… especially if you plan on switching races!
  • parking:  Lots of street parking in both locations.  We are there early so we get the good spots.
  • transportation from the finish to start of the LOST Race, after the race: car pool, jump in with a friend, or speak up after the race and jump in with a buddy… in 9 years we’ve never left anyone behind!
  • weather: yes, the weather is the weather… hopefully it’s good.  As always with open water swimming we’ll play it by ear!  Trust me, we are watching it… but we only need a 2 hour window too!
  • stick around for the awards and the traditional group picture on the Pier after the race!
  • for more info see the “LOST RACE” tab above!
The LOST Race and LOST Mile finish together!
The LOST Race and LOST Mile finish together!


LOST Race and LOST Mile medals!
LOST Race and LOST Mile medals!

See you on Saturday!



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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!


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