Check Out Open Water Swim 2016


Every August, a 1.2 and 2.4 mile Madison Open Water Swim (MOWS) is held, and participant registration fills up fast. This year’s event, scheduled for August 20th, is already full, but spectators are encouraged to stop by and cheer on the swimmers. With a no wait-list policy and a knack for selling out months in advance, this fun yet competitive tradition is one that can’t be missed. Men and women go head to head to see who’s the fastest and pick up swag and glory at the finish line.


Warm-ups begin at 7:30 a.m. at Law Park. If you’re interested in volunteering this year, the Madison Swim Club is always in need of more hands to keep the event running (or swimming) smoothly. Volunteers are needed for registration, set-up, clean-up, and as lifeguards if you have Red Cross Lifeguard certification.

Swim On

Three waves compete along the circular route marked by buoys, moving counterclockwise towards the large banners at the finish line. Law Park, between BB Clark Beach and Olin Beach along Lake Monona, is an especially gorgeous and green area this time of year. Water conditions are usually slightly cool, mild and flat.

At the end of the race, the awards ceremony and celebrations kick off throughout the park. It’s a fantastic way to check out some local competitive swimmers and enjoy the waterfront on a beautiful Madison morning.