Smith Mountain Lake 5K and 1-miler

Coming up on September 20, 2008 is the Smith Mountain Lake 5K Swim. (Entry Form)

If your upper body isn’t too sore, you can also enter the 1-mile race, which takes place the following morning, for no additional fee.

The race begins at Bernard’s Landing at Smith Mountain Lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the western half of Virginia. It starts at 5 p.m., which is pretty unique for an open water swimming race. Swimmers complete three loops of just over 1 mile around the lake.

A few words from Allison, who completed the SML 5K in ’07:

The competition was fast, mostly due to the fact that there were lots of high-school-aged entrants, which I didn’t expect. I didn’t wear a wetsuit, as the water was fairly warm, but they are allowed. I wouldn’t recommend wearing one. The lake and SML area are quaint and beautiful, and there’s lots to do if you’re intending on making a weekend out of the swim. An early-evening race was a pleasant change from an early-morning start time: I didn’t have to wake up mega early, and I didn’t have to stuff my body with carbs and Gatorade at 5:00 a.m.

Stupidly, I didn’t scrutinize the course map as closely as I should have pre-race, so during the first lap, I wasn’t sure how many buoys there were! Don’t forget to read the map beforehand and make mental notes at which buoys to turn.

All in all, the 5K was a fun race, but not for novices to the distance.

For travelers, there are lots of campsites near the lake. But due to other nearby events that same weekend like the Big Lick Triathlon, they fill up, so get your reservations in early.

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