Pool closed? Ohio River’s open Sunday

Ohio River swim

Why is it that for some of us it’s not enough to swim laps inside once the plug has been pulled on our favorite outdoor pool?

For the hearty souls who have been grieving summer’s end and the closing of the pools, there’s still the Great Ohio River Swim.

Swimmers will take the plunge from Cincinnati’s Serpentine Wall at 8:15 a.m. this Sunday, Sept. 25.

More than 150 teen and adult swimmers are expected to make the 900-yard swim across the river to the Kentucky side and back to the Public Landing on the Ohio side. They will join the ranks of the 850 swimmers ages 10-85 who have completed the swim over the past eight years.

“This is a fun and safe opportunity for people of all ages to swim across the Ohio,” said Brewster Rhoads, swim chair and board member of Outdoor Adventure Clubs of Greater Cincinnati. “Swimmers are invariably impressed with the cleanliness and beauty of the Ohio – and they become more committed to protecting it.”

Just to make sure, the Ohio River Sanitation Commission will test for water quality before the event.

The swimmers will be raising money for OAC, the same nonprofit that hosts Paddlefest and works in 19 inner-city high schools to get urban teens out into nature – canoeing, kayaking, climbing, skiing and more.

Check-in and on-site registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the Public Landing. Participants can park on the Public Landing for $5 per vehicle.

An open-water swim clinic and pre-race orientation begins at 7:30 a.m. Topics include open-water freestyle stroke, sighting, drafting, currents, start and finish, lifeguards and strategy. The clinic is free and open to everyone, regardless of whether they are swimming that day.

Registration is $25 for ages 23 and over, $20 for 22 and younger. Swimmers who are not members of USA Triathlon must pay an additional $12 per person for insurance coverage.

The river will be closed to barge and power boat traffic by order of the U.S. Coast Guard from 8-9 a.m., so don’t dawdle! Certified lifeguards and safety boats will be deployed on the Ohio during the swim.

The swim will be timed. The award ceremony for winners in each competition class will take place at 9:30 a.m.


To swim the Ohio: greatohioriverswim.com

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