Let’s go for a swim!!!!! Who hasn’t driven over the Frederick C Malkus Jr bridge (Choptank River Bridge) on Route 50 and wondered what it would be like to swim from one side to the other? Well if you are one of THOSE folks, this is a race for you.
On Sunday, May 16th, 2021, join us as we navigate the Choptank River, between the bridges from the the Talbot County side to the Sailwinds Park beach access point on the Dorchester County side. This 2.0 mile trip across the Choptank River and will be supported by paddle craft, motor craft and the US Coast Guard.
A portion of the proceeds from this race will go to the Shore Rivers organization (www.shorerivers.org) as well as the Water Safety program for 3rd graders at the Dorchester Family YMCA (http://www.dorchesterymca.org/index.php)
We invite our experienced open water swimmers to come and join us for this journey. Make no mistakes about it, this is not for the inexperienced swimmer. This straight course may sound simple but the Choptank River is a flowing body of water and we will be navigating around/through two bridges. We ask that you show proof of open water swimming experience (triathlon, open water swim events, etc) or that you have successfully completed a ONE MILE POOL SWIM in ONE HOUR (the attached form is to be signed by a certified lifeguard at a pool once the requirement completed. The completed form can be emailed to [email protected]). Please keep in mind that if you do a pool swim, you should aim to be able to swim this 2.0 mile course continuously, as there will not be any places to stop and rest on the course.
If you feel that you would like to be a part of this event, then let’s get ready to go!!!! This is a great tune up race for the Bay Swim, the Ocean Games and especially the Eagleman 70.3 Ironman Maryland race!!
Water temperature is expected to be in the upper-sixties to mid-seventies, Fahrenheit. If the water temperatures are below 58 degrees, we will require wetsuits (it has not been in the last 5 years). If water temperatures exceed 84 degrees, wetsuits will not be allowed (hasn’t been near there either).
SCHEDULE (All times subject to change)
6:00am -7:00 AM Pre-race check-in
7:00 AM Swimmer pre-race safety meeting (mandatory)
7:10 – 7:30 AM Shuttles to starting line
7:30 AM Start of event (swimmers will enter in groups of 6, every 10 seconds, based on an audible alert and volunteers)
10:00 AM Post-event activities begin
This race will begin with on the beach and swimmers will be sent off in groups of 6, every 10 seconds. Athletes will be invited to self-seed themselves in an appropriate time frame. Seeding signs will be held up by volunteers, to give a visual of when to enter the water.
Porto-johns will be available (only 2 to lessen the impact on our partners) but please use the restroom prior to coming on the bus.
Water will be available at the start line.
Refer to the course map at the bottom of this page. The racecourse is a point-to-point swim. The starting line is at the beach on the Ferry Point Marina in Talbot County and is marked by two round buoys. The race is an on beach start and swimmers will enter in groups of 6.
High tide is at 7:45 AM on race day. The race will start 15 minutes before high tide so the majority of the swimmers will be crossing the channel with near-slack water.
The Maryland Freedom Swim makes swimmer safety the most important component of the event. We will have a number of safety kayakers and safety boats out on the course with us to ensure swimmer safety at all times. All boats are able to communicate via both hand held and ship to shore radios. All swimmers are required to follow specific procedures to participate in the event. These procedures are designed to protect swimmers from injury and will be enforced by the Safety Director.
This race might be one of the most unique open water swimming events because of the opportunity for spectators to watch the swimmers throughout the course. Within walking distance from the registration/finish line is the Bill Burton Fishing Pier. While swimmers are between the two bridges, spectators are encouraged to walk along the fishing pier and cheer for the athletes. Kids are also encouraged to enjoy the playground on-site at the registration/finish line area.
At registration all racers will receive several items including a swim cap , a Technical T-Shirt with the Maryland Freedom Swim logo on it, a gear bag that your pre-race equipment can be stored in and delivered to the finish line for you, and other giveaways from our sponsors.
After registration each participant will be sent an athlete guide. This guide will explain all of the event details including parking, registration, shuttles, swim start, swimmer rules, and everything else you’ll need for race day. This guide will be sent out in early May 2020. Most of the information in the 2019 Athlete Guide is the same.
The safety of our swimmers is largely dependent on the number of volunteers helping with the race, both on the land and in the water via kayak or boat. If you don’t think you are up for the swim this year but would like to volunteer, check out the “VOLUNTEER” tab on the registration website and sign up. If you have family or friends who are competing and you want your share of race-day action, volunteering is a great way to get involved and feel good about it. Or if you’re planning to swim in the event and you know that your family or friends would be a good volunteer – send them over the registration page to sign up as a volunteer.
EVENT: 2 MILE MARYLAND FREEDOM SWIM
This is a point-to-point swim. Participants will park at the Dorchester County Visitor Center at 2 Rosehill Pl, Cambridge, MD 21613, and will be shuttled over to the start area at the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park. From there, participants will walk with their starting wave to the start line. Swimmers will be able to pass off pre-race clothing, to be transported to the finish line for you.
Swimmers must prove Open Water Experience OR have certification that they have completed a POOL SWIM of at least ONE MILE in under ONE HOUR.