Swim Around Charleston
GSS AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
In case you’ve never been there, Charleston is one of the most beautiful small cities in the USA and a destination unto itself.
For swimmers this means two things: it is a good idea to add a day or two before or after the swim to sight-see in this lovely town with a thriving tourism industry. It also means that this is a spectacularly scenic swim! Swimmers begin at a local county boat landing, swim across the harbor shipping channel with USCG support and swim parallel to the historic city with some of the most expensive real estate along the east coast.
Swimmers then finish at a second boat landing up the Ashley River, passing under five bridges along the way. Early fall is a wonderful time for temperatures in the mid 70’s to low 80’s and water temperatures the same.
An added bonus is that Charleston is a foodie playground so be certain to make reservations to replenish those well deserved calories after the race!
The race itself is 12 miles / 19.5 km long, albeit with a nice current assist. There are typically about 30 solo swimmers and 10 relays that take on this challenge each year. The race was started in 2011 and continues to be organized by veteran marathon swimmer, Kathleen Wilson. Because the water temperature is around 80F/27C there are no wetsuits allowed and English Channel rules apply. There are gift bags for all swimmers and the race has $240 in prize money for solos and $360 for relays.