Swimming enthusiasts are hoping a lake competition coming to the Valley this summer and fall puts Arizona on the map for open water events.
The Arizona Open Water Swim Series will begin on May 2 with 2K and 4K events in Saguaro Lake, then on to Lake Pleasant and back to Saguaro in later months. The competition culminates in November with a splash in the Tempe Town Lake for a total of five open water swims.
DCB Extreme Adventures is coordinating the series -- the same maniacal folks who host the annual "Dawn to Dusk" mountain bike ride in the McDowell's.
A similar, five-event open-water competition took place a few years ago, but organizers would like to see this year's series kick off an annual tradition in the Valley that attracts open-water swimmers from around the world, says June Hussey, open water chairperson for the Arizona Masters Swimming club.
No doubt there's a special pleasure swimmers feel from cruising miles in a mandmade desert lake, past barrel cactus and gila monsters. But -- ack, that lakey taste!
No worries, says Hussey.
"If you've ever swam in the ocean, you don't complain about lakewater," she says.