31st Annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swim Returns to Lake Audubon

The Reston Masters Swim Team will host the 31st annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swim on Sunday at Lake Audubon.

The swim has been held every Memorial Day weekend since 1988, according to the team’s website. In 1999, it was named in honor of McDonnell, a founding member of the team who was on the committee that first organized the swim. McDonnell died from lymphoma in 2016.

Reston Masters is excited to host the 2018 U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) Middle Distance Open Water National Championship,” said Reston Masters President Brian Evans. “Our 2-mile swim is the kickoff race of the USMS championship series and we are ready to deliver a top-notch, well-organized experience for JMLS competitors.”

Up to 200 swimmers will vie for national champion status. Swimmers take part in a two-mile open water loop around Lake Audubon. This year, two visually impaired swimmers are competing, along with a young woman trying to qualify for the U.S. Special Olympics

A practice swim will take place on Saturday.

Proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Lymphoma charities. In the past, recipients have included Herndon-Reston Fish, Inc. and the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

More information about the event is available online.

Here’s more about the event from the organizers:

Swimmers of all abilities compete every year. This year’s field includes elite swimmers like 66-year old Shirley Loftus-Charley, a USMS All-American and All-Stars champion and record holder, who is competing in her 31st consecutive JMLS.

Swimmers in the 30-34 year age group will be watching out for distance swimmer and triathlete Shannon Greene. Shannon has placed first in the 1-mile race three times, and has taken first in the 2-mile twice.

“You can expect to see some fast swim times,” said Evans.

One swimmer is hoping to score a qualifying time to compete with Special Olympics USA, and two visually impaired swimmers are also taking on the challenge.

Competitors will swim counter-clockwise around buoys over a 1-mile course. Those swimming the 2-mile race will make the trip twice.

Photo by Ryan Dawson

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