I need to get in some open water swim time before the Columbia Triathon, May 17th. As I'm new to open water swimming, I need to get in several sessons before the race. I was hoping to begin the second or third week in April, but I haven't any idea where to go. Suggestions on where to swim in the area would be much appreciated, and if any of you wish to join me email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The public part of Lake Anna opens for swimming on Memorial Day, but that's too late for you. Swimming is allowed year-round on the private side, assuming you have a friend with a place on the lake (I don't). Last year Team Z had a couple OWS clinics at Lake Arrowhead in Luray, VA. But I don't recommend it because I find the "lake" to be a glorified pond and it's flat as glass - no waves or currents to practice on. Reston Masters also has an OWS, but it's the week after your race.
I too need to get in a few OWS and would be interested in going with you. Email me if you find a place.
Your choices are limited in the area. I did all of my OWS in Sandy Point last year. I know that a few other people from the club go there every now and then for the OWS practice swim. It's the same location as the Annapolis Tri (or was before they canceled it). It can be as calm as a lake sometimes and sometimes there are a little bit of waves and currents ... but nothing like the ocean.
It's kind of cold this time of year but should get warmer by late April/early May. The Eagleman is in the same body of water and the race is June 14. You can monitor the water temp at www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/531.html
I too am looking for an open water swim or two before Columbia. In previous years, I headed up to New Jersey for Devilman to get my feet wet in a less competitive race. But this year they moved the race to Saturday, so I am not sure I'm doing it.
EnduranceWorks (www.enduranceworks.net) has an open water swim practice on 3 May in Lurray, VA.
And I have a note to myself about a potential open water swim practice on 10 May either at Pohick Bay, VA, or Centennial Lake, MD, just can not remember who may be setting it up... maybe Curl-Burke?
After Columbia is the Jim McDonnell Lake Swims and Open Water Clinic on 23-24 May put on by the Reston Master Swimmers (www.restonmasters.org).
The "hammerman area" of Gunpowder Falls State Park has a nice beach that is open year-round. There are very few swimmers in the early morning and it's quite shallow so you can go out pretty far and still touch the ground. it's also further up the bay so the water is more calm than sandy point. it's just north of baltimore off I-95.
Also, the Baltimore Area Triathlon Club routinely holds bricks there. There is a bike loop they do from the beach in a nearby neighborhood and then they run around the park. Although the roads are a little messy, it's a great course for training and you do not have to be a BATC member to participate (I think you chip in a few bucks if you want drinks afterward). You should check out their website - i think they will do this once or twice prior to columbia.
Thanks for all the information!