The Central Illinois Open Water Swim (CIOWS) is a premier US Masters Swimming sanctioned open water event in downstate Illinois held at the end of June in Evergreen Lake. The lake is a part of Comlara Park which is just outside of Hudson, IL. Hudson is about 150 miles south of Chicago and 150 miles north of St. Louis, smack dab in the middle of the state.
The 8th annual CIOWS is on June 24, 2017. It is expected that over 100 swimmers will swim in either the 1.2 mile or 2.4 mile competitions. Awards are provided for the top male and female swimmers in non-wet suit and wet suit (if allowed based on water temperature) at both distances. Also, awards are given for each age group winner in non-wet suit competition for both distances.
The course is marked by orange turn and red guide buoys, lifeguards, rowboats, rescue boards, kayaks, officials, and other safety resources. Access of non-event watercraft to the CIOWS course is “closed” and patrolled during the event.
The CIOWS consists of an in-water start in Evergreen Lake followed by swimming one or two laps around a 1.2-mile counter-clockwise triangular course marked by three 8-foot orange tetrahedron turn buoys. The straight-away's are marked by 24-Inch diameter red guide buoys separated by 150 - 200 yards. Swimmers finish the event by making a right turn around a 5-foot fluorescent green buoy, an in-water finish lane chute, and a brief run on beach sand through the finish line chute. The swim course is subject to change if event day conditions warrant. Here is a map of the course for 2017:
Illinois Wesleyan Shirk Center
Monday & Wednesday 6:15-7:15 p.m.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 5:30-6:30 a.m.
Saturday: 6:00-7:00 am (Building is locked. Be at the lower south door by 5:55.)