25th Annual Chicago Masters' Big Shoulders 5K and 2.5K Open Water Long Distance Swim Classic

Big Shoulders

Saturday, September 12, 2015

USMS Sanction : 215-W003

Big Shoulders 5K and 2.5K

Open Water Registration


Registration Schedule

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Swimmer Registration Sun, Mar 1, 2015
12:00 PM
Fri, Mar 6, 2015
04:00 PM


Saturday, September 12, 2015, 8:00 AM at Ohio Street Beach, Chicago

Sanctioned by Illinois Masters Swimming Association for USMS, Inc.


TIME: 8:00 AM start for first wave of 5K Swim. 8:20 AM start for first wave of 2.5K Swim. Checkin begins at 6:30 AM. Course Briefing at 7:40 AM. Waves seeded by time for 1st heat, then by age and distance.

COURSE/TIMING: Triangular 2.5K course; marked both by buoys and lifeguards in row boats. (Click to go to website with course map and aerial view of course.) Swimmers start in the water, and finish with a run up the beach. Water temps have varied between 63-80°F. Chip timing system used ($25 fee for failing to return Chip).

PARKING: Discounted Parking is available at Navy Pier. Bring your parking stub to the registration table for a validation stamp.

QUESTIONS? Check out www.bigshoulders.org, call Scott at 630-408-8884, or email at bigshoulders2013@yahoo.com

ONLINE REGISTRATION: Register for the race online for speed, accuracy and email receipt.  No mail in registration offered.

ELITE WAVE: The 50 fastest seed times provided for the USMS 5K National Championship will swim in the Elite Wave of the 5K that starts first.

USMS REGISTRATION: You must be a USMS member (or international equivalent) to compete in Big Shoulders, AND ONLY FULL YEAR USMS MEMBERS MAY COMPETE IN THE USMS 5K NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Online race registration begins with USMS membership verification. Cost for an annual membership is $42.00. You may join or renew USMS membership using the links in Big Shoulders event registration. One Event Membership to USMS is available for $15.

RACE DAY ENTRIES: Race Day Entries are no longer available. Race has sold out the past 2 years. There will be no refunds, no waitlist, no deferrals, no transfers and no whining.

REFUNDS: NO refunds, no deferrals, no transfers, no whining.

RULES: All swimmers are required to wear the supplied fluorescent swim caps for safety reasons. Current USMS Open Water rules will apply. (Those with a latex allergy, contact the race administrator for alternate options).

Registration for the USMS 5K NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (not available for wetsuits or USMS One Event Memberships) will close when entries reach 800.
Registration for the 5K for wetsuit wearers and USMS One Event Memberswhen entries reach 200. 
Registration for the 2.5K will close when entries reach 200.
There will be no waitlists.
5K Entry Fee is $75.00 if received by 4/30/2015; $85.00 from 5/1/2015 to 6/30/2015; $95.00 on and after 7/1/2015.
2.5K Fee is $75.00 if received by 4/30/2015; $85.00 from 5/1/2015 to 6/30/2015; $95.00 on and after 7/1/2015.

NOTE – Registration fee does not include USMS membership fees.
All participants will receive a goody bag at the race, which in past years has included water bottles, swimming products, etc. An assortment of pre and post race food and drink will be available to participants also.


  • One high quality collectible technical shirt is included with entry fee! Extra shirts may be purchased for an additional $15.00.  NOTE - WOMEN WILL GET WOMEN'S SHIRTS WHICH RUN SMALL - ORDER 1 SIZE UP!
  • 1/4 zip tech shirts available during online entry for $35.
  • 1/4 zip fleece available during online entry for $40.
  • Fleece winter beanie hats available during online registration for $15.
  • Polar water bottle, 24oz with Big Shoulders logo, available during online entry for $10.
  • FINIS swimwear available in female "Skinback" and "Openback" and male "brief" and "jammer".
  • To purchase Big Shoulders merchandise without event entry (t-shirts, fleece, swimsuits, water bottle), use the public shopping cart link (now closed).

WETSUITS: Swimmers wearing wetsuits are welcome to register in the Wetsuit Division, but will be started in a different wave and will not be tabulated with the USMS 5K National Championship or the age group swimmers who do not wear wetsuits. However, swimmers wearing any suits approved by USMS will be permitted to swim and be tabulated with the age group swimmers.

Swimmers will be permitted to switch to the wetsuit division without penalty up to 5 days before the event if the water temperature is forecast to be below 68, and will be permitted to wear a wetsuit on race day if the water is below 65 on race day.  If the water is below 60 degrees on race day, swimmers will be required to wear a wetsuit.

Angel Swimmers: Available for only for the 2.5K. Angel Swimmers are experienced open water swimmers who will accompany you around the course to provide advice and comfort. However, they are not trained lifesavers.

AWARDS & RESULTS: Each finisher will receive a finisher’s award. Results will be posted on the internet at www.bigshouldersswim.com. Wetsuit swimmers are scored for top three male and female overall.

LODGING: Courtyard by Marriott - Magnificent Mile has once again carved out a block of rooms at the discount rate of $169/nt. for Sept. 11 & Sept. 12. The hotel is 3 blocks from the race start, and in a great area for restaurants, site seeing and shopping. To reserve a room call 1-800-321-2211 and reference the Big Shoulders block, or code BST.

DIRECTIONS: Race begins at Ohio Street Beach. To access Ohio Street Beach, exit Lake Shore Drive from either north or south at the Grand/Illinois exit and head east towards the lake. Park at Navy Pier.

COURSE MAP: Map shows course used for the past several years. One lap around the course is 2.5K, two laps is 5K. Course is subject to change depending upon race day conditions.

Note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from "BIGSHOULDERS."

Online Registration closed on 3/6/2015.
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