2019 PurePactola: A Dam Good Swim!

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Active Black Hills LLC

Open Water Registration


Registration Schedule

It is now 12:29 PM CT Time on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Open Close
Swimmer Registration Fri, Mar 1, 2019
12:00 AM
Sun, Jul 14, 2019
07:00 PM


Swim the 3rd Pura Pactola - A Dam Good Swim! on Sunday, July 14, 2019!

Pure Pactola is an open water swim race, in a deep fresh water reservoir in the Black Hills of South Dakota (near Mt.Rushmore and Rapid City) with 3 distance options in 2019: .5 miles, 1.2 mi, and 2.4 miles.

We will start/end at the swim beach (just off the left side of the picture here) and swim towards the Visitor’s Center at the dam.  The .5 distance will turn back before the dam; an in and out route. The 1.2 turns around close to the Visitor’s Center.  The 2.4 distance turns at the Visitor’s Center to swim to the midpoint of the dam and back. The 2019 route map is posted on the PurePactola Facebook page. A short video of the 2017 PurePactola swim can be found on our Facebook page, pictures and links to news coverage from the 2018 swim are also on FB.

Water clarity is usually about 20-30 feet.  We will have frequent route markers, with 7 ft turn buoys at each turn, and at the start/finish this year for fantastic visibility!

Water temp is expected to be between 68-72 degrees. There is a wetsuit and a non-wetsuit division.  Swimmers are encouraged to consider the wetsuit division unless experienced in swimming in temps approximating 70 degrees without a wetsuit, and to check back frequently to our Facebook page the week before the race for updated water temps.  Information about training for open water swimming events can be found at worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com, USMS.com, and usatriathlon.org, 

Stay in the campground at Pactola (reserveamerica.com) or anywhere in the Black Hills, please visit our fantastic sponsor Liv Entertainment for lodging options in the Black Hills and visit Rush Mountain Adventure Park for a great time while you are here in the Black Hills!  Be sure to visit Roam-n-Around for outdoor gear and tours of the Black Hills - they supplied our event shuttle bus in 2018!

Family and friends can watch the swim from the shore along the side of the route or visitor parking areas along the dam. Swimmers will be required to use the designated swimmer parking lot and then take the free shuttle bus into the swim beach/start area.  Information about the swimmer parking lot will be distributed on our Facebook page and via email prior to the event. A one day park pass is required to park in the swim beach parking lot, and will be sold on-site by the park concessionaire, separate from the event registration for event volunteers and the public.

The swim starts at 8:00 am for 2.4 mile, at 8:15 for 1.2 mile., and 8:30 for .5 mile swims.  Swimmers are strongly encouraged to register online.  Event towels are only guaranteed for swimmers who have registered by June 15, for the first 160 swimmers.

Registration $55 until May 15,  May 16 - Jun 15 is $65.  June 16 - July 13 is $75, and event day registration is $80 for all event distances, event-day registration is only available from 6:00 - 7:00 am.
Entry fee paid by credit card to ClubAssistant.com Events. Non-refundable. Non-transferable.
Student discount!  Current high school and college student rate is $35 until June 15, $55 June 16-July 14.  Verification of student status required.  
Mandatory swimmer safety meeting at 7:30 am on race day. Race packet pickup will be the day before the event, details on that later!

Swimmer safety comes first! We have had athletic trainers, from Regional Health, on hand for swimmers, and both on-the-water rescue swimmers and EMT’s supplied by Black Hills Aquatic Adventures, and on land Paramedics from the Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department at our swims. 25 safety kayaker volunteers from Black Hills Kayakers, 5 motor boats, and numerous overlook volunteers, with on the water backup from the Pennington County Police Dept were on hand in 2017 and 2018 for swimmer safety!   We thank the US Forest Service for allowing us to host this event in Pactola Reservoir!

Picnic and awards after the swim, around 9:45 am.  Motivation to train hard: The Chubby Chipmunk donated hand made chocolates to all age group winners for both divisions last year!

No USMS membership is required to swim this event.  Please directly contact the event director, Laura@purepactola.com if you have a teenage under-18 swimmer who wants to participate, for more information about required consent/waiver, and verification of ability (needed from their current swim coach and parent.) All under 18 registrants must register online, in advance, as time is needed to gather parent waivers and verification of ability.  

Check the PurePactola Facebook page frequently for updated event information (ie water temps, parking info, sponsor info, and safety and route information.) This event is hosted and run entirely by local volunteers with a love of open water swimming.  We make a donation to local first responders to Pactola area emergencies each year. Help us support the volunteer first responders, who keep our open waters safe, while enjoying a dam good swim!   We are proud to share the lovely Black Hills with you at
Pure Pactola - a dam good swim!


Entry fee payable by credit card to ClubAssistant.com Events. Non-refundable. Non-transferable.

We are looking forward to another great event!

Your co-event directors,
Stacey J. Nelson and Laura Hughes

Any questions?  Laura@purepactola.com

Please note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from "ClubAssistant.com Events."



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