2021 PurePactola: A Dam Good Swim!

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Sunday, July 11, 2021

Active Black Hills LLC

Open Water Registration


Registration Schedule

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Swimmer Registration Mon, Apr 19, 2021
12:00 AM
Sun, Jul 11, 2021
09:00 AM


Swim the 4th Pure Pactola - A Dam Good Swim! on Sunday July 11, 2021!

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
4 distance options in 2021:
1) 0.5 miles (also known as "Georgette's 1/2 mile")
2) 1.2 mi,
3) 2.4 miles and
4) new for 2021, a 5k (aka "TJ's 5k")!!!

We will have a Youth swim race of 100 meters, ages 8 - 12 years, just before the picnic and awards this year (so we have a great cheering section! To all adult swimmers: no cheering, no picnic!)

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 0.5 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 5k turn is farther along the dam. The 2021 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.  We have a fantastic and inspiring video from 2019 that will make you want to swim harder and longer than ever before!  Also new for 2021 will be, yes, you asked for it last year - porta potties - woo-hoo!

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

Water temp is expected to be between 68-70 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.org, and usatriathlon.org.

A shout out to our fantasic sponsors who have supported this event for several years now: visit Rush Mountain Adventure Park for a great time while you are here - zip lines, virtual reality, and Rushmore cave tours make for a great family outing, be sure to visit Roam-n-Around for outdoor clothing, gear and tours of the Black Hills - they supplied our event shuttle bus service in 2019 and 2019.  The best chocolates in the world come from our sponsor the Chubby Chipmunk - in Deadwood and Rapid City, and while you are up in Deadwood, visit our sponsor Shankar Jewelry to see an amazing collection of handmade silver jewelry incorporating stones from the Black HIlls and beyond!  Monument Health (formerly Regional Health) promotes health and community wellness throughout the Black Hills region with several hospitals, clinics, and provides our athletic trainers on site for the swim every year!  Many thanks to LIV entertainment for the hotel offers (found on our website PurePactola.com) for swimmer lodging, bring your family and make a vacation of it!  Fly in, get a loan from U.S. Bank, and drive home in a new Subaru this year, from Courtesy Subaru, after you are done taking scuba diving lessons with Black Hills Aquatic Adventures!  We hope you love the Black Hills, and if you decide to stay, or just buy a vacation home to make your commute here easier for next year's race, contact Stacey Nelson at Re/Max Results realty in Rapid City!

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 the 5k, 8:10 am for the 2.4 mile, at 8:20 for 1.2 mile, and 8:30 for 0.5 mile swims.  youth swim start estimated at 10:00- ish am, once adult swimmers are all finished.  Swimmers are strongly encouraged to register online.  Event towels are only guaranteed for swimmers who have registered by June 15, for the first 200 swimmers.

You have the option to purchase one of our fantastic long-sleeved performance-fabric event T-shirts when registering this year, for pickup only at the event packet pickup or the morning of the race.  One thing we have learned while co-hosting this event during the past four years is that we are absolutely awful at mailing things out after the event - so no mailing anything, if you buy a T-shirt you have to pick it up here.  The t shirt order must occur as part of your registration through Club Assistant, we are an all volunteer staff here and we just can't handle any special orders.  This year the event t-shirt will be long sleeved, white, with the logo and sponsors in teal (probably, that's what we were thinking the last time we talked about it!) we remember our promise to never to put the volunteer shirts in the same orange color as the buoys again (like we did in 2018).

Registration fee (adults)
$65 until May 15, 2021

$80 May 16 through June 15 (when towel and t-shirt orders are finalized),
$90 June 16 through July 10
We want to discourage same day registration, so it is $200 for all event distances for same day July 11 registration; event-day registration is only available from 6:00 - 7:00 am.  Can you tell that we really do NOT want event day registrations?!  Remember that event towels are only guaranteed for those who register by June 15.  Swimmers who decide to buy an event t-shirt also must have their order in, via Club Assistant, by June 15, as part of their registration. No t-shirt orders after June 15. T-shirt orders only available through Club Assistant.

Credit card processing by "ClubAssistant.com Events".

Youth swim: 100 meters is $20, age 8 - 12. Event towel included!

Student discount!  Current high school and college student rate is $55 through June 15. On June 16, it goes up to $70.  Verification of student status required.

First responder (including EMS, any emergency department employe, veterans and active duty military) we love all of you and thank you greatly for your sacrifices, effort and contributions to our country. $55 through June 15. Then on June 16, it goes up to $70.

Race day check-in is between 6:00-7:00am at the swimmer parking lot.
Mandatory swimmer safety meeting at 7:30 am on race day
.
Race packet pickup will be the afternoon before the event, details on that later!

Swimmer safety comes first! We have had athletic trainers, from Monument Health (formerly Regional Health) on hand for swimmers; 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 Sheriff's Dept were on hand in 2017 and 2018  with S.D. Game, Fish, and Parks providing backup in 2019 for swimmer safety!   We thank the US Forest Service for allowing us to host this event every year in Pactola Reservoir!

Picnic and awards after the swim, around 10:15 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 co-event director, Laura@purepactola.com if you have a teenage under-18 swimmer who wants to participate, parental confirmation of ability and signed parent consent at race day check-in is required. 

Coaches - if you bring 5 registered swimmers to the event, the sixth registration is free.  Contact Laura for the promotion code after the first 5 have registered (laura@purepactola.com).

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 are lucky to have the best "dam" group of outdoor loving volunteers ever  please be sure to thank them on race day. 

A note about Covid 19 considerations in 2021 - we hope that you all are well and healthy as we approach this upcoming swim season.  We cannot be responsible for monitoring your decision to participate in a public swim event.  We will not monitor mask wearing or social distancing. This is an outdoor event.  We have the space to stay 6-10 feet apart both in the water and on-land if needed, but all participants, volunteers, and observers are responsible for their own risk-management regarding Covid 19 exposure.  Take care of yourself, please consider being vaccinated, wearing a mask, and social distancing based on your own estimation of personal health risk.  You are independently managing your own health risk if you decide to participate, observe, or volunteer at this event.  

If there is a change in any part of our planning, we will notify registered swimmers via email and will post on our Facebook page.  We expect that this event will proceed as planned given that it will be mid-July and we are at an outdoor event in a sparsely populated area.  Take care of yourself, we want to see you at Pure Pactola 2021!!

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

See you in the water!!

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

Any questions?  Laura@purepactola.com

2021 details: 
- 8:00 am July 11, 2021 event start time(staggered starts every 10 min by event with longest events first)  
- Swimmer safety meeting at 7:30 am (mandatory) on the swim beach by the start.
- Swimmer check-in opens at 6:00 am at the event parking lot and closes at 7:00 am. Swimmers must take shuttle to start, no beach parking permitted.
- Race packet pickup on 07/10/21 in Rapid City (to be determined location) or at swimmer check-in.
- Picnic and awards after the event at the swim beach/start location, estimated start at 10:15 ish.
- Discount for students, first responders (paramedics/EMS, ER medical providers including nurse, physician and allied health provider, firefighters, police) and active duty military.   
- Children at youth event require parent consent and presence at the event, and child swimmers under age 10 will be fitted with trailing swim float for extra visibility.  The youth event will occur just before the picnic so adult swimmers can cheer (no food if you don't cheer!) when the water is warmer.
- Any questions? Ask Laura: Laura@purepactola.com.

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

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