Swimming Guide

The Tri for a Cure Swim Course

The swim is a 1/3-mile counter-clockwise triangular course that starts and ends on the beach at the beginning of the Spring Point Lighthouse area on the SMCC campus. The cove is fairly well protected from winds and swells. Swimmers are reminded to keep the marking buoys to their left. 

Always Safety First

A Coast Guard boat will be in the water, along with several kayak and surfboard lifeguards. Volunteers and medical staff will be stationed on the beach and along the jetty monitoring every moment of the swim. Any athlete in need of assistance during the swim should turn over on their back and wave their hands and someone will come to them. Athletes are permitted to stop and rest on a boat/kayak without any penalty, as long as no forward progress is made.
Note: Any athlete new to ocean swimming or swimming in a wetsuit is STRONGLY  ENCOURAGED to practice several times before the race. Several swim clinics are available.

Wet Suits

Due to cold water temperatures (~62 degrees), athletes are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to wear wetsuits during the swim portion. Although the swim is short in distance, athletes will be in the water for varying amounts of time. Here are some other considerations for protecting body temperature during the swim:
Neoprene skull cap or second swim cap UNDER Tri for a Cure race cap
Neoprene booties
Gloves are not allowed as per USAT triathlon rules.
For those prone to hypothermia, please inform medical personnel (in red medical t-shirts) located at the swim start before the race.  

Swim Waves

Each swim wave is indicated by a specific swim cap color. Caps will be distributed at packet pickup. 
Swim waves will begin promptly at 9:00am, with survivors leading the way. Waves will go off approximately every 3 minutes. Wave assignments and specific wave order will be posted at registration. Survivors will go first, followed by Survivor Relay, age groups, relays & novice.  Athletes MUST go with their designated swim wave, otherwise, disqualification will result.  
After exiting the water onto the beach, run up two steps to Mini-Transition. Athletes will cross over timing mats that will record the end of the swim and the beginning of the first transition time. Remember, the first transition time will include mini transition and your run up to the transition area. 


In an effort to minimize lost gear, Tri for a Cure has chosen to restrict swim-transition to the bare minimum. A space will be blocked off just off the beach from the swim. This area will still be off limits to spectators. Swimmers are requested to bring ONLY their running shoes/sneakers before the swim and place them in the appropriate rack. Signs on the racks will show race number groupings, similar to that in the bike-transition area. As swimmers exit the water and enter into the swim-transition area, they should immediately remove their wetsuits. There are two wetsuit stripping choices to consider:
  • Assisted Wetsuit Removal:
    The swimmer can use the wetsuit strippers to help remove the wetsuit. Upon reaching the wetsuit strippers, athlete should have wetsuit pulled down to waist.  The athlete will lye down on her back on the grass and let the wetsuit stripper do the rest. Athlete will be handed her wetsuit and would then proceed to mini transition.
  • Self-Removal:
    Swimmers may also remove their own wetsuit. Please be considerate and make space for other swimmers exiting the water. 
After wetsuit removal, each swimmer locates their running shoes previously placed on the numbered racks, puts on her shoes and proceeds to the bike-transition area. 
Note: Athletes must leave swim-transition carrying wetsuit/swim gear. Tri for a Cure is not responsible for wetsuits left in the swim-transition area. During the 1/4 mile run to the bike-transition area you must wear close toed shoes.  No flip fops, crocks or barefoot allowed...  BEST would be to wear sneakers!


Wetsuit Rental