Anyone training for marathon swims in Philadelphia this summer? I would love some company!

gkovacikgkovacik Member
edited May 2012 in Locations & Networking
Hello all,
I am planning to swim the English Channel in August 2013.
I am looking for some training buddies in Philadelphia this summer.
Does any one know of any teams or individuals to train with down there?


  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DECharter Member
    Only Triathlon clubs such as Multisport and ETA in Medford, NJ. I train 15 minutes south of Philly but spend most weekends in the open water in south Jersey and sometimes down in the Elk River (MD). Not many viable open water options in Philly itself but if you're looking to connect, just give me a shout!
  • @gkovacik - I am also going to make an attempt during the July 27th - Aug 3 tide in 2013, and I have friends in Philly that would like for me to visit this summer. Where do you train around Philly? If I were to come to Philly this summer, I would love to get together for a swim.
  • Excellent! Thank you to both of you for replying.
    Nvr2late: I will be starting my internship in Philly in the beginning of June. Once I find a place to train, I will be sure to let you know! Right now the closest pool looks like it will be at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • If you (or anyone) are in the area and want to train at Blue Marsh Lake (near Reading) let me know & I'd be glad to have some company. Also, if you have limited car access, you can always take the train from Philly & I can pick you up in Lancaster, Mt. Joy or Elizabethtown and drive up. Due to my crazy work schedule, the more lead time, the better.


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint NJMember
    edited April 2012
    Depends on whether you have a car. There is a 55m pool in northeast Philly that has almost a fully open schedule, but you have to join and it can be pretty pricey. The UPenn pool is gorgeous, but you have to be a student or alumni to join and time blocks are not all that long. In the summer there is the Kelly Pool out on Fairmount park. It's 50m and is free, but hours can be a bit limited to mostly middle of the day.

    There also is the Upper Mainline Y about 45mins west of the city. There's a 50m outdoor pool there and a very active masters group. There also are masters groups throughout the city.

    As for open water training, Atlantic City is about an hour from center city and there are several spots in the bay where you can put in long safe hours. You can technically swim in the schuykill river, but I'd only go out with a kayak or sculler escort. The water quality is pretty good. Stay out of the tidal portions and the Delaware - tides and currents in that section are very intense.
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member
    edited January 22

    Consider also the Upper Merion Masters. There are some distance swimmers who train year round with that group and could give you some ideas on their training. There are open water swims twice a week once the water temp reaches 50 (I know, I know--too warm for some of you). :) In early May practices move outdoors to a 50m pool in Upper Merion Township. Open water swims are held in the Schuylkill River starting at Upper Merion Boathouse.

    Last August they held a 100x100m swim plus the Valley Forge Marathon Swim... 8 miles, which isn't long for EC swimmers and was just before Labor Day. But it might be worth asking if there are longer swims/events.

    For more info, check out

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member
    edited January 22

    p.s. The website itself is a little out of date, but the group is still very active, and John Kenny's email address is at the top left side of the screen; he's the one you'd want to contact re your needs.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member

    Also... @AnthonyMcCarley, are you training in the Philly area or will you be in the spring? Maybe you have some thoughts on this?

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PAMember

    @dpm50, Almost all of my training is done at UMLY, Martin’s Dam or Suburban Seahawks… yes, concrete boxes in the ground.

    Turns out that @gregoc and I have a common geographic connection to the eastern shore of the Chesapeake (Maryland). For years, we have both trained there and never knew it – yes even going into the water at nearly the same spot. (This was a discovery we made through facebook!) We have discussed getting a group together down there later this year. If anyone is interested in joining us, please let me know.

  • @AnthonyMcCarley Where on the eastern shore to you swim? I live in the DC area and would love to join you, especially late May/early June (GCBS training!).

    Grappledunk's Slightly Soggy Blog:

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PAMember
    edited January 29

    @grappledunk Betterton, MD... north of GCBS, so the water is more shallow. Which means, when cold, it is a little colder than the water at GCBS. When warm, it is a little warmer. @gregoc and I haven't picked a date... and since coming from DC would be quite a hike for you, if you would like pick a weekend that would be convenient for you (PM is fine), I will do my best to accommodate you. I will then open up the offer it to others. If no one else swims, at least you will have a convenient place to shower and change.

  • Small world @AnthonyMcCarley

    We have a farm in Still Pond and I try to go out at Betterton when I am in the area. Actually here right now but not swimming weather. I have plenty of beds here if you want to get a big group together. It is usually pretty empty at the beach before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.

  • @Franco, no F-ing way!! My wife grew up in Still Pond. My in-laws have a farm there and I train at Betterton when I'm there in the summer.

  • That is funny Greg. I feel a party coming on this summer.

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PAMember

    @Franco... If you know Still Pond... well, first, wow! Second, you probably know exactly where this is. I have a place in Betterton - Crew's Landing. Having a (swim) party sounds great!

  • gregocgregoc Member
    edited January 29

    AnthonyMcCarley said: @Franco... If you know Still Pond... well, first, wow! Second, you probably know exactly where this is. I have a place in Betterton - Crew's Landing. Having a (swim) party sounds great!

    If swimming has to be involved so be it, but a party does sound great.

  • Yes @AnthonyMcCarley, I am familiar with Crews Landing. I may have to head over to Barbara's this evening and get the party started without you guys.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited January 29

    Looks like you can organize a local version of "24 Hour Relay 2016 in SF Aquatic Park"

    Plenty bunks available.

    IronMike - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member

    Keep me in mind for this! I'm not in your league but being with and inspired by other swimmers would be awesome! And I'm working on upping my distance w some goal swims in the summer.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member
    edited January 29

    Also encourage folks in PA and mid-Atlantic region who are on FB to like the "open water swimming PA" page.

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PAMember
    edited January 31

    What are the odds that three people on this forum have a connection to Betterton and Still Pond - with their combined population of 2?? Amazing!

    @Franco Barbara's has been a lifesaver - so tough when that building is empty, especially since the market burned down.

    Once I hear from @grappledunk, I will post an offering date. If we go @gregoc 's direction, we can skip the swim and head straight to Barbara's. If we want to seek a little more adventure, I do have a two kayaks there. (My place isn't giant, but it does have six beds and two showers.)

    @dpm50 IMHO we are all in our own leagues in this hobby/ sport. We are only racing ourselves... at least IMHO.

    @Niek This is no Aquatic Park... and I am no @suziedods!

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember

    @AnthonyMcCarley Ask the future president of the USMS @suziedods for help. :)

    AnthonyMcCarleydpm50 - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PAMember

    Okay, I have heard back from @grappledunk… and the date is May 21st.

    Please join us in the beautiful Chesapeake where the water is so clear that on some days you can actually see your hand enter the water and when you rinse your suit after swimming you get enough dirt to make mud pies. (Just kidding… sort of.)

    I am no camp director… so the agenda will be flexible depending on the desires and abilities of those who attend. The starting point is:

     (1) A noon time swim on Saturday  (2) A late afternoon swim on Saturday  (3) Dinner and refreshments at Barbara’s (a restaurant within stumbling distance)  (4) A 430am Sunday swim in the dark (for those who want night time practice)  (5) A Sunday morning swim at a more reasonable hour  (6) Clear out around noon.

    Don’t set your expectations too high. Not the fanciest of places, but it does have six beds… and lots and lots of room for air mattresses. And this is no Catalina swim camp or 24 Hour SF Bay Swim.

    If you are still interested after this great sales pitch, please private message me.

  • LouiseLouise central PennsylvaniaMember

    nothing like coming late to the party - please count the hubbie and I in on this - will private message you Sir Anthony for details - May 21 looks grande!

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member

    Triathlon relay possibility for me the next day but would really enjoy joining the party Saturday!

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member

    ...Maybe Sunday too depending on what happens w Sunday.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member

    Oh, and any of you eyeing the Valley Forge Marathon Swim Sept 2 (I think that's right...Fri before Labor Day)?

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Member

    dpm50 said: Oh, and any of you eyeing the Valley Forge Marathon Swim Sept 2 (I think that's right...Fri before Labor Day)?

    Here's a link for last year--this year's link isn't up yet but it's definitely going to be held; French Creek Racing is also holding a 3 miler on 7/31 (Schuylkill Day).

    Stay tuned!

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