Swimmers, kayakers tackle 18th annual point to point swim - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Swimmers, kayakers tackle 18th annual point to point swim


It was a nice cool morning to be up at the Iowa Great Lakes. Swimmers prepared for the 18th annual Point to Point Swim from Gull State Park to Pikes Point in Okoboji.

Buzz Brenton swam the English Channel in 1988, and decided Okoboji was the perfect place for a similar endurance competition.

This one's only 3.5 miles, and a team of kayakers follow the swimmers to make sure that they're doing okay.

Brenton's still going strong now at Age 78 and now more than 40 swimmers are following his example.

"It is a lot of open water out there, and the quality of the lake as you know is very high. So, it's one of the better swims, it really is," said Buzz Brenton, event founder.

"About the halfway point, that's kind of the point that you feel that maybe I'm going backwards. You're hoping not, because you're still stroking forward, but the shoreline in the distance isn't going to change much and that can kind of get into your head a little bit," said Joanne Sackett of Okoboji, Iowa.

The course offers plenty of unique scenery for the swimmers.

Several competitors say this year was special because the water was so clear. They also say it helps to have folks cheering you on at the finish line. After it's all over, they say it's worth the effort.

"The good thing about swimming in open water is that you're able to swim straight. You don't have to keep flipping and turning and flipping and turning. You feel like you're in a washing machine when you're in a pool for three miles," said Kathy Briffett of Sioux Falls, S.D.

"There's a huge adrenaline rush. You see the shore, you see the people. You start to hear the crowd at about 100 yards and it just gives you that extra kick," said Arlo Lorenz of Omaha, Neb.

In case you're wondering, the fastest swimmer completed the course in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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