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mlabresh
February 11th, 2013, 10:57 AM
Last year (summer) I participated in my first two swim meets (ever!). I went to Summer Nationals in Omaha and also swam in the Iowa Games, here in Iowa. I really enjoyed both. The latter was much more laid back and super fun and made me want to do more meets! The problem is, we don't have many around here.

Iowa is part of the breadbasket zone. There are a handful of meets in MN, KS, MO, etc... and the zone meet (lucky for me) is just east of Des Moines (where I live). But I find that most of the meets I'm able to find that are within 4hrs drive of me are in the Great Lakes zone. Does anyone have to swim out of their zone in order to attend more meets? With 5 kids (who are also all swimmers) and only one vehicle, it's quite challenging to have to travel to get to meets. Is it weird to attend more meets in another zone (I'm assuming it's not against the rules?)?

Just random questions as I'm still quite new to all of this. I'm excited to be a Masters member and really enjoy competing, but it's a lot of work in my particular area. My local Masters group decided last year to go summer only, leaving me only about 6-7wks of swimming with a Masters group. The rest of the year I'm on my own. Luckily my kids' coach is nice enough to let me join their practices and I've been swimming with them for their whole fall/winter season - they're not a USA team though but just a local age group team.

Anyway... What do you all do? How far do you travel to compete? Do you drive a bit farther to get to Masters meet? or if there aren't any, do you just swim the USAS meets?

Boomerang
February 11th, 2013, 12:04 PM
I train with just one other person; we're lucky in that there are one or two local meets every year, but, for the majority, we drive at least an hour. Our max for a non-National meet is about 2 1/2 hrs. We use competitions as a gauge for our training, etc.

knelson
February 11th, 2013, 12:09 PM
or if there aren't any, do you just swim the USAS meets?

This is certainly an option and really only depends on your comfort level swimming with (and against) kids rather than adults. I train with a USAS team and swim USAS meets from time to time, but I prefer to swim masters meets. If there were very few masters meets in the area I would definitely swim more USAS meets.

rxleakem
February 11th, 2013, 04:36 PM
In western New England, there are not a lot of opportunities nearby for competition. Add in work and family commitments, and the window is narrowed further. I will travel up to 5 hours (Portland, ME) for a meet, only due to my best friends living in the city and offering a great weekend away to meet up with my swimming buddies there. Most meets are 2-3 hours away (Boston), so that is standard travel time for me.

I have been successful so far in creating meets closer to home: this will be the second year that I will be "director" for a recognized meet in my hometown pool (can't get closer than that!), and I have worked with some coaches in this neck of the woods to create a Western New England meet in a few weeks at a pool about 90 minutes away. Another great local thing that I put on twice a year is a squad meet; entry fee is a donation to the local food shelf (our team gets active in the community this way) and we swim 25's, 50's and 100's in what equates to a great lactate workout! In December we even took on the local age group team and had a nearby team join us. A fun way to change up practice and get some experience with racing for folks that have never competed before.

I asked around to folks within the forums when setting up the recognized meet last year and had great feedback. I can help you if that is something that you might want to do. Hint: I have the local age group (USAS) team run the meet and our entry fees serve as a fundraiser for them, so the biggest pain I had was measuring the darn pool so that times count for USMS (even that was not a big deal, and now I don't have to worry about it again, especially if any Men's Health reporters come up for a splash!)
:wiggle:

jaadams1
February 11th, 2013, 08:24 PM
This is certainly an option and really only depends on your comfort level swimming with (and against) kids rather than adults. I train with a USAS team and swim USAS meets from time to time, but I prefer to swim masters meets. If there were very few masters meets in the area I would definitely swim more USAS meets.

I train with a USAS team like Kirk does, and I swim both USAS meets and masters meets. While the majority of my meets are masters meets, I do attend my fair share of USAS meets as well, though I may only hit one day of those meets, unless they're local. I travel 3 hours on average to my meets. My town is located on the border of the Inland NW, and the PNA LMSCs so I kind of have a nice shot of going either way, plus it's not far to the Portland area for other Oregon LMSC meets, and I have family in that area too. The worst part of all these meets, is the $$$$$. :) But the racing is fun, and that's why I do it.

mlabresh
February 12th, 2013, 11:01 AM
This is certainly an option and really only depends on your comfort level swimming with (and against) kids rather than adults. I train with a USAS team and swim USAS meets from time to time, but I prefer to swim masters meets. If there were very few masters meets in the area I would definitely swim more USAS meets.

I train with a USAS team like Kirk does, and I swim both USAS meets and masters meets. While the majority of my meets are masters meets, I do attend my fair share of USAS meets as well, though I may only hit one day of those meets, unless they're local. I travel 3 hours on average to my meets. My town is located on the border of the Inland NW, and the PNA LMSCs so I kind of have a nice shot of going either way, plus it's not far to the Portland area for other Oregon LMSC meets, and I have family in that area too. The worst part of all these meets, is the $$$$$. :) But the racing is fun, and that's why I do it.

I do enjoy training with the kids a lot. I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy swimming against them. lol... I might look into doing some of the USAS meets, I think we have a couple local and a couple more that are withing a couple hours of here that the team my Masters group is with participates in. Do you have to also be a member of USAS to participate? Part of what's frustrating about meets being so far from home is the travel expenses. I guess if I have to pay more to be in the meets but save on travel money, then it might at least even out.


I have been successful so far in creating meets closer to home: this will be the second year that I will be "director" for a recognized meet in my hometown pool (can't get closer than that!), and I have worked with some coaches in this neck of the woods to create a Western New England meet in a few weeks at a pool about 90 minutes away. Another great local thing that I put on twice a year is a squad meet; entry fee is a donation to the local food shelf (our team gets active in the community this way) and we swim 25's, 50's and 100's in what equates to a great lactate workout! In December we even took on the local age group team and had a nearby team join us. A fun way to change up practice and get some experience with racing for folks that have never competed before.


That's a great idea. I might look into doing that next year. Maybe I can put some feelers out at the Iowa Games this summer (I met swimmers from some of the other Iowa Masters groups there last year) and see if there's enough interest. There seems to be so few locals who would be interested. Most people I come across (even a couple of my kids' coaches) have never even heard of Masters Swimming.

Bendy
February 12th, 2013, 05:30 PM
Is it weird to attend more meets in another zone (I'm assuming it's not against the rules?)?


Anyway... What do you all do? How far do you travel to compete? Do you drive a bit farther to get to Masters meet? or if there aren't any, do you just swim the USAS meets?

IDK about others, but in El Paso (south central zone), we have plenty of swimmers show up for meets from new mexico (Southwest), especially Las Cruces. It is only about 45 miles from El Paso, where Tuscon, AZ is about 275 miles. If it makes sense, do it. I don't think we need a permit to compete in another zone yet.

I typically travel 1 to 3 hours for competition, so am luckier than some, lol.

mlabresh
February 13th, 2013, 11:37 AM
Thanks! I figure if it makes sense, distance wise, then why not? I suppose I might be the only one from my zone there, but whatever. I'm also generally the only one from my Masters group that ever competes.

mcnair
February 14th, 2013, 11:09 PM
Just putting this out there... Milwaukee is only about 5-5.5 hours drive from Des Moines, and WI masters has several meets in the Milwaukee or Madison (actually an hour closer to you) areas. Yes, it's a bit of a drive, but if you make a weekend of it... Also, I'm sure you'll find meets in the Chicago area too, which should be about the same distance from you. If your zone doesn't have the meets come on over to ours!

Bill Sive
February 15th, 2013, 07:26 AM
Fortunately I live in an area where the meets are plentiful (Southern Calif. Los Angeles/Orange County), however, not all meets are built the same. I want to do more than just meets so I truly enjoy doing Postal Swims. With the Postal Swims you can do the "Meet" at your own local pool without having to travel a great distance. Plus, or rather all, the Postal Meets will send you ribbons, medals, trophys, certificates, or t-shirts (for a fee). They are great I highly recommend them. In your area contact the Minnesota Masters about their Postal Pentathlon series in December.

Last year I created my own meet to raise funds for the United Way. It was the 1st Annual Half Marathon Swim at the Los Angels Swim Stadium. It was great fun and I had a nice sunny day to do it.

There are a lot of fun workouts you can do too along the way. Do a little searching on the internet you will find you can compete at your local pool. Purchase a good stopwatch that can record times to the .001's.


Swim With Mike
http://www.swimwithmike.org/swimmer/?swimmerID=11169 (http://www.swimwithmike.org/swimmer/?swimmerID=11169)

mlabresh
February 15th, 2013, 12:00 PM
Just putting this out there... Milwaukee is only about 5-5.5 hours drive from Des Moines, and WI masters has several meets in the Milwaukee or Madison (actually an hour closer to you) areas. Yes, it's a bit of a drive, but if you make a weekend of it... Also, I'm sure you'll find meets in the Chicago area too, which should be about the same distance from you. If your zone doesn't have the meets come on over to ours!

Thanks! And an added bonus, one of my good friends (who I met while she was attending Drake here in my neighborhood) lives in the Milwaukee area! That would save on hotel costs. :)

mlabresh
February 15th, 2013, 12:02 PM
Fortunately I live in an area where there are meets are plentiful (Southern Calif. Los Angeles/Orange County), however, not all meets are built the same. I want to do more than just meets so I truly enjoy doing Postal Swims. With the Postal Swims you can do the "Meet" at your own local pool without having to travel a great distance. Plus, or rather all, the Postal Meets will send you ribbons, medals, trophys, certificates, or t-shirts (for a fee). They are great I highly recommend them. In your area contact the Minnesota Masters about their Postal Pentathlon series in December.

Last year I created my own meet to raise funds for the United Way. It was the 1st Annual Half Marathon Swim at the Los Angels Swim Stadium. It was great fun and I had a nice sunny day to do it.

There are a lot of fun workouts you can do too along the way. Do a little searching on the internet you will find you can compete at your local pool. Purchase a good stopwatch that can record times to the .001's.


Swim With Mike
http://www.swimwithmike.org/swimmer/?swimmerID=11169 (http://www.swimwithmike.org/swimmer/?swimmerID=11169)

That's a great idea. I've done postal running events before too. This is my second year doing the Go the Distance event. I'm not sure how well I'd do with postal events... are most of them long distance events? I'm not a distance swimmer at all.

Bill Sive
February 15th, 2013, 03:33 PM
Postal Swims come in all shapes and sizes. The Sprint Pentathlon by the Minnesota Masters is:

50 Fly
50 Free
50 Breast
50 Back
100 IM

All are easily manageable.

I learned of a 400 Kick last December too, however I did not particpate in that one.

I am currently participating in the February Fitness Challenge, which is more about the number of times you workout rather than the distance you are swimming.

http://www.barracudas.org/pool/febfi...letter2012.pdf (http://www.barracudas.org/pool/febfitness/2012/webFFCentry-letter2012.pdf)

Have fun.

jim thornton
February 15th, 2013, 04:08 PM
Check this out: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/distances.html?n=76

You are really pretty close to Omaha, and Kansas City is only about three hours. I thought the Twin Cities might be pretty close, but there getting up into the four hour driving time. I also thought you'd be reasonably close to Indianapolis and Nationals--but I forgot about Illinois! Yikes! That's over 7 hours away!

I live in an area that has lots of Y meets but few USMS meets, so I end up driving either to Cleveland (~2 hours) or the D.C. area (~4.5 hours) to swim USMS sanctioned meets. Sometimes, these even count! But I have learned not to count on it counting.

I don't think that the residents of USMS hotbeds like southern California have any idea how lucky they have it.

Glenn
February 15th, 2013, 04:14 PM
Oh YES we do!!!

__steve__
February 16th, 2013, 07:56 PM
I'm waiting for my first opportunity to swim 25 events, they don't seem to be too popular due to the increased equipment requirement. My next chance will be this year in Oct at the Dixie Zone SCM Championships (Rowdy Gaines Classic). A 6 hour drive

tigerchik
February 16th, 2013, 09:41 PM
I am from Maine but am in Oregon for grad school. New England has so many more meets than Oregon does! I didn't realize how spoiled I was (even if a number of them were the silly Sprint Meet variety).
Anyway, you can swim out of your zone. I am registered with MESC but swam at a masters meet in Oregon about a month ago.
I really hate driving more than an hour to race but it looks like I am going to have to :-( I am fortunate that I get some random stuff like alumni meets and an intramural meet, so that's 2 extra opportunities a year.

Allen Stark
February 17th, 2013, 01:56 AM
I am from Maine but am in Oregon for grad school. New England has so many more meets than Oregon does! I didn't realize how spoiled I was (even if a number of them were the silly Sprint Meet variety).
Anyway, you can swim out of your zone. I am registered with MESC but swam at a masters meet in Oregon about a month ago.
I really hate driving more than an hour to race but it looks like I am going to have to :-( I am fortunate that I get some random stuff like alumni meets and an intramural meet, so that's 2 extra opportunities a year.
Welcome to Oregon.It seems like we don't have as many meets as we used to,but between OR and WA there are usually some good meets.The Assn Meet is frequently in Corvalis(maybe next year I hope). The Zone meet near Portland should be OK(here is the OMS calender if you don't have it http://www.swimoregon.org/calendar.php.)This years Assn Meet is in Bend(not my favorite venue) but the weekend before that is the PNA SCY meet at Federal Way.If you can get up there for that, it is a very fast pool.I may be at the Portland meet and definitely will be at Bend,so if we are at the same meet say "Hi".

aztimm
February 18th, 2013, 12:01 AM
I usually do 2-3 local meets per year, and for the past 2 years I've done the New England Masters SCM meet in Boston. My coaches usually put on a few good meets a year and encourage everyone from our team to participate. There typically are other meets in our LMSC, but I haven't done any for a long time.

Some swimmers complain that we don't have enough meets, but I'd guess there's about 10-12 masters meets in AZ every year. That certainly seems like more than enough for me. Other than going to the Boston meet, I typically don't have to drive more than 20 min to a meet.

jaadams1
February 18th, 2013, 12:44 AM
I usually do 2-3 local meets per year, and for the past 2 years I've done the New England Masters SCM meet in Boston. My coaches usually put on a few good meets a year and encourage everyone from our team to participate. There typically are other meets in our LMSC, but I haven't done any for a long time.

Some swimmers complain that we don't have enough meets, but I'd guess there's about 10-12 masters meets in AZ every year. That certainly seems like more than enough for me. Other than going to the Boston meet, I typically don't have to drive more than 20 min to a meet.

Do you have family or other friends that you visit in the Boston area, or just frequent flyer miles burning a hole in your pocket?

tigerchik
February 18th, 2013, 10:01 PM
Welcome to Oregon.It seems like we don't have as many meets as we used to,but between OR and WA there are usually some good meets.The Assn Meet is frequently in Corvalis(maybe next year I hope). The Zone meet near Portland should be OK(here is the OMS calender if you don't have it http://www.swimoregon.org/calendar.php.)This years Assn Meet is in Bend(not my favorite venue) but the weekend before that is the PNA SCY meet at Federal Way.If you can get up there for that, it is a very fast pool.I may be at the Portland meet and definitely will be at Bend,so if we are at the same meet say "Hi".

Hi!
Thanks for the welcome. Can you give me a link to the PNA SCY meet you mentioned?

Allen Stark
February 18th, 2013, 10:12 PM
Here is the link to there calender.There is really no more info yet. http://www.swimpna.org/w/PNA/calendar/ The meet is in April.

That Guy
February 19th, 2013, 11:55 PM
Here is the link to there calender.There is really no more info yet. http://www.swimpna.org/w/PNA/calendar/ The meet is in April.
BOOM! http://www.swimphone.com/mobile/meets/meet_menu.cfm?smid=4481

jaadams1
February 20th, 2013, 01:11 AM
BOOM! http://www.swimphone.com/mobile/meets/meet_menu.cfm?smid=4481

:cry: Sadly, I'm not coming over this year. :cry:

Michael Heather
February 20th, 2013, 01:37 AM
Check this out: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/distances.html?n=76
I don't think that the residents of USMS hotbeds like southern California have any idea how lucky they have it.

Not only do we know how lucky and blessed we are, we like to share! Come almost any weekend to Southern California and you will find a meet to enjoy.

Better yet, our pools are all at least as long as advertised. Your records are safe here.

mlabresh
February 20th, 2013, 11:11 AM
Yeah. I'm looking forward to our next trip to CA so that I can find a meet to swim while I'm there. :) We lived there until 6 years ago, it's a shame I didn't join Masters until 2012! But we have family in both Northern and Southern CA, so not only can we visit but it would be a chance for a meet without a hotel stay!

tigerchik
February 25th, 2013, 11:16 PM
BOOM! http://www.swimphone.com/mobile/meets/meet_menu.cfm?smid=4481

Thanks! I think I will probably come north for this.