New Year, New Routes

At the North Shore Challenge, we pride ourselves on the "return factor" - that is, the number of swimmers who return, year after year. In fact, nearly 90% of our 2016 swimmers and over 50% of our 2015 swimmers returned for 2017. We hope most swimmers from our first three years will be back this year!

But please don't assume, because you've swum one NSC, you've swum them all! In year two, we added the 10km marathon. In year three, our Team Challenge brought in an amazing new element to the event. This year, we wanted to highlight the beauty of Turkey Point Beach, and create a focal point for the (growing) crowds watching the event. Enter: our new courses for 2018!

The 1km "Triangle"

This course has essentially not changed from year two to now. It is a classic triangle course. What IS different for this year is the direction you will swim the triangle. This race will start at 9:30am on the beach at Turkey Point. Swimmers this year will swim out and to the right (South) to the first tetrahedron buoy (which will be yellow), approximately 400m. From there, you will turn left, head toward the second tetrahedron buoy (which will be red), turn left again, and then head back to shore. When you run ashore and across the finish line, your timing chip will register your official time. You will ALWAYS keep the large buoys to your LEFT. There will be some additional small green buoys, to help you with sighting, but you can be on either side of these smaller buoys.

The NEW 3.8 km Course

Our 3.8 km "main event" is our most popular race. For this year, gone is the point-to-point swim from Normandale. Instead, the new course begins and ends at Turkey Point Beach. Swimmers will start out on the beach, and will head out and to the right (South) toward the first (yellow) tetrahedron turn buoy. Swimmers will turn left around the buoy and then head North-east, parallel to the beach, along a line of five larger marker buoys (keeping the larger buoys to your left). Buoy 3 and 4 will be our new yellow barrel buoys, but buoy 5 will be a red tetrahedron, your sign that it is time to turn around. Once swimmers have turned around buoy 5, they have to stay between the buoys and the beach (outside the public swim area), until they get back to the Start/Finish line. There may be additional smaller green markers used for sighting; swimmers may pass on either side of these - swimmers MUST keep the larger buoys to their LEFT at all times.

The NEW 10km Marathon Course

If you swam the 10km NSC marathon in either 2016 or 2017, you can attest to the wildness of the first half of the course, where there were no markers, no beaches, no landmarks, just you and your kayaker, hoping for the best. This year's 10km course is very different. At 7:30am, swimmers will start out in the water near the start/finish line, alongside their kayaker. They will swim out and to the right (South) to the yellow tetrahedron buoy, their first turn buoy. Swimmers will turn left, and head down the coast, parallel to the shore, keeping the large buoys to their LEFT, for approximately 5km. Buoy 12 will be the third red tetrahedron buoy (all the rest are yellow barrel buoys) - this marks the 10km turnaround.

From the turnaround point back to the finish line, swimmers can be anywhere between the large buoys and the shore. As you can tell from the map above, following the shoreline is NOT the most direct route back to the finish line. As long as swimmers keep the large buoys to their LEFT, they will be on-course. Once swimmers have cleared the public swim area at Turkey Point, they can head to the Finish Line and receive their finishers's medal!
So there you have it! Even if you have been with us since 2015, this year's North Shore Challenge will be something new! What better reason to register today for what has become one of the fastest growing OWS in North America! Our 10km lottery will be held on June 1, so if you want a chance to swim the new marathon course this summer, you must be registered by then!

Register Today