Epic Swim to the Moon Athlete Guide 2022

☆Information will be updated to the current year 2 weeks prior to race day.☆

We’re thrilled that you’ll be joining us for the Swim to the Moon! Read on for all the important information you’ll need to help you get ready for the big day. Please check back here frequently for updates, and if you plan to print this guide, please wait until the day before the race as some information may change. 



Our pre-race Zoom meeting will be on Wednesday, August 17 at noon.  You will receive the Zoom link in your inbox.

This meeting is not mandatory but is helpful if this is your first time participating in Swim to the Moon or have unanswered questions.  It will be available on Zoom and Facebook Live.  If the Zoom room is full, join us on Facebook.  We understand that noon on a weekday is not convenient for everybody.  The meeting will be recorded and posted in the Athlete Guide and Facebook.

Saturday @ 2:30 pm, Chris Thompson will be leading an athlete briefing and swim tips at Halfmoon Lake Beach for all registered participants.

Chris’ extensive long-distance swimming career includes U.S. National titles, World Championships, Olympic games, and collegiate championships.  Starting in 1996, Chris won seven U.S. National titles in the 1500M and 800M freestyle events.  At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Chris won the bronze medal in the 1500M men’s freestyle event.  He was named a nine-time NCAA All-American and two-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Year.

Personal Swim Buoys are allowed, but they MUST be a color other than orange (yellow, pink, etc.).  If you are at the start line with an orange personal swim buoy, you will not be able to use it in the event as it causes confusion with our directional buoys.  We have marked them down to $20 in our store HERE (as well as other Swim to the Moon merchandise)and other places sell them as well.

Race Start Time and locations

Park Opens at 5:00 a.m.

6:40 a.m.:  10K begins at Halfmoon Lake Beach

7:40 a.m. (approximately):  5K begins at North Star Reach Camp at Patterson Lake when the 10K swimmers begin their turn-around for the second half of their swim back to Halfmoon Lake Beach

Packet pick-up closes at 9:15 a.m.

Mandatory meeting on beach at 9:15 a.m.

9:30 am: 1.2 mile and .5 mile begin at Halfmoon Lake Beach

All swimmers go to 8725 Hankerd Rd, Gregory, MI 48137 to start the race

Parking will only be available at Halfmoon on race day.  NO parking at North Star Reach. Please be sure you have a current Recreation Passport.  Vehicles without Recreation Passports will be issued notices to pay the fee.  For details and pricing for both in-state and out-of-state Recreation Passports CLICK HERE.

Shuttle buses for 5K swimmers will begin at 5:45 a.m. and leave every 15 minutes from Halfmoon Lake Beach to North Star Reach.  The last bus will leave at 7:00 a.m.

Bags will be provided at packet pickup for you to leave your extra clothing at the start.  Bags for 5K swimmers will be transported to the finish area. YOU MAY NOT USE YOUR OWN BAG.

5K and 10K Swimmers:  You will be passing through a tunnel.  10Kers will swim through it twice, 5Kers once.  You will know when you are there.  Please expect oncoming swimmers both directions.  There will be a lane of very small buoys down the middle.  Stay to the right in each direction.  NO PASSING!!  A 5-minute penalty will be given to anybody who passes or attempts to pass in the tunnel or when entering or exiting.

As many of you know, we have been fundraising for North Star Reach, which serves as the starting location for the 5K and the turn-around point for the 10K, since the beginning of Swim to the Moon. North Star Reach, a summer program camp for children with life-threatening, serious, and chronic medical conditions would not be where it is today without the generous help of its fundraisers. This year, as part of the registration for the 10K and 5K swims, we ask each participant to donate or raise a minimum of $10. Participants who have yet to meet the $10 minimum by race day will be unable to pick up their packet. If you did not take care of this during registration, please DONATE HERE.

You have 2 opportunities to pick up your packet:

Saturday, Aug 19
1 – 4 p.m.
Halfmoon Lake

Race morning at the race site
6 – 9:15 a.m.
When you come to packet pickup, please be sure to have your QR code to make things quick and easy.  We recommend taking a screenshot.

Decided you want to swim a little more?  A little less?  Want to skip the wetsuit?  Add the wetsuit?  No problem! You can do this yourself by following these directions: Transfer to Another Event

You can defer your race to next year for a fee by following these instructions (the fee will increase as we get closer to race day): Defer Registration

We will have markers available for self-body marking.
You will mark the top of each arm, each shoulder blade (do this with a buddy), and if you are wearing a long-sleeved wetsuit, mark the back of your hand.

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS (be sure to select the correct year)

Wondering if you won an award?

You can check several ways:

Overall awards are given to first overall male, female, nonbinary in each of the races
Age-group awards are given to top 5 in each 5-year age group male, female, nonbinary (20 – 24, 25 – 29, 30 – 34….)
Check the QR code on your bib with a QR scanner on your phone
Visit the results table which will be set up by the awards table
Check the “results” tab on the event website.
If you did win an award, you can pick it up at the award table. We know your time is valuable. For this reason, we offer grab-n-go awards. Grab your award, take a moment for the photo opp on the podium, then go!

Please remember that the wetsuit division is non-competitive and no awards are given.

Get your photos freaky fast using our new facial recognition technology!

In order to use this, you can download the software now, or after the race!

CLICK HERE or scan the QR code

Pinckney Recreation Area
Halfmoon Lake Day Use Facility
8725 Hankerd Rd
Gregory, MI 48137

Park EntryMichigan State Recreation Passport
A State Park permit, or Recreation Passport is needed to enter Waterloo State Recreation Area. A permit costs $12 per year for Michigan residents ($17 when bought at the park); out-of-state residents will be required to purchase a daily permit for $11 or an annual permit for $39. If you come to the park on a bike (or on roller skates, skateboard, horse, or walking), you will not need to pay for a daily permit.

Michigan residents who checked “YES” for the Recreation Passport when they renewed their license plate already possess a Recreation Passport: it’s the two tiny Ps printed at the top and bottom of your license plate sticker, as well as the words “Recreation Passport” on your registration. Epic Races is thrilled to have our wonderful state park system for our events, for training, and sometimes just to visit and enjoy. Funds derived from the Recreation Passport grant go right back into maintaining and improving the outdoor spaces we all love, helping protect our natural resources for the next generation.

The park rangers will have in-state and out-of-state permits available for purchase. If, for some reason, you park your car without a permit, you will receive what appears to be a ticket on your car. It is not a ticket; it is a notice. Please take the notice to the entry gate and pay the daily or annual fee. Please direct any questions to the DNR.

For more information, please visit the Michigan DNR Recreation Passport Guide.

Note: resident Recreation Passports cannot be purchased online. Click here to purchase a non-resident annual Recreation Passport.

There will be aid stations with water, Gatorade, and GU at miles 1, 2, 3.1, 4, 5.  10K swimmers may check a “special needs” bag, containing anything “special” that you may “need” at the 3.1 mile turnaround mark.


Race-Weekend Schedule
Saturday, August 20, 2022

2:00 PM — Packet Pick-Up and Registration Open
2:30 PM — Open-Water Swim Clinic with Chris Thompson
4:00 PM — Packet Pick-Up and Registration Close

Sunday, August 21, 2022

5:30 AM — Packet pick-up and registration open
5:45 AM — Shuttle buses from Halfmoon Lake Beach to Patterson Lake/North Star Reach start departing every 15 minutes
6:30 AM — Mandatory meeting on the beach for 10K swimmers

6:40 AM — *10K Elite Wave starts
6:41 AM — 10K time-trial start (participants start one at a time, 3 seconds apart)
7:00 AM — Last shuttle to Patterson Lake/North Star Reach departs
7:30 AM — Mandatory meeting on the beach for 5K swimmers
7:45 AM — *5K Elite Wave starts
7:46 AM — 5K time-trial start (participants start one at a time, 3 seconds apart)
9:00 AM — Post-race athlete brunch (approximate time)
9:15 AM –  Packet pickup closes and mandatory meeting for all 1.2-mile and half-mile swimmers on Halfmoon Lake Beach begins
9:30 AM — 1.2-Mile and .5-Mile swims: time-trial start (participants start one at a time, 3 seconds apart)
9:30 AM — Award Ceremony


*For those speed demons who prefer head-to-head competition, we offer an “elite wave”.  If you expect to finish faster than the times posted below, you are invited to start with the elite wave, but it is not mandatory. If you choose this option, just show up when it is announced.

5K: under 1:20
10K: under 3:00

This race will have a time-trial start meaning participants will start one at a time, 3 seconds apart.

For those speed demons who prefer head-to-head competition, we offer an “elite wave”.  If you expect to finish faster than the times posted below, you are invited to start with the elite wave, but it is not mandatory. If you choose this option, just show up when it is announced.

5K: under 1:20
10K: under 3:00

5K: under 1:20
10K: under 3:00

Gear Check will be available at North Star Reach for 5K swimmers and on Halfmoon Lake Beach for all other distances.  You will receive one 18x20x4 clear drawstring bag. Backpacks or duffle bags will not be accepted at Gear Check. Only the clear bags, which will be distributed to 5Kers at packet pickup, and available to all other distances at the Gear Check location on Halfmoon Lake Beach, will be accepted.  You may not stuff your personal bag inside the clear bag.

Bags for 5K swimmers will be transported to Halfmoon Lake Beach and available at the finish. 5Kers: remember to bring your bag and your label to the start line!

10K, 1.2, .5 can get a bag at the Gear Check location on the beach race morning.

In the event of inclement weather, the following procedure will be followed: The event will be postponed for 20 minutes in hopes the inclement weather will pass. If the inclement weather does not pass within this time frame. We will continue to postpone in 20 minutes time periods until 2 hours have passed. At that time, we will either change the format of the race to make it safe or cancel the race.  Every effort will be made to carry on closest to the original plan.  There will be no refunds if the reason for cancellation is beyond our control.

For those visiting the Ann Arbor area for this race, visit Destination Ann Arbor’s website for information on hotels, restaurants, and other fun attractions and activities. We hope you enjoy your stay and race in our wonderful and unique city! You can also find more information on Destination Ann Arbor’s social media below.

We are grateful to have the use of our wonderful Michigan state parks for our events. Because so many people have been flocking to the outdoors during the pandemic, it’s critical that we all do our part to protect our places and resources so that we all can continue to enjoy them this year and for years to come. Below are some steps you can take to stay safe and protect the health and beauty of our great state.

Share your commitment and/or stewardship ideas by using the #RecreateResponsibly, #MiOutdoorIdea, and #MiDNR hashtags on social media.

CLICK HERE to learn how you can do your part!

See our FAQs for policies, race transfers and other topics like that!