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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.

Personal Swim Buoys are allowed, but they MUST be a color other than orange.  If you are at the start line with an orange personal swim buoy, you will not be able to use it in the event.

Packet pickup is the day before the race at North Star Reach.  (See Packet Pickup tab for details.) We really prefer you pick up your packet then, but if you absolutely can’t, it will be available morning of the race at Halfmoon Beach beginning at 5:45 a.m.

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 should go to 8690 Hankerd Rd, Gregory, MI 48137

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 Camp.  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 become a fundraiser and 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.

A $10 fundraising minimum is required to for all 10K and 5K participants.

Swim to the Moon has a large fundraising component and was originally established to help build North Star Reach, a camp for kids with serious health challenges.  We have been fortunate to be able use this incredible camp as the start of our 5K and the turn-around for our 10K since the beginning of the event and when camp was just and idea. If you come to packet pickup on Saturday, you will be able to have a tour and see it all for yourself.

If you are in the 10K or 5K and arrive to packet pickup without this minimum amount raised, you will be asked to make a donation for the remaining balance in order to swim. We want you to participate and will do what we can to make it happen.  If this is truly a financial burden, please let us know and we will help how we can, but due to event costs and to ensure fairness and consistency to all participants, we thank you for your compliance.

If you would like to take care of your donation before race day, please see below:

During registration, you were asked to establish yourself as a fundraiser. If you missed this, please click here.

To donate to your campaign, or to enable others to be able to donate, please click here and follow the steps shown below:

Participants may also bring $10 to packet pickup, however, online donations are simpler for all parties involved.

Your race weekend kicks off with our packet pickup, swim clinic, and “No-Hands Spaghetti” dinner all held at

North Star Reach Camp:
1200 University Camp Drive
Pinckney, MI 48169
Camp Map

Here is a map of the parking for packet pickup. Please drive slowly into the camp and park tightly so that we can accommodate all of the vehicles.

Packet pickup: 2-4:30 p.m.
Swim Clinic with Chris Thompson: 2:30-4 p.m.
No-Hands Spaghetti Dinner: Participants who raise a minimum of $250 are invited to the once in a lifetime opportunity, North Star Reach’s No-Hands Spaghetti Dinner

We highly recommend picking up your packet the day before the race. If that is absolutely not possible, packet pickup will be available at Halfmoon Lake Beach race morning from 5:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m.

There is parking available at the race site. Vehicles with a Recreation Passport will not need an additional fee.  Vehicles without Recreation Passports will need to pay when entering the park.  If you arrive so early that nobody is at the gate to pay, you may find something that looks like a ticket when you return to your car.  No need to fret, it is not a ticket, just a notice asking you to pay the regular fee.  For details and pricing for both in state and out of state Recreation Passports CLICK HERE.

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 mark.

Race-Weekend Schedule
Saturday, August 17

2:00 PM — Packet Pick-Up and Registration Open
2:30 PM — Open-Water Swim Clinic with Chris Thomposon
4:30 PM — Packet Pick-Up and Registration Close
4:30 PM — “No-Hands” Spaghetti Dinner for Special Fundraisers (see website under Fundraising)

Sunday, August 18

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 Contender 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 Contender 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)


If you are doing either the 10K or 5K followed by the 1.2 or the .5, you are in the double dip category!

When you pick up your packet, you will be given two timing straps.  Each will have a label stating which race it is to be used for.  Please only wear one strap per race and be sure to wear the correct strap per race!  We will have scissors available at the start of the 1.2 and .5 to help you make this change.

Wondering if you won an award?

You can check several ways:
>>First, note the age groups and award categories on the event website.
>>Visit the results table which will 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!

Want freaky fast results?

When you registered you were asked to add your cell phone number and/or cell phone numbers of anybody who may care about how you do in tomorrow’s race.  You likely were in such a hurry to register that you just skipped over that part.  We ask for that so we can send you a text right after you cross the finish line to let you know how well you did in the race.  We will also text other numbers you give us.  Additionally, people can login to the results during the race to see where you are on the course. If you want to add numbers or double check that you added numbers, please follow these instructions:

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.