Swim to the Moon

Swim to the Moon Open-Water Clinic & Swim
presented by the Red Star Board Company
to benefit North Star Reach

At 2 PM on Saturday, August 18, 2018, Epic Races will be offering a swim clinic at Halfmoon Lake for all participants registered for the 2018 Swim to the Moon. Learn to be more comfortable in an open-water setting; ask your questions about breathing, body positioning, and more! To recap:

What: Swim to the Moon Open-Water Swim Clinic
When: Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 2 PM
Where: Halfmoon Lake, 8690 Hankerd Road, Gregory, MI 48137

What is Swim to the Moon?

USAT Level 2 Director

It’s an extraordinary open-water swimming adventure through the picturesque Hiland Chain of Lakes near Hell, Michigan. Participants choose their distance — half mile, 1.2 mile, 5K, or 10K — and have the time of their lives swimming through Southeast Michigan’s most sublime waterways, all the while showing support for a very worthy cause: North Star Reach, a camp for children with life-threatening, serious, and chronic medical conditions.

The 5K swim starts on the shores of Patterson Lake at North Star Reach; from there, swimmers head south and east through the heavily forested Pinckney Recreation Area, passing through five lakes along the way. Scattered cottages are the only signs of civilization. 10K race participants start at Halfmoon Lake Beach, swim to the start of the 5K (where their “special needs” bags will be available), then turn around to head back to the shores of Halfmoon Lake Beach. Both the half-mile and the 1.2-mile swim start at Halfmoon Lake Beach. All events finish at the state beach on the east shore of Halfmoon Lake.

Please note that Swim to the Moon is for individual athletes. If you have a group, consider entering our team division!  High School Coaches/Captains: Please contact info@epicraces.com for a special group discount for your team!

Swim to the Moon is a Leave No Trace event. Learn more about our race-day recycling and composting efforts here. Want more information about running a great race and leaving no trace? Click here to visit Happy Planet Running!

Personal Swim Buoys

New for 2018: Personal swim buoys, such as SaferSwimmers, are allowed…and in fact, we encourage them! SaferSwimmers must be a color other than orange. We understand that many who own a SaferSwimmer have orange buoys. We are requiring another color to avoid confusion with the orange sighting buoys along the course, and to give the best experience to all swimmers. Other common colors include yellow and pink, which are fine to use. We have SaferSwimmers available in our online store for anyone who wishes to purchase one.

Contender Wave

New for 2018: A Contender Wave will start off our 10K and 5K races!

Fill out the Contender Wave Entry Form to qualify for a spot in this wave if you expect to have a finish time within the following range:

10K finish time: 2:25 or faster for men, or 2:45 or faster for women

5K finish time: 1:10 or faster for men, or 1:20 or faster for women 

Contender Wave applications must be received by Monday, August 13th!! 
The top 15 times (male/female) will be selected for the contender wave.

All other swimmers in all distances will have a time-trial start, one participant starting every 3 seconds. More details available the week prior to the event.

The Time-Trial Swim Start

We use a time-trial swim start for all participants in all distances who are not part of the Contender Wave. What does this mean? The swimmers line up on the beach and, at the race starter’s signal, enter the water individually three seconds apart.  The time-trial swim starts will be organized by waves. Please take note of your swim-cap color (swim caps are included in your packet!), as the time-trial waves are color-coded by swim-cap color.

Looking for some additional event swag?? The Swim to the Moon store is open!! Click HERE to get shopping.

Swim Courses

10K Marathon — The 10K Marathon swim course starts at Halfmoon Lake Beach, keeping the buoys on the left all the way to Patterson Lake and and the beach of North Star Reach. At North Star Reach, 10K Marathon swimmers exit the water, receive their “special needs” bag if they so desire, and return to swimming again, keeping the buoys on their left all the way to Halfmoon Lake Beach for the finish.

5K — The 5K swim course begins at Patterson Lake on the beach of North Star Reach, keeping the buoys on the left all the way to Halfmoon Lake Beach for the finish.

1.2 Mile — The 1.2-mile swim course starts at Halfmoon Lake Beach and follows a loop in Halfmoon Lake, returning to Halfmoon Lake Beach.

Half Mile — The half-mile swim course starts at Halfmoon Lake Beach and follows a loop in Red Star Board CompanyHalfmoon Lake, returning to Halfmoon Lake Beach.

Wetsuit Division. This division is available for all four distances. If you plan on wearing a wetsuit, please register for this division under your distance of choice. Participants in the Wetsuit divisions will be timed but will be ineligible for awards.
Personal Swim Buoys are now allowed in all distances and are NOT part of the wetsuit division.

Need a wetsuit? Check out these special rental and purchase offers for our Epic triathlon participants!

Our Epic lifeguards are able to keep our swimmers safe thanks to our official SUP company and title sponsor, Red Star Board Company. We’re very grateful to have Red Star as part of the Epic team!

A few guidelines for an enjoyable swim!

Wetsuits: If the water temperature is 83.9º or below, wetsuits will be allowed. Wetsuit swimmers will be timed but will not be eligible for awards. Epic Races officials will be asking all participants wearing wetsuits for their race numbers prior to the start of their waves.

Swimsuits: Epic Races follows the swimsuit guidelines set by FINA, the international governing body for swimming, diving, open-water swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo:

BL 8.4 For open water swimming competitions with water temperature from 20°C [68°F], swimsuits for both men and women shall not cover the neck, nor extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the ankle. Subject to these specific shape specifications, swimsuits for open water swimming competitions shall further comply with all other requirements applicable to swimsuits for pool swimming competition.

BL 8.5 From January 1, 2017, for open water swimming competitions in water with temperature below 20°C [68ºF], men and women may use either swimsuits (BL 8.4) or wetsuits. When the water temperature is below 18°C [64.4ºF], the use of wetsuits is compulsory. For the purpose of these rules, wetsuits are swimsuits made of material providing thermal insulation. Wetsuits for both men and women shall completely cover torso, back, shoulders and knees. They shall not extend beyond the neck, wrists and ankles.

Participants may also wear one- or two-piece triathlon suits.

Cut-Off Times

10K Marathon: 5 hours : swimmers must reach the turn-around point at North Star Reach within the first two hours and thirty minutes (2.5 hours)

5K: 3 hours

High School, 5K, and 10K Team Events

For our 10K Marathon team event, each team must have a minimum of five members (no maximum). Teams must be mixed, with a minimum of one male member and one female member. All 10K team members must swim the entire 10K. The winning team boasts the lowest combined time for their members’ five fastest times. The 10K team event is Open; teams may be swim clubs, informal groups, or even a family swimming together.

For the 5K team event, each team must have a minimum of five members (no maximum). Teams must be mixed, with a minimum of one male member and one female member. All members must swim the entire 5K. The winning team boasts the lowest combined time for their members’ five fastest times. The 5K team event features two divisions: High School (for high-school swim teams) and Open (no affiliation required; an Open team can be an informal group). High School Coaches/Captains:  Please contact info@epicraces.com for a special group discount for your team!


The winning 2018 10K, 5K Open, and 5K High School teams will each receive a shopping party at Tortoise and Hare, featuring refreshments and 30% off all merchandise!


Social teams are welcome! Swim with your friends, family, swim-club members. Please note that social teams are strictly for fun; no awards are presented. Encourage your friends, relatives, and club members to join your team! Epic Races will present an award to the Largest Team at Swim to the Moon!

Our event has joined the Global Swim Series!

The goal of the Global Swim Series is to promote the sport of open water swimming and increase participation in the sport, all around the world. By swimming in our race and all other GSS races you earn a “Global Ranking“. The rating is based equally on participation and speed. The more races you do, the higher your ranking!

The GSS now has over 104,000 swimmers, in 131 races, in 36 countries including: Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, Turks & Caicos, St Kitts & Nevis, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Barbados, Brazil, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, UAE, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia … and more joining all the time!

MySwimPro, the world’s leading Swim Training App, is the Official Training Partner of the Global Swim Series.  As an added bonus, swimmers can use coupon code GSS20%OFF to get 20% off membership with MySwimPro!

Are you 50+?

The Michigan Senior Olympics (MSO) is proud to partner with Epic Races for Swim to the Moon. Anyone ages 50 and up can take part in the Michigan Senior Olympics. Participating in any Swim to the Moon distance — 10K, 5K, 1.2 mile, or half mile — will give you the opportunity to receive an additional medal from the MSO! We will be awarding 1st to 3rd place in each age group. If you are 50 or older by the end of this calendar year and this sounds exciting to you (why wouldn’t it?), please select the $5 option in addition to your chosen event when you register online. There will be a wetsuit category for MSO at Swim to the Moon.

The Michigan Senior Olympics is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles by organizing state games, sports competitions, and health, fitness, and wellness programs for active individuals 50 years plus. For more information on MSO Winter & Summer Games, please visit the MSO website at www.michiganseniorolympics.org.


Aid Stations (10K Marathon and 5K swimmers only)

10K Marathon: Six aid stations (one at approximately every mile) offering  water, Gatorade, and GU energy gel. The aid stations will be located in areas where you can stand. In addition, swimmers can have  a “special needs” bag at the 5K turn-around point. A “special needs” bag is a plastic bag, provided by Epic Races, labeled with your race number in which you may place anything “special” that you may “need” or just want at the turn-around point: food, sunscreen, Vaseline, a beverage, etc. It is optional. Please note that all items in the “special needs” bag must be disposable, as these bags will not be returned to Halfmoon Lake.

5K: Three aid stations (one at approximately every mile) offering water, Gatorade, and GU energy gel. The aid stations will be located in areas where you can stand.

Goodies for Our Swimmers!

All of the professional sports photography of our events by Greg Sadler Photography is FREE for our participants! That’s right: all of the photos taken of you by Greg Sadler at the 2018 Swim to the Moon, will be free to download…that’s our gift to you for swimming with us. Just another reason our events are so Epic!

In addition to free race pix, each participant will receive:

  • Chip timing, with results posted by the end of race day
  • A fabulous finisher’s medal
  • A super-soft, high-quality race T-shirt (shirt sizes not guaranteed after August 5, 2018)
  • The best post-swim snacks around.
  • Exclusive Aquaman discount codes for Epic Races Participants: Epicaqaman30 for 30% off wetsuits and Epicaquaman15 for 15% off  anything else!




Safeguard Your Entry with TicketGuardian

Epic Races is pleased to offer participants race insurance through TicketGuardian. TicketGuardian’s standard insurance coverage allows you to get your money back if you are unable to attend your event due to car accidents, severe weather, family emergencies, military duty, and even medical issues. For more information on TicketGuardian race insurance and instructions on how to purchase coverage, click here.



Fundraising for North Star Reach

Please be sure to support the reason we are all able to do this epic swim: North Star Reach. North Star Reach will be fundraising through Swim to the Moon through Run Sign Up’s fundraising platform. Through the Swim to the Moon Run Sign Up page, you will be able to make a donation to North Star Reach or  support one of our fundraising swimmers by contributing to their fundraising page!

Would you like to become a fundraiser for North Star Reach? To do so, go to the Swim to the Moon Donation page and click “Become a Fundraiser,” then share your fundraising link with friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers! Not only will you be supporting this amazing camp for children with serious and life-threatening medical conditions, you’ll also earn special incentive prizes for each level your fundraising reaches:

  • $500$50 raised — a North Star Reach color-changing stadium cup
  • $100 raised — a North Star Reach LED flashlight
  • $200 raised — a North Star Reach “Find Your CampFIRE” T-shirt
  • $300 raised — a North Star Reach baseball cap
  • $500 raised — all of the above plus a North Star Reach canvas bag

All incentive awards will be presented at Halfmoon Lake at the conclusion of Swim to the Moon. Please note: incentives are subject to change.


Pure Michigan Fit!

Swim to the Moon has been endorsed by the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports. All events are part of the Pure Michigan FITness Series and qualify for the Pure Michigan FITness Challenge. For details on the Pure Michigan FITness Series and to take part in the Pure Michigan FITness Challenge, click here.


Park Information

A State of Michigan Park permit is required to enter Pinckney Recreation Area. The Recreation Passport is your ticket to Michigan’s state parks and outdoor adventures for an entire year! Michigan residents are not able to purchase a one-day park pass. For State Park entry, all Michigan residents must have a Recreation Passport. Out-of-state residents will be required to purchase either a daily permit or an annual Motor Vehicle Permit.

For current pricing and more information about the Recreation Passport, click here.


USAT (USA Triathlon) Information

USAT Sanctioned Event Color

USAT offers youth annual memberships at $10 per child per year. USAT adult annual memberships cost $50. As of Oct. 24, 2017, USA Triathlon will allow athletes to apply the cost of up to three (3) one-day licenses (up to $45 total), purchased within the past year, toward an annual age-group membership (not valid on elite or youth memberships). Previously, athletes could only apply the cost of one (1) one-day license toward an annual membership. The one-day license receipt is valid for one year from the date of the event for which it was purchased. One-day licenses cannot be applied retroactively; however, the athlete can apply their one-day(s) toward their next renewal. If you participate in more than three USAT-sanctioned events per year, purchasing a USAT annual membership not only is more cost efficient but also helps fund USAT development and training programs for athletes, coaches, referees, and more! See USA Triathlon for more information and to join as an annual member.

Non-USAT Fee Explanation: The $15/daily adult and $10/annual youth fee for non-USAT members pays for USAT insurance. The entire fee goes to USAT. USAT is the national governing body for the sport of triathlon. Epic Races’ affiliation is with USAT. Non-USAT members who pay a one-day USAT license fee need not present proof of membership.

USAT members and non-members must present photo ID at Packet Pick-Up.

Click here to see USAT’s competition rules. To learn the most common USAT rule violations, click here.