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From Penticton to OK Falls: Swimmers conquer Skaha Lake for Ultra Swim

The Peach Fest 12 km Ultra Swim goes bright and early Sunday, Aug. 13
Ultra Swim Skaha Lake returns to Penticton and Okanagan Falls on Aug. 13. (Photo- Ultra Swim Skaha Lake)

Skaha Lake will soon play host to one of the year’s most popular swims — a 12-kilometre journey from Penticton to Okanagan Falls.

Ultra Swim Skaha Lake, a Peach Festival-sanctioned open-water event, returns to the South Okanagan on Sunday, Aug. 13.

Athletes will be up bright and early at 7 a.m. to start the 11.8 km race in Penticton, with racers expected to land on the shores of Okanagan Falls by 1:30 p.m.

“It is such a joy to watch swimmers conquer the lake,” said race director Shelie Best. “Each swimmer has a story and goal, and to be a part of their journey is something special. It is a close-knit group of friends and family that make this race happen.”

Best has directed the race since 2017 but this weekend’s event will mark her last in the role.

Participants will endure the close to 12-kilometre challenge while accompanied by a dedicated swim escort for safety, courtesy of Hoodoo Adventures.

Before its return in 2017, the race was held at Skaha Lake from 1985 to 2004.

Swimmers from across the region are expected to compete. “With average water temperatures of 23 C, participants will embrace the perfect conditions for a truly remarkable ultra-distance swim,” event organizers wrote.

“Skaha Lake sets the stage for the ultimate test of endurance and determination in the open waters. This event promises an unforgettable experience for both athletes and spectators alike.”

READ MORE: Man swimming length of Okanagan Lake