The race of the summer is the Kingdom Swim. I had heard about this swim my very first week living in Vermont, and while I was too late to register for it in 2021 since I arrived in the summer, I registered in snowy March for the race in July 2022. I spent all year getting mentally and physically excited for it.
The race offers many distances, ranging from a one mile swim to a twenty five mile swim that takes almost a whole day to complete. I signed up for the 5K. It was held in Lake Memphremagog, a beautiful lake that both Canada and the US share. My husband and I came up two nights before, stayed at the only motel in town to prepare for the big race.
Every swimmer had to have a kayaker beside them, for safety and also for snacks. Casey was my kayaker! We had a pre-race dinner with everyone who was participating and there were swimmers and kayakers from all over New England. We even befriended a Canadian who had come down to kayak for somebody. A lot of strangers became friends, since many kayakers were volunteers for anyone who did not have one already selected.
I had even purchased a kayak the month before and practiced with Casey once in a nearby lake.
During the big race, I finished my 5K distance in 1 hour and 36 minutes. I was in the middle of the pack, which was great to know that I wasn’t last. The race organizers threw us a barbecue at the end.
One of the best memories was that Casey and I saw a bison on the drive up. We couldn’t believe it. It was such a cool animal!
We love the Northeast Kingdom and intend to come back again and again.