Horsetooth Reservoir hosts freestyle – The Rocky Mountain Collegian
September 12, 2022
The Horsetooth Open Water Swimming is an event that takes place at the Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins. The morning started with a beautiful sunrise, the sun was bright red and cast a pink shadow over the mountain and reservoir. It was a cool 44 degrees and the air was crisp and cool.
When you arrive at Horsetooth Reservoir, you can see all the athletes warming up and preparing to enter the reservoir for a swim. The water was 67 degrees, which was significantly warmer than the air.
The Colorado State University swim and dive team unfortunately did not participate in the free swim meet today because Swimming in the United Statesthe combined water and air temperature must be above 118. Since the combined temperature was 111, CSU decided to withdraw from the race.
“Every year it’s different. This year we had cold air temperature; one year we had thick fog; some years we had high winds. –Joe Bakel, Race Director Horsetooth Open Water Swim
Although CSU did not participate in the race, there were still people who ran and participated in one of the four events: the 10 kilometer, 2.4 mile, 1.2 mile and the youth swim . The energy was high before the race as the competitors prepared to dive into the tank. You could see people jogging and doing whatever they could to stay warm in the cool air.
“The youthful energy, the excitement, the energy level is so awesome,” said Joe Bakel, Horsetooth Open Water Swim race director.
Bakel also swam in the race the first two years he was affiliated with free swimming. He also talked about how race officials have to adapt to it year after year due to annual weather changes.
“Every year is different,” Bakel said. “This year we had cold air temperature; one year we had thick fog; some years we had high winds.