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Chicago River Swim

Sunday, September 22, 2024

Entry Requirements & Fees


The inaugural Chicago River Swim is open and inclusive of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender expressions, and sexual identities. There is no fee to apply for the Chicago River Swim, however due to anticipated demand, a special application process will be held to determine qualified candidates. 

Participation is limited to 500 swimmers. The application process is now open, and a selection drawing will be held in late April with notifications on Monday, May 6. Submitting multiple applications will not increase chances of gaining entry. Duplicate applications will be screened. Selected individuals will be notified of their acceptance into the event beginning Monday, May 6.

Those selected to participate will have 72 hours to pay the registration fee, agree to fundraise on behalf of ALS research, and attend the mandatory Packet Pick-Up and Athlete Briefing on event weekend. After 72 hours, additional names will be drawn to replace unresponsive selectees. This process will continue until the field of 500 swimmers is filled.


  • Applications Open: Tuesday, April 2
  • Applications Close: Sunday, April 28
  • Participant Selection & Notification: Monday, May 6


Interested in applying for the Chicago River Swim? There are three requirements for candidates:

  ✓  Adults Only | Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on September 22, 2024
  ✓  Experience Required | Applicants must show prior proof of completing their distance of choice (1-mile or 2-mile) from a professionally organized open water swim event in the previous 24 months
  ✓  Participant Profile | Applicants must submit an official questionnaire which includes swim history, goals, and motivations


Selected participants must agree to and complete the following:

  ✓  Registration Fee | Selected participants must complete a secondary registration process, pay a $50 (USD) non-refundable fee, and place their credit card on file
  ✓  US Masters Swimming License | Non-USMS Members must also pay a $20 (USD) non-refundable sanctioning fee upon registration
  ✓  Fundraise for ALS | Selected participants agree to fundraise a minimum of $1,500 (USD) for 2-mile swimmers or $1,000 (USD) for 1-mile swimmers to support A Long Swim
  ✓  Swim Safety | Participants must agree to wear the event-issued swim cap, timing chip and swim buoy during the swim, and abide by a forthcoming set of event rules 
  ✓  Athlete Briefing | Participants must attend a mandatory safety and logistics session prior to the event; No exceptions
  ✓  Packet Pick-Up |
Participants must pick-up their own race packets on event weekend, and present a government-issued photo ID
  ✓  Forward Progress | Participants must make continuous progress from start to finish without prolonged stops. Those unable to finish by 9:00 AM will be pulled from the water

NOTE: Additional requirements may be listed prior to the application process and/or event weekend.


There is no fee to apply, however selected participants will be required to complete a registration process, submit entry fees, create a personal fundraising profile, and commit to reaching a fundraising goal in order to enter the event.

  ✓  Application Fee | $0
  ✓  Participant Fee | $50 - $70
  ✓  Fundraising Goal | $1,000 - $1,500

Selected participants will be charged a $50.00 non-refundable event registration, a $20 U.S. Masters Swimming sanctioning fee (current USMS members excluded), and place a credit card on file using a secure registration system. Applicants who are not selected will not be charged. 

Selected participants also agree to raise a minimum of $1,500 (2-mile swimmers) or $1,000 (1-mile swimmers) on behalf of A Long Swim. A fundraising portal, related tools and ongoing support will be provided by the event. Participants must complete their fundraising efforts by Sunday, September 8, 2024 or pay the outstanding balance using their credit card on file. 

To support their efforts, these fundraising milestones have been set for the 2024 season:

  ✓  May 6: Participant Selection, Fundraising Begins
  ✓  June 16: Fundraising Milestone 1 (25% complete)
  ✓  July 21: Fundraising Milestone 2 (50% complete)
  ✓  September 8: Fundraising Milestone 3 (100% complete)

Participants are strongly encouraged to go above and beyond their threshold, where incentives and awards will be offered to top fundraisers.


Once registration has been completed, refunds of any kind ARE NOT permitted. Entries cannot be transferred to other individuals. If someone else participates under your name and is injured or causes an accident, that person will not be covered by the included athlete protection insurance. Additionally, if the athlete participating in your name causes injury or damage, you may be liable in part for those damages.


In the event of less than favorable water conditions in the River, event organizers will attempt to postpone the event to a rain-out date of Sunday, October 6 (two weeks later). In the unlikely event that neither date is viable, participants will be automatically deferred to the next year’s event.

Thank you for understanding.

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