At the break of dawn athletes start boarding the Vista Star cruise ship, the flagship vessel of the Vista Fleet. After being driven out to an anchor spot, athletes “Escape from the Vista Fleet” in a time-trial fashion into the Bay of Lake Superior. Long course athletes will swim a 2 loop, 1.2 mile course, and 41.5 athletes will swim a three-quarter, .5 mile course. The swim course follows the Northeastern break wall offering spectators a fantastic view of swimmers. All Athletes swim through a slip between Pier B hotel and Bayfront Festival Park before exiting the water at a boat ramp.
The bay, where the swim is held, is enclosed from the main body of Lake Superior. As a result temperature variations and waves are typically diminished.
Drawing athletes of all abilities, for many the Superior Man is their first long distance triathlon. Most athletes who haven’t competed in this race are intimidated by the swim. While you’ll want to be prepared, past participants have found both the jump from the Vista Fleet cruise ship and the swim in Lake Superior to be more manageable than expected. Water temps have averaged in the low to mid 60’s (as a comparison that is warmer than most early season MN Triathlons.) It is possible that athletes will face strong currents and high waves. Athletes should still be prepared for challenging swim conditions. Wetsuits are required.