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Fat Salmon Swim

Thu July 1 - Sat July 31 Seattle, WA 98112 US



Welcome to the 21st Annual Fat Salmon Swim

For this year's virtual event, we have have the option of doing a 3.25 mile or 1.2 mile swim in the open water or a pool for a total of 4 possible events.    You can do all 4 events for the price of 1 when you register.   Simply choose the checkbox of "All 4 Virtual Fat Salmon 2021 Event Bundle" or select your preferred individual events and the cost of additional events will be deducted automatically on check-out.

The swim started back in 1999 unofficially with a small group of swimmers (organized by Mike Meyers) and has continued annually (except for a couple of years) to become one of the largest adult open water swim events in the Puget Sound region with approximately 350 participants each year.  Since 2015, the Orca Swim Team (a Seattle-based USMS Masters Swim Team) has been the proud host of this event and is grateful for knowledge shared from past event directors (Mike, Liz, Meg, and others) that have allowed this annual tradition to continue.

Virtual Event Overview

So you may be wondering why a virtual event for 2021.  Back in March we needed to make a decision and financial commitment with the city on whether we were going to be able to host the event in-person.  At that time there were still too many uncertainties related to COVID-19 restrictions to allow us to plan for our regular size in-person event.  

We are excited to offer you the virtual Fat Salmon Swim this year to give you a training goal this summer and to have some fun.   Register in advance of your swim and complete your swim(s) any time during the month of July (the month when we typically host the Fat Salmon).   Record your results upon completion and see the times of others and your rankings.  We also plan some recognition for other fun categories (best picture, swim pattern, swim location furthest from Seattle, etc.)

We are giving you the option to swim the traditional 3.25 mile distance and/or the shorter Fat Salmon Swim (1.2 mile) option offered many years ago.    Although we know many swimmers will choose to swim the actual Fat Salmon courses on Lake Washington, swimmers have the option to complete these swims in any open water or pool setting.   

You can time yourself (with a swim watch or other method) or have someone time you, or you can choose to just mark your swim as "complete" without a time entered.

Marc Meyer, the original Fat Salmon artist, has put together another great shirt reflecting our "changing times" that just may become a Fat Salmon aficionado collector's item.   

Virtual Event Details

This virtual event is open to adults 18 years and older as of July 1st. 2021.   Register in advance of your swim(s).   Registration will be open by June 1st and closes on July 18th  (extended to July 25th by request).   A single registration fee allows you to participate in one or more of the following events:

  • 3.25 mile open water swim - using the regular Fat Salmon course from Day Street Park to Madison Park Beach (see map for start and finish routes) or another open water course of your choosing 
  • 1.2 mile open water swim - using the old 1.2 mile Fat Salmon course from Denny Blaine Park to Madison Park Beach (see map for start and finish routes) or another open water course of your choosing
  • 3.25 mile pool swim (using a short or long course pool - fresh or saltwater OK) - 5250 meters or 5750 yards
  • 1.2 mile pool swim (using a short or long course pool - fresh or saltwater OK) - 1950 meters or 2150 yards

Looking for a challenge?  Make a goal to swim all 4 events.  We encourage you to sign-up for all of them just in case you decide later you want to do more than one.  We will have separate results for each of the above events overall by sex as well as by age groups.  And for those who just want to report they completed the swim, we will have that option too.

Prepare for your swim and make a plan for safety.   Be aware of local laws related to open water swimming and be accompanied by a boat/kayaker with a lifejacket for safety.

For the Open Water Swim, you may complete the designated Fat Salmon courses 3.25 mile or 1.20 mile or complete a swim of that exact same equivalent distance in another body of open water (fresh or saltwater).  You can choose to use a wetsuit or not.  There will not be separate result categories for wetsuit and non-wetsuit.  If you plan to swim the Fat Salmon exact courses, we have measured using Google maps the exact route to get you the 3.25 and 1.20 distances.  Pay special attention to the start locations and the finish route.  Maps of the Fat Salmon courses are here: 

For the Pool Swims, you may do your swim in a 25 yard, 25 meter, or 50 meter pool.   There will not be separate result categories by pool type.  Just complete the equivalent 3.25 mile or 1.2 miles distance in the pool and capture your time.   Since this is all just for fun, saltwater pools (like Colman) are OK to use too. 

Results need to be submitted on site by no later than August 2nd.  You can time yourself (with a swim watch or other method) or have someone time you. In respect of your fellow swimmers, you will be on your honor to report your accurate times for your swim(s).  We will not be asking for proof of your times or requiring swim watch files.    As people complete their swims and record their results you will be able to see them online.  We will publish the final results in early August.  Instructions on how to record your results are here:   Due to the nature of a virtual swim, no Fat Salmon course records may be established with the virtual swims. If you break a record, come back next year to do it in-person!   Please note that your age group will be determined by your age as of 12/31/2021 which has become the standard for age group calculation for the Fat Salmon Swim.  Our age groups are 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, and so-on in five year increments.

Photos Please!  We encourage you to share your pictures from training or completion of your actual swims.   We plan on recognizing some of the best photos (creativity is encouraged) so be ready to snap some pictures.    

Creative Swim Maps.  For those of you with swim watches or other devices that map out your swim course, we would like to see any interesting course swim shapes you create.  We will have recognition and maybe some surprise awards for a variety of categories such as:  swim course in the shape of a salmon, other creative swim shape, can't swim straight (for those who get off course very easily).  

Sharing/Sending Photos and Swim Maps.     You can optionally upload photos and swim maps from your actual official swim as part of your results data entry process.  Instructions from are here.     If you want to share training photos, you can post them directly to our Facebook page  Keep in mind that all photos and swim maps submitted/uploaded may be posted on our Fat Salmon web page or Fat Salmon Facebook page.

T-Shirts and Merchandise - One Fat Salmon 2021 t-shirt is included with your registration.     You get to see the color and design of the shirt as well during the registration process.   Extra t-shirts and the popular hoodies with the same artwork will also be available for sale during the registration.     The first 100 people to signup will also get a brightly colored Fat Salmon latex swim cap compliments of our sponsor Blueseventy.  Shipping is included for USA shipping addresses.  Canadian shipping addresses will be charged an additional $15.   You may opt out of receiving a t-shirt and more of your registration fee will support the future of the Fat Salmon event. T-Shirt, swim cap, and merchandise will be sent by mid August by US Mail.

Registration Site.  We are using the registration site.  If you have used previously. you can sign in with your username and password when prompted for "Have Account".  If you are new to, you can easily create an account (with a password) for yourself when you register for the Fat Salmon.   Please note that you will use this account to log in and record your results, view results, and upload photos and swim route images.

Email Notifications.  You will get one email confirmation of your registration regardless of your how you answer the email notification preference question asked during registration.  Opting in to the email notification will send you some automated follow-up emails in July reminding you to swim your event and another to record your results.  We recommend opting in to email notifications.   

Registration fees are as follows.  A modest processing fee (partially paid by Fat Salmon) will also be added.  Please note that each event appears to have a separate fee when you register but when you go to "check-out" you will see a credit for the fees for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th events.    Alternatively you can sign-up for all 4 events using the "All 4 Virtual Fat Salmon 2021 Event Bundle" option.

$34 by June 30th
$39 from July 1st to July 18th

Your registration fee covers the event costs and supports our host team Orca Swim Team (non-profit) keep the Fat Salmon tradition alive.  More info about Orca Swim Team at  Registration fees are non-refundable.    Any applicable sales tax will be collected by for any additional merchandise ordered.

A big thank you to Blueseventy, a long-time local sponsor of the Fat Salmon, for donating the swim caps for this event and for providing some goggles for some of our fun awards.  Visit Blueseventy at for your open water swimming needs.

Thanks for being part of the Virtual Fat Salmon 2021.    Have fun, be safe and enjoy the water!  And we hope to see you in-person in 2022!

Jim Lasersohn, Fat Salmon Swim Race Director

Race Website

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Seattle, WA US 98112


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