Portland Bridge Swim

Join us on 07/14/2024

(race date estimated)

Portland Bridge Swim Race Description

Welcome to the 2024 Portland Bridge Swim!

2024 U.S. Masters Swimming Ultramarathon-Distance Open Water Race

Operated under USMS Sanction

LOCATION & COURSE: The course is approximately 11 miles (17 km), with the current, and on the east side of the Willamette River through downtown Portland, Oregon. The swim will start at Sellwood Riverfront Park (SE 7th Av. & Miller St.) south of the Sellwood Bridge, pass under all 12 of Portland's bridges on the Willamette River, and finish at Cathedral Park (N. Edison & Pittsburg Av.) west of the St. Johns Bridge. Water temperature is expected to be 66–74 degrees Fahrenheit. 

WATER QUALITY: With completion of Portland's Big Pipe project, water quality is only impacted by heavy rains (1.4 inches in 24 hours). Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services tests E. coli levels at several points along the course on a regular basis and posts the results on their website. The race will only take place if bacterial levels are below EPA and DEQ standards. The most recent test results are discussed in the pre-race briefing.

TIDES & START TIME: High tide on July 14, 2024 is 12:24 pm, and low tide is at 8:01 am. The swim will start at 7:30 am and all swimmers must be out of the water by 3:30 pm.

ELIGIBILITY: The 2024 USMS Ultramarathon-Distance Open Water Swim event is open ONLY to 2024 USMS members (or foreign equivalents) who are at least 18 years old. Solo swimmers must be full USMS members at the time of registration. 

ENTRY & REGISTRATION: Individuals are invited to enter. All entries MUST be received by 4:59 pm Pacific time on Sunday, July 7, 2024. Due to organization & safety needs, late or day-of-race entries will NOT be accepted—please don’t even ask.

ENTRY LIMITS: The Portland Bridge Swim is limited to the first 100 entrants. 

All solo must complete the qualifying swim in order to enter. We will maintain a waiting list in case early entrants drop out.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Swimmers who do not compete are not eligible for refunds. If the swim is canceled up to 60 days prior to race day, 50% of entry fees will be refunded. If the swim is canceled less than 60 days prior to race day, no fees will be refunded.


  • Current United States Masters Swimming rules apply. 

  • Swimmers must wear the cap provided in their swim packet. Swimmers must notify race organizers by Friday, June 28, 2024 if the cap cannot be worn for medical reasons. You will need to wear a suitable cap of the color assigned to you for your wave.

  • All drafting is prohibited.  Swimmers must remain 3 meters or more from other swimmers, except when rounding buoys, when overtaking other swimmers when space is not readily available, when unescorted at the start and finish of the swim, and/or when the swimmer's escort craft becomes disabled.  Incidental or accidental incursion into the 3-meter zone of another swimmer shall not be the basis for disqualification.

  • Swimmers may not make deliberate contact with craft, craft operators, and/or physical features on or near the course during the swim.

  • Propulsive devices, such as fins & paddles, and flotation aids, such as pull-buoys, are not allowed. 

  • Earphones and snorkels are also not allowed. 

  • Motorized watercraft are not permitted as escorts for swimmers. Under no circumstances may a swimmer come in contact with a motorized watercraft. Swimmers who are supported by motorized craft will be disqualified.

  • SAFETY TOW BUOYS (STBs): All swimmers MUST wear the STB, provided with their swim packets, during their entire portion of the swim. STBs, defined as inflatable buoys tethered to the waist of the swimmer, are permitted in Category I Swimwear events per USMS Rule 303.4.2.E. STB. Swimmers may not use the STBs for flotation assistance.


1. To qualify for individual entry, swimmers must show that they have completed a minimum 5000-meter (5500-yard) swim faster than 1:40, within the last 3 years.

2. Only pool swims will be accepted for qualification. This swim does not have to take place in a competition, but registration requires the location of the swim and the signature of an observer. 

3. If you make a mistake in your entry, we will make a good-faith effort to get your correct qualifying swim information. However, swimmers who cannot provide appropriate qualifying time information WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SWIM and their entry fee will not be refunded. 

Swimmers who cannot complete one mile in open water in 35 minutes should NOT enter.

SEEDING: The race will take place in 4 waves, starting with wave 1 and finishing with wave 4. The slowest solo swimmers will be seeded in wave 1, the fastest solo swimmers will be seeded in wave 4. 

CUT-OFF TIME: For safety coverage, swimmers on the course who have not completed six miles within 4 hours of race start (note: later waves have less than 4 hours) will be stopped, transported off the course, and listed as DNF in the results. Swimmers who have not completed the race within 7 hours of race start will be stopped, transported off the course, and listed as DNF in the results.

SAFETY—OUR PRIMARY CONCERN: Safety boats will monitor the entire course and medical personnel will be on site at the finish. Swimmers are required to have an escort in a non-motorized craft (kayak, SUP) in a life vest and equipped with an additional life vest for the swimmer. Each escort will be provided additional race-specific safety materials. Swimmers MUST wear the brightly-colored swim cap and use the STB provided in their race packet. Swimmers and escorts must follow all announced safety rules without exception.

ESCORTS: For swimmer safety, motorized watercraft are not permitted to escort swimmers. Swimmers must provide their own escort boater. Solo swimmers coming to the race from out of the area may request a volunteer escort in their registration form. We'll do our best to hook you up.

KAYAK RENTALS: A limited number of kayaks, provided by Alder Creek Kayaks, are available for rental as an option at registration. Kayak rental includes boat, paddle, two life jackets, delivery at the start, and pick-up at the finish.

SCHEDULE: Sunday, July 14, 2024

  • 5:30-7:00 am Check-in at Sellwood Park
  • 6:30 am Pre-race meeting
  • 7:30 am Swim start
  • 11:30 am Individual swimmers who have not reached mile 6 will be stopped & transported to the race finish.
  • 2:00 pm Awards at finish in Cathedral Park
  • 3:30 pm Individual swimmers who have not reached the finish will be stopped & transported to the race finish.

RACE-DAY LUNCH: Lunch at the finish will be provided by our friends at Tamale Boy. No food will be sold on-site, it is only available with a voucher. Each registration includes one voucher per swimmer and one additional voucher for a kayak escort. If you would like additional lunches, they can be purchased for $15 with your registration.

TRANSPORTATION: A shuttle will be available at the finish to transport swimmers and kayakers back to Sellwood Park. With the exception of the rental kayaks above, swimmers are responsible for transporting their kayaks and they may not be taken on the shuttle.

AWARDS: Awards will be awarded to first-place male and female finishers in both swimwear categories. All finishers will receive a 2024 Portland Bridge Swim medal.

RESULTS: Results will be available after the race, and will be posted at www.swimoregon.org and on the event website.

OREGON SERIES: The swim is a featured swim for the Oregon Open Water Series

PRE-RACE PASTA FEED: Back by popular demand! Saturday night, join your fellow competitors and support crews for a pre-race dinner! Gluten-free and vegetarian options are included.

EVENT WEBSITE: www.portlandbridgeswim.com

EVENT DIRECTOR: Marisa Frieder, portlandbridgeswim@gmail.com


Get ready for the Portland Bridge Swim

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    Portland Bridge Swim Where & When

  • Location: Portland, OR 97202
  • Race Date: 2024/07/14 07:00:00 AM (Sunday)
  • Categories:
    • Solo Swimmer

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