Beaches, seashores, coastlines, lake fronts, and river banks are all natural venues for an open water swim.

Tents, awnings, bleachers, tables, chairs, or Porta Potties are examples of portable items brought in by race directors to set up a finish area for an open water swim.

But what if you had money, resources, and more importantly, a vision for a world-class open water event? What would you create at the finish line? What are the essential items you would build, create, or provide at the end of a swim?

If you had the vision of Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada, you might create what their organization did: a permanent headquarters to augment their event. Their finish line not only includes a two-story building that operates year-round, but also medical facilities, a stage with concert-ready lighting and sound, spectator bleachers, an archive, escort boat maintenance areas, showers, and separate rooms for press conferences, VIPs, volunteers, check-in, technical meetings, communication teams, technical preparations, storage, and drug testing.

For 59 years, the Traversée has been around. The permanence of the structure and surrounding area, augmented by the passionate vision of the staff, are clear indications that the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean is here to stay for another very long time.

Photo courtesy of Lucie Drolet with Lexie Kelly swimming towards the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean headquarters at the finish line in Roberval, Québec.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming