Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

No two races in the open water swimming world are the same. Even the same race and the same course is usually different year to year.

So it makes sense that many awards given to swimmers in the open water world are different and unique.

The four-day SCAR Swim Challenge in four lakes in Arizona is one event that gives different and unique awards to its participants.

Race director Kent Nicholas explains the SCAR custom belt buckle awards given to the male and female champions each year. “Sweet Bird Studio is the custom design company that crafts the buckles which features Apache Lake in the center with turquoise on each side.

No two awards are identical, but they have the same custom layout. There is also a quote on the back of the buckle from one of my favorite beat authors, Jack Kerouac, ‘Unforeseen Events Wait Lurking to Surprise You.

The original buckle was a gift to me after one of the initial SCAR swims. I was blown away by the beauty of it. I couldn’t believe the craftsmanship and creativity. After a few conversations, we decided that awarding the top male and female swimmer after four grueling days was worth it – meanwhile keeping the original intention of swimming free in a beautiful environment by challenging only yourself.”

For more information about SCAR held annually in April, visit here.

For unique awards from the Race For The Conch Eco-SeaSwim in Turks & Caicos (conch trophies), visit here.

For unique awards from the Kingdom Swim in Lake Memphremagog, Vermont (walking sticks and woodals), visit here.

For unique awards from the IISA Ireland National Championships (IISA Ireland Medal), visit here.

For unique awards given to Triple Crowners (English Channel + Catalina Channel + Around Manhattan Island), visit here.

For unique awards given by the Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF Spork + MSF Navigator Award), visit here.

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