FAST (Fairbanks Arctic Swim Team) Masters organized the first open water race in Chena Lake in North Pole, Alaska. Outside of Fairbanks, the water was a reasonable 65˚F for the 1K and 5K swims, although wetsuits were optional.
Local swimmer Dave Schmidt told US Masters Swimming, "Your body will know how to swim once you are there, but you have to be ready, mentally, for the challenge [of swimming in cold water]. If you are afraid of creepy crawlies or the cold water, find a swim in warm and clear water. There is nothing better than a clear swim."
Photo by Eric Engman.