Tri Club Tuesday: Inaugural Reuter-Hess Reservoir OWS

by Ambassador Erin Trail


For the very first time since filling with water, Reuter-Hess Reservoir opened its doors to nearly 150 athletes for the inaugural Parker Open Water Swim.  The 1.2 mile and 2.4 mile swim event was organized by Without Limits Productions  and the event title sponsor was SwimLabs Denver.


photo credit: Joe Long

Saturday morning greeted athletes with a spectacular show – a full sunrise rainbow that stretched over Parker and the calm waters of Reuter-Hess.  The water was a perfect 70 degrees and wind was practically non-existent.  Participants were the first group of swimmers to EVER swim in this reservoir and everyone was excited to experience its pristine waters.



Fun Event Facts:

The water depth at the first buoy was 95 feet. That’s DEEP!

80 people raced the 1.2 mile swim; 56 people raced the 2.4 mile distance

Some seriously speedy swimmers were out there! The top finishers for the 1.2 mile distance finished in 27:54 (Michelle Orgill) and 28:07 (Ryan Turbyfill).  The top finishers for the 2.4 mile distance finished in 50:03 (Kathleen Steffe) and 46:53 (Niki Siloahti)

Participant ages ranged from 11 years of age to 68 years young!

The reservoir still has another 60 vertical feet of filling capacity, which means future events won’t include that long walk down the boat ramp to the water’s edge.


Without Limits and Parker Parks and Recreation are planning on making this even an annual occurrence.  Plan on seeing the 2018 announcement early in the spring!


Reuter Hess Reservoir OWS

by Erin Trail

After more than a year of waiting, the very first event within the confines of the new Rueter-Hess Reservoir is set for 2017.  Many people in the South Denver Metro Area have been anxiously awaiting the opening of this reservoir since the Open House meeting in February 2016 (meeting recap here).  Without Limits Productions will be hosting the very first open water swim race for this venue, consisting of either a 1.2 mile course or a 2.4 mile course, on July 29, 2017.  The race is limited to 150 participants and will cost $25 for the 1.2 mile or $30 for the 2.4 mile.  It is expected to sell out quickly, so if you’re interested, sign up soon!


Since this is a completely new event, details are still being finalized. Here’s some basics to get you started:

–  Estimated swim start times are: 2.4 mile distance at 7:00 AM, 1.2 mile distance at 7:10 AM. Specific details regarding start waves are still pending, but will likely be 10 year age-group brackets divided into men and women.

– The swim will follow USAT rules, meaning wetsuits and speedsuits with zippers will be allowed, in addition to traditional swimsuits.

– There will be NO opportunities for any practice swims at Rueter-Hess. Per Without Limits “If you want to touch Rueter-Hess water this year, then sign up for this race!”

– The Course will consist of a long, rectangular out and back swim. The 1.2 mile will be 1 loop, the 2.4 mile will be 2 loops (athletes will stay in the water to start loop #2).  Buoys will be placed every 150 meters.

– And the question everyone wants to know – what’s the water temperature??? It’s estimated to be 70-72 degrees, but since this is the first swim ever at this reservoir, no one really knows what to expect.



Volunteers are also needed!  Without Limits needs 12 safety kayakers and 4 registration helpers.  Volunteers will get a free entry for this swim or $25 towards any Without Limits / 5430 race. Also, for anyone that recruits a kakayer, they’ll get a free entry.


E-mail to volunteer.





Personally, I’ll be racing the 2.4 mile race.  I’m a swimmer by background and I want to get as much swim distance as possible at Rueter-Hess.  I’m also incredibly excited at the opportunity to be amongst the very first group of people to be able to swim.  Think about it – how many times can you say you were the first to swim in a brand new body of water?  This is made even more exciting because my regular cycling route is around this reservoir and I’ve been watching it fill for YEARS wondering when I’d be able to swim in it.  Well, I finally know the answer to that question and I can hardly wait.


The success of this event – and future events (including triathlons) – at Rueter-Hess depends on a fantastic athlete and community response to this race.  It is SUPER important that we show the Town of Parker that events like this are fun, well supported, and safe. So even if you’re not planning on swimming, come out and volunteer or spectate! Hope to see you out there!


303Triathlon calendar event here

Event details and registration coming soon