Pure Pactola tests swimmers at the Black Hills only open water race

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PACTOLA, S.D. (KEVN) A sunny beach, clear water, and maybe a wetsuit, are all the ingredients you need for a purely awesome day at Pure Pactola Sunday.

Stacy Nelson, Pure Pactola co-founder says, "We started pure Pactola last year. This is our second annual event. It is an open water swimming race. We have three different distances that we do. We do a .5 mile distance, a 1.2-mile distance, and a 2.5-mile distance."

85 racers made up three different races to get on their marks, get set, swim!

"it's different than swimming in a swimming poo.l We have a lot of swimmers and they don't like to swim in open swimming. It's a little bit different, it's harder for sure and the distance will often be a little bit longer as well," says Nelson.

And with plenty of beautiful lakes to choose here in the hills, why Pactola?

Nelson says, "Pactola has got some of the best water and clearest water out there and it is absolutely beautiful the setting here in the hills which is amazing."

Pactola is the largest reservoir in the Black Hills and just in case you are wondering what the temperature of the water is like, it's 70.22 degrees. The perfect day for a swim. "

Racers here ranged from 13-years-old to 72 and swim for training, self improvement, and an over all love for the water.

"We love doing triathlons and this is a great training day and a great event for the Black Hills," says a few swimmers on the lake today

And a race doubling in size from its first year to the next doesn't happen all on its own.

"The thing that is interesting about an open water swimming event is that it takes tons and tons of volunteers. We had over 25 safety kayakers today, seven motorboats, 5 people spotting off the dam ." says, Nelson.

If you are thinking about taking up the challenge ...

"I think that if you want to swim more and get better at it or if you just want to spend some time in the water this is a great opportunity to do it. like I said with all of our safety protocols, this is one of the safest swims races that you can do."