Man, am I ever pumped for some open water swimming action! This morning, I picked up the Weekend section of the Washington Post, and there was a killer shot of all these hardcore OWSers flopping around. As the story went on to say:

What draws hundreds of people to throw themselves into the bay and fight their way to the other shore through up to several hours of rolling swells and the pull of the tide, the nauseating swill of saltwater in the mouth and the flailing arms and legs of all the other swimmers? There are unknown things swimming below you and possibly worse floating on the surface, and waves slosh you in the face every time you try to grab a breath. And you could get seasick, hypothermic, kicked in the face or stung by jellyfish.

But so what? “The opportunity to face these obstacles, known and unknown, lures swimmers to the challenge,” writes Penny Lee Dean, who holds multiple open-water world records, in her book Open Water Swimming: A Complete Guide for Distance Swimmers and Triathletes (Human Kinetics Publishers, 1998).

I want to fight off those waves, swim around those jellyfish, jostle with those other swimmers, take a jab or two to the head, and feel the burn of the long, wild trek. I want to emerge from that murky water, take a big gulp of summer’s “honey breath” (copyright DeNeen Brown), and roar.

OK, so all I have to do now is check out the Weekend section’s sidebar on OWS events! Boy, if this isn’t service journalism at its best. Here goes….

Cool, this weekend there’s an event at Lake Montclair featuring one- and two-mile swims. Uh-oh: Registration closed.

No matter, I’ll just go for Sunday’s Annapolis triathlon. But no, registration is closed.

Well, how about the Savageman triathlon out in Deep Creek Lake on Sept. 16? Too bad—limited entries available.

It’s a similar tale for the ChesapeakeMan event and for the Nation’s Triathlon. So looks like there’s just one event left in the season—the General Smallwood race in Marbury, Md.

So, we have one event that’s fully open, huh? And just why did Weekend run this piece of service journalism in early September, when most of the season is over and the rest of the events are pretty much full?

Weekend provides an answer: “Not ready to swim? Registration closed? Cheer on the competitors or consider volunteering as a great way to get close to the action without having to get wet.”

Sounds great.