Pack your tech suit, swim cap, competition goggles, and anything else you need to race at the 2022 USMS Summer National Championship in Richmond, Virginia, Aug. 3–7.
Here’s what you need to know about the event, which comes 50 years after USMS held its first long course meters championship event in Bloomington, Indiana, in August 1972. (You can also register for the meet here.)
A Fast Pool
The meet will be held at SwimRVA, the same pool used for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha. Nine world records were set in the pool in 2008 before it was permanently moved to Richmond in 2012. The facility also hosted a 2020 Toyota U.S. Open and a 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series.
Throughout the competition, you’ll have access to a six-lane, 25-yard indoor pool and an outdoor 10-lane, 25-meter vinyl-sided temporary pool that’ll be specially constructed for the event.
There’s seating for 1,600 (700 in the stands, 900 on deck), offering plenty of space for swimmers and spectators. A concession area and hospitality room will provide nourishment to swimmers and spectators throughout the competition.
“It’s an amazing facility,” meet director Adam Kennedy says. “We think it’s the fastest pool on the East Coast. We look forward to having everyone in Richmond.”
Meet Social Will Be a Kick
The meet social will be a United Soccer League match between the Richmond Kickers and FC Tucson on Aug. 6 at City Stadium downtown. Swimmers will have the opportunity to watch the action from the south goal party deck while enjoying drinks, food, and the camaraderie of fellow competitors.
History Buff Paradise
Richmond is a 400-year-old cultural and historical hub replete with museums, diverse dining, amusement parks, and more to make your national championship experience memorable. It’s also less than an hour’s drive from colonial Williamsburg and about a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C.
Some of the most famous visitor hotspots, many of which are in the downtown area, include the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of History & Culture, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center, The Valentine, and the Science Museum of Virginia (with the Children’s Museum of Richmond next door).
Outdoor Fun and Adventure
If you’re looking for a place to hike, cycle, kayak, bird watch, rock climb, or whitewater raft while savoring views of the woods, islands, and meadows, explore the 550-acre James River Park System. This protected wilderness site is just blocks from the downtown district. Few river parks in downtown areas offer true whitewater rafting, but the James River boasts Class III and Class IV rapids within the park boundaries. The park has been recognized as the Southeast’s Best Urban Park and the Best in Dirt for its running trails and outdoor spaces.
Sate Every Palate
Richmond offers dining that will sate every palate with more than 900 restaurants in the area. Locally owned restaurants that include Longoven, a fine dining establishment that was named one of America’s Best New Restaurants for 2019 by Bon Appétit, and Alewife, a mid-Atlantic seafood establishment named as one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America in 2019, are sure to delight.
Lehja (Indian), Sub Rosa Bakery, Mama J’s Kitchen (Southern), L’Opposum (French), Peter Chang (Chinese), and Brenner Pass (European) are all James Beard Award–nominated restaurants and popular with locals and visitors.
Your kids will beg you to take them to the popular Kings Dominion theme park. The park offers more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions, including 13 rollercoasters (one a 4D spin coaster), Planet Snoopy (fun for little ones with the “Peanuts” gang), and the Jungle X-pedition, which wows riders with an ancient jungle civilization experience. Intimidator 305 is one of the tallest and fastest rollercoasters on the East Coast.
Admission also covers entrance to the Soak City waterpark in case your group has a penchant for some aquatic fun. A wave pool, splash pads, water slides, and more will make the day a wet and fun memory.
Children might welcome a visit to the Richmond Metro Zoo, and teens and adults will relish a shopping excursion to unique Carytown, a bohemian district with boutiques, vintage shops, cool cafes, bakeries, and much more.
Gear up for fast swims and wonderful memories at Summer Nationals by entering now.
“Richmond’s the coolest place on earth,” Kennedy says. “If you like to eat, you like to drink, you like history, you should be in Richmond.”
Check out visitrichmondva.com for more information on the Richmond area. Danny Bonifas, the director of sports and events for Richmond Region Tourism, says swimmers may find playinrva.com, a site created for sports visitors, helpful.