BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Ozark Outdoor Foundation announced it will be partnering with SWIM OZ for the Walmart OZ Mile Swim on Sunday, September 25 at Beaver Lake.

The Walmart OZ Mile Swim is described as an open water race that offers participants and spectators a full weekend in Northwest Arkansas with festivities centered around swimming.

Bonnie Adams, founder of SWIM OZ, said she created the race to “showcase the natural beauty of the Ozarks, offer an opportunity for local swimmers to compete in a sanctioned open water event and put Northwest Arkansas on the map as a destination for open water swim competitions.”

“There are so many amazing things that this area offers athletes, and it is time to put us on the map for swimming events as well. The Walmart OZ Mile Swim offers all swimmers the opportunity to take part,” said Adams.

Adams continued by saying Walmart OZ Mile Swim has partnered with the world’s largest open water swim, the Midmar Mile in South Africa, which has over 15,000 swimmers in attendance every year. “The Midmar Mile partnership means that the fastest female and male swimmers from the Walmart OZ Mile Swim will be offered the opportunity to participate in the Midmar Mile in February 2023.”

Walmart OZ Mile Swim will consist of four distinct waves of competition with awards for first, second, and third in each race wave and male and female overall. Overall first-place winners will receive free entry to the Midmar Mile in South Africa.

There are also two team divisions, club teams for ages 17 and under, and club teams for ages 18 and over. Each winning team will leave with a traveling trophy and a permanent trophy. Teams must have at least 10 participants registered to be eligible.

Mike Spivey, President and CEO of Ozark Outdoor Foundation said, “This type of event on Beaver Lake has been a longtime dream of mine. I learned to swim in this lake and some of my best childhood memories are from this beautiful lake. We believe the race format offers an approachable event for everyone and more ambitious distances for advanced swimmers.”

The registration fee to compete is $45. Participants can register at www.ozmileswim.com.