Belmont woman wants to bring competitive swimming event to town's Roberts Beach in 2015

BELMONT — If one of the town's newest residents has her way, Leslie Roberts Town Beach could be hosting a "aquathon" in the summer of 2015.

Organizer Corina Cisneros, who brought her plan to the Belmont Application Review Committee, said her proposal is still in the development phase but she is meeting with selectmen Monday to see if she can use the beach for a day.

"Lake Winnisquam is a beautiful lake but nobody's doing anything one it," Cisneros said, directing her remarks toward major events like the Timberman on Lake Winnipesaukee and the Marshmallow Man Triathalon held on Lake Opechee.

She said she knows the beach size is limited but feels a smaller competitive swim event would be perfect for Belmont.

Cisneros said the event is sanctioned by the World Open Water Swimming Association and would be paid for by entry fees and sponsorships. She said the reason she is targeting 2015 is because she wants it to be a good and well-organized event and it will take that long to get her sponsors organized.

She said WOWSA has set standards for open water swimming events and her organization would provide kayaks for safety around what would be a .6-mile loop demarcated by buoys.

A .6-mile swim is the equivalent of swimming 40 lengths (or two laps) in a swimming pool.

Cisnero said that if the BRATT hike and bike trail was finished, the event could add a running component that would include a run to the Tilton line and back.

"It would be great with all the spectators able to line the trail," she said.

She added that she was in discussions with some local school districts to add a friendly competition between schools that could include relays for both swimming and running or some combination of the two.

So far, the suggestion has been met with enthusiasm from department heads in Belmont.

While each department has its own issues that must be addressed — like traffic and parking for the police and water safety and hydration for the Fire Department — minutes from the ARC meeting indicated that if Cicneros could satisfy the requirements, the department head would love to see Belmont get an event like the one she is planning.

She said Town Planner Candace Daigle has been particularly helpful to her in helping her navigate the waters for her first effort and all of the department heads have helped her by offering her suggestions for hosting a successful event.