Official Results

1998 Photo Collection








Co-Sponsored By The Chicago Masters Swim Club and the Chicago Park District

Sanctioned by U.S. Masters through CMSA (Sanction # 21816)

September 24, 1998

Dear Big Shoulders Swimmers:

Another year, another fantastic day to enjoy open water swimming in Lake Michigan. We enjoyed marvelous weather despite predictions that we would be besieged by thunderstorms and cold water.

We had 110 registered swimmers, with 99 who managed to complete the race. Thanks to the assistance of the volunteers, life guarding crew, and the Men’s and Women’s Swim Teams from University of Illinois at Chicago, we were able to complete the race without incident.

Three swimmers completed the 5k swim in under an hour. Richard Kramer continued to dominate the men’s field, finishing first out of the water for the third year in a row with a time of 56:45. George Wendt continued to defy logic and the aging process by coming in second overall, finishing in 58:43. Stu Patterson came in third overall with a time of 59:00. In what can only be described as a twisted but talented feat, Tom Boettcher completed the entire 5 kilometers butterfly in 1:37:33. Melissa Kuser was the first overall woman in the race, with a time of 1:03:36, edging out Kari Lydersen (1:04:59) and Joy Stover (1:06:05). Congratulations to them and to all who turned out and gave their best effort.

We are working hard to continually improve and fine tune the race, and appreciate any and all criticism and/or advice you may have. We recognize that improvements can and should be made, and appreciate your thoughts. Please send your comments via snail mail to Chris Sheean, 943 S. Euclid Ave., Oak Park, IL 60304, or email: The results of the 1998 Big Shoulders, as well as future updates on next year’s race can be found on the internet at

As always, we’ll be back again next year. Big Shoulders 1999 is scheduled for the Sunday after Labor Day, September 12, 1999. Hope to see you and your swimming friends at Ohio Street Beach for the race. Thanks for your participation in what we modestly term "the greatest open water swimming event in the Midwest."

Have a good year and train hard for next year’s race,

The Chicago Masters’ Big Shoulders 5k Swim

Organizing Committee