On Thursday, July 28, three dozen athletes from 14 nations will assemble at Lac St. Jean in southern Quebec to compete in the fourth stop of the FINA/Hosa 10km marathon swimming World Cup circuit.  

The race marks the midpoint of the seven-race series.

Less than three weeks later, open-water swimmers will be vying for Rio Olympic medals so some of the usual stars opted out of the six-loop course in Roberval Harbor.  Plenty of other luminaries, however, will dive in.

For example, the women’s race will feature two-time Olympian and 12-time world championship medalist Angela Maurer of Germany who, on Monday, celebrated her 41st birthday.  Challenging Maurer will be Emily Brunemann of the United States; Brunemann won the 2013 World Cup open water series title. Also watch for Hungary’s Anna Olasz, the 2015 world championship silver medalist in the 25km race.  

The lone Rio Olympian on the women’s side is Canada’s Stephanie Horner. At the past two Olympics, Horner competed in the pool so Lac St. Jean will provide a useful tune-up as she embarks on her first Games as a 10km swimmer.

The men’s race will include two Rio Olympians: Richard Weinberger of Canada who earned the 10km bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, and Christian Reichert of Germany.

Also worth watching are: Andreas Waschburger of Germany who placed eighth at the 2012 London Olympics, and Chip Peterson of the U.S. who won the Lac St. Jean race last year and owns three world championship medals in open water swimming.  Most notably, Peterson won the 10K gold at age 17 when he beat the German superstar Thomas Lurz by 7 seconds at the 2005 world championships in Montreal.

Thursday’s course is a 1.67 km loop that starts and finishes in front of the Place de la Traversée. Last year, the top-three men finished all six laps in just under two hours. The women’s top time last year was 2.09:15.