In 2002 Dr. Keith Bell, world-renowned swimming psychologist, and his wife, Sandy Neilson-Bell, 1972 Olympic Triple Gold Medalist, organized the first-ever City of Austin Adult Swimming Championships which proved to be an exciting and fun swim competition for Adults of all ages and speeds. The funds raised from that lively competition were donated to cover the arcitectural plans for the Deep Eddy Pool Bathhouse Historical Rebuild Project and worked as the catalyst for more extensive fund-raising for community projects — next project being the actual rebuild of the bathhouse which was completed in 2007.
The Inagural Cap 2k was held the following year, in 2003, and community excitement grew for the chance to swim and race in Town Lake. Town Lake had otherwise been closed to swimming due to pollution which was thought to take 30 years to clean up. Mayor Gus Garcia blessed the Inagural swim with the proud exclamation that only 12 years had passed and Town Lake was miraculously clean enough for the day's event! Every year we celebrate our fortune for the opportunity to swim in clean water.
The Cap 2k has been rated as one of Austin's Top 10 Recreational Events, one of the Top 50 Open Water Races in the U.S., one of the Top 100 Open Water Races in the world, and is Austin's signature swimming event. Since its debut, the Cap 2k Open Water Race & Pledge Swim has been a large factor in helping American Swimming Association, along with its organizers and members, raise over $160,000 for the Deep Eddy Project as well as various other community passions including: Swim Lessons for Kids at-risk, Crohns & Colitis, Austin Parks Foundation, ALS, and Prostate Cancer.
Cap 2k organizers, Keith and Sandy, have also been at the helm of hosting 8 other unique and fun swimming events in and around the Austin area. Included is the iconic Deep Eddy Mile — voted Austin Chronicle's Best "Splash & Dash" and going into its 14th year; the Highland Lakes Challenge, which is the world's first open water swimming stage race and includes 5 days of racing in 5 of the upper Highland Lake; the Lake Travis Relay, a 12 mile course swum by 6-person relays or solos; and, said to be the most fun swim meet ever, the World Championship of Texas 3-on-3 Swimming Tournament — a double-elimination swim tournament.