Ödyssey SwimRun Casco Bay Islands offered the first taste of the fast-growing Swedish sport of SwimRun to the North American scene in 2016. Now in its fourth running, the race founded by Jeff Cole, who passed away in March 2018, continues to attract hardcore endurance athletes from a variety of multisport backgrounds and pits them on a course that showcases the island communities and geography of Casco Bay, Maine. In 2019, nearly 400 athletes from 32 states and 6 countries raced across three different categories including a Long Course Team, Short Course Team and Solo/Individual category. For the fourth consecutive year, Portland locals John Stevens and Matthew Hurley captured the overall win in the Long Course Team race. Boston's Bronwen and Gregory Dierksen won the Mixed Team race for the second year in a row and Emily Boerger and Heather Westerman took the Women's Team race.
Overall and Male Team Long in the Tooth winners John Stevens and Matt Hurley on the rocks.
Athletes left Portland, Maine docks in the morning and took the Casco Bay Lines ferry to the race start
The 30-minute ferry ride out gives athletes a chance to preview the course ahead of the start.
The event offers three racing categories: Long Course Team, Short Course Team and Short Course categories. Long course events start on Peaks Island with a 2-mile run.
The transition into the first swim crossing between Peaks and Cushings is still a bit crowded with lots of teams not yet spread out.
Water sighting is highly suggested to locate the swim exit you will be swimming toward before starting the swim crossing.
House Island is one of a few privately owned islands that the race receives permission to access on race day. Here they race on the trails after passing through Fort Scammel.
The swim off House Island is one of the longest of the day, a 1400 yard crossing over to Little Diamond Island.
Roping on Cow Island, a new addition to the race operated by race beneficiary Rippleffect, an organization providing outdoor leadership opportunities for youth.
Racer exits the swim from Little Island and runs onto Little Diamond Island.
Nate Stevens and Richard Northe Saunders crash through the trails at Diamond Cove.
One of the more technical swim exits was the arrival at House Island where athletes negotiated slippery rocks while attempting to avoid seaweed.
After a 1400 yard swim crossing from Cow to Long Island is the unique Vaill Island circumnavigation. A spectator ferry managed by the Casco Bay Lines traces the course to watch racers.
Slowtwitchers Patrik Rung and Therese Nasman from Team Motvind traverse Vaill Island.
Amine and Kamal Mehri from Team Swimrun Hub running across Chebeague Island, the longest run segment of the day.
John Stevens and Matthew Hurley from Team Long in Tooth won their 4th consecutive Odyssey SwimRun Casco Bay Islands title.
Following their overall win at Odyssey Boston Harbor Islands, Bronwen and Greg Dierksen defended their Mixed Team win at Odyssey Casco Bay Islands, finishing only two minutes behind overall winners John Stevens and Matt Hurley.
Emily Boerger and Heather Westerman of Team Shark Bait captured the Women's Team title, adding to their win at Odyssey Boston Harbor Islands last month.
After a long beautiful day it was farewell to Casco Bay. The next chance to race an Odyssey SwimRun USA event is September 8 at Les Cheneaux Islands on Michigan's Upper Peninsula in Cedarville on beautiful Lake Huron. For more info, go to: https://www.odysseyswimrun.com
Photos by Mark Simmons
Ödyssey Casco Bay SwimRun
Casco Bay, Maine
August 11, 2019
21 miles of swimming and running
4 miles over 10 swims.
21 miles of 10 runs.
1. Long in Tooth - John Stevens, Matt Hurley 4:54:41
2. LaTriBU – Paul Lavoie, Alexander Sauvageau 5:02:04
1. Boston Wet Sox – Gregory Dierksen, Bronwen Price Dierksen – 4:56:09
2. Just Enough – Lauren Goss, Ed Baker 5:02:54
1. Shark Bait – Emily Boerger, Heather Westerman 5:45:55
2. Smashfest Queens – Leslie Miller, Kelly O’Mara 5:52:46
Short Course and Solo
Run 9+ miles
Swim 2+ miles
1. Gretchen Johnson 3:12:33
2. Keri Oulette 3:15:23
1. Faster Women - Sally Dupere, Jamie Shea 3:13:42
2. WillBeStrong – Laura Bergeron, Anne Wilkinson 3:16:04
1. Keith Lundquist 2:43:16
2. Chris Klein 2:50:50
1. The Old Man and the Seasick Runner – Benjamin Easter, Josh Easter 2:56:36
2. No Fear No Doubt – Ross Hartley, Tim Starkey 2:58:27
1. Couples Therapy - Benjamin Partlow, Christina Simpson 3:26:49
2. Run Like the Winded – Taylor McFarlane/Alex McFarlane 3:36:13