The Casco Bay Islands (also known as the Cole Classic in memory of co-founder Jeff Cole) is America’s original SwimRun. With SwimRun spreading all over Europe prior to 2016, the inaugural Casco Bay SwimRun, produced by SwimRun USA (now Odyssey SwimRun), blazed the trail in bringing the sport to the states. Since then a number of SwimRuns have popped up all over the country in all areas of the US, but Casco Bay remains the gold standard. Accented by three other marque events in the Odyssey SwimRun family, Casco Bay stands out as the destination event on the east coast, offering athletes of all levels choices of long and short course, team and individual/solo racing.
2020 marks the event’s 5th year and is slated to be the best yet. With another round of minor course changes, even those that have done the event a number of years, will find themselves doing something they have never done before. If you haven’t traveled to Maine, Portland, or Casco Bay, be prepared to swim and run in awe of the beauty that only the East Coast can offer. From gorgeous bay views and sunrises, to lobster pots around every corner, you’ll have a blast racing around historic forts and buildings scattered throughout the island chain.
Athletes run over all types of terrain from pavement, to grass, to trails and even long scrabbles over boulders that make up the shorelines of entire islands. Presenting an even bigger challenge when tides are low, many boulders are covered in slippery tidal kelp present challenging obstacles racers must overcome to get from one side of the island(s) to the other. The saltwater swims are cool, crisp, and refreshing in some of the most pristine waters you will ever encounter, offering a true New England experience. Beyond the terrain on the run and tidal waters on the swim athletes have potential to encounter strong currents, chop/swells while at sea, and gentle rolling hills while traversing the islands along the way.