Odyssey SwimRun

Odyssey SwimRun is America's original SwimRun.  As stated on their website:

“Swimrun is the fastest growing sport in the world. You participate in teams of two, alternating between trail running and open water swimming along a marked course.”

Inspired by the international ÖTILLÖ, ”Island to Island” races, the Odyssey races follow the same rules and guidelines, with teams racing the entire course together.

Below is a cool car registration plate promoting the sport of swimrun; Aaron's main goal was to remember his car plate number - but promoting the sport is an added bonus!

Odyssey SwimRun logo

The usual swim aids are allowed - hand paddles, pull buoys, wetsuits - and any hydration and race fuel must be carried throughout the race.  It can make a real difference having the right team mate and equipment as you can find out reading other pages on this site!

Odyssey SwimRun are entering their fourth year and are once again presenting the only island-to-island style race in North America.  In some of the races there is also now the option to enter a solo event.

The Races

For 2023 there are currently 4 races in the Odyssey SwimRun Series, running from August through to November.

The races previously held at Ludington and Les Cheneaux are no longer being held.

Check our up-to-date Swimrun event calendar for the USA 2023 here!

Races are held in:

  • Coastal Dune Lakes, Fla.  -  not scheduled in 2023
  • Casco Bay Islands
  • Mackinac Island
  • Orcas Island
  • Austin

Odyssey SwimRun Race Bibs

Odyssey 2023 competitors' bibs in different colors.

Odyssey Facebook Page

There is a great Facebook page - Odyssey SwimRun Athletes.

Check it out HERE

Odyssey Events

Below you can find details of Odyssey events:

Coastal Dune Lakes

DATE: Not scheduled for 2023

VENUE: Coastal Dune Lakes, Walton County, Florida

NOTE: Unfortunately, this race as been CANCELLED for 2023.

According to Odyssey, "Walton County is home to 15 named coastal dune lakes along 26 miles of coastline. These lakes are a unique geographical feature and are only found in a few places in the world including Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Oregon, and here in Walton County.

A coastal dune lake is defined as a shallow, irregularly shaped or elliptic depressions occurring in coastal communities that share an intermittent connection with the Gulf of Mexico through which freshwater and saltwater is exchanged.  They are generally permanent water bodies, although water levels may fluctuate substantially.  Typically identified as lentic water bodies without significant surface inflows or outflows.  Instead, water is largely derived from lateral ground water seepage through the surrounding well-drained coastal sands.  Storms occasionally provide large inputs of salt water and salinities vary dramatically over the long term.  

Our coastal dune lakes are even more unique because they share an intermittent connection with the Gulf of Mexico, referred to as an “outfall”, which aides in natural flood control allowing the lake water to pour into the Gulf as needed. The lake water is fed by streams, groundwater seepage, rain, and storm surge. Each lake's outfall and chemistry is different. Water conditions between lakes can vary greatly, from completely fresh to significantly saline."

Casco Bay SwimRun

DATE:   Sunday, July 9 2023

VENUE:   Casco Bay Islands, Portland, Maine

The Casco Bay Swimrun is also known as the Cole Classic in memory of co-founder Jeff Cole.  This is America's original Swimrun event.  Odyssey Swimrun (formerly Swimrun USA) brought this exciting sport to the states.

2020 was the event's 4th year and the organizers say was set to be the best!  The east coast is stunning with a course full of amazing bay views and historic buildings and forts.

Be prepared for a variety of terrain from trails, grass, pavement and slippery boulders when the tide is low, together with cool, crisp salt waters!  Currents can be strong with choppy water and sea swells.

Jeff Cole - Swimrun USA & co-founder

From the organizers - about Jeff Cole:

"A husband, a father, a sportsman, an event organizer and a leader, Jeff Cole cared deeply about each and every person he had contact with. He grew up on the water and worked as a lifeguard and was a volunteer fireman at the Kennebunk Fire Dept for over 20 years, founded and produced multisport races – from the Fireman’s Tri in Kennebunkport to White Mountains Tri in Franconia, New Hampshire.

He served on the Board of Directors for numerous businesses, schools, and sporting organizations and yet spent a few weeks each year living off the grid completely self-sufficient. Jeff was an independent thinker but also a consensus builder. He never asked anyone to do something he was not prepared to do himself.

He is fiercely missed but his legacy lives on through his wife Kim, daughter Rachel, son Ben, his friends and through the SwimRun USA events he pioneered."

Click below to watch the official Race Video 2019 for the Odyssey SwimRun Casco Bay Islands:


Swim: 11 legs: 5 miles

Run: 12 legs: 18 miles

Total Distance: 23 miles


Swim: 5 legs: 2 miles

Run: 6 legs: 8.5 miles

Total Distance: 10.5 miles

For more information and to register for the Casco Bay SwimRun click here.

Mackinac SwimRun

DATE:  Sunday, August 27, 2023

VENUE:  Mackinac Island, Lake Huron, Michigan

view over green gardens to a small marina with white boats in a harbor at Mackinac Island, Michigan, on a sunny day, with blue water and a blue sky.The beautiful Mackinac Island

This was a new event in 2021!

Mackinac Island is as rich in history as it is in beauty. Located just northeast of the Mackinac Bridge In Lake Huron, Mackinac Island offers a unique opportunity for both family and friends to experience race weekend like never before. Mackinac City's downtown area offers a variety of things to do for people of all ages and trails and waters around this pristine island offer a vast playground for SwimRunners looking to stretch their legs on a new course that's challenging and breathtakingly beautiful.

There are no vehicles allowed on the island. Your legs, bikes, and horses are the modes of transportation after you take the ferry from the mainland to get there.

A man with a yellow float tied to his waist and his arms held up walking down a jetty towards a boat shed, with blue sky in the background.Adventure awaits on Mackinac Island!


Swim: 6 legs: 3.1 miles

Run: 7 legs: 15.65 miles

Total Distance: 18.75 miles


Swim: 6 legs: 2 miles

Run: 7 legs: 11.15 miles

Total Distance: 13.15 miles

For more information and to register for the Odyssey Mackinac SwimRun click here.

Orcas Island SwimRun

DATE:  Sunday, September 17, 2023

VENUE:  Orcas Island, San Juan Islands, Washington State

Established in 2018, this is a unique and beautiful course in the San Juan chain of islands in Northwest Washington State.  Look out for big climbs and descents and single tracks running through thick forests.  The course includes crystal clear inland waters as well as a picturesque ocean cove.  Certainly a race to 'get back to nature'!

Click below to watch the Official Race Video of the Odyssey Orcas Island Swimrun:


Swim: 11 legs: 3.4 miles

Run: 12 legs: 21.75 miles

Total Distance: 25.15 miles


Swim: 5 legs: 2 miles

Run: 6 legs: 10.7 miles

Total Distance: 12.7 miles

For more information and to register for the Odyssey Orcas Island SwimRun click here.

Austin Pace Bend SwimRun

"Welcome to Texas Hill Country!"

DATE:  Sunday,  November 12,  2023

VENUE:  Pace Bend Park, Spicewood, Texas (Austin City Limits)

Two swimrun competitors at the Odyssey Austin 2022 eventOdyssey Swimrun Austin

A stone's throw from Austin, nestled in Texas Hill Country between the Baldcypress and Sycamore trees, sits Pace Bend Park. A rustic beauty with single track forest trails, shoreline rock formations and cliff jumps into the refreshing Colorado River. The perfect Texas-sized end to the Odyssey Swimrun season.


Swim: 3.1 miles

Run: 13.5 miles

Total Distance: 16.5 miles


Swim: 1.85 miles

Run: 10 miles

Total Distance: 11.85 miles

For more information and to register for the Odyssey Austin SwimRun click here.

A man swimming with a red hand paddle in the Odyssey Swimrun at Austin, Texas.Austin swimrun

Ludington SwimRun

DATE:   Not being held in 2023 (details of previous races below)

VENUE:   Ludington, Michigan

Welcome to sand dunes and lighthouses!  Away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, with West Michigan's white sand beaches and forest trails as a backdrop, you'll find the kind of town people want to visit and many call home.  This event takes place in Ludington, Michigan, a vacation paradise and a wonderful place.


Swim: 7 legs: 3.25 miles

Run: 8 legs: 17.75 miles

Total Distance: 21 miles


Swim: 4 legs: 2.1 miles

Run: 5 legs: 8.2 miles

Total Distance: 10.3 miles

Les Cheneaux SwimRun (Cedarville)

"Michigan's Hidden Gem!"

DATE:  There is currently no 2023 date for this event (details of previous races below)

VENUE:  Les Cheneaux Islands, Cedarville, Michigan

This event takes place on the northern shores of Lake Huron.  It's an ideal course for beginners being mostly flat but with a few challenging large hills, so also good for the experienced swimrunner.  The lake is crystal clear with the bottom being visible in some places and the terrain is single track trail, gravel dirt and some pavement.

This is one of the most beautiful Swimruns in the country and we must admit it is one we fancy doing if we are going to do a Swimrun in the USA - watch this space!!!

Click below to watch the official Les Cheneaux Race Video 2019:


Swim: 7 legs: 4.25 miles

Run: 7 legs: 12.25 miles

Total Distance: 16.5 miles


Swim: 4 legs: 2.5 miles

Run: 4 legs: 9 miles

Total Distance: 11.5 miles

The Legend Award

Every year the Legend Award is given to the athlete or team showing exemplary actions showcasing the spirit of Swimrun!

The Legend Award is extremely special to Odyssey as it puts the spotlight on athletes who are putting others above themself, spreading positive energy to other racers, and taking action when faced with adversity. The award is in honor of the memory of SwimRun USA's Founder, Jeff Cole.

2021 Legend Award Winners

Casco Bay Islands
Casco Bay Islands

The Legend Award artwork above was created by multiple-time Casco Bay Islands SwimRun athlete, Kirsten Read, who was a dear friend of Jeff.

The 2021 winners of the Award were Caroline Wolek and Patrick Reagan.

Caroline was cited for offering up a fellow athlete her goggles in the early goings of the Long Course race. We cannot imagine swimming 4+ miles without goggles!

Patrick was nominated for his endless positive energy in bringing new swimrunners with him as he tackled his first Casco Bay Islands SwimRun after years of injury and setbacks kept him from taking the starting line.

Congratulations to them both!

REMEMBER to check our up-to-date 2023 USA race event calendar HERE!

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