Almost. To. The. Finish!
Almost. To. The. Finish!

Swimming the Peaks to Portland – the 2.4-mile stretch from Peaks Island to East End Beach – is one tremendous feat. And for first timers especially, it feels like a daunting one. (My first time, I was fairly certain I’d sink straight to the bottom and have to spend the rest of my days watching lobster boats pass overhead while small fish nipped at my extremities.)

But thanks to the combined buoyancy of wetsuits and salt water, there’s little chance anyone’s going to sink (phew!). On the other hand, we still need to get from point A to point B (being pulled by a kayak is frowned upon) and that’s where the swimming comes in.

To help registered simmers train (the swim filled up the day registration opened), the Portland and Casco Bay YMCAs are offering training sessions right up until race day. Session one is almost over, but there’s plenty of time to sign up for sessions two and three. The training starts in the pool, and when the weather warms up, it moves outside to open water. Just the practice we need!


Session 1: February 23 – April 11
Session 2: April 13 – May 30
Session 3: June 1 – July 18
Cost: YMCA members: $99, non-members: $198

Meets on Wednesday 6:30-8:30 pm and Friday 6-7 am

Meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-6:30 pm.

Here’s some more info from the YMCA:
“Each session will build upon the previous, helping you gain strength, stamina, and prepare for the ocean swim (whether you’ve completed the swim before or are trying it for the first time)…In addition, this class will eventually take you outside into the ocean for practice. We’ll discuss the logistics of race day and how to prepare you and your kayaker for the swim.”

Pre-Registration Required. Register online or contact the Portland YMCA at 207-874-1111 and Casco Bay YMCA at 207-865-9600.