Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands: Equal Parts Adventure and Endurance

A handful of miles outside of downtown Boston lies the Boston Harbor Islands which served as the race venue for the first running of Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands on Saturday, July 13.

SwimRun events typically have smaller field sizes than triathlons, in part because courses and conditions can be very demanding, equal parts adventure and endurance race. The Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands course ran over five islands and swam between four islands for a total distance of 3.25 miles of rough open water swimming and 12 miles of mixed overland running. Enjoy these photos, and get to dreaming! Odyssey SwimRun produces three more events in 2019, including Casco Bay Islands, Maine (Aug. 11), Les Cheneaux Islands, Michigan (Sept. 8), and Orcas Island, Washington (Sept. 22).

2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
An early morning ferry took athletes from downtown Boston out to the Harbor Islands for race start. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
The race started on Peddocks Island, the location for the Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island, with a 3 mile run over rough island roads, beach and single-track trails. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Race organizers expected the fastest teams would make the first swim passage, a 1650 yard crossing between Peddocks and Georges, in roughly 20 minutes. A ripping incoming tide challenged swimmers with top teams coming out in 40 minutes and nearly a dozen not making the first time cut-off on the island. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
After hitting shore on Georges, swimrunners were treated to a short but hilly run around Fort Warren. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
The course ran around the perimeter of Fort Warren before going onto the grounds making for unique experience. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
After ascending and descending a series of staircases inside the fort, athletes made their way to the swim exit for their second swim passage. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Another team scurries out of Fort Warren on Georges Island. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Swim entrances and exits were marked by 8-foot high neon pink banners to help athletes with their sighting. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Experienced Swimrunner Marcus Barton and his teammate Dan Kimball exit the shortest swim, a 600 yard crossing between Georges and Lovells Islands. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Ken Wilson is all smiles after making it to Lovells Island before the second time cut-off. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Following the longest swim of the race, a 2500 yard crossing between Lovells and Long Islands, racers had to keep their wits about them while transitioning over slippery rocks. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Long Island was once connected to the mainland and served as a rehabilitation center for drug addicts, but the bridge was knocked down in 2015 after it was determined it was unstable. Parts of the run route through the island stayed near the beach. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Other sections of the run on Long Island went off-road through a network of trails. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
The trails on Long Island finished with a long downhill section to the beach where they entered the final swim, a 1200 yard crossing, over to Spectacle Island. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
In swimrun events, teammates must remain within 10 yards of on another during the swim and 100 yards on the run. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
Communication with your teammate is vital to having a memorable experience. Photo: Mark Simmons
2019 Odyssey SwimRun Boston Harbor Islands
After the finish on Spectacle Island, the ferry returned all athletes back to downtown Boston. Photo: Mark Simmons