Marathon swim

This page references the Lake George Marathon Swim event that took place in 2016.

If you or your team want advice or support for a swim we will try to help. Contact Bob Singer at

September 17-18, 2016

USMS Sanction #036-W001

This swim will serve to highlight Lake George and the history of Lake George marathon swimming. The 32-mile swim commemorates Diane Struble, the first person to swim the length, in 1958, and all those who swim in her wake. Since 1958, only six other solo swimmers and one relay have accomplished this feat. We expect to more than double that historical count in one day!

Registration is closed for the 2016 swim with 14 individual swimmers and 14 relay teams. You may still participate as a Volunteer, so please complete a Volunteer Registration Form.

Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin... finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountain sides covered with rich groves... down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony.
-- Thomas Jefferson, May 31, 1791



  • Pod Assignments and Start times are available here: (PDF | XLS)
  • The recording from the 8/16/16 conference call is available here.
  • Participant Briefing for August 16, 2016 Call (PDF)
  • Notes from the July 14 Conference call are available here.
  • Notes from the May 9 Conference Call are available here.
  • The Participants’ Guide is available for download here. This comprehensive guide is intended to answer many questions and is the place to learn the rules, safety plans, and emergency procedures. It also provides information about Lake George and event logistics, as well as the fun events planned for the day before the event.
  • The mandatory quiz for all participants (swimmers, Boat Captains, Observers, and Kayakers) is available here and is described in the Participants’ Guide.
  • Fundraising for individual swimmers and relay teams is set up on
  • Click Here for details of the pre-swim Dinner Cruise.
  • We are pleased to announce that Olympian and World Champion open water swimmer Alex Meyer is joining our management team as Co-Chair of the Lake George Marathon Swim. Read more about Alex here. Alex’s participation will give us unprecedented access to advice and counsel from the top open water swimmer in the country, and we get to hang out with him and swap stories when we get together in September.
  • Our list of individual swimmers and relays is available here.

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Event Details

Event Details

See Participants' Guide here.

Start: 3 PM, September 17, 2016

Cut-off for Finish: 5 PM, Sunday September 18

Swimmers who have not completed the swim by the Cut-off Finish time will be picked up by a boat. All swimmers must agree to this cut-off time before entering the event.

Course: The course will be from the north end of Lake George, at “Diane’s Rock,” a memorial to Diane Struble about 100 yards from the Snug Harbor Marina in Ticonderoga, to the public docks in Lake George Village (see map). Solo swimmers and the first swimmers of the relay teams will enter the water at the Snug Harbor marina and swim to Diane’s Rock in waves or “pods” of 5-6 swimmers. They will be escorted only by their kayaks the first half mile, until they will be joined by their escort powerboats after the narrow channel widens out. Kayaks and escort powerboats will navigate the 32 miles to the public docks in Lake George Village (see map).

Diane Struble, 1958. Role model and inspiration (courtesy Gwenne Rippon, daughter of Ms. Struble)

Diane Struble, 1958. Role model and inspiration (courtesy Gwenne Rippon, daughter of Ms. Struble)

Cancellation: At the discretion of either the Event Director, Referee, the Safety Director, or the Independent Safety Monitor, the Lake George Marathon Swim may be cancelled before the swim or at any time during the swim. The start may be delayed to allow for weather to pass or for equipment problems. A delay of the start may result in shortening the time until the cut-off for finish, at the discretion of the Event Director, Safety Director, or Independent Safety Monitor. Reimbursement of entry fees will not be available.

Weather: Lake George is known for quick changes in weather. The mountains that ring the Lake make it difficult to see weather coming. Air temperatures could be in the 30’s at night but more likely in the low 50’s, with daytime temperatures reaching anywhere from the 40’s to 70’s. Water temperature will probably be 66-72F. The intended course, from north to south, will be reversed if winds over 15 MPH are forecast from the south.

Kayaks: Each swimmer will be escorted by one kayak. Relief kayakers will be in the escort powerboats or will be picked up on shore if prior arrangements are made by the powerboat captain. All kayaks will be fitted with lights for night. Swimmers are encouraged to recruit their own kayakers and Observers, but limited numbers of local volunteers will be available. Kayakers are advised that the kayaker should be doing the navigating, not the swimmer. Swimmers will maintain a position with the kayaker’s body about even with the swimmer’s head, and about 10-15 feet away. The kayaker can “turn” the swimmer by steering toward or away from the swimmer. Kayakers need to meet with the swimmers to agree on feeding plans. Swimmers may not hold onto the kayaks. Power boats will stand off away from the swimmers and kayaks, except for when the kayakers are exchanging places or relay swimmers are swapping places. At these times powerboats will approach the swimmers. Engines must be in neutral when swimmers or kayakers are approaching the powerboats.

Diane's Rock

The Start, “Diane's Rock,” Ticonderoga. Note the plaque honoring her swim.

Power boats: Power boats must be inspected and tagged with a Visual Inspection Control Seal at an inspection station prior to launching in Lake George. See A speed limit from 9 PM until 5 AM of 25 MPH will be strictly enforced. The daytime speed limit is 45 MPH. Power boat captains must be familiar with and comply with all Rules and Regulations from the Lake George Park Commission available at

Each individual swimmer or relay team will be assigned a powerboat to escort the kayak and to provide a place for relief kayakers and teammates for the relay. The powerboat will be available in case of a required evacuation or early end to the swim. Power boats should not be used to escort the swimmer. Powerboats should stay at least 50 feet from swimmers and downwind of swimmers except during relay exchanges and changing of kayakers. During these periods powerboats shall approach the swimmer or kayaker with the engine idling (no turning prop).

Plaque commemorating Diane Struble's historic swim, placed on Diane's Rock.

Plaque commemorating Diane Struble's historic swim, placed on Diane's Rock.

Many places in Lake George, in particular near Ticonderoga (north end) and the Narrows (mid-lake), the swimmers and kayaks may take a direct line that transits shoals too shallow for power boats. Channel markers are red and green. Going north toward Ticonderoga (the lake outlet), the red buoys are on the left. Returning south toward Lake George Village, away from the outlet, the red buoys are to the right (“red right returning”). It is the responsibility of the power boat captain to safely navigate through the shallows.



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